In the past, terms like "The Second Coming", "The End of the World", and "Armageddon" were used to describe the overall message of The Revelation, the last book of the Bible. But, in recent years, "Left Behind" is the term many Bible expositors believe captures the most immediately significant event in connection with endtime prophecy.

The Left Behind series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins makes repeated reference to the Antichrist being a pacifist. We presume that the reason for this is that Bible prophecy says the Antichrist will "through peace destroy many", and it warns that "when they say 'Peace! Peace!' then sudden destruction will come."  Certainly as you read through the series it becomes clear that the Antichrist's outward talk of peace masks a personal delight that he takes in making war. We agree that there will be (and is) a lot of deception that hides behind a facade of supposed pacifism. The old Soviet Union would, for example, support peace marches in the West, even though they themselves were actively preparing for war against the West. In our article "Anarchy and Pacifism" we discuss a number of fallacies and weaknesses in the pacifist philosophy.

Note: What follows is not meant to be taken as justification for anti-semitic teachings or practices. While it argues that God does not love the Jews any more than he loves any other race, or the members of any other religion, it should be noted that he does not love them any less either.

 

The Apostle Paul was vexed by so-called Christians who could not tell the difference between Christianity and Judaism. Although Paul himself had been raised as one of the strictest of the strict Jews, and although he had rabidly fought against Christianity, when he finally had a powerful personal encounter with Jesus, he saw clearly that his old religious life was, in his own words, a heap of dung by comparison to what he had in Jesus and in what Jesus taught. Read it for yourself in Philippians 3:3-8.

The Left Behind series tends to assume that, even in the face of disaster, life for conservative fundamentalist American Christians will pretty much revolve around the same values and goals that have characterised their lives up until now.  In other words, people will continue to go to church on Sundays and to work in system jobs the rest of the week, right through the Tribulation and all that comes with it. The book suggests that people will get to mid-week meetings only if it does not interfere too much with their job, that they will continue to have plenty of cash to throw around and that they will continue to jet around the world at will. There is nothing in the book which speaks to the condition of poor Christians, or Christians living in poor countries. Most startling is that all of this materialistic philosophy is being preached at a time (in the story) when people should be seriously reconsidering whether the values that they lived by before the trouble started were really the correct ones.

A subtle concern that we had while reading through the Left Behind series was the authors’ treatment of the supernatural. Fundamentalists argue that Liberal Christians do not believe in the almighty, supernatural, miraculous aspect of God. Liberals talk of a force, of morality and ethics, of the God within, but they fail to grasp the concept of a personal relationship with a personal God who is bigger than themselves.

It takes eight very expensive volumes for readers of the Left Behind series to finally reach the volume by LaHaye and Jenkins that deals with the most obvious and indisputable prophecy in The Revelation, if not the entire New Testament… the prophecy about the Mark of the Beast.

Peter wrote about false prophets whom he described as “wells without water” (2 Peter 2:17). Jude said much the same thing, calling them “clouds without water” (Jude 12). The thought being expressed in both passages is that these are people whom others turn to, hoping to find something that will quench their thirst, but they go away feeling cheated.

I have only just found the time to read “Armageddon”, the latest volume in the Left Behind series. It’s almost 400 pages long, and I have only read as far as page 353 so far. I don’t know when I’ll have the time (or the inclination) to finish it; so I have decided to say some things about what I have read so far.