The Rapture on Film (1)

My family in Christ,

As I have commented elsewhere, I am new to the study of the Rapture. I am interesting in exploring what the Bible has to say on the subject, as I feel that one of its benefits is motivational. That is, our evangelistic efforts need to be stepped up as much as possible because the Rapture could happen sooner than one may think. No doubt the apostles thrived under such a belief!

It has recently come to my attention that there are a lot of films out there which are based on the idea of the Rapture and the coming Tribulation. I hope to review some in the coming weeks (although this may not happen as fast as I would like). To begin with, I would like to share with you four films based on a series of (Left Behind) novels by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins. However, I have not read these (not even the linked Wikipedia article!), as I thought that you would just like to hear what I thought about the films without being swayed by any preconceived ideas.

In terms of my enjoyment as a viewer, I found them:

FASCINATIING:

LB3

and

BEARABLE

(although only after the first 31 minutes):

LB4

First I must congratulate the writers. Seeing the Rapture from the viewpoint of plane passengers who struggle to account for the sudden disappearance of a number of their fellow passengers is, I think, just inspired genius! The plane is in flight thousands of feet above the ground, so where on earth (!) are they hiding and why have they left all their clothes behind? Unfortunately, setting a large part of the fourth film inside the the plane – and the airport (making it extremely claustrophobic) – gave Hollywood the opportunity to do what it does best: trample underfoot the salvific and hopeful message of Christianity and replace it with modernity’s lunatic theories. The devil’s hand is thus implied, whereas he is visually represented in the first trilogy.

Also unlike the trilogy, the film starring Nicholas Cage is also injected with copious amounts of non-Christian characters, and any mention of Christianity and the Bible appears to be kept to the lowest possible minimum. We are here left to guess which of the characters left convert to the Church’s hopeful message. In this fallen, sinful and at times seemingly aimless world such a negative message is very unhelpful (and even harmful).

I enjoyed the trilogy: its message, its characters, and the way in which it presented the Tribulation-ravaged world. Although the Hollywood movie has many bad points I would say that overall it does offer a message of hope; however as a Christian I am very disappointed that this film seeks to convey the message that there is hope apart from God. Thus I feel that the film has a devilish undertone to it. But some people may like that! For others, though, the pleasure of a puzzle is not the beautiful picture presented once all the parts have been joined together; rather it is in each individual piece itself, and this film just seems to be a mix of too many ingredients which seem to have come straight out of Hell. [1]

My advice: stick with the trilogy. It may have its downsides here and there but comparably, it’s faultless!

God bless you.

Endotes

[1] This film does however have a few scenes set in a shopping mall. The scene in which Chloe Steele hugs her brother and he vanishes whilst in her arms causes one to comtemplate further just how incomprehensible the Rapture will be for those people who are “Left Behind”:

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