Left Behind - Fact or Fiction | 1/6
ABOUT THE SERIES
This series shows from the Bible the truth concerning the Left Behind theory, how the righteous will be taken to heaven, what will be happening on earth prior to Jesus' second coming, how He will return, and how to be ready.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Pastor Mark Finley is a prolific author and sough after international speaker. At the time of these recordings, he was director of It Is Written television.
ABOUT THE PRODUCER
Three Angels Broadcasting Network (3ABN) is an international Christian television network that broadcasts in almost any country. Its generosity made available this program free of charge. For more information please go to www.3abn.org.
There has been an explosion of interest in Bible prophecy in the last 30 years. In the 70’s Hal Lindsey popularized the concept of the “rapture”. Magazines and books by prolific writers have come off the press in the last 30 years on the coming of Christ.
But probably what has influenced the American conciseness in the last year and a half more than anything else on Bible prophecy is a series of books called The Left Behind Series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins. Publishers Weekly says “This is the most successful Christian fiction series ever”. This Christian fiction series reached number one on major best seller lists throughout the United States.
Why are people so interested in Bible prophecy? Why this explosion of interest in the future? Deep within the hearts of men and women everywhere there is a desire for hope. They are looking for answers to the deepest problems of the human heart. The Bible indeed talks about hope. The second coming of Jesus Christ is the blessed hope (see Titus 2:12, 13). In John 14:1-3 Jesus says that in His Father’s house are many mansions, that He goes to prepare a place for us, and that He “will come again”. Jesus does not say perhaps I will come again; but rather “I will come again” (John 14:3). David says “Our God shall come” (Psalm 50:3). The apostle Paul shouted it when he said: “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven” (1 Thessalonians 4:16). And the angels said “this same Jesus… shall so come” (Acts 1:11).
Yet there are so many ideas concerning the second coming of Christ. What will you put your confidence in? The confidence on a Christian thriller, or on the Scriptures. What these two books teach is dramatically different. What the fiction teaches is that there will be a secret rapture where the believers will be caught up in the air, the unbelievers will be left on earth to go through tribulation, that during the tribulation the Antichrist will arise, and appear as good at first, form a covenant with the Jews and the temple be built in Jerusalem, the tribulation will be horrific time, there will be a second chance for salvation, at the end of the seven years. This fiction also says that Jesus will establish His holy city on earth for 1000 years. This picture is quiet different from what the Bible teaches.
The Bible predicts that there will be false prophecies about the second coming of Christ before Jesus’ return, and many will be deceived (see Matthew 24:24). This is a serious matter that Satan uses to prevent people from getting ready for the true second coming of Christ. This means that it is imperative for us to understand Christ’s second coming.
The Bible teaches that the coming of Christ will be a visible event, and not a rapture known only by the believers. “For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” (Matthew 24:27). This is a spectacular event, and not a secret one. “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him.” (Revelation 1:7). The first time, Christ came quietly, but the second time He will come visibly so that every eye will see Him.
In the book of Acts 1:9-11 the Bible says that just as His ascension was visible, so His descending will be visible (see also Luke 21:27). Christ’s coming will be a literal, glorious event.
When Jesus will come, He will not come alone, but the holy angels will come with Him (see Matthew 25:31).
The Bible does not teach that there are two returns of Jesus – one before the tribulation, and one after. His second coming will be an audible event, when the righteous will be resurrected and, together with the living righteous, will meet the Lord in the air (see Matthew 24:31, 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17). How encouraging are these words, when the righteous will be reunited.
Also when Jesus will come the second time, the righteous will be changed (1 Corinthians 15:51-53). Think of how wonderful it will be to be with Jesus and our loved once for ever.
In 2 Thessalonians chapter two, the Bible teaches that when Jesus comes there will be only two classes – the saved and the lost. Look at the parables of Scripture: when Jesus comes there will be the sheep and the goats – the saved and the lost; the wise and the foolish virgins – the saved and the lost, and so on. When Jesus comes there will be no second chance. God does not need to give us a second chance, because He has given us a thousand chances in this life. When Jesus comes the second time, the wicked will be destroyed by His brightness. One of the greatest deceptions of Satan is that if you do not accept Jesus in this life, in the tribulation after the rapture you will have another opportunity.The Bible says in Joshua 24:15: “choose you this day whom ye will serve”. And let it be the Lord. The Bible says that when Jesus comes we will be either resurrected from the dead or alive and saved because we have given our lives to Jesus, or destroyed by His coming. Would you like to say: “Jesus, today make me ready for Jesus’ coming. Today I open my heart to You; I give you everything that will keep me from being ready. Lord I want to love and serve you forever.”