Back in 1995, Tim LaHave and Jerry Jenkins released their first of 15 books in the Left Behind Series. This subject matter places readers in the last days, what life on earth will be like prior to and after Jesus’ second coming. While seated on the Mount of Olives, Jesus gives his own disciples a sneak peek into the future as he privately shares signs to look for as the end draws near. Beginning in 2000, Alan B. McElroy adapted these books into a series of films. Left Behind the movie portrays the rapture leaving behind a commercial airplane pilot and a GNN reporter played by Kirk Cameron. These two characters eventually meet, trying to figure out how and why millions of people suddenly vanished into thin air.
Jesus answered, “Be careful that no one misleads you [deceiving you and leading you into error]. 5 For many will come in My name [misusing it, and appropriating the strength of the name which belongs to Me], saying, ‘I am the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed),’ and they will mislead many. 6 You will continually hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end [of the age], Matthew 24:4-6.
Whenever a supernatural event takes place, cable news networks bring in a panel of so called experts to logically explain what just happened. In the first Left Behind film, Buck Williams, a famous GNN anchor is befriended by the UN Secretary General Nicolae Carpathia who is played by Gordon Currie. This initial encounter leads to an invitation for Williams to cover a private gathering with all ten UN delegates. During this closed door meeting, Carpathia shoots Jonathan Stonagal and Joshua Todd-Cothran, who tried to bankrupt the United Nations. After witnessing this murder, Carpathia brainwashes everyone in the room to believe this was a murder suicide except for Buck. This scene caused Buck to ponder, “did I hear what I think I just heard.”
But understand this, that in the last days dangerous times [of great stress and trouble] will come [difficult days that will be hard to bear]. 2 For people will be lovers of self [narcissistic, self-focused], lovers of money [impelled by greed], boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane, 3 [and they will be] unloving [devoid of natural human affection, calloused and inhumane], irreconcilable, malicious gossips, devoid of self-control [intemperate, immoral], brutal, haters of good, 4 traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of [sensual] pleasure rather than lovers of God, 2 Timothy 3:1-4.
During his missionary journeys, the apostle Paul meets a teenager pastor named Timothy. When the subject of eschatology comes up, Paul writes a second letter to prepare this teen and his church for end times. As I have listened to the media coverage following the recent mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, I find myself sensing that Christ’s return is closer than ever before. News coverage in America has become so slanted toward a progressive and secular worldview, that I can’t believe what I am hearing. Just as Buck Williams was dazed and confused following his UN meeting, you must test everything you hear, 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 so that you aren’t deceived by partisan politics.
by Jay Mankus