The third installment in the Before They Were Left Behind series is half Glorious Appearing and half Left Behind.
The actual rapture doesn't occur untiThe third installment in the Before They Were Left Behind series is half Glorious Appearing and half Left Behind.
The actual rapture doesn't occur until halfway into the book, the time up to then is spent setting up the situations in which people find themselves when the Rapture occurs, by and large information we didn't get (at least as explicitly) in Left Behind. Once the Rapture occurs the action splits between those who are raptured and their experiences in Heaven (the same kind of story as those present at Christ's second coming in Glorious Appearing) and the reactions of those left behind, although mostly differnt perspectives than those given in Left Behind.
While I still enjoyed Glorious Appearing. because it was the last book in the series, there wasn't that driving force to finish the book immediately so I could be ready for the next one. There was no next one. Jesus had come back to Earth. After his 1,000 year reign on Earth, there's nothing but eternity. So I had similar problems with reading the story of the raptured saints. While it was cool to read about Heaven and meeting all the other saints, it wasn't as gripping as the fight for survival facing those left behind.
On the other hand, I absolutely loved getting to see more about what happened to people who played smaller or later roles in the Left Behind series when the Rapture occured, as well as the fates of random people, reminding us that this event effects the whole world.
I realized that I totally forgot to mention Carpathia in The Regime, but I will say that it's very illuminating (and creepy) to see his initial reaction to the Rapture. Really, though, of the three prequels, he plays the smallest role by far in this one. If the The Rising was about Nicolae and the The Regime was about The Steele's and Buck , then The Rapture is essentially about humanity....more
I'd have to agree with the customer reviews on Amazon and say that The Regime is slightly better than it's predecessor, The Rising which mainly followI'd have to agree with the customer reviews on Amazon and say that The Regime is slightly better than it's predecessor, The Rising which mainly followed the conspiracy surrounding Nicolae Carpathia's birth (and also the early life of Rayford Steele). The Regime, on the other hand, follows the lives most of the main characters from the Left Behind series, showing what circumstances in life led them to not choose God.
Like all the other books in the the Left Behind series, The Regime was a quick read for me. They're not short books, but they're easy to read, and the chapters and sections are broken up in such a way that it's really hard to put the book down once you've started it.
While I eagerly read the story, I have to say that it left me feeling anything but happy. Certainly I was overjoyed at the progress Irene Steele was able to make, especially leading little Raymie to be saved, but seeing how all the heroes of the original series turned their backs on God and chose to be left behind was heart breaking. Buck's indifference, Chloe & Rayford's stubborn unwillingness, Smitty's anger & fear - all made me realize that becoming saved is even harder in everyday life than during the tribulation. Like doubting Thomas, those left during the tribulation had the benefit of direct signs from God, they had much more obvious proof than we do in everyday life. There was also so much more of an obvious "them" and "us" mentality during the tribulation, whereas before the tribulation (like in real life) there was a wide spectrum of "Christian" belief, including Rayford's feel-good idea of God that misses the whole point of Christianity.
I guess if I had one complaint (and I know I'm being nitpicky) is that they seem to think that only smaller "Holy Roller" churches, as Rayford calls them, are places where people can easily get saved. This is a conversation Kyle & I have had (even though he hasn't read any of the books) because, while we currently go to a smaller church, both of us went to larger churches (okay, mine was more medium-sized) and neither of us came from particularly energetic congregations and yet we still came away with an unshakable Christian faith. And obviously Irene and Raymie came to God going to an impersonal church, but it seemed like every "bad" church followed a formula, just as every "good" church did. I'm not going to get like the Catholic Church and get all up in arms about it, but having grown up & come to Christ in a church that tended to fit the "bad" model more than the "good", I was a little upset by the over-generalization they seemed to be making.
Really, though, by far the strongest impression I get from all the books in the Left Behind series, is a feeling of spiritual renewal. They're all about coming to faith and seeing those stories play out over and over again (even though many of the attempts at conversion in this book are unsuccessful) reminds me what exactly it is that I believe in and why that's such a great thing. It also reminds me to worry less about sharing my faith with others, as everyone has their own style of sharing, some very subtle, and the important thing is that you try and remember that the best way to share your faith is to live it.
Those of you who read my review of the The Rising in which I mentioned that these books could be enjoyed by non-Christians probably wondered why I spent this whole review being very Christian-focused. Well other than the fact that that's who these books are all about, realize that after 13 books, it's doubtful that anyone not at least empathizing with Christians is still reading. If you refuse to believe, or can't be certain about your faith, that's an awful lot of hearing about how you're going to burn in Hell, but I still think that the series is written in such an action packed way that it can be interesting to anyone, especially because in the beginning God couldn't be farther from the minds of the main characters. ...more
I'll apologize in advance for the brevity of this review. I would love to do this book justice, but it's that time of the semester when I don't have mI'll apologize in advance for the brevity of this review. I would love to do this book justice, but it's that time of the semester when I don't have much time for anything, so rather than touching on some points and ignoring others, I'll stick to generalities in this review.
Because of the blatant Christian message of the Left Behind series there's a tendency to stereotype them, but if you've already read the original series, you're already aware that these aren't your typical "feel good" Christian Fiction. In some ways The Rising, first in a 3 book prequel series, is darker than the original series about the end times. In this book we begin to meet the memebers of the Tribulation Force (essentially just Rayford Steele in this volume) before they've let Jesus into their hearts, and the hole it leaves in their lives is obvious and heart-breaking. We also meet Nicholae Carpathia's well-meaning but confused mother and the Luciferian manipulators who control her life. Then there's young Nicholae who is just as scary as he was in the original series, maybe more so since he's younger and still posseses frightening powers. Bottom line: If you've read the Left Behind books, you won't be disappointed by the first prequel. If you haven't read the Left Behind books yet, then you should. While I wouldn't be lying if I said I hoped the importance of becoming a Christian affected every person who read the books, I still think they're enjoyable suspense novels even if you don't believe in Christianity....more