A Novel of the Earth's Last Days
Tim LaHaye and Jerry B Jenkins
Jesus will return. But before he does, all the believers will be snatched up into heaven and everyone else will be left behind. End of story?
Not for LaHaye and Jenkins: with Left Behind and the series that follows on from it, it's just the beginning as those left behind are rapidly divided into two camps - those who realise that they've missed salvation's bus and become end-time believers, and those who follow the Antichrist.
Whether or not you accept the story's basic premise or its literalistic interpretation of the Bible, it's a fast-paced, gripping read, which leaves you gasping for more.
The story focuses on one group of believers, the 'Tribulation Force', the terrors that they face as the global community rejects Christianity once and for all and their ever more desperate — and increasingly deceptive — tactics for survival.
The book does raise at least two questions that no Christian should ignore:
1) What if something like this really does happen? If ever you needed a spur to evangelism, this story will give it to you - the fate of those who don't know Christ is in your hands.
2) What if you find yourself a believer in the enemy's camp? Do you follow this story's precedent of living a lie, of hiding your faith and setting out to subvert the enemy, or do you declare your true colours at the cost of your life? It's a question that's faced on a daily basis by Christians living under oppressive regimes even now: this story raises it to a global scale and I, for one, don't know the answer.
The underlying biblical literalism smacks of a degree of fundamentalism that fans of the Scofield Reference Bible will be proud of, and certainly won't be to everyone's taste - but the storyline is superb. Read and enjoy; don't get left behind; but much more importantly, don't get taken in.
Phil Groom, September 2001
Phil Groom is this site's Webmaster and Reviews Editor. He's a freelance blogger, writer and web developer who spent ten years managing the bookshop at London School of Theology alongside eight years writing web reviews for Christian Marketplace magazine before he came to his senses and went independent. You can find him on facebook or follow him on twitter @notbovvered.
Previously published by London School of Theology. Reused here by kind permission.Order from www.christianbookshops.org