Left Behind. “The videos sit on my desk with a note to my family so that when I am taken they will know what happened and have another chance to be saved.” (Unless they were on that airplane which crashed into the ocean when the Christian pilot was taken.)
“As soon as the coin in the coffers ring, the soul from purgatory springs.”
Tetzel’s jingle has been replaced by the cash register’s ring, to the tune of best selling Left Behind books and movies. With “sales total over 80 million copies, according to publisher Tyndale House” (2016). Yet, a host of those readers have never read Thessalonians. Most do not read a whole letter, but just out-of-context, cherry-picked verses.
“Left Behind: The Rise of the Antichrist” movie, which shows a world where Christians have already been taken, gives the church a prime teaching moment to point Christians BACK TO THE BIBLE.
A significant sect of fellow evangelicals will invest hours and days reading the books and watching the movies. It is clean entertainment. But they will never sit for an hour, diligently study, and read the Bible in context. The context is clear. The letters to the Thessalonians teach us that Christ returns for his own AFTER the Antichrist rises.
Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled…that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of perdition…
…THEN the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.
…Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught,…—Second Thessalonians 2
That “coming” (parousia) and “gathering” are one event as the single article (the) makes plain. “Indeed, they are the two parts of one great event.”–Leon Morris, New International Commentary on the New Testament.
John Calvin on Second Thessalonians 1:1,2–
The meaning therefore is, “As you set a high value on the coming of Christ, when he will gather us to himself,…
…I earnestly beseech you by his coming not to be too credulous, should any one affirm, on whatever pretext, that his day is at hand.”
Second Thessalonians 2:1 is a “reference to the event described in 1 Thess. 4:17.”–F. F. Bruce, Word Biblical Commentary.
First Thessalonians teaches us about that coming (parousia) and gathering. Read it, here (link). (This is where the Left-Behinders bring more confusion.) Do it. Be a disciple. Do not settle for the bane of memes and memory verses (link). Read God’s word in context.
The Left-Behinders want us to accept their special, extra-biblical knowledge which divides this event and gives us two separate, non-biblical comings.
Contrary to brother Brainard, We have had the blessing of the First Advent. We await the Second. (link) Maranatha