Who is “Left Behind”?

Hiroshima After the Atomic Bomb Was Detonated

Who will be “left behind” for events like atomic devastation? 


Recently I read what is apparently supposed to be the major “nonfiction” book by Timothy LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins, the authors of the popular fiction series Left Behind.

This book is titled Are We Living in the End Times? (Tyndale House, Wheaton (IL), 1999). In many ways it is similar to a book titled by John Walvoord titled The Prophecy Handbook (Victor Books, Wheaton (IL), 1990).

Additionally it may come as surprise to people who have actually studied the Book of Revelation, but both of these books falsely claim that the church is NOT mentioned in Revelation from chapter 4 through chapter 18 and that this somehow proves that the “pre-tribulation rapture” is the only viable explanation (see LaHaye & Jenkins, p. 112 and Walvoord, p. 544).

But this position is in extreme biblical error. The Book of Revelation most certainly does mention saints (which are those who make up the true Church, see 1 Corinthians 1:2) in these chapters. So perhaps it would make sense to quote and comment on some of them.


18 The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come,
And the time of the dead, that they should be judged,
And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints,
And those who fear Your name, small and great,
And should destroy those who destroy the earth (Rev 11:18).

The above passage clearly shows that the nations will be angry when Christ returns and that they and the dead should be judged. It also shows that this is when the saints receive their reward.

Further notice:

14 But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent…17 And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ (Revelation 12:14,17).

7 It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. 8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. 9 If anyone has an ear, let him hear. 10 He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity; he who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints (Revelation 13:7-10).

12 Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus (Revelation 14:11-12).

6 I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus (Revelation 17:6).

Notice that the above verses show that the dragon (identified as Satan in Revelation 20:2), causes the saints to suffer and some to be killed. One of the reasons that certain Protestant authors (like LaHaye and Walvoord) seem to wish to ignore these verses is that they show that the true saints are keeping the commandments—a concept that is not acceptable to many Protestant theologians. 

However, since these verses clearly are referring to true Christians, it should be clear to any with “eyes to see” that Christians (who are those who compose the Church) will be around throughout the entire 3 ½ years of the tribulation (shown as the time, times, and half a time in Revelation).

Sadly, many millions seemingly have been deceived by this false “pre-tribulation rapture” hypothesis. And partially because of this, they will not understand the final events of the end-times until it is too late. 

Since the Bible shows physical protection only for the remnant of the Philadelphia portion of the Church during “the hour of trial” (c.f. Revelation 3:7.10; 12:14), those who accept the false “pre-tribulation rapture” hypothesis will themselves be “Left Behind”. 

(Perhaps it should be mentioned here that other professing Christians, like the Roman Catholics and others, are also confused about end-time events–details are in the articles Do Certain Catholic Prophecies About Antichrist Warn Against Jesus?Similarities and Differences Between the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Living Churches of God, and SDA/LCG Differences: Two Horned Beast of Revelation and 666).

Also it should be pointed out that the Bible shows that true Christians who are not “gathered together” (Zephaniah 2:1a) with the Philadelphians “[b]efore the decree is issued” (Zephaniah 2:1b) will themselves be left behind (Revelation 12:17) as only those gathered together may “be hidden in the day of the LORD’s anger” (Zephaniah 2:3).

Articles of possibly related interest include:

Is There A Secret Rapture for the Church? When and Where is the Church Protected? What does the Bible really teach?
There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be Petra This article discusses a biblical ‘place of safety’ and includes quotes from the Bible and Herbert W. Armstrong on this subject–thus, there is a biblically supported alternative to the rapture theory.
Hope of Salvation: How the Living Church of God differ from most Protestants How the Living Church of God differs from mainstream Protestants, is perhaps the question I am asked most by those without a COG background.

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