Left Behind A Novel of the Earth’s Last Days. 468 pages, soft cover. Co-authors Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. Tyndale House Publishers Inc. (10.00)
Much interest and excitement greets one in the local Christian bookstores these days regarding the end of times. Special attention has been given to this particular book Left Behind. This is the first book in a series of 12 regarding the Pre-mil view of the end of times. I have witnessed numerous displays and one in particular comes to mind of clothes on a chair displayed in such a fashion it appears as if one simply vanished out of them. A filmmaker from Hollywood, Cloud Ten Productions, who happens to be Christian and would like to be viewed as such, has released a “Left Behind” movie based on the book. He has great expectations of making #1 on the movie charts. Already the Left Behind movie has sold over 3 million videos.
In the opening chapters of this book we see that the “rapture” has indeed become a reality and chaos which unfolds is horrific. The book focuses on how the lives of an airline pilot, and his daughter, a stewardess and journalist and intern pastor have been dramatically changed. They share each other’s personal loss and find comfort in knowing that they have been given a “second chance” to find Christ. Through these altering conditions they come to see and understand that the antichrist has come to power through the United Nations. They then take it upon themselves to form a Tribulation Force whose purpose is to do more than just survive the tribulation which is coming but also to fight against the enemies of God.
I found that this book, which exposes the teaching of the Premillennialism view at the end of times, to be nothing short of heresy. It saddens one to know that much of Christendom believes in this silent rapture and escaping of the coming tribulation and the opportunity to be given a second chance. The free will of man is also exposed in full force when it is believed that God is finally going to get your attention now by witnessing the effects of this stunning rapture, and for those who are “left behind,” it is up to you to urgently accept Christ. The “left behind” tapes, which are what all raptured pastors have earlier prepared, are used as to bring others to the gospel. So these tapes are used to serve a higher purpose. The teaching that is also exposed is the belief that all children have been raptured, for all the children of the world are saved and therefore will escape the tribulation. The sad realization of all this comes to mind is when Christians, who thought they were believers, have been left behind and now are faced with the reality that something must have been missing from their lives. When one reads this it shows how the belief of Premillennialism goes hand in hand with freewillism and Arminism. The devil himself is “right behind” all of this nonsense.
I pray that Reformed believers are not swayed with the high drama which unfolds in this book. The devil purposes through this book to “dull” our senses into believing a silent rapture awaits and an earthly kingdom will be established. Our Amillenial view of these last days is biblical and does indeed keep our eyes focused on the heavenly kingdom. The Premillennialist view focuses on the earthly kingdom and escaping the tribulation. Our Amillenial position makes one pray for strength in order to bear witness of Christ and not to be deceived. Christ tells us to be watchful in I Thessalonians 5:2-8 in these last days. In our watching, we must not be taken in on the popularity of what sells these days under the name of Christianity. Christ will not be found there. Man is exalted to take matters into his own hands. We must then continue to educate ourselves in the truths of the Scriptures, looking for that heavenly kingdom. Read material that will benefit the heart and the mind. We must therefore, as Reformed, Protestant Reformed believers in particular, affix onto ourselves the breastplate of faith and helmet of salvation as given to us by His sovereign grace and fight the good fight of faith of defense of our Reformed heritage and thank God for opening our eyes to understand the truths, however small that understanding might be, of His glorious and powerful second coming.