Remember Hal Lindsay? Before Harold Camping made himself an international laughing stock with an inaccurate prediction of the end of the world, Lindsay was doing it. He once predicted that Jesus would return by 1988, and now another “scholar” has refined his prediction for another round of selling false promises to true believers.
Hal Lindsey, author of The Late Great Planet Earth, believed he had unlocked the secrets of this passage in Matthew 24:32-33, suggesting the generation that saw the 1948 rebirth of Israel as a nation—purportedly symbolized by the fig tree—would see the return of Jesus Christ. In what became the world’s best-selling nonfiction book of the 1970s, Lindsey wrote a biblical generation is “something like 40 years” and suggested that “within 40 years or so of 1948, all these things could take place.”
But when Jesus didn’t return in 1988, Lindsey’s interpretation of the passage came under heavy criticism and for many years the church largely shied away from teaching Bible prophecy. Now, World Bible Society President F. Kenton “Doc” Beshore argues Lindsey’s interpretation of the passage was correct, but he was wrong about the length of a biblical generation.
Instead of 40 years, Beshore says a biblical generation is actually 70-80 years, basing this on Psalm 90:10: “The days of our life are 70 years; and if by reason of strength they are 80 years.” Based on this, the author of When?: When Will the Rapture Take Place? and The Millennium, the Apocalypse and Armageddon believes the Second Coming will occur sometime between 2018 and 2028, or 70 to 80 years after 1948. Taking into account the seven-year Tribulation period, Beshore expects the rapture to occur sometime between now and 2021.
“Jesus says in Matthew 24:34 that this ‘born one,’ or ‘this generation will not pass away until all these things be fulfilled,’” says Beshore, 86, who holds five doctoral degrees in theology. “He pictures Israel as a Jewish boy, born May 14, 1948, that would grow up and become an old man until He comes in glory to establish His millennial kingdom. Now, how long is this generation—this ‘born one’? The first meaning of ‘born one’ is in Psalm 90:10. If you extend that from 1948, the outside date for the millennium would be 2028. Take off seven years for the Tribulation and the outside date for the rapture would be 2021. The rapture could take place before that, but certainly by then.”
And when that turns out to be false, some other huckster will sell the same nonsense.