Review: Left Behind - Salvation Army Canada

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    Review: Left Behind

    Left Behind, the new movie opening in theatres this month, promises an apocalyptic action thriller. But can we really know the future? October 3, 2014 by Giselle Randall and Kristin Ostensen
    Filed Under:
    Faith & Friends
    Rayford “Ray” Steele (Nicolas Cage) is piloting a jet from New York City to London, England, when the unthinkable happens. In the blink of an eye, half the passengers on his plane disappear. And it's not just his plane—people are vanishing all over the world. With the remaining passengers depending on him, Ray must find a way to land the plane without any help from the ground. His plane damaged and running out of fuel, Ray is desperate for answers. Where did his passengers go, and why was he left behind?

    Sudden Death
    Left Behind is an apocalyptic action thriller coming to theatres this month. It's based on the bestselling Left Behind series by Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye, which has sold more than 65 million copies worldwide.

    Left Behind is part of a trend of faith-based films this year, following other box-office successes such as Son of God, Noah and Heaven Is for Real. The story is based on an interpretation of the Bible, which holds that, before the apocalyptic end of days, there will be a “rapture” when faithful believers are taken up to heaven. The film is set on the day of the rapture, focusing on the chaos and destruction that ensues when millions of people suddenly vanish.

    Thousands of feet above the Atlantic Ocean, Ray tries to guide his plane to safety with the help of Cameron “Buck” Williams (Chad Michael Murray), a television journalist who becomes his co-pilot. They are joined by Hattie Durham (Nicky Whelan), a flight attendant who is having an affair with Ray and must put aside her personal feelings to focus on saving the lives of the passengers on board.

    Meanwhile, back on the ground, Ray's daughter, Chloe (Cassi Thomson), is caught in a world gone mad. Alone in the chaos, she struggles to find her mother and younger brother, who may have disappeared like the others. As Chloe considers the Christian faith of her mother, Irene (Lea Thompson), her own questions arise: Could God be behind these shocking events? What will happen to those who remain on earth?

    A Crystal Ball?
    It isn't the first time the Left Behind series has been adapted: a film starring Kirk Cameron was released in 2000 for Christian viewers. This time, the producers want to reach a broader audience.

    Left Behind is based on a literal interpretation of the Book of Revelation, the last book of the Bible—one full of strange symbols and often frightening images such as a red dragon with seven heads and 10 horns. It was written by John, one of Jesus' disciples, who became a pastor and key leader in the early church. In 92 AD, the Roman emperor Domitian had 42,000 Christians killed for refusing to worship him. John was arrested and exiled to the island of Patmos, where he received a series of visions. Even John didn't fully understand the visions, so it's no surprise that scholars are divided about this book.

    Two common interpretations of the so-called “end times” are pre-millennialism and a-millennialism. In Revelation 20:1-10, John describes a time when Jesus will return and reign for “a thousand years”—in Latin, a millennium. Pre-millennialists, those who hold a literal interpretation of this passage, believe Christ will return secretly and Christians will be raptured—taken to heaven—before a period of terrible suffering for those left behind. After this time of tribulation, Christ will return to reign in Jerusalem for one thousand years and destroying Satan forever.

    This approach—the one behind Left Behind—treats the Book of Revelation as a kind of crystal ball that reveals future events. It's a view held by many evangelical Christians, and one that to gains attention whenever the world grows chaotic. But is this interpretation the only way to understand the book?

    The Salvation Army - Salvationist.ca - Left Behind: The Beginning of the End? Where Is Everybody?: Pilot Ray Steele (Nicolas Cage) tries to calm the panicked survivors of an inexplicable event


     

    Symbols, Not Statistics
    John calls his work a letter, a prophecy and an apocalypse. When we hear the word apocalypse, we often think of cataclysmic events, the end of the world. But the word actually means "unveilling." It is the word we translate as "revelation."

    So Revelation is a work of prophecy but it is also a letter, written to the churches in Asia Minor, which were facing severe persecution and whose members were discouraged and afraid. John is a prophet, but first he is a pastor, writing to address the specific issues of his congregations and to encourage them to remain faithful and keep following Jesus.

    With this purpose in mind, the a-millennial approach sees Revelation as pointing primarily to events in the past, not the future. It interprets the numbers in Revelation as symbols, not statistics. There is no literal millennium: the one-thousand-year period is a symbol of completion, of Jesus' Second Coming, when history will end and the new creation will begin.

    This approach pulls back the curtain on the future, but more importantly, on the unseen realities of the present. And the message underlying this interpretation is “God wins!”

    For Christians living in a hostile world, this unveiling of Jesus was a message of victory, comfort and hope—a call to persevere and overcome. And it is the same message for us today.

    Left Behind is billed as bringing biblical prophecy to life, but the Bible isn't clear about whether there will be a rapture or not. What is clear is that our security doesn't come from knowing the future—it comes from knowing that the future belongs to God. As Ray's jetliner hurtles across the ocean, it is something that he and the passengers under his care will need to cling to.

    (Photos: Courtesy of Stoney Lake Entertainment)

    Comment

    On Tuesday, June 2, 2015, Christina said:

    The last part where the article says that the bible isn't clear about a Rapture,, respectfully, that is quite untrue.

    there are a number of places in Scripture that speak of a catching away of all believers before the 7 year Tribulation prophesied in Dan. 9

    1 Thessalonians 4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive [and] remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

    1 Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

    1 Thessalonians 4:17 Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

    Look at the last part, 'IN THE AIR'--that is IN HEAVEN, too many people interpret this passage as referring to Jesus' second coming but there Jesus goes straight to Jerusalem as do the saints Raptured with Him.

    We will be taken away to heaven to be preserved from the horror to come.

    The saints of the Tribulation period are those who were NOT saved before the Rapture.

    Jude 1:14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,

    The Lord cometh, that is, down from heaven....along with His saints. HOW DID THEY GET THERE?

    Revelation 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come * upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

    "keep thee from". Now the proper Greek term used for 'from' is 'ek' which means in its proper context, to be kept OUT OF, not preserved through.

    After all, the Tribulation period is a last call for the UN believers not those already saved, and save for the Remnant Israel which shall be preserved in Petra, most, or perhaps even all Gentile believers and perhaps Jewish believers in other parts of the world shall be MURDERED for their faith. How does that suggest that God shall protect us THRUOGH the Tribulation as many wrongly believe.


    Revelation 7:14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

    "Came out of"- the context is the same here as Revelation 3:10. The Greek says these are people who were taken OUT OF, not preserved through the Tribulation.

    Its not necessary to believe in the Rapture for your salvation and I do appreciate the author's respectful doubts here, the fact that he didn't openly disrespect the teaching.

    But I do ask to all those out there who call the Rapture a Satanic teaching (as many do), don't disrespect something when you cannot back yourself up.

    God bless

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