Friday, October 01, 2010

The Dead Rise First, Rapture Countdown

Title: The Dead Rise First, Rapture Countdown
By Alton Ragan & Robert D. McLaughlin
Publisher: Vessel Publishers
ISBN: 978-0-615-21151-0
Pages: 205

A work of fiction, based on 1 Thessalonian 4:13-14, the premise of the book is that the dead in Jesus will rise first at the Rapture. A feel-good look at end-times.

While I agree with much of the authors’ interpretation of Bible prophesy, this work begins with a small-town citizenry noticing that the power is out—their first clue that all is not right with the world. My biggest issue is the way in which the tribulation is down-sized, which, I fear, may lead many Christians to believe they’ll all be called up before any of the judgement (read: prior to earthquakes, massive hail, fires, famine, pestilence, disease, captivity/slavery by Satan’s followers, etc.) of God happens here on earth. I’ve never been able to find Scripture that supports this, and to believe that even small-town America could be so blind-sided of world events, both physical and spiritual, makes this particular take a hard sell.

This is a sweet tale and a feel-good read, but not realistic to many of us who are serious studiers of the Bible and end-times prophecy. However, it would be a good book to put in the hands of those just beginning their walk with God. All-in-all, the premise of the books is good and the storyline is one that hasn’t been covered well, or often, by Christian writers. An interesting concept brought to life.

Typical of self-published books, it could have benefited from a professional edit pre-publication.

Perhaps beginning with world events to set the stage for the (possible) world-wide power outtage, or news of any of the other happenings prophesied in Scripture, would have been a better beginning. Rather, we open the story to find a small town in Oklahoma without power, without the ability to use anything with computers—including cars—and not one person having any inkling that this may be more than a trivial and temporary matter.

The characters are believable, those currently alive, and those resurrected. Many are most interesting and represent real-life situations that could be comical, if the situation turned out to be different.

Overall the book is well-written and interesting. It provides one perspective on the coming end-times, that of small-town American Christians—and non-Christians. It makes the point well that those who have chosen to not follow the teachings of Jesus are doomed to an eternity of damnation. The authors also gave us clear indications that not all who profess to be Christian will make the cut when the Rapture happens.

Please note that I do not take a stance on whether the coming Rapture will be pre-tribulation or post-tribulation. However, to believe that it will happen without any loud build-up or fanfare is beyond my capability, based on my personal study of the Bible.