Left Behind A Novel of the Earth’s Last Days. 468 pages, soft cover. Co-authors Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. Tyndale House Publishers Inc. (10.00)
Much interest and excitement greets one in the local Christian bookstores these days regarding the end of times. Special attention has been given to this particular book Left Behind. This is the first book in a series of 12 regarding the Pre-mil view of the end of times. I have witnessed numerous displays and one in particular comes to mind of clothes on a chair displayed in such a fashion it appears as if one simply vanished out of them. A filmmaker from Hollywood, Cloud Ten Productions, who happens to be Christian and would like to be viewed as such, has released a “Left Behind” movie based on the book. He has great expectations of making #1 on the movie charts. Already the Left Behind movie has sold over 3 million videos.
In the opening chapters of this book we see that the “rapture” has indeed become a reality and chaos which unfolds is horrific. The book focuses on how the lives of an airline pilot, and his daughter, a stewardess and journalist and intern pastor have been dramatically changed. They share each other’s personal loss and find comfort in knowing that they have been given a “second chance” to find Christ. Through these altering conditions they come to see and understand that the antichrist has come to power through the United Nations. They then take it upon themselves to form a Tribulation Force whose purpose is to do more than just survive the tribulation which is coming but also to fight against the enemies of God.
I found that this book, which exposes the teaching of the Premillennialism view at the end of times, to be nothing short of heresy. It saddens one to know that much of Christendom believes in this silent rapture and escaping of the coming tribulation and the opportunity to be given a second chance. The free will of man is also exposed in full force when it is believed that God is finally going to get your attention now by witnessing the effects of this stunning rapture, and for those who are “left behind,” it is up to you to urgently accept Christ. The “left behind” tapes, which are what all raptured pastors have earlier prepared, are used as to bring others to the gospel. So these tapes are used to serve a higher purpose. The teaching that is also exposed is the belief that all children have been raptured, for all the children of the world are saved and therefore will escape the tribulation. The sad realization of all this comes to mind is when Christians, who thought they were believers, have been left behind and now are faced with the reality that something must have been missing from their lives. When one reads this it shows how the belief of Premillennialism goes hand in hand with freewillism and Arminism. The devil himself is “right behind” all of this nonsense.
I pray that Reformed believers are not swayed with the high drama which unfolds in this book. The devil purposes through this book to “dull” our senses into believing a silent rapture awaits and an earthly kingdom will be established. Our Amillenial view of these last days is biblical and does indeed keep our eyes focused on the heavenly kingdom. The Premillennialist view focuses on the earthly kingdom and escaping the tribulation. Our Amillenial position makes one pray for strength in order to bear witness of Christ and not to be deceived. Christ tells us to be watchful in I Thessalonians 5:2-8 in these last days. In our watching, we must not be taken in on the popularity of what sells these days under the name of Christianity. Christ will not be found there. Man is exalted to take matters into his own hands. We must then continue to educate ourselves in the truths of the Scriptures, looking for that heavenly kingdom. Read material that will benefit the heart and the mind. We must therefore, as Reformed, Protestant Reformed believers in particular, affix onto ourselves the breastplate of faith and helmet of salvation as given to us by His sovereign grace and fight the good fight of faith of defense of our Reformed heritage and thank God for opening our eyes to understand the truths, however small that understanding might be, of His glorious and powerful second coming.
The Shaping of a Christian Family by Elisabeth Elliot. Published by Fleming H. ReveIl a division of Baker House. 215 pages ($10.00) paperback.
Elisabeth Elliot unfolds for us a fine description of structuring a biblical, godly home in the midst of this unconnected world. This book will warm the heart and encourage our covenant families in the importance of establishing proper examples as father, mother, wife and husband in our homes. She does this by giving us a glimpse of the Howard family from whence she came, a family of 4 sons and 2 daughters, and the upbringing which they encountered. She strongly emphasizes the importance of structuring an orderly home with orderly habits as foundational for the early training of our children. She uses her parents as an example for our great need to bring our every need before the Great Shepherd of our souls in frequent and diligent prayer.
The book provides 8 pages of pictures from the family album as well as frequent quotes from the Scriptures using various translations being properly applied and administered throughout her story. Her Baptist background is evident throughout but not overbearingly so. This book can find a place within our Reformed personal libraries and be beneficial to many.
Those who have read other books by Elisabeth Elliot will enjoy reading this book, will observe for yourselves the early beginnings of Elisabeth Elliot, and will appreciate her upbringing and strong convictions which she focuses on in many of her books. Others who have never read any of Elisabeth’s books will become interested in picking up some of her other materials and will be enriched by them.
On the Sixth Day
Man—A vessel of dust
He breathes on His creation
God makes man a living Soul
Image Bearer of His Creator
Fellowship and Communion
Man lusted after knowledge
Knowledge of good and evil
Sin wrapped itself intimately around his Soul
Lost, forsaken, dead in sin
Friendship with God was dissolved.
God loves—from all eternity
He loves and gives
Gives His Own beloved Son.
The only begotten of God
God gives the Perfect Sacrifice
Lamb of God
Bears all the guilt and shame.
The power of sin is shattered
At the Cross.
God Delivers and Restores.
Restores me to life
Communion with my Creator is
Death comes to us
We leave this life.
But the grave is made
The doorway to
Eternal life with God.
As we worked our way through the middle chapters of Genesis in December, we saw the Lord establish a covenant relationship with Abraham and his descendants and give them prosperity in the land of Canaan. But in these final chapters of Genesis, God providentially uses the dramatic events of Joseph’s life to guide the family […]
Who am I? What is my purpose on this earth? Why is everything the way that it is? These are the kinds of questions that often trouble young people as they become more independent from their parents, enter the world of college or career, and make major life decisions such as choosing a spouse, a […]
The book of Proverbs was written by King Solomon to his young adult son. Solomon’s purpose in writing Proverbs was “that the generation to come might know them [God’s wonderful works]…that they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments” (Ps. 78:6–7). Throughout the book, Solomon […]
The Christian is placed in many different circumstances while on this earth. Some are characterized by hardships and trials, and others are full of joy and peace. How should the Christian respond? Throughout the Bible there are numerous times where God’s people sang in response to their various circumstances. Singing in response to God’s ordering […]
As we examined the first eleven chapters of Genesis last month, we took note of the fact that the book of Genesis is theological, meaning it helps us to grow in our knowledge of God. In addition, we noted that the book of Genesis is historical, meaning that the events chronicled in it are the […]
The group of churches that John writes to in this trio of epistles had recently experienced a split because of doctrinal controversy. We do not know the exact content of the error that these false teachers were spreading, but it is apparent from John’s writing that their teaching somehow denied the truth of the incarnation—that […]
This article was originally presented as a speech at a Protestant Reformed mini convention held at Quaker Haven Camp in August 2021. Jael lived during the era of the judges. Deborah the prophetess was the judge who served Israel at the time of Jael. During this time, the Canaanites under the rule of king Jabin […]
Although it’s been a couple of months since we’ve been immersed in news coming from Japan about the 2020/2021 Olympic games, it’s still worth considering how these events are understood in the modern worldview of our country. The “Top Story of the Day” on Monday, August 9 (at least according to my newsfeed), was how […]
One of this year’s “mini conventions” was hosted by Grace and Grandville Protestant Reformed Churches at Quaker Haven Camp. Located just over two hours away in northern Indiana, the camp was a perfect fit for the 120 kids and 15 chaperones who attended. A total of twelve different churches were represented: Byron Center, Faith, First […]
At the point that this edition of Beacon Lights arrives in the homes of our subscribers, most young people in the Protestant Reformed Churches will have been sitting under the catechism instruction of their pastor or elders for more than a month. If our readers are honest, that observation probably comes with a (quiet) sigh […]