‘Left Behind’ By ‘Tim LaHaye & Jerry B. Jenkins’ - Reviewed by Mark Thomas

Post date: Nov 10, 2010 4:20:35 PM

I understand this book is the first in a ‘Left behind’ series and this one is advertised as ‘A novel of the earth’s last days.’ I one cataclysmic moment, millions around the globe disappear………….

Now I’m not one for reading novels, in fact I suspect you could count on one hand all the novels I’ve ever read, it must be me because I know many people thoroughly enjoy a good novel. I am more of a one for facts, history, geography-ish and summaries of who did what and when etc. ………… yes I know, boring!

Anyway I picked this one as it was a novel based on Biblical teaching about the ’last days’, and whilst I knew in my head what the Bible speaks about I’ve never got emotionally drawn into it, strange me thinks!

A quick whistle-stop tour of the book is as follows: There’s a pilot (Rayford Steele) whose wife is a Christian, then there’s an unmarried journalist (Buck Williams) who is an up and coming star of the newspaper columns. The journalist had many contacts across the world that helped him get ‘the’ story before anyone else, and yes you guessed it, he was on the plane that Rayford Steel was flying when people went missing (bodies disappeared but the clothes still left behind) The book is split into these two main characters tracing their stories each character referred to in a few paragraphs at a time.

First, Rayford Steele, he had two daughters and one of them along with his wife disappeared, leaving him and his other daughter behind. After a great deal of sorrow and searching Rayford and the daughter that was left behind discovered that God and Jesus was indeed real and they set out in urgency to tell people about the reality of God. Then there’s Buck Williams who was into everything to get a story, he even started rubbing shoulders with top politicians in order to get ‘that’ story. These two characters eventually get together through a series of mutual friends where power and lies, weakness and truth all played a part. Buck eventually saw the reality of Jesus and was empowered to urgently tell people of his experience. Throughout the story there’s this increasingly powerful new politician (Nicolae Carpathia) who has absolute influence over everyone other than those who were now looking to Jesus for the answer, however, there were many, even after the disappearances, still looking to someone who promised them things of this world for their peace and future rather than to Jesus.

What I have keenly picked up throughout this novel, is that as a Christian I should have a far greater urgency about me to ensure as many people as is possible get to hear the Gospel (good news), after all the message of Jesus is literally ‘life saving’ for all who believe.

A quote from the book about Rayford Steel’s thoughts on his daughter who was also left behind:

‘I cannot loose her, he thought, and he believed he would trade his own salvation for hers if that was what it took. With that commitment, he sensed God speaking to him, impressing on him that that was precisely the burden required for winning people, for leading them to Christ. That was the attitude of Jesus himself, being willing to take on himself the punishment of men and women so they could live’.

A powerful challenge for us!