The Rapture on Film (4)

My family in Christ,

We humans have a saying, that honesty is the best policy. And it is within the spirit of that maxim that I hope to be perfectly frank here. The film that I wish to ‘discuss’ is Jerusalem Countdown

JerusalemCountdown

…although I don’t have many good things to say about it. Ever since the early 1990s when The X-Files began I’ve seen countless films and TV programmes about both the FBI in general and the activities of its agents; and to be honest I am rather tired of this. Thus, most of this film bored me, although two things are worth mentioning: [1]

  1. I was quite surprised by the degree of violence and gun-use in this piece of Christian cinema, [2] and
  2. It is enlightening to see how some people have to endure really life-threatening situations in order to be brought to faith. Such is the experience of the character Daniel Johnson and it is truly insightful to watch the ‘Christianizing’ process of his life.

And that’s it. That’s all I have to say about the main body of this film. Now to how it begins and, more particularly, how it ends.

The film begins with the FBI agent Shane Daughtry standing amid a progressing apocalyptic crisis. People are running and screaming; driverless cars are knocking down road signs; [3] and clothing and pilotless helicopters are falling from the sky. Then the action reverts back to six days before (for the context of which I have to refer you to Box Office Revolution). I’ll admit, however, that by the time we get to the end of Daniel’s story and he prays with his wife (Angela), I was in floods of tears! But then the story leaves that couple behind and repeats the start of the movie. At this point I turned away, believing that the Rapture alluded to in film reviews was actually other people’s misunderstanding about human fears and quibbles about nuclear weapons.

But the action continued for much longer than I expected it to. I heard new terrifying sounds. Go to 3 mins and 27 secs in the video below and you will see what I saw when my eyes returned to the screen:

WOW!!! In all the films I have reviewed previously I have never seen people being Raptured in such an amazing, mind-boggling and thought-provoking way! The Christian-made (and Christian audience-intended) Left Behind conveniently got away without showing how the saved get raptured, [4] while its Hollywood counterpart represented it by a millisecond-long flash. Sunday Morning Rapture only represented it audibly through the cries of those who are left behind. The 2014 film Rapture went much further and showed the saved (?) being zapped by strange clouds! I think that by showing the raptured spirits shooting upwards is an interesting way of visually expressing that they are indeed saved and chosen for a heavenly afterlife before the throne of God.

One other idea that I get from this part of the the movie is that, by showing the Rapture happening in different places there is the impression that finally

“…Christ WILL have the prize for which He died | An inheritance of nations” [5]

God bless you.

Endnotes

[1] Especially for those who, like me, are new to Christian movies and novels.

[2] Although I imagine that, when writing about people’s activities within the world, a Christian author must truly agonise over how much they should or should not reflect the realities of secular environments.

[3] Obviously they are pre-Google ones!

[4] Although I honestly think it is an excellent film and I wholeheartedly recommend it and its two sequels.

[5] Even though there are only 3 or 4 different locations used, showing them so quickly and adding the skyward-zooming lights leaves me with this impression.