Some obviously disagree with LaHaye's perspectives on these issues, but few can deny his passion for the subject matter. And absolutely no one can ignore the profound impact that the "Left Behind" series has had on end-times theological narratives over the past 15 years.
A bride passes through the city at night. It is dark and a little dangerous, but she is certain of her task. Tonight, she is leaving Philadelphia for a very long trip. The Bible says all weddings should happen at night. Not really, not explicitly, but play along with me for a while.
I only met Juan Garcia once. I was asked to visit him on September 15. For a couple of hours in a cold room in Livingston, Texas, we talked. With an unforgiving deadline approaching fast, the last things were at the forefront of our minds.
Apocalyptic scriptures share one feature: They were always composed in distressing times for the benefit of desperate people who occupied a particular moment in history. They suffered politically and economically, and only a dramatic rescue by God could help.
In addition to his famed tirades was Jobs' "reality distortion field." Jobs would draw a picture of the world that seemed to defy all reality. At worst, he simply lied. At best, he cast a vision of what could be and then got others caught up in making that vision a new reality.
No one understands all of Revelation's numbers and symbols. Still, almost all interpreters have come to a common assessment of several keys: the Lamb, the Beast, the Great Prostitute, the Other Beast and the New Jerusalem.
Around 1830 John Nelson Darby, having selected scripture passages from Daniel, Revelation, 1 and 2 Thessalonians and elsewhere, pasted them together, called them a whole, and invented the Rapture, a word not found in the Bible.
Predictions of the Apocalypse or its personal equivalent of a direct path to heaven have been a common theme throughout human history. We seem determined to keep ourselves in a constant state of preparation for the end of time.