That distant future may be here

Renee Ann Smith —  July 4, 2011 — 24 Comments


For centuries, people happily ensconced in the world system have scoffed at Christian beliefs. They give no credence to talk of life after death, miracles, the reality of Christ’s indwelling spirit, and the power of prayer. Yet no one has ever experienced a life on earth with no Christian presence to stem the tide of unrighteousness set in motion by Adam and Eve.

In the Left Behind Series, Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins add their imaginations to Bible prophecy to create a tale of what those future days might be like. From the moment I opened the first book in the series, I knew I was embarking on an adventure that would change me.

The story begins with a man on a plane. Even though he’s a commercial pilot with a panoramic view of the world from 30, 000 feet, he sees no further than his own dissatisfaction and selfish desires. What’s that saying . . . ? “A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small package.” That’s Rayford Steele.


Also on the plane is award-winning journalist Cameron “Buck” Williams. Buck is fresh from a trip to Israel, where he witnessed the miraculous defeat of the Russian forces who attempted to destroy that country. After which, his Christian friends encouraged him even more strongly to believe in Christ. But Buck is not quite ready for that.

Who’s not on the plane? Dozens of passengers who suddenly vanish into thin air, leaving behind their clothes, socks, shoes, and companions.

Pretty intriguing, right? And that’s just the first nineteen pages.

What follows is an action-packed thriller that follows the political developments on earth as well as the spiritual journeys of Rayford and Buck.  Book one covers the Rapture of Christians and the start of the seven-year Tribulation, as well as introduces several key players—Rayford’s daughter Chloe, Hattie Durham, Dr. Chaim Rosenzweig, Nicolae Carpathia—and ends with a fascinating cliff hanger inside the UN.

I first read Left Behind fifteen years ago, when this book was the hot new read in Christian circles. I marveled at the way the authors portrayed a future I considered distant.

Recently, I was drawn to re-read the series because of events and changes occurring in the world around me—things I never thought I’d see in my lifetime.

That distant future may be closer than I’d imagined.

If you’d like to gain a biblical understanding of end times prophecy and be entertained while you’re learning, I encourage you to check out this series. You can purchase a copy of book one at this link.

As part of the Tyndale Summer Reading Program, I’m reviewing five books from the Left Behind Series, which I recently re-read. This is my first review.

***July Giveaway Fun: This is a giveaway post.  A comment on any giveaway post during the month of July can include you in the drawing for the $10 Amazon Gift Card. Or you can leave a comment just to be friendly!


Renee Ann Smith

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I teach literature in a Christian high school by day and write inspirational fiction by night. I love to share heart-touching quotes and stories here on my blog. So glad you stopped by!

24 responses to That distant future may be here

  1. I read this series many years ago, and haven’t thought of it for awhile. You are right, it might be time to take it out, dust it off, and read it one more time. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. I have heard of this series but haven’t read it yet. They made of movie of it which I also haven’t seen. So many books…so little time:)

    • LOL! I know what you mean about so many books, Anna-Marie. Each time a publisher offers a new one for review, I’m so tempted to sign up–even if I know I don’t have time to read it. Some book bloggers read every book that comes out. And I thought I read a lot!

  3. I really liked these when they came out…. And could get completely wrapped up in the characters, and plot! I didn’t like WAITING for the next book to come, and after oh, how many are there? 35? (exaggeration) so I’m not sure if I ever finished the series. The covers were excellent, though, and I really liked how they fit together graphically on the shelf.
    Random commentor, lic. #34875.

    • It sure does seem like 35! When I went back to re-read, I realized I hadn’t finished the series. I checked it out on Wikipedia! There are 16 books–13 were published first and then 3 prequels. (Like Star Wars) . . . And speaking of covers, the set looks really good whenever I check it out on It would be a nice gift for some young person who’s never read them!

  4. Between my mom and my sister, I think they own all – or almost all – of this series, yet I’ve never read any of them! I would like to and agree that reading this one and the others in the series would be beneficial and enjoyable!

    • Yes, try the first one, Helene! You’ll know right away if you can get into them or not. BTW, I enjoyed the FB photos of your birthday party. Looked like a great time. And you’re entered in the drawing 🙂

  5. I remember reading the teen version of this series, and I’m pretty sure that I read them one after the other because I couldn’t wait to see what happened. I’ve not read the regular version, so maybe I need to. 🙂

    • It’s hard to add a new book to your TBR pile, isn’t it, Beth? I enjoyed re-reading this series because they’re substantive even tho’ they’re such a fast read. And I found the last two–when Christ returns–so touching!

  6. I have read this series several times and have loved it every time! There are 3 movies out based on the books that I have also liked. It really does make a person wonder “are we living in the end times?” Maybe, maybe not, but the books are fast-paced reading and entertaining, AND make me glad that I know the one true Savior and won’t be here when it all happens!

  7. Oh Wow–I remember this series–I know I read 10 or so–but I think I got impatient waiting for the next one to come out-_I will need to re visit these books again! They sure do “hit home” now–huh?

    • As I re-read, I was happily surprised at how well they held up! And some scenes especially touched my heart in a way they wouldn’t have fifteen years ago. Thanks for stopping in, Jenny! You’re in the drawing 🙂

  8. I haven’t read the books but have enjoyed the movies. In reading the scriptures I do believe the return of our beloved Savior is not so far away. Many of the prophecies have been fulfilled and in watching the signs of the times one can tell that the end is near.
    I guess the main thought is to be prepared spiritually and temporally.
    Blessings to you!

    • I so agree! Maybe it’s God’s providence that Tyndale is marketing these books to a new generation–to help everyone be prepared. Thanks for joining in the conversation and the giveaway here, LeAnn! Blessings!

  9. I remember reading this series! Very well done! There are a few things that I didn’t agree with, but hey that always happens. I loved how unique and life changing they were. They really made a person think!

    • I agree, Melanie. I loved the thought-provoking aspects of the story. These books really made me consider Christ’s return and what I might do to be ready myself or to help others be ready. Thanks for sharing a comment and joining in the giveaway fun!

  10. I came from Cym Lowell‘s Book Review Party Wednesday (BRPW).

    I do not believe in god but I respect those who do. And going by your review, I think this book would be very good indeed for those readers who believe in a god.

    Cherry Mischievous

  11. Stopping by from Cym Lowell’s Book Review Party.

    Nice review.

    Stop by my blog to see my book listed on Cym’s linky and for a giveaway of NIGHT TRAIN by Clyde Edgerton…courtesy of Anna Balasi of Little, Brown and Company.

    Contest is on until July 25.

    Hope to see you there.


  12. I’ve really enjoyed being apart of the Tyndale Summer Reading program. So far I’ve read two and hope to get the other 3 read. There is a book I have my eye on. 😉 Thanks Renee for the giveaway!


    • Thanks for joining in the giveaway, Casey! I’ve been re-reading the Left Behind Series and ended up with a ton of reviews for the program. So many that I started posting them on FB instead of clogging up the blog. Which book are you interested in?

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