Left Behind (the 2014 movie)

imageFor some reason I cannot really explain, this movie, Left Behind, has been highly anticipated long before it was released on October 3, 2014.

Why has it been so eagerly awaited? Perhaps it is because Nicolas Cage is the lead actor in it. He has been in popular films such as: The Rock, Con Air, and National Treasure.

This movie is a re-make of a DVD movie series of the same title which came out in 2000 and starred Kirk Cameron. I remember watching them but do not remember the details. It was originally based from the book series, Left Behind, by Tim LaHaye.

Anyway, the movie basically is about what many in the Christian community call, the rapture. This teaching is a very controversial one among Christians today. I myself avoid using the word, rapture.

The film centers around the event where people notice coworkers, family members, associates, acquaintances and others next to them suddenly disappearing. It makes for a good plot as fiction. For example, what if the person who disappears were an airline pilot at work? Because of that, the movie presents nightmarish events – one after another. As they occur, the population soon realizes that only Christians were the ones supposedly taken up to heaven leaving them behind.

Although I have not yet seen this latest movie version, I believe the plot will still contain flaws in Biblical accuracy. Whether or not the events depicted actually represent what is to occur, I already know did not matter with the producers.

The Biblical passages this movie supposedly represents are:

Matthew 24:40-41

Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.

Luke 17:34-35

I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left.

Putting these passages in their proper context, Jesus Christ was describing events that were pointing to His soon return. As it was in the days of Noah before the Flood, so will it be in the last days before Christ returns. People were not expecting an earth-shaking event. So it will be that, once again, people will be taken by surprise at His sudden presence for all to see.

1 Thessalonians 4:17 provides more insight….

According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.

Here is what this movie will not portray:

1) It will not mention the return of Jesus Christ making His arrival known throughout the world during the events of the movie.

2) It will not show the dead in Christ, all believers who have died, rising from their graves. Christians who have passed away years ago are to be resurrected first. Then, Christians remaining will rise up to meet Christ.

3) There will be no hint of cataclysmic events such as wars, famines, pestilences, and death (The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse) for the world to witness, occurring before this so-called rapture time period.

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The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (Revelation 6)

 

There is disagreement as to when this rapture will occur. Many Christians believe that it will happen:

A) Before the Great Tribulation mentioned in Matthew 24 and Revelation 7 of unprecedented world calamity. In this case, the saints will just vanish for the duration of this period and then at a even later date come down to Earth with Christ.

B)  During the Great Tribulation. Here the saints will vanish and return later. (There are other variations here.)

C) After the Great Tribulation. Here the saints will rise to meet Christ at the end of the world (this present age) for all to see and, with Christ, begin the Kingdom of God.

I believe the movie represents the rapture as happening before the Great Tribulation, scenario A. Scenario A, to me, shows God being recklessly irresponsible for the events that follow.

And, I may be wrong here, but those who believe in Scenario A are most likely those who believe in a Limited Atonement view of salvation. Here God is believed to be concerned only with the Elect, the saints, that He predestined to be saved and then have all others be left behind without any choice and chance for salvation. To me, this is not Good News for the world.

Therefore, I personally do not believe in a secret rapture (Christians vanishing out of sight) which this movie portrays. I believe that we Christians who are led by Jesus Christ will deeply sense and even know beforehand that He is to return. We will be intensely on alert and ready for Him – although really never knowing the exact day or moment, of course (Matthew 24:36).

Nevertheless, Christians will not be left in awkward situations that this film exaggerates. They will not be in the wrong place at the wrong time endangering their fellowman – such as a Christian taxi driver with passengers in his vehicle, or a Christian surgeon performing an operation – when they suddenly rise up to meet Christ.

So, just what do you suppose will happen after this movie is released and viewed? Answer: More ammunition will be given to cynics against the Bible. Christianity will further be looked down upon and ridiculed. Expect many non-believers criticizing Christianity overall.

Whether or not you believe me here or not is not required for salvation. Jesus Christ is still our Lord and Master no matter what Christian persuasion you may espouse.

In any event, keep the faith, my friend. Keep the faith.

Below is the trailer:

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