It’s not a good start with a writer starts with a long block of quotations. Long quotes are generally only used by desperate high school and college students trying to pad out that essay to meet the teacher’s requirements.
Tim LaHaye joins us briefly to explain briefly his hermeneutics. Hermeneutics being a fancy word for how one reads and interprets the bible. For LaHaye, this mostly involves what he says is a “literal reading.” A “literal reading” being how he reads Revelation describe a seven-headed beast with ten horns and comes to the conclusion that this means “a one world leader with ten subordinates.” While reading about a perfect kingdom that lasts for 1,000 years means… a perfect kingdom that lasts for 1,000 years.
Next is a list of characters that will be appearing in this book.
Now, I’m not a professional author yet. But I do read a lot. And I will say that if you’ve written twelve books already and you still have to put it a cast of characters page, you’ve failed to develop ANY characters of interest. If none of your characters are that memorable, then you’ve failed as an author. And believe me, once we get into the text of the book itself, you’ll realize just how profound that failure is. None of these people are interesting in the slightest. They are cardboard cutouts or walking, talking plot devices. They don’t exist for the sake of telling their story so much as giving Tim LaHaye or Jerry Jenkins an excuse to move on to the next plot point.
The story opens actually with a flashback to the previous book.
This is also not a good sign of a well-written novel.
“RAYFORD TRIED to stay with Chaim. The men had left the Rosenzweig home without breakfast and without a word, as if they all somehow knew where they must go.”
Like a good robot executing its programming.
For as much as evangelicals talk about God giving us “Free Will,” that ability to choose seems to go away when God actually appears. Theologically, this is problematic, because if you’re going to say that God gave us free will, therefore He tolerates evil because he doesn’t want the love of a robot, you can’t say that free will ends at death, because then God just has a bunch of little happy robots standing around telling him how grand He is. And if he was going to make us all a bunch of happy little robots, why not just do it and cut out all of the war, murder, rape, and evil to begin with?
“’When you see My throne, join those on My right, your left.’
The words of Jesus were more than impressed on Rayford’s heart. He had actually heard them. He moved to his left without question…”
Like a good robot executing its programming. Amazingly, Rayford and Chaim are becoming even less human now than when they were mere plot devices.
Everyone on Earth is gathered before Jesus. Chaim explains that only about 2,000,000 total people are still alive out of 8 billion. God killed most of them during the previous seven years. And Chaim says that most of the people in attendance will die at Jesus’ command.
“Gabriel stepped to the front of the platform and stretched out his arms for silence. ‘Worship the King of kings and Lord of lords!’ he shouted, and as one the millions on both sides of the throne fell to their knees. In a cacophony of languages and dialects they cried out, ‘Jesus Christ is Lord!’”
Washington has fallen. The soldiers lie dead. Triumphant, the overlord stands before the masses. Humanity, conquered and beaten, is dragged to Him and forced to kneel before Zod in abject submission to his will.
The collaborators remain on their knees. The conquered, they are confused. Many stand up. “What happens now?” they ask. “Will they let us live?” “Are we going to be slaves?”
Instead, the aliens judge them as worthy of death. Their humanity offends and sickens him.
“The group to Jesus’ left immediately fell to their knees again and began shouting and wailing, ‘Jesus Christ is Lord! Jesus Christ is Lord!’”
The conquered cry for mercy. They beg for their lives. But the aliens have none for them.
The overlord uses his superior technology to turn the earth beneath them into a widening chasm. Nearly two billion men, women, and children fall to their deaths. The ground shifts and then, there is no sight of them.
Jesus Christ has slaughtered them like a Stalin on steroids. The “good” people who make it into the kingdom say nothing. There are no pleas for clemency. No cries for God to show mercy. They watch as these billions are condemned to temporal death and eternal torment forever and ever without mercy or hope or a single moment where they are spared torture. The alien overlord has spoken. It will be done.
Gabriel steps forward and says, “Hey, we gave them a lot of chances. Because they didn’t believe in Jesus during their lives, it’s totally and super just to murder them and torture them forever and ever. Amen. Now let’s quickly move on to how awesome Earth is now that only Christians have survived and everyone else was killed in a horrific genocide. Woo!
This is the “good” ending that many Christians long for and hope for. The ending where most of humanity lies dead and buried in a mass grave in the desert before they are tortured for all of eternity because they failed the theology exam of life.
LaHaye is right. This isn’t heaven.
LaHaye is also wrong. This isn’t utopia either. Utopias are not built on genocide.