Kingdom Come–Left Behind Review

by Tim LaHaye & Jerry Jenkins, Tyndale House Publishers, ISBN 0842361901, available practically anywhere Christian books are sold:

A plot summary is here.

FINALLY!  After 5 1/2 years, I’ve made it to the end of this series!  It’s hard to believe it’s been so long–I could swear I just started this–But then, at my age, the years just fly by like the snowy owls we have around here: One moment you see it, the next it’s gone.

Now for my final review:

Where the Old Testament Law is Reinstated

The Millennial Kingdom is described in the early pages.  Now Jesus is in charge of the whole world, and it seems rather Taliban-like: If you don’t get saved by age 100, you die and spend eternity in Hell.  (This does not apply to Jews.)

If you sin, you can get incinerated–or not.

And it seems that the Old Testament Law, which even the Apostles deemed too oppressive to put over Christians, is now back in effect, even the sacrifices and holidays!  Things which the Apostles and other Early Church leaders scolded their flock not to do, are now being done.

And now the Jews are the Chosen People again, and Gentile Christians are the “foreigners.”  What about everyone being equal?

First we have “The Millennial Kingdom,” a chapter which claims to describe what will happen during the Millennium.  Not what the authors think will happen, but what life will be like.  It’s things like [italics mine],

“Everyone will be assigned temporary housing until Jesus reconstructs the earth.”

An earthquake will have caused a residue that makes the entire planet sea-level.

“You may be a stellar student or an athlete or even a bit of a techie, but you will not have to be good with your hands.  You may not be a gardener let alone a farmer, and perhaps you always pay to have carpentry, wiring, or plumbing done around the house.  But in that day God will plant within you the desire–and the acumen–to do all those things yourself.”

How the heck do the authors know these things will happen?  Isn’t this all just speculation?

On page xli, we learn that the moon and sun are “supercharged by the Shekinah glory of Christ,” so you can’t go outside without sunglasses, and even at night it’s bright.  (I wear my sunglasses at night….)  It’s hard to adjust to sleeping in the light.

Sounds like the sun is going into supernova; isn’t that a bad thing, meaning the imminent end of the earth?  But then, at the end of the 1000 years, the earth is destroyed by fire from the heavens and from within the earth (p. 350)–Oh, hey, it IS a supernova!

And it sounds too frickin’ bright, not like paradise at all.  You need the night and its cooling for sleep; nocturnal animals need the night, too.

Also, now everyone speaks Hebrew fluently.  The rationale is Zephaniah 3:9, which says, “For then I will restore to the peoples a pure language, that they all may call on the name of the Lord, to serve Him with one accord.”

How does that translate to Hebrew?  Why Hebrew and not some other language that’s actually still being used?  Hebrew is not designed for 21st-century life.  I bet their word for “cellphone” is English, not Hebrew!

What’s wrong with, say, a heavenly language?  How is Hebrew better than any other language?  Is it because the Bible was written in it?  The Bible was also written in Aramaic and ancient Greek–Why not one of those?

This version of the Millennium is also not the only one in Christendom.  It’s called premillennialism.  There is also post-millennialism and amillennialism.

Orthodoxy goes with amillennialism, or that the Millennium is symbolic of the time after Christ.  (More info here.)  Then at the end, Christ comes back, there is the Judgment (not a bunch of little judgments as in the Left Behind books), and then:

Thus, in its faith in resurrection and eternal life, the Orthodox Church looks not to some “other world” for salvation, but to this very world so loved by God, resurrected and glorified by Him, tilled with His own divine presence.

At the end of the ages God will reveal His presence and will fill all creation with Himself. For those who love Him it will be paradise. For those who hate Him it will be hell. And all physical creation, together with the righteous, will rejoice and be glad in His coming.

…When the Kingdom of God fills all creation, all things will be made new. This world will again be that paradise for which it was originally created. This is the Orthodox doctrine of the final fate of man and his universe.

It is sometimes argued, however, that this world will be totally destroyed and that God will create everything new “out of nothing” by the act of a second creation….

Because the Bible never speaks about a “second creation” and because it continually and consistently witnesses that God loves the world which He has made and does everything that He can to save it, the Orthodox Tradition never interprets such scriptural texts as teaching the actual annihilation of creation by God.

It understands such texts as speaking metaphorically of the great catastrophe which creation must endure, including even the righteous, in order for it to be cleansed, purified, made perfect, and saved….See full article at The Symbol of Faith: Eternal Life, OCA website

This also contradicts the LaHaye/Jenkins vision of the final end of everything after the Millennium ends and God’s opponents are incinerated: the earth is incinerated as well, replaced with a new one.

I’ve also noted that the Byzantine Empire, the Eastern part of the Roman Empire which lived on after the Western part fell into the Dark Ages, lasted for about 1000 years–then was laid waste by the Ottomans.

Since the Byzantine Empire was Christian, it works well as a literal Millennium–except for the end, of course.  How could God’s Empire end with the evil side winning Armageddon?

On page 7, Irene is in the middle of reminiscing about Heaven: “She was able to describe the very portals of the house of God, a great, cathedral-like expanse where the redeemed of the ages were arrayed in purest white….”

Hmmmm….Last I recall, from The Rapture, they were all nekkid.

Fans of the Slacktivist‘s Left Behind reviews, have joked about the Millennium’s “steaming piles of fresh produce, drenched in butter.”  Well, here they are on pages 2 and 11!

You see, meat is no longer used for food, despite the sacrifices (which are once again started in the Temple) and the eating of perfect meat after Armageddon (see Glorious Appearing).

So veggies drenched in butter are suddenly feasting food….I’m not quite sure I get the attraction….Where’s the cheese dip? the ranch dressing?

On page 13 is a reference to “new wine,” and we soon learn that people drink wine in the Millennium.  But…I thought “new wine” was actually grape juice, according to Evangelical lore, and that wine is evil, so we’re not supposed to drink it at communion?

(Seriously, that’s how I was raised.  It was a huge adjustment to take actual wine for communion in the Orthodox church, because I’d always taken grape juice.)

The hills and mountains now literally drip with “new wine” and flow with milk instead of water.  But….What if you’re lactose intolerant?  Chaim quotes some passage of the Bible where this image comes from.  Yeah….I’m pretty sure that’s supposed to be a metaphor.

Old Testament Law Reinstated; Millennium’s Totalitarian Government Cracks Down on Thought-Crimes

On page 14 is a reminder of how, well, fake everybody seems, like Stepford Christians: All around Rayford and Chaim on their way to the Temple, people shout the same thing, passages taken from the Bible.  Rayford stands “with arms outstretched, reaching toward Jesus.”

There are multiple scenes just like this throughout the series, things like people praying stretched out on the floor.  It just doesn’t seem…real.  Like real people just wouldn’t behave this way.

Also, the book’s Jesus tells everyone, “Jerusalem shall be holy,and no aliens shall ever pass through her again.”  So…immigrants are banned now?

Pages 15 through 16 are full of technical details describing the Temple.  They sound like they were taken from the Pentateuch, basically a bunch of boring description that makes that part of the Old Testament such a chore to trudge through.  I’m lost: With my NVLD, trying to visualize all that technical detail hurts my brain.  So skip past it….

Page 16 talks about priests, burnt offerings, sacrifices–Obviously some Old Testament prophecies are being confused with End Times prophecies.  On page 23 it’s explained by “Jesus” that the Jewish people “must continue to present memorial sacrifices to Me in remembrance of My sacrifice and because they rejected Me for so long.”  WHAT??!!

Then on pages 27-29, Tsion is thrilled “to learn that the glory of the Lord would fill the temple and that the Mosaic laws would be observed–even the sacrifices.”

Well, except for the Passover lamb, which would not be sacrificed, to remind the Jews that “Jesus had been the perfect and once-for-all sacrifice for the sins of the world.  And for these observances, even the Gentile nations would be required to have representatives sojourn to the temple.”

And if you neglect to send them, your whole country will suffer dire consequences, as Egypt later discovered….

WHAT??!!  A restoration of the law that the Apostles said, in Acts 15:10, was a yoke that neither they nor their ancestors could bear, so they released the Christian church from this burden?

A seemingly endless set of laws for every minute detail of life, including that you can’t mix fabrics or eat shellfish, and women have to be separated for eight days a month?  And Tsion is thrilled about this?

Where the heck does this even come from?  It flies in the face of 2000 years of Christian theology, no matter which denomination you belong to.  It certainly doesn’t match anything I heard back when I was a premillennialist studying up on this stuff.  It would make the Millennium not so much of a paradise after all.

On page 29, we meet King David, who the authors tell us is “plain.”  Say what?  Here’s evidence that the authors don’t know the Bible as well as they claim, because 2 Samuel 16:12 describes David as healthy and handsome, with beautiful eyes.

This book is padded with all sorts of biblical quotes, which is not new, but now we also get to re-read stories we’ve already read many times before: Old Testament heroes speak to the children, and the children cheer, giving us absolutely nothing to advance the plot.  I did a lot of skimming.

This does not apply to the Jews, but any of the Gentiles who do not accept Christ by age 100, die on their birthday and burn in Hell eternally.  The ones who do accept Christ, age very slowly, since they are not to die at all during the Millennium (millennium=1000 years).  So by age 100, they’re still adolescents.

But of course, anyone who has reached middle-age knows that teenagers often rebel against religion–but eventually come back to religion after reaching maturity.  This rule is put in the book to pound the prophecies into a literal fulfillment, but ends up being draconian and arbitrary.

On page 46, the first adolescent dies at age 100, shocking many–but not all.  Some people knew she was not the good Christian she appeared to be.  Now Cameron ponders speaking during her funeral about the need to be saved.

(He used to be Buck, but now he’s Cameron again.  Are nicknames unrighteous and not allowed in the Millennium?)

Rayford says on page 47, “The only benefit I see coming from [Buck–er, Cameron– speaking at the funeral] is if [the parents] allow you to warn other young people of the consequences of putting off the transaction with Jesus.”

Transaction–UGH!  Salvation is not a business deal!

On page 70, rebellion has already begun, with an underground group of young people doing everything they’re not supposed to do.  Their nightclubs “are frequently raided and revelers arrested and imprisoned.”  Anyone who commits “actual crimes” is put to death on the spot by lightning from God.

So–does that mean the ones imprisoned, have not actually committed crimes?  Are they just imprisoned because of their beliefs–a trait of oppressive regimes around the world, considered a human rights violation?

And the ones who do commit crimes–They get no chance at all to repent or rehabilitate before they go to Hell and burn forever?  It’s no wonder this group is rebelling!

Yet we’re supposed to be on the side of the believers, even though their side is trying to turn into the USSR or some Middle Eastern despot, just because they’re on the side of “God” and the “good guys”?

But hey, at least it provides a plot for this book, some evil baddies to fight!  Though the main plan of action is to fight them by indoctrinating–er, converting–the young.

The baddies are The Other Light, or TOL, trying to build Satan’s army for Armageddon–knowing they’ll die at 100, but hoping to pass on their beliefs to the next generations first.  They expect to be resurrected by Satan.

The speech of the young people is also stilted and unnatural, like they swallowed a dictionary, with none of the usual “teen speech” you normally find in every generation.

They even use big words and academic speech, which is okay for textbooks and professional work, but just does not fit in the everyday life of teenagers.  So is slang evil, too?

Then on page 255, Kenny calls his girlfriend “sweetheart.”  Why must these kids sound like they grew up in the 1940s?

On pages 79-80, Qasim, a worker at COT (day care center used to evangelize children)–and potential recruit for the group of “good guys” infiltrating the TOL–is grilled on how holy he really is, with questions like, “Have you led children to Christ?”  “How did you come to Christ?”

The verdict: He is not a real Christian, because he hasn’t led any of the children in prayers of salvation, and his “passionless recitation of the steps to reconciliation with almighty God.”

Eh, lots of us Christians don’t have a tally of souls we led in the prayer of salvation.  Lots of us were also baptized as babies, or became Christians so young that we don’t have much of a story to tell.  That doesn’t mean we’re not Christians.

Egypt’s Rich History is Now Declared an Abomination

On page 89, Egypt has failed to send representatives to attend the Feast of Tabernacles.  So, as King David says,

It should be no surprise that this has kindled the wrath of the Lord.  One of the reasons He decreed mandatory involvement in these observances was that these nations had reviled His chosen people in generations past.  [Talk about a grudge!]

The Feast of Tabernacles allows all nations to pay homage to the Lord, in His house, for the annual harvest and provisions.  The Lord has been faithful.  Egypt has proven unfaithful.

So the Lord will slay the two Egyptian elders who led the others not to send representatives, and send drought to Egypt.

Um….What, more wrath, and Old Testament style on your a**?  I thought we were past that now in the Millennium?  UGH!

Rayford and his men are chosen to rebuild Egypt and brainwa–er, evangelize the Egyptians into seeing this abusive tactic as their just punishment, and repenting.

I mean, all this suffering and death because they didn’t send some people to a feast?  Sounds like a man who beats his wife for burning dinner….

On page 110, we read that “Since the Feast of Tabernacles in Israel several days before, no rain had fallen in the entire nation of Egypt.”

Er….Isn’t that perfectly normal for EGYPT?  And most other places as well, except maybe for Seattle or the rain forest?  Far more significant is the drying up of underground springs and rivers, which I assume includes the Nile, the main source of water in Egypt.

Page 94 is kinda weird.  Pretty, young Ekaterina starts calling Kenny (Buck and Chloe’s son, now an adolescent) “Mr. Williams” because, “If I’m going to work for you…I mean, not that I’m saying I’ll get the job…”

Er, even if you do get the job, why on earth would you not call your boss by his first name?  You know, like people normally do?

Page 118 is especially painful for anyone who knows anything about Egypt: Tsion Ben-Judah goes into the parliament building and begins haranguing like some prophet:

“Woe to you, says the Lord God of Israel, for helping to scatter His people throughout the generations.

He healed your land and reestablished you, populating you solely with believers until your offspring were born.

Yet you kept the name of your nation, a stench in the nostrils of God. Egypt: ‘temple of the soul of Ptah,’ indeed!  Ptah a pagan deity from generations past.  Where is he in your time of need?

You deigned to rebuild this structure after the global earthquake, somehow believing God would be pleased by an edifice that looks nothing like a temple dedicated to Him but rather harks back to your days worshiping patron deities?

Still, all He required of you was to observe the sacrifices and feasts, and you thumbed your noses at Him.  Is it any wonder He has cursed your land?

Where was your backbone, your leadership, when unbelievers persuaded you to commit the affront of absenting yourself from the Feast of Tabernacles?”

ARGH!  There is so much wrong with this!  Where do I begin?

First of all, it’s such an affront to not attend a feast one year, that God wants to smite them all?  Is this a loving, merciful God, or the blasphemous idea of a god so jealous of his own honor that, like some medieval tyrant, he must kill and torture to satisfy his wounded pride?

Second, how is it so horrible to want to honor your nation’s colorful past with a temple built in the style of ancient ones?  Egypt is rich in history, culture, monuments.

What, were they supposed to destroy the pyramids, the Sphinx, their old temples, their artifacts, etc., because they were pagan? 

This isn’t directly stated, but this whole rant against them–for not changing their name and for building a temple in ancient style–suggests that they should have done this, too.

Basically, the Egyptians are made to feel ashamed–that they have horribly offended God–for using their culture’s rich architectural past!

Also, quite a grudge!  Egypt has not been pagan for 2000 years: First it became Christian, then, during the Islamic migrations, became Muslim.  The Coptic Church still exists there.

In any case, the nation worships Allah, NOT Egyptian deities, yet here it’s treated as if it never turned away from worshipping Ra, Ptah, etc.  So Egypt is still being punished for the slavery of the Hebrews, which happened some 4000 years ago!

And that leads to the most ludicrous and offensive part of this rant: EGYPT IS NOT THE EGYPTIAN NAME OF EGYPT!!!!!!  Tsion is so ignorant it’s laughable: Egypt is an English name, taken from a Greek name.

Tsion is verbally abusing the Egyptians for a name they do not use.  The ancient Egyptians called their land Kemet, or black land.

The country’s name went through various changes down through the centuries before Christ, as the language and practices changed.

Sure the later Egyptians used a name derived from Ptah, but it wasn’t “Egypt,” and they were pagan, so would see nothing wrong with it.

The Ptolemies took over and could not pronounce Hwt-ka-ptah, so it became Aegyptus.  The land became Christian, and then Arabic Muslims took over and could not pronounce Aegypti (changed to Copti).

Christian Egypt used these Ptah-derived names, and the Egyptian church is still called Coptic, so why can’t the Millennial Egypt?

But modern Egyptians don’t use any of these names, but Misr, an Arabic name which refers to the land, the same as Kemet did.  (See The Origin of the Name Egypt by Nermin Sami and Jimmy Dunn.)

But, just as with anyone who is being unfairly attacked and verbally abused, somebody tries to speak in their defense–but is not allowed.  A young man stands up and says, “Sir, if I may argue our side of the issue–”  And this is the result:

Your side?  You are accursed!  Or are you a believer, confident you shall live past your hundredth birthday?”

“It merely happens that I respectfully disagree–”

“Respectfully?  You are fortunate you remain on this earth, for God willed that your young compatriots become examples for the rest of this nation.”

“But, sir, that is precisely our point.  What kind of a loving God is so capricious that He would–”

“Demolish this building!” Tsion roared.  “Rebuild it as a temple to the Lord.  Delight in His ways.  Seek His face.  Follow His statutes.  Never again disobey His commands.  And henceforth this land shall be known as Osaze, ‘loved by God.’  Lest you fear that His wrath evidences something other than His love, imagine what He could have done in the face of this ultimate insult.”

And still more threats if they don’t do what they’re supposed to do.

LET THE MAN SPEAK!  The young man said the same things I thought as I read this, but he got the typical abuser response: “I went easy on you!”

And Egypt is to turn its back on its wonderful cultural heritage, act like its history is worth nothing but scorn and contempt, because 2000 years ago, they were not a Christian country.

Well, neither were any of the European countries, or Latin America, or even our good ol’ USA, which back then was filled with Native American culture and religions.

This is tyranny, plain and simple, yet we’re supposed to accept it as the rule of a loving god, and consider it okay, that Osaze–er, EGYPT–got what they deserved?  This sounds like brainwashing in order to mob bully anyone who disagrees!

Prudes, Faulty Theology, Brainwashing, and Learning to Love the Judgment

On page 128, Qasim flirts with and asks out young and beautiful Ekaterina.  It’s ONE date, hasn’t even happened yet.  Still, young Kenny

wanted to blurt out that he cared for her and would rather date her himself, but it was too late.  He had missed his window of opportunity. He would look jealous and desperate.  Would he have to compete with Qasim to see her at all now?

Come on, Kenny, where’s your sense of competition?  She’s asked out on one date and you just give her up to Qasim without even a fight?

You act like she’s engaged!  It’s called DATING.  You do it before you get engaged.  And you can date lots of people at the same time if you want.

None of the guys asking out a girl are called “jealous” or “desperate” just because she went out with somebody else last week.

On page 133, Abdullah introduces his wife Yasmine to his old fellow Tribulation Forcer Gustaf (Zeke).  Before the Rapture, Yasmine converted from Islam and tried to convince Abdullah to become a Christian, but he refused:

The big man [Zeke] greeted Yasmine with a bear hug.  “I heard all about you, ma’am,” he said.  “I sure did.  Tell you what–I’da been your husband, you’d have changed my mind.”

As soon as he said it he appeared to realize how it sounded, blushed, and apologized.  “I just meant…you know….never mind.”

What, you can’t make jokes in the Millennium?  What’s he apologizing for?

Then on page 134, he says to her, “Now Yasmine here–you don’t mind if I use your first name, do you, ma’am?”  Um, why on earth would she mind?

People are just so–odd here, uptight.  Perfectly normal actions and words are treated like blunders or like they must be okayed first, such as Ekaterina calling her boss Kenny by his first name on page 94.  Even Ekaterina resisted flirting with Qasim on page 128, for no reason I could see.

On page 144, Rayford wants to know if God wants him and Tsion to go see Noah speak to the kids at COT the next day.  (What, aren’t you allowed to make decisions for yourself anymore?)  But God’s not saying, so Tsion says,

How about we put out a fleece?  See if Mac can get us there by the crack of dawn and back as soon as it’s over, and if he can, we’ll take that as divine permission.

Oh, geez, not a fleece!  I have had bad experiences with fleeces, the Evangelical version of divination, and just as reliable.  See here, here, here and here.

On page 153, I’m a bit disappointed because–if Buck were still called Buck like in every other Left Behind book–this would be another “Buck was struck.”  But no, it’s “Cameron was struck.”

This is bad in writing: Don’t confuse the reader by changing the name your character has used for all this time.  Except for the Bible and Russian novels, this is an amateurish fail.

Interesting note from Noah on page 156:

Why did we live so long back then?  For the same reason you will live long [ie, about 1000 years].  The world actually exists now, as it did then, under a canopy of water that blocks the most harmful effects of the sun.  When that condition no longer existed, life spans were greatly reduced, as history shows.

Hmmm….I wonder what scientists would think of this theory…..Let’s see….I’m not sure if a credible scientific website would even bother with this.  But I found a scientific rebuttal on a website about creationism:

Neither the Bible nor science support the idea that a water canopy ever existed above the earth. The Bible teaches that the “expanse” of Genesis 1:6-8 cannot be a canopy, since it encompasses both the atmosphere and interstellar space.

The Bible also indicates that the “floodgates of heaven” are nothing more than a reference to clouds and rain (as found in passages after the Genesis flood). Scientifically, any kind of water canopy produces so much heat that it would cook everything on the planet.

See that site for more information.  Another one is here.

Page 159 has yet more padding.  Oftentimes it’s the Bible clipped-and-pasted.  This time, it’s the story of Noah, recited again as children cheer at appropriate spots, to remind us that we haven’t just tripped into a book of Genesis.

Yeah, yeah, we know the story, and it has absolutely nothing to do with the plot of this book.  The one good spot of all this padding: It gives me a chance to skim without missing anything.

On page 189, Chloe asks Ekaterina, Kenny and Bahira (young people), “[The Tribulation Force] had one goal, one mission, and that was to thwart Antichrist as best we could by what?”

Their response is the best part: “They all looked blank.”

Obviously nobody knows.  We readers sure don’t!

The answer finally comes out: “By adding as many people to the family of God as you could.”

Wait, that was it?  Well, other than wiretapping the Antichrist’s office and plane, which never seemed to be used for much of anything.  You have the ultimate good-vs-evil, and you can’t even muster up a decent Underground Resistance movement.

On page 198, Kenny says that Raymie and another Raptured person could have ended up married if they were “naturals” (ie, were not Raptured/glorified and could still have families).  Kenny says that because they’re “not wired that way anymore,”

That allows us to spend a lot of time together, really as brother and sister, worshiping, praying, studying, planning.  I can’t tell you how rewarding it is.

Eh, that’s only because you don’t know what you’re missing.  😉   But Kenny does say, “And I can’t tell you how much fun it is to have someone like that in my life, plus adding the romance to it.”

On page 215, Bu–er, Cameron says a mouthful:

Cameron whispered to [Joshua and Caleb], “I will, of course, accede to your wishes, but before you begin, the children would like to recite to you in unison what they memorized from the Scriptures yesterday.  Would that be permissible?”

Did you swallow a dictionary, Buck?  Come on, nobody actually talks like that in non-professional real life unless they want to impress people with their booklearnin’.  Are you a sycophant, Buck?

Even worse is finding out what the children memorized from the Scriptures:

The Lord’s anger was aroused on that day, and He swore an oath, saying,

“Surely none of the men who came up from Egypt, from 20 years old and above, shall see the land of which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, because they have not wholly followed Me, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh, the Kenizzite, and Joshua the son of Nun, for they have wholly followed the Lord.”

You had children memorize a verse about Old Testament wrath?  Is this meant to scare them into righteousness?

And then, of course, there’s more cut and pasting from the Bible, as we read the story of Joshua and Caleb yet again.  Pretty much nothing new happens except for the kids cheering now and then.

On page 223, Joshua and Caleb mention the harlot Rahab from the story.  Yet none of the kids asks, “What’s a harlot?”

Yeah, riiiight… LOL  Heck, when my parents watched Blazing Saddles when I was a kid, my little voice piped up with, “What’s a whore?”  (My dad’s response: “Look it up in the dictionary.”  Which I did.)

On page 305, Rayford says, “There is no question Irene and my daughter and I are biased, so I would ask that we simply accede to my grandson’s request that we covenant together in prayer and seek the Lord over this.”

What are you saying, again?  What’s wrong with plain English?  Nobody talks like that in normal conversation!

At the end of all things, we finally get to the last judgment, of the lost.  It is explained on page 350 that these are “all the men and women in history who died outside of Christ.”  Then we read,

Rayford had the feeling that the many verdicts he had just heard would have horrified him in the old days.

And yet now, hearing the offenses of those who had rejected and rejected and rejected the One who was “not willing that any should perish” and seeing Jesus’ own tears as He pronounced the sentences, Rayford understood as never before that Jesus sent no one to hell.  They chose their own paths.

Er…It’s made clear that these are people who died without being Christians.  But there are a myriad of reasons why people don’t choose to be Christians.

It’s not all about wanting to do your own thing and stick your tongue out at God.  Many don’t believe there is a God.  Or they were raised in a family/country where Christianity is generally considered blasphemy, or simply not taught.

Christians sin just as much as non-Christians, and deserve Hell as well, but it’s made clear in this passage that the “transaction” (ie, saying the sinner’s prayer) decides whether you’re “saved” or “lost.”

But no human can be more merciful than God.  By saying people automatically go to Hell just because of their religion, you tread in dangerous waters, crossing over into God’s territory: the final Judgment.

Here’s another review of this book.

FINALLY!  I am DONE with this series!

[2/6/14-3/5/14]

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