In 1995, authors Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins released the first of their “Left Behind” books, which would go on to become one of the most successful religious fiction franchises ever.
So what was the driving force behind the popularity of the “Left Behind” books?
The books tell the story of the end times, in which Christian believers have been “raptured”—taken directly to Heaven. In their absence, the rest of the world is left in chaos as those who have been left behind search for answers amidst a barrage of supernatural disasters and global destruction
The massive success of the “Left Behind” books shows the world’s obsession with the idea of the Rapture, also known as "the Blessed Hope." And it’s no wonder—the idea that all believers will be taken up into Heaven, sparing them from the agonies of death, is a compelling one.
Several Biblical scriptures are often used to support the idea of the Rapture, primarily from the books of Revelation and Thessalonians, but things aren’t quite as straightforward as they seem. The Rapture may seem simple, but in reality, this is an idea that is steeped in interpretational problems, disagreements, and downright falsehoods.
This matters. As with any theological belief, truth is important—every verse in the Bible helps us to better know the character of God, and how we understand the Bible affects how we see and teach about God.
Let’s take a look at what you’re probably getting wrong about the Rapture so that you can gain a clearer picture of this mysterious event.