'Left Behind' is a series of 16 best-selling novels by Timothy LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, dealing with Christian dispensationalist Endtimes: pretribulation, premillennial, eschatology viewpoint of the end of the world. The primary conflict of the series are the members of the Tribulation Force against the Global Community and its leader Nicolae Carpathia—the Antichrist. Left Behind is also the title of the first book in the series. It is published by Tyndale House, a firm with a history of interest in dispensationalism.

Plot summaryEdit

Based on dispensationalist interpretation of prophecies in the Biblical books of Revelation, Isaiah and Ezekiel, Left Behind tells the story of the end times, in which many have been "raptured," leaving the world shattered and chaotic. As people scramble for answers, a Romanian politician named Nicolae Jetty Carpathia rises to become secretary-general of the United Nations, promising to restore peace and stability to all nations. What most of the world does not realize is that Carpathia is actually the Antichrist foretold from the Bible. Coming to grips with the truth and becoming born again Christians, Rayford Steele, his daughter Chloe, their pastor Bruce Barnes, and young journalist Cameron "Buck" Williams begin their quest as the Tribulation Force to help save the lost and prepare for the coming Tribulation, in which God will rain down judgment on the world for seven years.


Note: The books are listed initially in story-line (chronological) order but then numbered in order of publication.

Chron Seq. Pub Seq. Title (with subtitle) Pub Date
1 13 The Rising: Antichrist is Born: Before They Were Left Behind (2005)
2 14 The Regime: Evil Advances: Before They Were Left Behind #2 (2005)
3 15 The Rapture: In the Twinkling of an Eye: Countdown to Earth's Last Days #3 (2006)
4 1 Left Behind: A Novel of the Earth's Last Days (1995)
5 2 Tribulation Force: The Continuing Drama of Those Left Behind (1996)
6 3 Nicolae: The Rise of Antichrist (1997)
7 4 Soul Harvest: The World Takes Sides (1999)
8 5 Apollyon: The Destroyer Is Unleashed (1999)
9 6 Assassins: Assignment: Jerusalem, Target: Antichrist (1999)
10 7 The Indwelling: The Beast Takes Possession (2000)
11 8 The Mark: The Beast Rules the World (2000)
12 9 Desecration: Antichrist Takes the Throne (2001)
13 10 The Remnant: On the Brink of Armageddon (2002)
14 11 Armageddon: The Cosmic Battle of the Ages (2003)
15 12 Glorious Appearing: The End of Days (2004)
16 16 Kingdom Come: The Final Victory (2007)

There are also graphic novels, CDs, and a Left Behind series for teens. Audio dramatizations based on the first thirteen titles have also been produced for broadcast on Christian radio. The series written for teens is called Left Behind:The Kids. The plot of this series is the same as the adult series, but the main protagonists are teenagers. Several of the main books have also been turned into movies by the Canadian motion picture studio Cloud Ten Pictures, including Left Behind: The Movie, Left Behind II: Tribulation Force, and Left Behind: World at War.

Two spin-off series have been written: a political series by Neesa Hart, and a military series by Mel Odom.

A video game, Left Behind: Eternal Forces, was released for the PC on November 6, 2006.


  • Left Behind: Apocalypse, by Mel Odom
    • Apocalypse Dawn
    • Apocalypse Crucible
    • Apocalypse Burning
    • Apocalypse Unleashed

  • Left Behind: The Kids
  • Left Behind: End of State, by Neesa Hart
    • End of State
    • Impeachable Offense
    • Necessary Evils

In other mediaEdit


The success of the Left Behind books have led to the release of three motion pictures based on the series so far. The movies have been produced and released by Cloud Ten Pictures, a Canadian Christian movie studio.

The first, Left Behind: The Movie, was based on the first book of the series and was released in 2000. In a very unusual marketing scheme, the studio released the movie on video and DVD first, and then released it to the theaters. The movie fared poorly in theaters. The movie starred former Growing Pains star Kirk Cameron as Buck Williams. Cameron, who finds the series inspiring, is a practicing evangelist (and co-host with Ray Comfort on the TV show The Way of the Master).

In 2002, the sequel, Left Behind II: Tribulation Force, based on the first four hundred pages of the second novel, Tribulation Force, was released. The film debuted at #2 on Nielson's video scan reports, behind Spider-Man, and was #1 in terms of overall sales for two days on

The second sequel, Left Behind: World at War, was released first to churches on October 21, 2005 for church theatrical viewings, and was released to DVD and video on October 25, 2005. Except for Clarence Gilyard, the entire cast of Left Behind and Left Behind II: Tribulation Force reprised their respective roles for Left Behind: World At War. Clarence Gilyard, who played Bruce Barnes, was unable to return for the third movie due to a scheduling conflict with a play in New York. The movie is based very loosely on the final fifty pages of Tribulation Force, and features Louis Gossett Jr. playing the President of the United States, Gerald Fitzhugh. The third movie was the least identifiable with events in any of the books. Recognizable events were the marriages of Buck with Chloe Steele, and Rayford Steele with Amanda White, the death of Bruce Barnes, and President Fitzhugh heading an attack, resulting in World War III, with Great Britain and Egypt, against the Global Community. Major parts of the movie, however, were either changed from the books or not found in the books whatsoever, including the poisoning of Barnes by GC forces instead of Nicolae Carpathia himself, and an attempt by Fitzhugh to assassinate Nicolae Carpathia, which did not exist in any of the books. Buck's meeting with the President in the books makes it into the movie, but in a totally different form.

Video gameEdit

The video game Left Behind: Eternal Forces was developed by a publicly traded company, Left Behind Games. The game is a real-time strategy game where the player controls a 'Tribulation Forces' team and allows the player to "use the power of prayer to strengthen your troops in combat and wield modern military weaponry throughout the game world." The game was released in the United States on November 14, 2006 and received mixed reviews. Distribution was initially planned to work through churches and megachurches.


People Get Ready is "a musical collection inspired by the Left Behind series."

Track listingEdit

  1. People Get Ready Crystal Lewis 4:24
  2. UFO Geoff Moore & The Distance 3:08
  3. Come Quickly Lord Rebecca Saint James 4:29
  4. I Wish We'd All Been Ready dc Talk 3:44
  5. Horses Margaret Becker 4:05
  6. Eve of Destruction Barry McGuire 3:34
  7. People Get Ready Impressions 2:38
  8. Thief in the Night Big Tent Revival 3:38
  9. Elijah Rich Mullins 5:14
  10. New Body Audio Adrenaline 4:00
  11. I'll Lead You Home Michael W. Smith 5:22
  12. Jesus Is Waiting Al Green 8:08

Graphic novelsEdit

In 2002 a series of graphic novels was launched that comprised the first two books in the series, Left Behind and Tribulation Force. The original idea was to release sets of 3 to 5 novels for each book in the original series. However, after the 5th and final novel for Tribulation Force was released, the graphic novel series was apparently discontinued and the novels that were released are now (as of December 2006) said to be out of print. A compilation of the graphic novels for the first book was later released as one novel.

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

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