Editorial: Dangerous Christian Fiction

 •  6 min. read  •  grade level: 10
Recently, a series of Christian fictional novels has become very popular in the secular world and among professing Christians as well. Sadly, vital and fundamental doctrines of the Word of God are undermined by this series, widely known by the title of the first novel: Left Behind.
Satan is increasingly working through professing Christianity to corrupt and confuse God’s truth. Christian lands have been deluged by Satanically inspired forms of entertainment which, at first glance, seem harmless. But what appears innocent fun in reality directly attacks the “faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 33Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. (Jude 3)).
The Foundations of Delusion
Around 1996 a harmless-appearing fantasy card game for little children—Pokemon (short for “Pocket Demons”)—was introduced in the U.S. This cleverly disguised evil deadened tender hearts to the fearful, malignant reality of wicked spirits. It also planted in their impressionable young minds a greater interest and awareness of such Satanic role-playing games as Dungeons and Dragons.t
A further assault on children’s and young people’s hearts has come through the immensely popular witchcraft fantasy stories—Harry Potter.t
While some Christian parents have tried to protect their children from the dangers connected with such things, they have not been nearly so diligent in protecting against the errors and confusion hidden in Christian fiction, such as the Left Behind series. This religious fantasy undermines some of the most essential and solemn tenets of biblical New Testament truth.
As those waiting for the promised return of our blessed Lord Jesus Christ, we must take heed to these dangers, following the example of the wise man who sees coming evil and “hideth himself” while the “simple pass on, and are punished” (Prov. 22:33A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished. (Proverbs 22:3)).
The Authors
Many assume that the author of Left Behind is Tim LaHaye, a well-known Christian leader. However, the real author is a professional writer, Jerry Jenkins (also a professed Christian). Mr. LaHaye has served as Mr. Jenkins’ resource for interpreting the biblical prophecies and events recorded in Revelation. Then, using these interpretations, he has written the fiction. Thus far, seven novels have been published, with three or four more planned to complete the series.
The Story Plot
The Left Behind series is a fictionalization of the prophetic and symbolic events recorded in the book of Revelation. The first novel begins with the rapture of believers, leaving behind a world filled with frightened and confused unbelievers. The last novel—yet to be published—will purportedly deal with events surrounding the return and reign of the Lord Jesus Christ in Jerusalem, ushering in the Millennium.
Between these two events readers are introduced to people who were unbelievers when the rapture occurred. Afterwards, realizing their terrible mistake, they become true believers and form a cadre called the Tribulation Force. This group preaches the same gospel they had once rejected, while fighting against the Antichrist! Such awful twisting of God’s truth effectively plants the seeds of confusion and doctrinal error in the minds of readers.
Truth or Fiction?
We feel the most dangerous principle of the Left Behind series is its using divine truth to create fiction. God has solemnly warned man never to tamper with or change His Word. Illustrating biblical events and truth as fiction in order to entertain unbelievers is an awful and solemn dishonor to Him.
Fictionalizing Scripture also subtly plants seeds of doubt as to the full truth and accuracy of the Bible. Questions are raised as to whether the Scriptures—divine, absolute and inerrant truth—may not, after all, contain some fictional accounts. Fictionalizing Scripture results from man’s foolish and ignorant imagination, not from the Spirit’s leading.
Confusing Two Gospels
The gospel of the kingdom announced that Israel’s king (the Messiah) was about to appear to set up His kingdom. Those who believed that message gave evidence by repenting and being baptized in Jordan (Matt. 3:26). When John the Baptist was cast into prison, the Lord Jesus (Himself the Messiah) began to preach this gospel (Mark 1:14-1514Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel. (Mark 1:14‑15)).
After the rapture of the church (Matt. 24:1414And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. (Matthew 24:14)), it will again be preached. But the gospel of the grace of God will then never again be presented to man.
By confusing the two gospels, the Left Behind fiction wrongly teaches that rejectors of the gospel of the grace of God will be given a second chance to receive the Christ they rejected. How sad that professed Christians are perpetrating such confusion!
The Word of God is solemn and clear: There is no second chance after the rapture for rejectors of the gospel. “With all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (2 Thess. 2:9-129Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thessalonians 2:9‑12)).
Believers’ Heavenly Calling
The truth of the church’s calling as the heavenly (not earthly) bride of Christ has been largely lost to Christianity. This fiction perpetuates that error.
Many dear Christians have been wrongly taught that the church has replaced Israel—that the blessings it lost through disobedience to Jehovah the church has gained by the work of Christ at Calvary.
Such error attaches believers’ hearts to this world, encouraging us to become involved in politics and schemes here to improve the present evil world by “Christianizing” it. Thus, the hope of His return and our heavenly calling are lost as a result.
Those who (after the rapture of the church) really do experience the tribulation and believe the gospel of the kingdom will either suffer martyrdom or will live through the trials of that terrible time of Jacob’s trouble (Jer. 30:77Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble; but he shall be saved out of it. (Jeremiah 30:7)). Those who do live through that awful time will enjoy the millennial reign of Christ and will live forever in this world.
Though happy, they are not as blessed as we who have believed the gospel of the grace of God—by the Spirit made members of the body of the Christ (1 Cor. 12:2727Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. (1 Corinthians 12:27)), the Bride of Christ—dwelling with Him in glory for eternity. “Even so, come, Lord Jesus”!