- By Pastor Kevin Beier, Bible Believer's Baptist Church of Custer, South Dakota Updated 2/3/2000
- Editor's notes are JBeard's in this Review:
Are you left behind? Unfortunately the majority of professing Christianity is left behind. I am not referring to being left behind in the rapture, (although I would not be surprised if many in professing Christianity are), but rather being left behind in the mad scramble to learn more about The Tribulation Force and their endeavor to expose the Antichrist and bring the word to Jesus Christ as it is being described in the Left Behind series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins.
I do not want to be labeled hypocritical, so let me first confess to the fact that I have read the first four books in the series. Quite honestly, the story line in the series is very interesting and exciting. But who would have thought otherwise? Any time someone writes using the Bible as their source to entertain, the supernatural events described in Scripture tend to interest people. Most people want nothing to do with the Bible or the God of the Bible, but have no reservations about being entertained by someone who writes about the Bible. Hollywood figured that out years ago. Stories about the Bible make big bucks.
I have asked myself a number of times why folks detest the Bible so much, but love books about the Bible. Maybe it is because the Bible reveals to you who you really are and demands a change and that into the image of Jesus Christ. Who likes to be convicted about sin? However, books about the Bible tend to be a little easier on the ego and conscience, so of course men are going to like books about the Book instead of the Book Itself!
While I found myself being enthralled by the story-line in the books. I also found myself wondering, with such a golden opportunity for LaHaye and Jenkins to very clearly outline the gospel of Jesus Christ to many who will read the series but would not let a soul-winner tell them the same, why is the sound gospel of the grace of God so obscure, to the point of being absent from the books?! At the very least it seems that the plan of salvation could be given at the end or beginning of each book so that those who are lost might know how not to be left behind. True that there are instances in the book of some of the characters giving a brief testimony to salvation, but even those are so weak that if a person were not looking for and familiar with Gods plan of salvation they would never know how to be born again. How do I know this to be true? A lady I work with is reading the first book. I saw her with the book and asked how she liked it. She asked if I had read it and then said, It is good science fiction. She is a Roman Catholic. When I tried to explain that it was supposed to be based upon Biblical facts, she responded with surprise. I continued to talk with her about the content of the book to see if she had picked-up on the plan of salvation. Nothing. Praise the Lord that I was able to give her the gospel and explain to her that the book, while being thrilling, could not replace the Word of God which pleads with sinners to repent and turn to Jesus Christ for salvation. But what if I hadnt told her of Jesus? The book certainly did not!
But there is another problem. With such a vast range of readers, LaHaye and Jenkins are forced to be very careful not to offend people who might see things a little differently. And that when the Bible is clear that the gospel is an offence to those who are lost, yet is to be spoken anyway. So to help with the size of the target market, I mean to keep from offending people. there must be little gems like the Pope being raptured with the church! Now come on! Anyone who understands the Scriptures and what a Roman Catholic believes, knows that a person cannot believe what that church teaches and the Pope stands for and be saved. It is impossible. So LaHaye and Jenkins help Chuck Colson, Billy Graham, Charles Stanley and the rest of the closet liberals to further blur the clear line of demarcation between true Christianity and apostate Christianity.
I am sure that many will argue that the books are able to get into the homes of many people who normally would not let a Christian come into their home and teach the Bible. True. But of what practical use is a book that does not and cannot convict of sin and show the need for a Saviour in the home of a lost man? What good is it if people know facts about the Scriptures, like the rapture and the wrath of God, but never know how to use it in their lives? Isnt that one of the primary problems with todays Christianity? Too many people are becoming familiar with Bible and not familiar with the God of the Bible. A man can know the Bible upside down and backwards, but if he has not the new birth and the Spirit of God to teach him how to receive the Word of God, all of his Bible knowledge is in vain and worthless. There is a movement of looking and acting like a Christian, as it is outlined by the liberal apostates who promote CCM (Contemporary Christian Music) [from worldly sounding pop to heavy metal rock and rap], the ECT accord (Evangelicals and Catholics Together) [an accord that compromises our faith], and WWJD (What Would Jesus Do) [Fad trinkets], without being a Christian. What a difference! [Editor's note: Items in blue underline linked to articles on the subject.]
What about the fact that two of the characters in the books, Chloe and Amanda are established as Bible teachers when the Bible forbids such a practice, (1 Timothy 2:12)? Is that just a minor doctrinal difference that is to be overlooked? Or the fact that three of the primary characters in the books, Chloe, Amanda, and Rayford are saved after the rapture, when 2 Thessalonians 2:11 declares that God will send strong delusion to those who heard the gospel but had pleasure in unrighteousness that they should believe a lie. ---In the book all three of these characters took pleasure in their unrighteousness, so what are the odds of them really getting saved? None! Are we going to take the teaching of (Catholic) purgatory and change it to an earthly purgatory where those who are left behind (like these characters) are allowed the second chance? If so, then no wonder the gospel is so obscure in the books. Why offend people who will buy the books if they have a second chance after the rapture?! Whats more important here anyway?!
[Editor's note: The Bible makes it clear ALL those who take pleasure in unrighteousness are damned! The book series gives hope for these characters where there is none for their kind!]
2 Thessalonians 2:11-12 "And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness."
The Left Behind series by LaHaye and Jenkins are very well written. If you like excitement, intrigue, and suspense these are the books for you. But, if you are concerned about rightly dividing the word of truth, taking a bold stand for Jesus Christ and His gospel. and/or the salvation of your friends and loved ones, I suggest reading your King James Bible and buying a copy for someone else. After all, the same events found in the Left Behind series are found in the Bible and you dont even have to wait for the next book in the series to come out to find out what happens next. Its all in one volume! Oh, and after you spend eighty dollars on Gods Book (and it should be less), it can be read again and again with something new for you every time.
After looking over the website dedicated to promoting the "Left Behind" series much of what Pastor Beier points out is evident. The website, like the book, says almost nothing about the eternal Hell that awaits those that are truly left behind, it openly promotes the CCM with links to music done by the likes of rocking and rapping DC Talk and more. Beyond this the site advertises they are in production of "Left Behind--The Movie!!!" A look at who is producing this movie was enough to make me cringe!
Joe Goodman, Producer - "...he has co-produced two TV movies, including "Every Mothers Worst Fear" (USA Network) and "Can of Worms" (Disney Channel). He has two more TV movies in development, "Rock a Byte Baby" (Showtime) and "Twas the Night Before..." (CBS)."
Ralph Winter, Producer - "... a veteran movie producer whose credits include ... "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country," and "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home..." "He has also worked as a producer or Executive Producer on ..."Mighty Joe Young" (Disney), "Inspector Gadget" (Disney), "Hackers" (UA), "The Puppet Masters" (Disney), "Hocus Pocus" (Disney), "Captain Ron" (Disney), and the upcoming "X-Men."
---I think this makes the point!!! (More on the site referenced) These books are being used by those in Hollywood to serve the almighty dollar and NOT a Holy God that condemns such endeavors! I SERIOUSLY doubt the movie houses are going to open there doors "for free" to let the people be warned! In light of such facts, it is a Christian's duty to question the motives of these men. Pastor Bier demonstrates the lack of truth in this book series, how it actually comes across as a science fiction and not as the time when Jesus returns for His own! I suppose it should not surprise me since I know Tim LaHaye also endorses the corrupt NKJV Bible (he was on the oversight committee) and that he openly promotes the teachings of sicko pervert Sigmund Freud! Look at these three links if you need to know more:
The New King James Version: Counterfeit
Tim & Beverly LaHaye General Teachings/Activities
Temperament Analysis/ Personality Typing - Christian or Psycho-Occult?
Christians ---take heed! The popularity of this book series should an alarm to you! If those reading it believe it they may never listen to the true Gospel that calls sinners to repentance! Preachers, mark and avoid this book series in your churches!
"Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple."
"Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake."
An Update From Pastor Kevin Beier:
As a response to those who have questioned where I found the reference to the Pope being raptured in the book series Left Behind, the following information should be helpful. On page 53 of book number two, The Tribulation Force, the book says,
Most interesting to Buck was the interpretation of the event on the part of other churchmen. A lot of Catholics were confused, because while many remained, some had disappeared-including the new pope, who had been installed just a few months before the vanishings.
The book then goes on to make reference to the teachings of the pope being more toward the heresy of Martin Luther than the historic Roman Catholic position. I would give the benefit of the doubt to Jenkins and LaHaye and say that they intended for people to understand that Roman Catholic doctrine does not allow for Biblical salvation. However, I cannot. There are still two problems showing why:
1) Mother Teresa was raptured in the first book, Left Behind, on page 319. Now we all know who Mother Teresa was and that she was a good Catholic, i.e. she believed in a works salvation.
2) The notion that the pope was raptured smacks of the current issues of ECT and the thinking that Pope John Paul II is a revolutionary pope who is in favor of Roman Catholics studying their Bibles and even his giving lip service to being in basic agreement on salvation with Evangelicals.
Neither of these is true. He may tell them to study their Bibles, but he still teaches that if they disagree with the doctrines of Holy Mother Church they are wrong and need to do penance for following false doctrine. What good is studying your Bible if your not allowed to follow your own, Holy Spirit guided conclusions? Furthermore, the Roman Church IS NOT in agreement with Biblical salvation by grace through faith alone.
Many men and women who keep up with the movement and positions of the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church prove the false teachings are STILL being taught!
[From Webmaster] Look at these other links for more information on why anyone claiming to be Christian must abandon the Roman Catholic church: http://www.rapidnet.com/~jbeard/bdm/Cults/Catholicism/
Again, these books boil down to good old-fashioned COMPROMISE! Jenkins and LaHaye have adopted the philosophy that it is okay to tone-down truth to keep from offending people and to broaden the target market of readers.
The Bible plainly says that Jesus is an offense, (Romans 9:32-33). Moreover, those who teach and preach the untarnished, pure, and straightforward Word of God never have been and never will be popular: and that doesnt work when your trying to sell your books and tapes.
Someone once said, It is never right to do wrong to get a chance to do right. Just stick with Gods truth no matter what people say or how they feel about it. God never changes His truth. Should we? [author of this review : Pastor Kevin Beier - PO Box 441 Custer, South Dakota 57730