Left Behind Novels Flawed
Many of the LEFT BEHIND series of religious novels by Tim
LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins made the New York Times best seller’s
list. They are now being produced into a series of motion pictures
with video releases. Fiction it is. Biblical teaching it is not.
As fiction—what a plot! A vindictive God
battles against a superman Antichrist for the souls of men. The
time frame is a future seven-year tribulation in which this
vindictive God rains all sorts of horrors on the followers of
Antichrist. A gigantic burning mountain and falling stars kill
hundreds of thousands. Fire burns up one-third of the earth. The
horrors continue. By the end of 3-1/2 years, three billion people
The series is not fully released but LaHaye has already told us
the outcome. Cataclysmic killings continue. Finally a worldwide
earthquake wipes out all the cities, mountains and islands. And
you know what? Whatever people were left cursed God. This
Antichrist character sure has dynamic influence.
But the superman Antichrist gets his comeuppance. He is thrown
into a lake of fire to be tormented forever. That is not the half
of it. All those deceived by Antichrist—the
majority of the world's six billion inhabitants—are
also thrown into the lake of fire to suffer eternally. Antichrist
went down fighting, but he won! He won the battle for men's souls.
Antichrist got the majority.
LEFT BEHIND is breathtaking drama, but Bible teaching it is
not! It is revisionism. It disowns the historic Protestant
teaching expounded by Luther, Calvin and Wesley that Antichrist
was not an individual but a system—Papacy.
It embellishes the Catholic Jesuit counter reformation concept of
the book of Revelation put forth between AD 1580 and 1595. No
Protestant embraced the secret rapture seven-year tribulation
literalism before 1829. It did not even become popular among
born-again Christians until after World War II.
Historic Evangelicals like the Baptist giant, John Gill
(1697-1771), believed Revelation was symbolic, not literal.
Mountains are symbolic of nations (Isaiah 2:2-4), stars symbolic
of teachers (Jude 13) and earthquakes symbolic of revolutions
(Rev. 11:13 KJV margin). The beast is symbolic of Antichrist which
is a church state system—Papacy (Rev. 13:1-3).
Their God is Too Small
The bottom line of the seven-year tribulation theology is that
everyone since the resurrection of Jesus, who did not have the
opportunity to even hear about Jesus—let alone believe on Him—will
be damned to eternal torment. What a God-dishonoring concept!
God brought mankind into existence. Mankind had no choice.
Since the majority did not respond to God’s love, we are told,
they will suffer eternally. They would have been better off, had
they never lived. What blasphemy to claim that God jeopardizes
billions with eternal torment. Life is indeed a favor from God.
Those who reject their Creator’s provisions for life through
Christ justly deserve no greater punishment than eternal
extinction—their previous condition before they were born.
Yes, the Bible teaches eternal destruction—not
eternal torment. Psalm 145:20; 2 Thessalonians 1:9; John 3:16;
Luke 6:10. Matthew 10:28 plainly states the soul is destroyed, not
tormented in hell (gehenna). Therefore, gehenna is symbolic of
NO ONE IS LEFT BEHIND
All humankind will have a full, fair opportunity for eternal
life—including the millions who never even
had the opportunity to hear the name of Jesus. The Bible uses two
definitive words to clarify the scope of salvation—ALL and EVERY.
In Luke 2:10 the angel who announced the birth of Jesus said,
“Behold I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be
unto ALL people.” Verses 30 and 31 speak of salvation for
“ALL people.” First Timothy 4:10 speaks of Jesus as the
"the savior of ALL men.”
The simple logic of Jesus dying for ALL is found in 1 Cor.
“As in Adam ALL die so in Christ shall ALL be made
alive.” Similarly, Romans 5:18 shows that
offense of one [Adam] judgment came upon ALL men to condemnation;
even so by the righteousness of one [Christ] the free gift came
upon ALL men.” Father Adam sinned with the unborn race yet in
his loins. Therefore, ALL were born in sin and shapen in iniquity
(Psalms 51:5) and thus worthy of death. God knew that Adam, due to
a lack of experience, would disobey. Thus 1 Peter 1:19-20 speaks
of the blood of Christ as being foreordained for our redemption
even before Adam was created. Since ALL were lost in Adam, it was
necessary that Jesus
“by the grace of God should taste death
for EVERY man.” Hebrews 2:9.
John 1:7 speaks of Jesus as
“the light, that ALL men
through him might believe." Verse 9 says he is
Light, which lighteth EVERY man that cometh into the world."
How can this be? Countless millions died before the time of Jesus.
They never saw the True Light! They never heard the name of Jesus.
And since the death of Jesus millions died never hearing of the
“name under heaven given among men whereby we must be
saved" (Acts 4:12). If you are a Bible believing Christian,
you know no one is saved through ignorance but only by believing
in Jesus as their Savior.
The key is found in 1 Timothy 2:6,
“Jesus Christ, who gave
himself a ransom for ALL, to be testified in due time(s).”
The Greek word here translated is plural—“times.”
Now is not the time for ALL to hear the name of Jesus. God is not
trying to convert the world between the first and second advents.
If He was, then He has failed. For only one-third of the world’s
population even profess to be Christian.
“Unto you it is given to know the mystery of
the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without all these
things are done in parables. That seeing they may see, and not
perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at
any time they should be converted, and their sins should be
The Bible is not written like a textbook that starts at page
one and follows a sequence of logic. The Bible was purposely
written in parables and symbols so that many would not be
converted and have their sins forgiven. This is why there are over
500 Christian denominations with so many different interpretations
of the Bible. God has not attempted to convert the world but is
only calling a
“little flock” (Luke 12:32) at this time.
Acts 15:14-17 reveals that God is visiting
to take out of them a people for His name” (not to convert
“After this I will return and build again the
tabernacle of David (set up the kingdom of God again)...that the
remainder of men might seek after the Lord and ALL the
The due time for the
“little flock” to hear and
believe on the name of Jesus is between the first and second
advents. The due time for the remainder of men to hear and believe
is in the 1000 year Kingdom of Christ. The
flock” or "Church of Christ” will reign with Christ
as kings and priests to bless and judge the world (Revelation 20:6
and 1 Cor. 6:2).
Revelation 11:15-18 synchronizes the seventh trumpet with
Christ’s second advent. Then follow the words
“the time of
the dead, that they should be judged”—mankind's trial time.
Note the raising of the dead is at the beginning of the 1000 years
and not when the 1000 years are over. Daniel 12:1-4 confirms this.
Jesus said in John 5:18-19,
“ALL who are in their graves
shall come forth; they that have done good (the
flock”) unto a resurrection of life (live and reign with
Christ) and they that have done evil to a resurrection of
judgment.” Most translations say judgment. (The NIV’s
“condemnation” is a gross violation of the Greek) The
Greek word is
“crisis.” A doctor will speak of a patient
reaching their crisis. The crisis time is when the patient will
take a turn for the better or the worse. The
probation time for most of mankind will be in the kingdom.
First Timothy 2:3-4 states that God
“will have ALL men to
be saved and to come unto the (Greek
— accurate) knowledge of the
Truth.” There is a salvation that comes before knowledge.
“ransom for ALL” guarantees that ALL who died
in Adam will be saved from Adamic death. That is, ALL will be
awakened from the sleep of death and given an accurate knowledge
of the Truth. In the kingdom
“the earth shall be full of the
knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah
11:9). Also Jeremiah 31:34 says,
“for they shall ALL know me
from the least of them unto the greatest.” Verse 29 shows
that for the majority the kingdom will provide the first full,
fair opportunity for salvation. They will no longer die for the
inherited sins of their fathers but for their own iniquity
(Jeremiah 31:29,30). Jesus’ death for
“ALL” guarantees a
full, fair opportunity for
“ALL.” Praise the Lord! No
one is left behind!