The Late, Great Planet Earth

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The Late, Great Planet Earth
The Late, Great Planet Earth cover.jpg
Cover
Authors Hal Lindsey
Carole C. Carlson
Country United States
Language English
Subject Eschatology
Publisher Zondervan
Publication date
1970
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 242
ISBN 978-0253166739

The Late, Great Planet Earth is a best-selling 1970 book by Hal Lindsey with Carole C. Carlson, and first published by Zondervan. The book was adapted by Rolf Forsberg and Robert Amram[1] during 1976 into a film narrated by Orson Welles and released by Pacific International Enterprises. It was originally ghost-written by Carlson,[2] whom later printings credited as co-author. Lindsey and Carlson later published several sequels, including Satan Is Alive and Well on Planet Earth and The 1980s: Countdown to Armageddon.

Antichrist in the 1970s, Rapture in the 1980s[edit]

The Late, Great Planet Earth is a treatment of literalist, premillennial, dispensational eschatology. As such, it compared end-time prophecies in the Bible with then-current events in an attempt to predict future scenarios resulting in the rapture of believers before the tribulation and Second Coming of Christ to establish his thousand-year (i.e. millennial) Kingdom on Earth. Emphasizing various passages in the books of Daniel, Ezekiel and Revelation, Lindsey originally suggested the possibility that these climactic events might occur during the 1980s, which he interpreted as one generation from the foundation of modern Israel during 1948, a major event according to some conservative evangelical schools of eschatological thought. Cover art of the Bantam edition suggested that the 1970s were the "era of the Antichrist as foretold by Moses and Jesus," and termed the book "a penetrating look at incredible ancient prophecies involving this generation." Descriptions of alleged "fulfilled" prophecy were offered as proof of the infallibility of God's Word, and evidence that "unfulfilled" prophecies would soon find their denouement in God's plan for the planet.

He cited an increase in the frequency of famines, wars and earthquakes, as major events just prior to the end of the world. He also foretold a Soviet invasion of Israel (War of Gog and Magog). Lindsey also predicted that the European Economic Community, which preceded the European Union, was destined (according to Biblical prophecy) to become a "United States of Europe", which in turn he says is destined to become a "Revived Roman Empire" ruled by the Antichrist. Lindsey wrote that he had concluded, since there was no apparent mention of America in the books of Daniel or Revelation, that America would not be a major geopolitical power by the time the tribulations of the end times arrived. He found little in the Bible that could represent America, but he suggested that Ezekiel 38:13 could be speaking of America in part.

Although Lindsey did not claim to know the dates of future events with any certainty, he suggested that Matthew 24:32-34 indicated that Jesus' return might be within "one generation" of the rebirth of the state of Israel, and the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple, and Lindsey asserted that "in the Bible" one generation is forty years. Some readers accepted this as an indication that the Tribulation or the Rapture would occur no later than 1988. In his 1980 work The 1980s: Countdown to Armageddon, Lindsey predicted that "the decade of the 1980s could very well be the last decade of history as we know it".

Popular culture[edit]

The Late, Great Planet Earth was the first Christian prophecy book to be published by a secular publisher (Bantam, 1973) and sell many copies. Despite some dated content, 28 million copies had sold by 1990.[3][4] The film The Late Great Planet Earth was narrated by Orson Welles and released in theaters during 1979.[1]

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References[edit]