Watchman Warning: Remembering Art Bell
By Hal Lindsey
I’m one of the bestselling authors in history and have been on global television practically every week for over 20 years. But to a large group of people out there, those things are utterly unimportant. They know me because of a man named Art Bell.
Art died on Friday, April 13th.
In radio circles, he was a legend. At its peak, his “Coast to Coast AM” broadcast reportedly reached as many as 15 million people a week. The show focused on conspiracy theories, aliens, and the para-normal. Art made it all interesting.
For me, being Art’s guest was an amazing opportunity. It allowed me to have long discussions on Bible prophecy with a smart and curious man (with his friends occasionally calling in) while millions of other smart and curious people listened in.
Most of those listeners would not have identified as Christians. And, while they included some hardcore believers in ghosts and aliens, most were just curious. They were intelligent people who saw signs that something amazing is going on in the world — something that remains mostly just out of sight. That sense of wonder gave them a genuine interest in what I had to say. I loved talking to him, and to them.
The possible downside of appearing on “Coast to Coast AM” was that, to people on the outside, you might look like just another kook in a long line of kooks. But frankly, that didn’t bother me. Yes, some of Art’s guests had ideas that were pretty far out there. But for me, the experience wasn’t about the other guests or their ideas. It was about Art and his listeners. He and they treated me with courtesy and genuine curiosity.
Art told me once that his knowledge of Bible prophecy came primarily from the movies. Nevertheless, he had a grasp of the major signs leading to the end of the age. When he did shows with me, he prepared by finding stories that showed Biblical signs being fulfilled. At times, it was like he was one of my researchers.
One night, as we talked about end time events that will take place during the coming seven-year Tribulation period, I said something like, “We’re not quite there yet.”
He replied, “Well, the fat lady is getting warmed up.”
It was a reference to the old opera metaphor that goes, “It ain’t over till the fat lady sings.” And he was right. The fat lady does seem to be warming up.
Art took my message seriously — all of it. We didn’t just talk about fulfilled prophecy. He allowed me to freely lay out the Gospel message of Jesus and the cross. He allowed me to tell his huge audience how to receive Christ.
He described himself as “nonreligious.” I told him that I didn’t consider myself “religious” either, but that I have relationship with Jesus. I didn’t keep up with Art in his later years, and I don’t know what all happened in his life. I never heard him profess faith in the Lord. But I hope at some point he did. And I hope I see him again.