The Truth About 'Left Behind'

By Curtis Rittenour | Posted October 13, 2014

On October 3, 2014, another Left Behind movie was theatrically released. It’s actually the fourth film in the Left Behind series of movies and a reboot of the 2000 release called Left Behind: The Movie. The script is based on the bestselling book series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins. All the films have received mostly negative reviews, had mediocre box office runs, and were criticized for low production quality.

While this version rose to prominence because it stars Academy Award winning actor, Nicolas Cage, it's also one of the worst-reviewed films of 2014 (Rotten Tomatoes rated it at 2%, and Metacritic gave it a score of 12 out of 100). Still, it's managed to gross $11 million worldwide. Is it because it’s another apocalyptic disaster film or is there still interest among many in the popular rapture theory?

Some are startled to discover the diverse views floating around about the end times. Jim Denison, who attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, grew up accepting the "pre-tribulation rapture" presented in the film as fact, but he was surprised when he took a class in college on the book of Revelation. In a recent article, he shares:

“[I] … discovered that conservative biblical scholars have held at least seven different approaches to the end times. In addition to the rapture position (usually called ‘premillennial dispensational’), popular options today range from ‘preterist’ (the Book of Revelation was fulfilled in the first century, with no predictive elements) to ‘historic premillenialists’ (Jesus will return before the millennium, but there will be no rapture), to ‘amillennial’ (Revelation is intentionally symbolic, with no literal rapture or millennium), to ‘postmillennial’ (Jesus will return after the millennium).” [1]

Denison then writes, “Whether he raptures the church before (or during, or after) a Great Tribulation, or returns to begin the millennium, or simply returns to end history and begin eternity, is not the practical question. You and I have no say in the matter.” That’s exactly right.

But the next question should be, “Does God have a say in the matter?”

Instead of throwing up our hands when many disagree about the final events of earth’s history, perhaps it would be wiser to search the Scriptures and set aside the theories of people. Doctrinal confusion is no reason for ignoring or minimizing Bible truth.

Christ never taught that His coming would be two different events separated by seven years, with the antichrist supposedly coming into power during this tribulation period. The word “rapture” is not even found in the Bible. There is nothing secret about Jesus’ return. Scripture states that when Jesus comes there will be a resurrection and all the saints will meet Him in the air, all at the same time at the end of the world. Those left behind are destroyed by the brightness of His coming.

If you are counting on a second chance at salvation based on the rapture theory for yourself, family, or friends, you will want to rethink this view before saying, “Oh well, I guess it doesn’t really matter.” There are serious consequences to being left behind if you don’t study your Bible carefully!

We want to know what you think! Is Left Behind harmless Hollywood entertainment—or is it something more serious? Let us know is the comments below!

To learn more about the rapture theory, click here.  You can also watch a video by clicking here.

Curtis Rittenour
Curtis J. Rittenour is the senior writer at Amazing Facts International. He pastored for 25 years and has authored books, magazine articles, blogs, and seminars.

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