When Tim Lehaye and Jerry Jenkins decided to collaborate on a series of books about the end times, little did they know how broad the scope of their work would go. Their first book, Left Behind was a hit, and each successive book brought in more readers and more attention as millions of people began to get caught up in the plot. Now the hit book has not only continued as a series, but has also spawned a full-blown movie, a VHS version, an album and a concert tour!
By the time The Mark, the eighth title in the Tyndale series was published, it debuted in the No. 1 position on all the major best-seller lists after just one week of recorded sales.
Penned by Jerry Jenkins and prophetic writer Tim LaHaye, The Mark continued the tale of Rayford Steele, his daughter Chloe, journalist Buck Williams, and the various remaining members of the Tribulation Force introduced in the best-selling Left Behind Series. While readers wait for the next installment, they can enjoy the first book, Left Behind, again as it hits both the big and little screen. In an unusual marketing ploy, the VHS movie was in stores before Christmas while the movie is premiering the beginning of February.
To help launch the movie, several contemporary artists were invited to record a Left Behind album which led to the Left Behind Tour. On, January 16, several of those artists along with Kirk Cameron and wife Chelsea Noble were in Franklin for the Left Behind Tour.
On hand were Bryan Duncan, Bob Carlisle, Russ Lee, Shine, JAKE, and Joy Williams to perform songs from the album. Carlisle and the JAKE boys all had bit parts in the movie. I had the opportunity to meet all the artists and hear their take on the movie before the concert.
During the concert, Kirk shared his testimony with the capacity crowd at the People’s Church in Franklin.
He began by revealing his feelings of deep loneliness, even during his successful stint on “Growing Pains.” Kirk said that much like the character Buck Williams whom he plays in the movie, he discovered how much he needs Christ in his life. Through a friend Kirk came to know God. “He said, ‘Kirk, what you’re feeling and the things you are talking to me about are the result of the fact that you don’t know God. You don’t know that you were made by God to know Him and have a personal relationship with Him.’ He explained to me about how sin separates you from God and how there is this stubborn, selfish streak that ran deep in the heart of every person, that we’re all the same and that we need to turn our hearts to God and ask Him to forgive us, that God, more than anything, wants us to do that and He has provided a way for that to happen through His Son Jesus Christ, who died on the cross to pay the price of my sin. So we can just come to Him and say ‘God, please forgive me. I’ll live my life for You.’
And I fought, that although I wanted it to be true, and I wrestled with so many thoughts in my mind and I had so many questions and doubts. And finally there was a day where I remember very vividly saying to myself, ‘You know, Kirk, you can play around with the ideas of God and being a good person and all this stuff, but you know what? If you died tonight, you wouldn’t be going to heaven, because if the Bible’s true then being a good person is not what it’s all about. The only way to heaven is by turning away from your sin and turning to God through faith in Jesus Christ.’
I didn’t know any kind of theology or any kind of ways to pray. I just closed my eyes one day and said, ‘God, if you’re real, I really need to know. If You’re there and You love me, You would show me in a way that I can really understand.’
It wasn’t like a lightening bolt came through the door or anything, but it was like this little flame in my heart just sparked and it’s stayed lit ever since then; my growing relationship with the best friend I’ve ever had. And He began to change who I am and what I live for. So I can tell you today, of all the things that I had the opportunity to experience and all the privileges I have had in my career, absolutely nothing compares to knowing Jesus
Christ. He just came crashing through the walls of my life and said, ‘I’m who you’re looking for. I’m your hero. I’m the one that you need.’
And I know He’s the one that everybody needs, and that’s why I’m so excited and so enthusiastic about people coming to see Left Behind because the greatest thing that’s going to happen one day very soon is He’s coming back and we want the people that we love to be with us when we go.”
Kirk hopes his new film about an apocalypse will prompt moviegoers to do some hard thinking. “There’s a possibility this stuff is going to happen,
so I hope the movie will make people take a look at how authentic their own faith is and consider the truths of the Bible,” the 30-year-old actor said.
Among celebrities expected to attend the “Left Behind: The Movie” premiere in Los Angeles this week are Martin Landau, Tom Selleck, Robert Culp, Corbin Bernsen, Mr. T, Judge Reinhold, Ryan Kirkpatrick, Bob Carlisle, and more.
For more on the Left Behind tour, see “Music Reviews” for the concert review.
Kirk’s bio: Kirk Cameron: Credentials!.
Kirk’s testimony: Kirk Cameron Won’t Be Left Behind
More Left Behind:
- Will ‘Left Behind’ — The Movie be at a theater near you Feb. 2nd?
- Left Behind Tour Planned
- ‘LEFT BEHIND: THE MOVIE’ Early Release Stirs Controversy
- Left Behind Review by Ted Baehr