He graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary with a Master of Theology degree, majoring in the New Testament and early Greek literature. With Jan, his second wife, he worked with Campus Crusade for Christ and continued with them until 1969. He then helped a mission in Southern California which continued until 1976. He was also a frequent speaker and Sunday School teacher at Melodyland Christian Center in Anaheim, California. During 1969, he wrote his first, and best-known book, The Late, Great Planet Earth. Published during 1970 by Zondervan, this book became a bestseller. Coming on the heels of the Six-Day War, the book fueled the popularity of dispensationalism and its support of ethnic Jews as the "chosen people of God". Many of Lindsey's later writings are sequels or revisions and extensions of his first book. During 1994, he earned his Doctorate of Theology from the California Graduate School of Theology.
Lindsey hosted International Intelligence Briefing on the Trinity Broadcasting Network and serves on the executive board of Christian Voice.
International Intelligence Briefing was eliminated from broadcasting by TBN for the entire month of December 2005. Lindsey claimed that this was because "some at the network apparently feel that [his] message is too pro-Israel and too anti-Muslim." TBN owner Paul Crouch, however, contended that "TBN has never been and is not now against Israel and the Jewish people." Crouch said that Lindsey's show was pre-empted for Christmas programming. Lindsey countered that this was the first time his show had been preempted for the entire month of December. TBN later admitted that a secondary reason for pre-empting the show was that it "placed Arabs in a negative light."
Lindsey resigned from TBN on January 1, 2006, and indicated that he would pursue another television ministry. His new program, The Hal Lindsey Report, emphasizes Biblical prophecy and current events, and is broadcast by the Angel One and DayStar networks. During January 2007, Lindsey announced that he would be returning to the TBN network. The Hal Lindsey Report is broadcast by TBN with his own financing.
The major part of Lindsey's claims is a dispensationalist interpretation of the implications of Jesus Christ as presented in the four gospels of the New Testament as the divine Son of God and the Jewish Messiah.Lindsey claims from the Bible that Jesus Christ will return from heaven to earth someday and establish eternal peace, happiness, prosperity, and harmony among all people.
Lindsey says the Bible contains numerous prophecies that foretell of certain conditions and events that will occur in the world prior to Christ's return. He continues, saying that, as these things occur, they are to serve as signs and reminders that we are in the era that the Bible calls the end times or last days. Lindsey believes a prophetic event that officially begins the end times is the regathering of the Jewish people to their ancient homeland to form an independent nation after a prolonged worldwide dispersion. He states that the establishment of the State of Israel during May 1948 is the fulfillment of this major prophecy. He also states that the last seven years of the end times is a period known as the Tribulation; which is described in the gospel of Matthew and the book of Revelation.
In The Late Great Planet Earth, Lindsey wrote that the biblical prophets identified certain nations that would ally with other countries to form "four major spheres of political power" during the same era that Israel would be reestablished as a nation. Lindsey wrote that these nations and their allies can be identified as: (1) Russia with its allies, (2) China with other nations of the Orient, (3) Egypt with other Middle East countries, and (4) an alliance of Western European nations.
According to Lindsey, the alliance of Western European nations is a revived form of the ancient Roman Empire, predicted in the books of Daniel and Revelation symbolically as ten horns and ten kings. In The Late Great Planet Earth, Lindsey quotes from a 1969 Time Magazine article that the goal of the European Economic Community, which preceded the European Union, was to establish a ten-nation economic community. Lindsey concludes, based on this and other sources, that this alliance will help cause the fulfillment of this prophecy and will ultimately be ruled by the Antichrist. (The European Union currently has 28 members, not 10).
Lindsey noted that the prophets did not refer to the United States of America directly or indirectly. He concluded that this is an indication that the U.S. will no longer be a great geo-political power by the time the Tribulation of the end times arrives.
In a later book, titled, The 1980s: Countdown to Armageddon, he indicated that he believed it was possible that the battle of Armageddon could occur in the not too distant future, stating, "the decade of the 1980s could very well be the last decade of history as we know it.". He noted again that there is no reference to the U.S. in Bible prophecy. He listed a few scenarios that seemed plausible to him at the time: (1) A takeover by Communists, (2) destruction by a surprise Soviet nuclear attack, or (3) becoming a dependent of the 10-nation European community. The book was on the New York Times bestseller list for more than 20 weeks.