Christ Returns in Final Installment of "Left Behind" Series
- Wednesday, March 31, 2004
Culminating what is now the best-selling Christian fiction series in history, authors Dr. Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins reveal the most cataclysmic, awe-inspiring event the Earth will ever see in "Glorious Appearing" – the twelfth and final installment of their record-breaking Left Behind prophecy-based fiction series.
Plot Spoiler Warning: in this book, Jesus finally does come back and save the world – specifically, all the Tribulation believers who have been anxiously awaiting His second coming and have lived to see the close of the horrific events the series’ eleven previous installments have portrayed. LaHaye and Jenkins deliver a spell-binding picture of that extraordinary day, a close to the Tribulation story that is truly nothing short of glorious.
“I had quite an experience writing this series, and especially the last book,” said Jenkins, in a telephone press conference held March 23. “There was great trepidation in thinking about how to do justice to what we believe is the greatest story that’ll ever happen in the history of the cosmos.”
The authors also admit feeling a certain amount of anxiety in approaching such a sacred event and personage as Christ, physically returned to His rightful place as the magnificent king and ruler of all the earth. They relied almost exclusively on excerpted passages of Scripture for Jesus’ dialogue in Glorious Appearing, even in His personal conversations with the storyline’s familiar characters.
When questioned about what thought process had gone into using only Biblical passages for Christ’s conversation, Jenkins answered, “I was worried … that I would have to answer for this someday myself. There is so much in Scripture that’s about Jesus, about the Messiah, about the second person in the Godhead … the things said about Jesus in Scripture and the things He said about Himself are very powerful, and creative as well. … He’s the living word of God and I was using the written word of God, and so I felt like I was on safe ground there.” Jenkins added that the early response he’s received from people who have already read pre-release copies of the book has been that Christ’s Scripture-based dialogue is their favorite thing about "Glorious Appearing."
Another absorbing concept Jenkins tackles in "Glorious Appearing" is how Christ will be able to personally connect with all of the millions of believers, alive and newly resurrected, at the time of His return. The story portrays Christ acknowledging each and every “good and faithful servant,” from the Tribulation believers and martyrs to the raptured Christians, all the believers who have lived and died since Christ first came to earth, and the Old Testament heroes of Scripture.
Jenkins presents two possible concepts in the storyline. Though the Old Testament faithful are each called up individually – graduation ceremony-style – to Christ’s throne, all of the other believers who have lived since His crucifixion are simultaneously honored, yet each person experiences their moment with Christ as a personal, unique moment in time.
“If even the number of martyrs that came out of the tribulation period [alone] number more than 200 million, for Jesus to give [every Christian] even just 30 seconds each would take months or years, I suppose,” Jenkins wondered. “And I started thinking, would we have a supernatural ability to be patient standing in line and not get hungry? Or would [Christ] do something like we’ve outlined in the book?” Jenkins said that he felt that if he believed in prayer – that millions of people could be pray all at once and yet receive individual answers – that the concept of simultaneous but individual physical audiences with Christ was a plausible possibility.
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