A Link to Barnes and Noble and the book Left Behind
My spotlight today is on the Left Behind Series by Tim Lahaye and Jerry B Jenkins and how Christian fiction can play a part in bringing people to the Lord.
Christian fiction has played a big role in my life over the last seven years. You see, in a small way, it was a big part of what led me back to Jesus. I have a friend Karen who was reading this series of books with a book club in Denver about 11 years ago. I noticed that she was reading these books, but did not pay a lot of attention, because I had converted to Judaism. It is funny how this series of books led me back to Christ.
My journey to Christianity has been fairly circuitous. You see, I was brought up, probably like most of you, in a Christian family. I was baptized Episcopalian as an infant. We were not a family that went to church, but my parents did send my brother and I to an Episcopal school in Los Angeles. My mom was Christian and my dad was Jewish, we celebrated all of the holidays of both religions, but not in a religious way. They were just holidays. Christmas was about Santa and Hanukkah was potato latkas, these holidays were not about the birth of Christ or that one day of oil lasted eight days for the Jews. They were just times for my family to spend together and they were fun.
Eventually, I had my own children, and my husband and I raised them the same way, you see he was Jewish and I was Christian. Then one day our 12 year old son came to us and said he wanted to be Jewish. So the three kids and I converted to Judaism. We were practicing Jews for probably about 6 years, when my middle son came home and said he had gone back to Christianity, that he had gotten a bible and he had accepted Jesus Christ in his heart as his Lord and Savior. This presented me with a dilemma. How do we have a Christian and Jewish household again? The rest of us were still practicing Jews.
Unfortunately, I had never found fulfillment in being Jewish. I always felt like something was missing. When times were tough I didn't feel like my religion could help me through these difficult moments. I felt alone and sad. In the meantime my friend Karen was praying for my family to find our way back to Jesus. One day, I was at Walmart and I saw a movie called Left Behind, and I remembered that was the book that she had read so long ago. So I bought the movie and brought it home and watched it. To my amazement, I enjoyed this movie, and wanted more. Amazing how God can touch you like that. Once we have a little of him we want more. I then went to the library and checked out the rest of the series in audio books. At the time I was knitting a lot and I liked to listen to the books while I was knitting.
I devoured the Left Behind Series. I think that I had listened to almost the whole series of books in about 3 months. At that time I think that there were probably 10 books. A funny thing happened when I was listening to these books. I came to realize that what had been missing in my life was Jesus. I had felt to empty when I converted to Judaism, and as I was reading this series of books I found my way back home. I found what I had been looking for in my life.
It took me a least a year to tell my husband that I believed in Jesus again. Not that he would be angry, but it just felt strange. You see, when you convert to a religion like Judaism, you can't just convert to the secular part of the religion. You have to follow the rules, become Jewish, not just make the food, and celebrate the holidays. You have to go to synagogue and pray and live that life. It is hard for Jews who are not religious to understand. Well the same thing happens when you are Born Again. You want to practice the religion, talk to God, have a relationship with him. You don't just celebrate Santa and the Easter Bunny.
Through the Left Behind books I finally understood that I could have a relationship with God. I could talk to him and pray, and he would hear me and answer. To this day I believe that God is talking to all of us, but most of the time we are not listening. Sometimes, it's that we don't want to hear God, because it might mean we have to give up doing something fun. Sometimes, we hear him, but do not want to do what he is telling us to do. You know that small voice that you hear in the back of your head, that's God talking to you. He wants to have a relationship with us. He wants us to hear him. He wants us to turn to him in our time of need. He wants us to love him the way he loves us, if only we would listen. Well I am listening. I am praying that you can hear him also.
I want to thank Tim Lahaye and Jerry B Jenkins for writing these books. The first book Left Behind
actually has the prayer in it to invite Jesus into your heart. I can tell you, it felt great to pray that prayer. You see, I was a sinner with no way to be good enough to go to Heaven, but through Christ dying on the Cross, I am forgiven, and I will live with God forever. What an amazing thing to learn from a series of fiction books. I will forever be grateful to these two wonderful authors.
I pray that if you have not read these books yet, pick one up. They are wonderful, fast paced, and exciting to read. Please let me know what your favorite books are, and what books have made an impression in your life. I would love to hear from you.