Kingdom Come: The Final Victory (Left Behind Sequel) Info

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The horrors of the Tribulation are over, and Jesus Christ has
set up his perfect kingdom on earth. Believers all around the world
enjoy a newly perfected relationship with their Lord, and the earth
itself is transformed. Yet evil still lurks in the hearts of the
unbelieving. As the Millennium draws to a close, the final generation of
the unrepentant prepares to mount a new offensive against the Lord
Himself―sparking the final and ultimate conflict from which only one
side will emerge the eternal victor.

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Reviews for Kingdom Come: The Final Victory (Left Behind Sequel):

2

Aug 12, 2007

Waaaay too preachy, too much quoting of the Bible. It didn't read like a novel for the first 1/3 of it, and I nearly gave up on it after having read 12 books prior to it!

I was annoyed with the whole storyline involving Kenny and his friends trying to infiltrate the non-believers during the millenium, and it never goes anywhere. I was left wondering what was the point? I found this to be a disappointing end to an otherwise great series.
1

Sep 12, 2014

Sometimes I just have to wonder what I'm thinking. For most of this past summer, I've been listening to the Left Behind Series mainly because the first book was part of the Tyndale Summer Reading Program. And while it was nice to revisit this series, I see now why I never took the time reading either the prequels or the final one Kingdom Come. The final one came out 7 years ago, and by that point I was already over the series. Especially since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows came out that Sometimes I just have to wonder what I'm thinking. For most of this past summer, I've been listening to the Left Behind Series mainly because the first book was part of the Tyndale Summer Reading Program. And while it was nice to revisit this series, I see now why I never took the time reading either the prequels or the final one Kingdom Come. The final one came out 7 years ago, and by that point I was already over the series. Especially since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows came out that year.

This isn't exactly a review per say, it's really more of a rant.


For those who haven't read either the Left Behind Series or this book, here is what this one is about.
Following the years of the Tribulation and Christ's triumphant victory over the Antichrist, Nicolae Carpathia, believers have been reunited with their loved ones. Set during the Millennial Kingdom, Rayford Steele and others who survived are enjoying the peaceful kingdom of Christ on earth. His grandson, Kenny Williams, has grown up and is working with his parents at a child care center. When he is asked to infiltrate a group of dissidents, he agrees. Though he realizes it could very cost him the love of the woman he is in love with. But with lies cast against his character and Kenny's parents and friends doubting him, Kenny must trust in Jesus in a way he never has.

Ok, so that's pretty much the synopsis. This book was not only VERY slow moving, but I felt it wasn't even written by the same people. There is so much wrong with this book. I think I see why I've never actually read it when it came out. I didn't need to know what was going on. I think that the authors decided to capitalize on the success of the series and truly only wrote this for the money.

From my understanding of Scripture, I've always been taught that Jesus is the ultimate sacrifice for our sins and that there is no need to offer the Old Testament sacrifices again. In this book, it appears that life in the kingdom is like the Old Testament times - sacrifices and all - only with Jesus as the ruler of the world.

It has also been my understanding of Scripture (and I admit that I could be completely wrong!) that the Church will need no need for food, drink, sleep, etc during this period. The authors have chosen to make even those who were either Raptured or martyred need food, drink, sleep, etc. The authors have also chosen to make the main characters (Rayford, Irene, Abdullah, Chloe, Cameron, Chaim, Tsion, etc) even those who have glorified bodies be in need of food, drink, sleep, etc.

Also, this book introduces a whole new cast of characters while not even mentioning some of the others (Chang, Leah, Hannah, Naomi, etc). I've also been given the impression that the characters (all of them including those who have been glorifed) still go through the normal human emotions.

There are VERY large pieces of the book are basically retelling pages after pages of the main series. And HUGE passages of nothing but Scripture. I don't mind the characters speaking Scripture, I really don't, but the large amounts of it, specifically within the heroes stories, I found to be very tedious and did nothing to move the plot along.

The action scenes are really few and far between. When there is action, it does move quickly, but I've been bogged down in the rest of the "filler" that I'm like oh There's the story!

After the authors have invested twelve books developing the characters, they (the characters) had depth to them. They also had personalities and I felt like I knew them. Yet in this book, the characters are very flat. These are characters that have been fleshed out since the first book (Rayford, Chaim, Chloe, Cameron, Tsion). I felt really cheated. Here were characters I'd come to really know and love and I'm left with really nothing to them.

There are times when I really liked Kenny. But so much of the interactions with Kenny are juvenile and seem to just be a case of "he said/she said." Once everything was wrapped up with Kenny, what happens to him was almost an afterthought. I expected more. Oh and the ultimate final battle. It was like only a chapter long.

What happened to the thrill ride of an adventure I'd come to enjoy and expect from the Left Behind series? Why did the authors write this book as if it's target audience was between the ages of 10-14? I know that my reading tastes have changed over the years since I first read Left Behind. But even with my reading tastes changing, I can still recognize quality when I read it.

Yes, I forced myself to finish the book, mainly because I'd already invested in the series and I really don't like not finishing books I start.

If I had to recommend this book to someone, I truly wouldn't. I've been left feeling very disappointed in a series I've enjoyed over the years. While I don't feel the same way about this one that I felt about Casual Vacancy by Rowling (I felt really disgusted with that one), this is not one I'd recommend. I'd tell you, reader friends, that just read the 12 books in the main series and don't even waste your time or money on this one.

The rating I'd give this one is 1.5 stars, which I wouldn't round up at all.



This is my own personal opinion and I received absolutely zero compensation for sharing my thoughts. I'd actually read this book via Audible.

Rant over.

Those who know me, know that I will very rarely go off on a rant like I just did. Because that's just not my personality. But every once in a while, I will need to get something off my chest.


I will say that Audible gets 5 stars on customer service! I had a problem with the playback on Thursday, and through a series of tweets, I worked with the people at Audible to figure out what I needed to do for the problem. They were very very helpful. And while this was my first time to seek help via Twitter, I was very surprised by the fast response.
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1

Jan 10, 2017

I have never given a 1 star review. Usually, if I dont like a book I dont review it because not all books were written for all people. However, if you make me trudge through a deteriorating 13 part story the ending better be phenomenal. I mean Jesus is coming back so it should be pretty easy to get to fantastic.

This book is so dumb. I mean really dumb. To say it was a let down would be an understatement. I kept reading thinking "It has to get better. This can't be it." But it was. (sigh)
I have never given a 1 star review. Usually, if I don’t like a book I don’t review it because not all books were written for all people. However, if you make me trudge through a deteriorating 13 part story the ending better be phenomenal. I mean Jesus is coming back so it should be pretty easy to get to fantastic.

This book is so dumb. I mean really dumb. To say it was a let down would be an understatement. I kept reading thinking "It has to get better. This can't be it." But it was. (sigh)
...more
1

Jul 31, 2013

To put it bluntly, this book disgusts me. This is probably one of the most offensive, mean-spirited books that I have ever read. Admittedly, this series is definitely not for me, as I am not, and have never been a Christian. But I understand it. I get why people believe in it so strongly, I really do. That being said, the fact that books like these exist makes my heart ache.

For the most part, this series is okay. The writing is average, I liked the characters, and the story is actually pretty To put it bluntly, this book disgusts me. This is probably one of the most offensive, mean-spirited books that I have ever read. Admittedly, this series is definitely not for me, as I am not, and have never been a Christian. But I understand it. I get why people believe in it so strongly, I really do. That being said, the fact that books like these exist makes my heart ache.

For the most part, this series is okay. The writing is average, I liked the characters, and the story is actually pretty engaging. That is, until we see just what the author's interpretation of "paradise" is. Or should I say "paradise for everyone who is a real person Christian."

Everyone who refuses to believe in the Christian God is worth less than garbage and goes straight to Hell. Does it matter if the nonbelievers are good people? Of course not! They could fucking philanthropists and they would still burn in Hell for all eternity. If that's what paradise is, then I don't want any part of it. I would rather die and go to Hell than give up the religion of my ancestors.

My beliefs are important to me. They have shaped who I am, and they have guided me through the most difficult times in my life. Nobody's going to stand there and tell me that I'm somehow wrong and "unnatural," as the book so lovingly puts it, for believing in something other than Christianity. I hate this. It just pisses me off to no end. It makes me want to cry and scream and throw this book into a fire. By the end, I was rooting for La Resistance. I wanted them to win because they're fighting for their freedom to believe, which is something I can relate to more than fighting to protect a soulless, sexless "paradise."

Even the description is disgusting. Why can't the believers and nonbelievers live in peace? If someone can give me an explanation as to why they all deserve to be tortured aside from "they don't believe" or "they were being controlled by Satan," then I'll shut up. What kind of loving god would create a world where people aren't given the freedom to think and believe what they choose?

So, in summary, this book just reeks of sickening self-righteousness. I wonder if the authors have ever actually talked to someone who is not Christian before. It disturbs me greatly that there are people out there who would wish eternal damnation upon millions of mothers, daughters, fathers, and sons just because those people are different. That is all. ...more
2

Jan 19, 2010

The magical quality about this series is showing that its okay to have a flawed faith, God always loves you and accepts you. I like reading about characters who struggle day-to-day with faith and overcome those challenges. These characters have "glorified minds" and are all nice and sweet. They no longer feel physical attraction towards one another, just brotherly-sisterly love, which is boring. The first chapters are very slow reads as its Jesus illustrating his kingdom. I mean, Jesus is the The magical quality about this series is showing that its okay to have a flawed faith, God always loves you and accepts you. I like reading about characters who struggle day-to-day with faith and overcome those challenges. These characters have "glorified minds" and are all nice and sweet. They no longer feel physical attraction towards one another, just brotherly-sisterly love, which is boring. The first chapters are very slow reads as its Jesus illustrating his kingdom. I mean, Jesus is the man, but its not really Jesus speaking, so its hard to feel enthraled and completely engrossed in his words like I would if he was really there. Overall, it seemed to really not go anywhere. The plot about trying to save the undecided children could have been much more emotionally done. It was all quick and easy conversions for basically everyone they were trying to convert. I wanted to see more struggles with people living in the millenial kingdom and how faith is never easy. I was pretty disappointed in this final chapter to the series because all the things you love about the characters, love, emotion, struggle, is all gone. Everyone who you've gotten to know over the series is basically perfect in faith and deeds! It was fun reading the speeches given by the biblical heros. Otherwise, I was really left wanting more! ...more
0

Jan 16, 2020

A great end to the series that I started in 6th grade, all that's left are the 3 prequels.
5

Oct 30, 2009

"Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." The end if the age is exactly what this book is about. This is, no doubt,this is a book that anyone should read. Of course i do not suggest this to anyone who has not read the first twelve books of the Left Behind series. The entire series is amazing, so starting at the beginning is completely worth it. This book begins about eight years into the Millennial Kingdom. The Millennial Kingdom is Jesus' one thousand year reign on Earth. Kingdom "Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." The end if the age is exactly what this book is about. This is, no doubt,this is a book that anyone should read. Of course i do not suggest this to anyone who has not read the first twelve books of the Left Behind series. The entire series is amazing, so starting at the beginning is completely worth it. This book begins about eight years into the Millennial Kingdom. The Millennial Kingdom is Jesus' one thousand year reign on Earth. Kingdom Come shows, based on scripture, what this thousand year reign will probably be like. This is exactly what the author succeeded in doing. My favorite character was Kenny, because i can relate to him in many ways. My least favorite, on the other hand, was Qasim Marid. He had sided with Lucifer, but helped at COT (Children of Tribulation). He pretended to be a follower of God, but secretly wasn't. The entire book captivated my attention. It was a blessing having an idea of the kingdom that I will one day live in for a thousand years. I couldnt stop reading it for this reason. In general, I was able to predict the end of this book, due to my previous knowledge of the end times from reading the book of Revelations. More than anything, this triggered antcipation in my heart. I can't wait for these days to come. His kingdom come, His will be done. ...more
3

April 2, 2016

If he even Comes to Save me I feel as if I had not already been Saved.
2

Oct 23, 2012

The problem with this book is that it lacks legitimate conflict. The main characters can't die, and the ending is telegraphed long before we even start this book. There's a little manufactured conflict towards the end, but overall not the most exciting installment in this series.

The first couple of chapters are virtualy unreadable. If you stick with it, it gets a little better. This book is really for die hard left behind fans (if you've read the first 15 books, you mine as well read this one). The problem with this book is that it lacks legitimate conflict. The main characters can't die, and the ending is telegraphed long before we even start this book. There's a little manufactured conflict towards the end, but overall not the most exciting installment in this series.

The first couple of chapters are virtualy unreadable. If you stick with it, it gets a little better. This book is really for die hard left behind fans (if you've read the first 15 books, you mine as well read this one). If nothing else, it provides closure on the series, and the second to last chapter offers a nice tribute for characters that played an important role in the series for a short time, then disappeared.

I give this book two stars for failing to generate new excitement. I'd give the series as a whole 3 stars. There were some really good moments in the series, but not too many in this book. ...more
4

Apr 27, 2008

The first four chapters are BORING! I actually bought the book when it first came out because I LOVE Left Behind, but I couldn't read those chapters. It's very little narration, and more speculation on what will happen at the beginning of the Millenium, which involves reading long passages of scripture and Raymond actually feeling weird about building his house. Not exactly the drama we're used to with these novels.
But after that, the book becomes much more like the other books in the series, The first four chapters are BORING! I actually bought the book when it first came out because I LOVE Left Behind, but I couldn't read those chapters. It's very little narration, and more speculation on what will happen at the beginning of the Millenium, which involves reading long passages of scripture and Raymond actually feeling weird about building his house. Not exactly the drama we're used to with these novels.
But after that, the book becomes much more like the other books in the series, and although predictable, it left me feeling completely in love with God. Which in my book, is not a bad deal.
I loved the character of Kenny Williams. He was one of the best written characters of the whole series.
...more
5

Mar 30, 2013

I purchased this Book in 2007....Most of what I remember was that it was a series of around 13 Books....and most all of the Reviews that I have read...I must say that I agree with...Many who have read this series have indicated that they are now re-reading their Bible and or feeling much closer to God...There is also comments about the Evil that exists among our population...I totally agree with that statement....
1

Jan 25, 2014

After twelve other amazing books on a realistic look at what Revelation might be saying, this one was ridiculous. Jesus is back on earth reigning as King, but for some weird reason sets back up the Temple and sacrificial systems...

if you read the series give this one a miss.
3

Nov 16, 2013

am a huge fan of the Left Behind series. It was a series that really got me back into reading. As a sequel, I enjoyed Kingdom Come, but there were points where it left me a little disappointed.

The subject of Kingdom Come is the much debated Millennial Kingdom, a prophesied 1,000 year reign of Jesus Christ on earth. Satan, also known as the Devil, is locked up for the duration and is unable to tempt mankind. At the end of the Millennial Kingdom he is set free (or escapes) to once again tempt man am a huge fan of the Left Behind series. It was a series that really got me back into reading. As a sequel, I enjoyed Kingdom Come, but there were points where it left me a little disappointed.

The subject of Kingdom Come is the much debated Millennial Kingdom, a prophesied 1,000 year reign of Jesus Christ on earth. Satan, also known as the Devil, is locked up for the duration and is unable to tempt mankind. At the end of the Millennial Kingdom he is set free (or escapes) to once again tempt man to follow him instead of the One True God. It has always amazed me that, according to Scripture, at the end of those 1,000 years with God in the person of Jesus Christ physically and personally ruling the earth that people (and droves of them) would side with Satan for a final, climatic battle. What would motivate people to do that? It is a story I’ve always wanted to read.

High Points
Kingdom Come answers the question of why people choose the sides they do extremely well. Jenkins and LaHaye remind us that even without the temptation from Satan, our desire to be in control of our own lives and not surrender that control to anyone, not even God, remains a powerful force.

The book also continues to accomplish something that the previous Left Behind books did so well. For me, there is something about seeing the events prophesied in Scripture portrayed in such vivid, living detail that gives them a greater reality for me. This stuff is real and its really going to happen. It forces me to evaluate my beliefs and how those beliefs impact my life.

I found the ending was especially strong. The imagery of the earth being destroyed and new heaven and new earth created was exceptional.

The book helped me to once again see things ‘in the light of eternity’. It pointed me to a greater and deeper relationship with Christ. For that, I am greatful to the authors.

Conflict and Filler
[Minor spoilers below]

My major issues with Kingdom Come center on conflict and filler. According to LaHaye/Jennings interpretation, Old Testament heroes will be part of the population of the Millennial Kingdom. At various points in the story, three of these heroes give a detailed retelling of their story. While there are some interesting details thrown in, the vast majority of their monologues are taken straight (word for word) from Scripture. I understand the hesitancy to “put words” into these heroes mouths, but I have to imagine that the overwhelming majority of the readers of Kingdom Come will be people who are already strong believers. They will know these stories well. Quoting so much scripture through these three retellings felt like a bit of filler to me.

I’d be facinated to see how a non-believer would react to Kingdom Come. How would it come off to them?

My issue with conflict comes as intrigue begins to build in the story. Things start happening to the characters that don’t make sense. One such incident is a negative report about one of the characters that appears in an old style physical office inbox. When a second report also appears, the characters wonder who could be leaving them. They ignore the blindly obvious idea of putting a security camera by the mailbox so they can see who is dropping off the reports. I understand they have been living in a near utopia for approximately 100 years at this point in the story, but the characters in question still come from ‘our time’. I can’t image they forgot something as simple as a video camera.

Twist?
When a main character is accused of serious crimes, it’s not only obvious that he is being setup, but it’s equally obvious who the real ‘bad guy’ is that is trying to frame him. The book lacks any twist whatsoever. I know to a certain extent that is difficult given the subject matter. There is little doubt the forces of Light will be victorious in the end.

“Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the Glory of the Father.” Philippians 2:10 – 11.

But even given that I thought more could have been done to make the investigation more interesting. I doubted the guilty party was who it turned out to be only because that would have been too obvious. I was wrong. ...more
4

Jul 21, 2017

Though I'm sad to see these characters with whom I've been so connected to over the last 13 books, I feel accomplished being through with the series. The characters we've come to know so well take a bit of a backseat to the "newer" characters introduced in this post-Armageddon thriller. Don't worry, they're all there and some have returned in glorified bodies so you finally get everyone back without losing anyone else, but the spotlight shifts to some additional characters. I'm a bit ashamed to Though I'm sad to see these characters with whom I've been so connected to over the last 13 books, I feel accomplished being through with the series. The characters we've come to know so well take a bit of a backseat to the "newer" characters introduced in this post-Armageddon thriller. Don't worry, they're all there and some have returned in glorified bodies so you finally get everyone back without losing anyone else, but the spotlight shifts to some additional characters. I'm a bit ashamed to say I had a bit of a hard time focusing on the set up of the millennial kingdom. I am a practicing Christian very much looking forward to the millennial reign but I guess the details were a bit much for me. This is the end of a great series and they wrap it up well, but perhaps a bit anti-climactic in light of the other 12 books. Characters are well developed, the plot makes chronological sense but just didn't hold me as well as the other 12 books of the series. They accomplished the goal in the 12th book but I believe they felt compelled to give that final glimpse of the millennial reign. Well, folks, that's a wrap I guess!
There is another 3 book trilogy "Before They Were Left Behind" that I will soon be delving into, but I'm taking a short break for a light-hearted silly book (or two) just for a little break after 13 books in a row.
This is of course a must read for those who've been along the 13 book series - you can't leave the series without finishing, but you definitely wouldn't want to start here. ...more
1

Aug 01, 2018

The first Left Behind series had some issues given how quickly they were put out, and the fact that most readers would be more interested in the premise than the actual delivery. They had drama -- natural disasters, people dying, and the resolution was unknown. Who would survive Tribulation alive? Who would succumb to the wiles of the Antichrist? There was a reason to endure the hastily-drawn characters and the sometimes awkward dialogue. The sequel books were...failures, however. Because Satan The first Left Behind series had some issues given how quickly they were put out, and the fact that most readers would be more interested in the premise than the actual delivery. They had drama -- natural disasters, people dying, and the resolution was unknown. Who would survive Tribulation alive? Who would succumb to the wiles of the Antichrist? There was a reason to endure the hastily-drawn characters and the sometimes awkward dialogue. The sequel books were...failures, however. Because Satan is gone and Christ is reigning, there's literally nothing which can happen. It's The End. We're just waiting for the credits to stop rolling. True, there are some people who claim to worship The Other Light, which is Satan, but there's no a single moment in which the reader suspects that plot is going anywhere at all. They fold like France in 1940 -- well, not even France, more like Denmark but fewer would get the reference -- and then it's over. There's just no reason to READ this. I only did it because it was summer, classes hadn't started yet, and I had nothing else to do. ...more
1

Oct 07, 2017

Wow. Where to start with how bad this book is? I'll try and only highlight the really bad bits.

Disclaimer, I actually didn't finish it. I made a good attempt, I got 120 pages in. And I read all 12 previous books and they were pretty good, although with some weak points.

The characters are bland and boring. They literally all sound the same, have no individual motivations and are just cardboard cutouts. Any personality or growth in the previous books is lost.

Jesus brings back animal sacrifice? Wow. Where to start with how bad this book is? I'll try and only highlight the really bad bits.

Disclaimer, I actually didn't finish it. I made a good attempt, I got 120 pages in. And I read all 12 previous books and they were pretty good, although with some weak points.

The characters are bland and boring. They literally all sound the same, have no individual motivations and are just cardboard cutouts. Any personality or growth in the previous books is lost.

Jesus brings back animal sacrifice? Come on. I know these are fiction, but as a Christian this actually borders on offensive. They try to explain it away but it's a weak explanation. Basically this whole kingdom of 1000 years is a perfect Old Testament. Utter rubbish.

I could go on, but basically nothing happens until the very end, which is a foregone conclusion anyway, and every aspect of this book is weak. ...more
4

Feb 10, 2009

I have read all of the Left Behind books and I felt this was an appropriate closing to the series and a good fictional representation of the prophecies in Revelations. I really enjoyed this book and seeing the happy ending for all of the characters I loved so much in the rest of the series. After reading this series, anyone who was not a believer would surely turn into one.
0

Mar 22, 2016

This book also doesn't get a rating. I too almost put this book down after reading the first 12 , but I pushed thru. I did like certain parts of the book but they were few and far between. I thought it was too late in series to be introducing new characters. I was disturbed to see how quickly after the appearing of Jesus the world once again went to pot.
4

Nov 11, 2013

I thought I had read all of the Left Behind books, but found this one on my shelf. I am so glad I read it, as it concludes the series. I learned about all of the trials and tribulations of the end times and of course all of the beauty for the believers. I guess you could call this a "Christian Thriller." At any rate it makes you think.
3

Jul 03, 2018

Unfortunately disappointing. Although I love God's Word, I already read it every night and don't necessarily want to read paraphrased versions of it in my fictional reading. The book itself was sparse and kind of halfhearted.
4

Dec 25, 2016

Jenkins has written a very good piece of dystopian fiction, and I think the people who left bad reviews missed it. Let me elaborate as to why:

The Earth is flat - not literally, but there are no more mountains and most of the interesting landscapes are gone. There's no night anymore. It doesn't have any natural landmarks because the entire Earth outside of Jerusalem is basically central Kansas baking in an endless summer. It's uniformly hot, insanely bright and flat, flat, flat.

There was a river Jenkins has written a very good piece of dystopian fiction, and I think the people who left bad reviews missed it. Let me elaborate as to why:

The Earth is flat - not literally, but there are no more mountains and most of the interesting landscapes are gone. There's no night anymore. It doesn't have any natural landmarks because the entire Earth outside of Jerusalem is basically central Kansas baking in an endless summer. It's uniformly hot, insanely bright and flat, flat, flat.

There was a river of milk and honey, but that's less about being a tourist attraction or landmark than TurboJesus not caring about metaphor or allegory. The Sorcerer Supreme said it once, so by Him he's gonna make it come true, come hell or high water. It sounds kind of...disgusting, really.

Besides, there's no tourism. People wanna see Israel and Jerusalem, but that's more about being closer to Awesome!Jesus. There's nothing else to see anyway. Himalayas? Gone. Rockies? Gone. Grand Canyon? Barringer Crater? Crater Lake? Oldoinyo Lengai? Alps? Uluru? Kilamanjaro? Mounts Fuji and Aso? All gone. Most really awesome forests are probably gone, too. Forget the Amazon rainforest, you'll never see its like again. No glaciers, either. The magnificent glaciers of Northern Alaska? The stark, forbidding beauty of Antarctica? All gone. Not even photos to remember them anymore, almost no one but TOL could care about that kind of thing, but maybe that's just as well.

Mountain climbing? That's over and done with. Did you like to ski? Ice-fishing? Hunting? Dogsledding? Building snowmen? Homemade snow ice cream, or fresh clean snow topped with hot maple syrup out of a kettle? Yeah, you'll never do any of those things again, summer's eternal and there's no snow or ice anywhere. Hiking? Camping? You could camp in your back yard in broad daylight, I guess. It would be exactly the same. There's no reason to hike again, ever. There's no untamed nature to SEE. There are no monuments, none of the great old buildings of the past, the big powerful culture artifacts that defined entire cultures and nations. All gone, burned away by Christ Almighty. He can't stand anything that might compete with him for peoples' attention, you see.

Nature is pretty much artificial now. Carnivores eat plants, fruit and leaves and nuts and such (how does that even begin to work?). No travel--why bother, when everything and everyone is the same everywhere?

There's no economy, everyone trades for whatever few things they might need. I guess all the womenfolk can weave or spin cloth and makes clothes or something, since Almighty Jeebus magically gifted everyone with bronze-age level knowhow. Almost everyone's a farmer or a carpenter or a teacher or something. Starving's impossible, everything is edible--you wander around the landscape and make a salad out of whatever's randomly growing there if you want, so it's pretty meaningless to be a farmer, really, but that's what Turbojesus thinks people should do, so that's what they busy themselves with.

Nothing in nature can hurt you anymore. No fishing, no hunting, no need. Everyone's a vegetarian most of the time. Everyone is shown eating buttery steamed produce, fried vegetables and the like. Exotic cultural dishes and exciting regional cuisines don't seem to exist. Food culture essentially doesn't exist anymore, and never will again.

There's no risk to take anymore. The only thing to be afraid of is not saying the Magic Words before you're a hundred, where you bind your soul to the Demiurge for all time. There's probably a subcommunity that's turned "cutting it close" into some sort of extreme sport, if that sort of thing is even tolerated anymore (King Horse Vaporizer might take a dim view of that kind of shenannigans). Not much entertainment in it, since you can only ever do it once, but maybe other people can gamble in it or something.

No books, stories, music or whatever that doesn't glorify Jesus. Most of the Millenial Kingdom citizens probably don't feel much in the way of boredom anyway. The Glorifieds aren't capable of boredom. All they feel is the urge to worship Jesus. Everyone but The Other Light is basically Amish, only way more boring, insular and dreary, There's no curiosity. Why bother? The universe is basically a 6000 year old terrarium and the gardener's on his throne in Israel. You can ask him any question you want anytime or anywhere you like. He might even deign to answer you.

No urge to create anything. Why bother? Art requires a live current that comes from things like pleasure, pain, anger, privation, discomfort, or a desire to be at least a little transgressive, or at the very least a drive to create something that's uniquely _yours_--and that just doesn't exist anymore. The only uncomfortable, transgressive or daring ones are going to die at 100 anyway unless they eject all of their uniqueness, and nothing they do that disrupts the social order is going to be tolerated.

Even crime is punished instantly and occasionally brutally. There's not much of it anyway. There's no secrets, even from yourself. No one seems to talk about anything other than Jesus. There's no passion. I guess most people are happy, but no one's excited. Unless it's about Jesus. I guess they get pretty passionate about ol' One Above All, since I suppose he likes that, but that's it.

No one builds anything anymore, just farmhouses, barns and the like. Communication, cell-phone implants are good for letting the biologicals do what the Glorifieds are already doing anyway, so there's that, but no one invents anything or studies anything anymore. There's no point. There's probably computers somewhere. No one really seems to care about them. Science is completely meaningless in a world of divine fiat.

Technology's a dead end. You don't need anything, you're never, ever ever going to reach the stars, and TJ will vaporize everything in a few centuries anyway and remake the world completely so anything you do will be destroyed anyway, and he takes a dim view of anything that takes your attention away from being the best worshiper you can be. Besides, farm equipment was pretty much perfected by the mid-70s anyway. A tractor is a tractor is a tractor. Most people probably just use a hoe and a spade. There might be a little light industry somewhere, or maybe just a blacksmith, another village-level job.

In short it's dry, stagnant, and stultifyingly dead. Almost no one's truly human anymore. TOL is all that's left, and they're all doomed--a century in and they'll die, unless they willingly choose to undergo their supernatural lobotomy and become proper Stepford Smilers. And in no more than a thousand years, Jesus slays them all and sends them to Hell to torture until time itself rots away.

A place made for elderly WASP authoritarian SDOs, where they don't have to cope with that messy change and challenge. If it sounds like a horrifying, terrifying, miserable place, that's okay--it's for them, not for people like you and me.

Besides, they don't want either of us there anyway. They want us dead, gone and forgotten as fast as possible.

Every time I turn around, I find myself thinking about yet ONE MORE THING that's completely gone in this sterile nightmare hell on Earth they've written, so much so that it's reminding me of the "They're dead, Dave, everybody's dead, Dave" segment from Red Dwarf. Something else that's been slaughtered, or erased or burned away, for no other reason than to satisfy MurderGod's bloated ego. And all I can do is marvel at LaHaye.

Marvel and think..."How can any decent, remotely normal human being contemplate this, the complete and utter destruction of everything natural, beautiful and GOOD, and call it anything other than a cosmic atrocity? How could anyone look at Denali, or the Grand Canyon, or the Ross Ice Shelf as it calves off icebergs the size of cities into the sea, or views footage from submersible robots of the black smokers along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and sees the myriad strange and wonderful creatures there so perfectly adapted to an utterly alien environment, or sees Van Gogh's STARRY NIGHT or the Mona Lisa or Leonardo's David, and think to themselves...

"I hate this. It's ugly, and it all needs to go. Burn this thing down and replace it with a life-size statue of a bronze-age religious figure sitting on a tacky golden throne and a few megachurches, that'll improve the ambience around here."

I think I might be in love with these Other Light characters.

Trapped in a world of enforced blandness. Crime is allowed to happen but the perpetrators are immediately executed by lightning afterwards, thereby somehow managing a Worst of Both Worlds approach to criminal justice. Everyone is forced to live to 100 whether they want to or not, and then immediately murdered if they haven't pledged allegiance to the local regime, or forced to endure up to another 900 solid years of continuing to age and degrade with no hope of the relief of death if they HAVE pledged allegiance. The world is strictly stratified, with the ruling class living in a beautiful walled-off city and occasionally sending representatives out to give members-only talks to special children's clubs, and the guy at the very top only ever interacting with people by murdering those who disagree with him and low-maintenance puppet-mastering/lobotomising everyone else. And, as if just to rub salt in the wound, God RUBBED OUT THE NIGHT SKY for some reason.

So these guys want to rebel. Of COURSE they do. But they don't know how to. They can't see a way to win. The local tyrant is LITERALLY GOD. They've been trying to oppose him however they can for ninety years now, and they haven't come up with anything that might work, and now they're all coming close to their divinely-allotted murder dates. They'd be forgiven for giving up and switching sides to save their own lives. They'd be commendable for just deciding to make a symbolic gesture out of going down fighting a hopeless battle. What they actually do, though, is fling a light into the future. They focus their last years before they die on recruiting younger members. Because, of course, there IS a chance that, one day, SOMEONE will work out how they can win. So having established that it's not gonna be them, that they personally are boned either way, they make a selfless investment in the future, going to their own deaths but founding a movement that will last the whole millenium, changing the time limit on finding a way to win from 100 years to 1000. It's not much, but it was all they could do, so they did it.

God took away EVERYTHING from these people. Freedom. Beauty. Purpose. Diversity. Any chance of equality. STARS. But they found a way to stop him from taking away their hope. And when hope was all they had left, they took it and ran with it and made the most of it.

It sounds like these people are far and away the most heroic characters in the series. While the putative protagonists sit around and busy themselves with, mostly, office politics, The Other Light do things -- great things, evil things, but they do things. You've got to pay attention to the background events, but they're there.

There's also a lot of room for side stories, since we are only shown three "windows" into the Millennial Kingdom, two at the bookends and one 93 years in.

I give Jenkins credit for writing something clever that can be read on multiple levels, it puts the Left Behind series in another perspective and, fittingly, it redeems the unsaved characters in a way that few of the other books do. ...more
5

February 25, 2013

I've read all books in this series - twice. This book, the final book in the series, while well written of course, seemed rushed. It does a good job describing life during the 1000 years. I just wish it gave more detail to the buildup and ultimately the climax of the final showdown between Good and evil. Other than that, it's a worthy read and you will definitely enjoy it. God bless!
5

November 29, 2016

I hated to get finish it. My mind always ran ahead in anticipation knwing ths Jesus would triumph over satan, the enemy. Praise God!
2

May 11, 2018

This book was a real letdown for me. I would have thought, with it being the end of the series, it would have been "better", somehow more triumphant than it was. I would have given it one star, but there were some moments in the book that did shine through and redeem the book (view spoiler)[especially the salvation of two members of the TOL just before the book ends (hide spoiler)]. It did move at a fast pace; there is a lot of Scripture-quoting in the book (which, on the one hand, was no big This book was a real letdown for me. I would have thought, with it being the end of the series, it would have been "better", somehow more triumphant than it was. I would have given it one star, but there were some moments in the book that did shine through and redeem the book (view spoiler)[especially the salvation of two members of the TOL just before the book ends (hide spoiler)]. It did move at a fast pace; there is a lot of Scripture-quoting in the book (which, on the one hand, was no big deal, but, on the other, seemed kinda lazy writing, to me). It is the culmination of the series, and I thought it could have been and should have been better than what it was. Granted, I do not know how I would have written it, but it really seemed anticlimactic [especially the ending, which was actually almost hysterical in nature for such a 'serious' topic].

I was surprised at the dearth of characters in the book. Some new ones were introduced, but I did not develop any emotional attachment to most of them [and two of them not until the end]. What happened to everybody who had been introduced in the first twelve books of the series? (view spoiler)[What happened to Hattie and David and Wang and Leah and Rose and Hannah and everybody else whose name I forget? What were they doing during this time? I was wondering what happened to Amanda, and then I was reminded by the end of the book she had been previously married and was with her first husband. hahahah It was like the other characters just vanished. (hide spoiler)]

I was also disappointed with the lack of character development. (view spoiler)[It was like all of the characters had regressed, somehow. They were so STUPID!!!!!! I mean, offensively stupid, in how they were written. It was irritating. The characters went from "so smart" to "incredible morons" in a very short period of time. Well, some of them did. The ones the story focused on the most [especially the 'glorified' members of the "Millennium Force"]. It just did not make any sense. Everybody was described as automatically "knowing how to perform new tasks" without any training, yet the primary characters were suckered in by pathetic ploys at misdirection and deception? It really angered me how fast everybody turned on Kenny, as it did not seem the least bit realistic. Here were these people who had been "glorified" and in God's presence during the Tribulation, and yet, when back on Earth after the Second Coming, so quick to resort to old habits and living out of "the flesh" with their doubts and accusations? Whatever.

And Chloe! What in the world? I would have doubted any "bad reports" after the first one was clearly revealed to be a blatant lie. And then, the second one was believed for far too long and given waaaay too much credibility before its falsehood was also revealed. Don't these people take anything to God in prayer? Why'd they wait so long to pray about it? Why didn't they pray about it to begin with? After the second note, why did they not institute security measures? Cameras? Videos? Passwords? Not only that, but somebody had already attempted to besmirch Kenny's character one time. When that did not work, it happened again, yet everybody still fell for it on some level!!!!! First Kat's character is attacked, then Kenny's twice, and that makes Kenny automatically the culprit? What ever happened to "innocent until proven guilty"? It did not make any sense, whatsoever.

I did like Kenny's response in his letter to all of his doubting friends - they would see on the day after he turned one hundred (in two years and a day) when he was still alive that he was telling the truth and they had willfully, easily believed a pack of lies about him. How could they have believed these lies so easily? Really? The fact that they believed the lies about Kenny says nothing good about their character in my opinion.

There were other character-issue problems, but I think they are all similar in nature. It was just frustrating to read about these "supposedly so smart" people becoming so regressively stupid and idiotic in this last book. (hide spoiler)]

There were some other issues I had with the book as well. (view spoiler)[What was up with the Millennium becoming just a "perfect Old Testament" world? Since when are sacrifices going to be reinstated? Since when do animals need to be killed, or meat sacrificed, for the "sins" of each generation of non-believers? Or even believers? If Jesus' death on the cross was the final sacrifice, why would there be one thousand years of sacrifices between Jesus' Second Return and the Final Judgment? That did not sit well with me, and I do not recall any other "prophecy expert" claiming that the ancient sacrifices were going to be reinstated. Maybe I am wrong; it will be quite the surprise come that day if they are reinstituted.

The "heroes" of the Bible coming to speak to the children - that was the worst! Please, correct me if I am wrong, but all the author(s) had these men really do when telling their stories was primarily quote Scripture. I found myself wishing Noah, Caleb, Joshua, and David would have shared more of their personal stories and experiences and thoughts and emotions. I think the authors could have taken some more license, here, and expanded on what they had these "Bible heroes" share with the children. I think it would have been okay, and helped those parts of narrative. I read this book because I wanted to see how the series ended, how they interpreted how things were going to happen. Most of the book, though, is quoting Scripture. Which is fine, on the one hand, but, still. I mean, really! When David was facing Goliath, he should have had more emotions running through his veins. He should have been excited and nervous, stepping out in faith like he did to face the Philistine giant! He knew he was on God's side and his faith was fully in God! Yet, as he "shared his story," it did not "feel real." It was missing that emotional pizzazz, that ooomph! it should have had. Well, I take some of that back. Noah did make jokes about having to take care of all of the animals on the ark and having to clean up after them after they took care of their business and defecated. (Well, the defecation was implied; he talked about how stinky the animals could get.) So, they were more personable with Noah than the other three heroes who came to share their stories.

The lack of palpable tension in the book was horrific. The reader was continually reminded that the "true believers" could not be killed. If even the 'normals' cannot be killed, what kind of tension is there in the book? What keeps it going? The believers were never in any real danger throughout the book. Perhaps if the members of The Other Light had threatened young children who had not yet become Christians, that might have made things dicier as the decisions of believers would now have potential real-world consequences.

There was something else, but now I cannot remember what it was. If it comes back, I will update my review and add it. (hide spoiler)]

(view spoiler)[I did like how all of the members of the previous twelve books 'finally' made an appearance at the end of the book. They show up for Mac's birthday when he was . . . eight hundred some years old? Nearly 800 years old? They agree to keep showing up for the next two birthdays until the end of the Millennium. I thought that was a good idea (even though the bodies of the "normals" were practically useless and I could not understand how they could not have died; it seems like letting them live as their faculties dwindled away would have been either punishment or torture.

Despite my intense dislike of this book, I do respect the authors for what they tried to do, even if I do not like how they went about and did it. They have tried to describe the indescribable for people to read about. People have a hard enough time trying to predict the future, which new inventions or fads or business will spring up in the next five, ten, or fifty years. I cannot imagine what will happen in two hundred years, five hundred years, or even one thousand years - all of the changes that could take place. I think the book would have been "better" if they had focused on how advanced society was going to become over time.

Also, after everything that happened in the Tribulation, how do you describe the "natural-born children" afterwards who still choose to reject God? How do you write about that or adequately describe it? Especially since "non-believers" do die during this time, and they die when they reach the centennial mark. One hundred years of age. Yet, despite all of the miracles and judgments, there will still be people who harden their hearts and refuse to acknowledge Jesus as Lord and Savior. Crazy. Kinda like Anakin Skywalker's fall from grace. Everybody knows it happened, but everybody has the "story" of how it all went down in their own minds; no movie or book could ever do it justice as a result. The actors had a hard time portraying his rise and subsequent fall in such a way that would please everybody. Kinda like the last few books in the series - can't please everybody all of the time. (hide spoiler)]

(view spoiler)[So, I believe I complained about an angel named "Anis" in an earlier book where he was first introduced. He reappears in this book (and plays a bit of a big part in it, rescuing Rayford and some other captives in the process). That being the case, I looked up "his" name to see if there was some kind of special meaning to it. Apparently, in Muslim it means "Companion; genial; close friend", which I found pretty cool. An interesting name for an angel. (hide spoiler)]

Despite my disliking the book, the plot, the plodding narrative, the lack of tension, I am still glad I read it. There were a couple of beautiful moments in it [towards the end], and there were some gems hidden throughout the middle of the story. I have to admit, the description of "the final battle" was so hilarious I was nearly in tears (it was so bad and anticlimactic). I do not know if the authors meant it to come across the way it did, but I was laughing pretty hard when I read 'the final battle' and its results. Even though I will probably never recommend this book to anybody, I am glad that I read it as it completes the series for me (unless I decide to go ahead and read the first three books in the series - the three "prequel" stories). ...more
1

Mar 16, 2020

The theology of eternal torment has to be the cruelest thing ever created. And in "Kingdom Come," we see glimpses of it. We also see what horrible God would exist in LaHaye and Jenkins' universe, a universe believed by millions of people.

Unlike most people I see who don't believe in an eternal hell (or hell at all), I don't make jokes about it. I fear it. It's the one fear I can't use exposure therapy with. It's a fear that ebbs and flows, but that I will always struggle with. I think I'd choose The theology of eternal torment has to be the cruelest thing ever created. And in "Kingdom Come," we see glimpses of it. We also see what horrible God would exist in LaHaye and Jenkins' universe, a universe believed by millions of people.

Unlike most people I see who don't believe in an eternal hell (or hell at all), I don't make jokes about it. I fear it. It's the one fear I can't use exposure therapy with. It's a fear that ebbs and flows, but that I will always struggle with. I think I'd choose anything over eternal torment--even being brainwashed into someone who wants nothing more than to praise God for eternity. At the end, I tried to ask Jesus to be my savior, even though I've done so before, and the lack of sincerity I felt made me sick. I don't want to worship a God who allows anyone to be tormented for all eternity.

I couldn't even laugh at the absurdity of this book. It's badly written--very badly written--but there was something about it that made me want to keep reading. The threat of eternal torment isn't a risk I want to take. The problem is that it's a risk I *have* to take, because I *cannot* believe in a God like this. God would have to brainwash me in order to do so, and if that's what's necessary, then I pray he will. But I believe that God is infinitely more loving than the one portrayed in this book. I know that God is just as well as loving. But eternal punishment for *anything* is not just. Torture, period, is not just.

In addition to the ethical problems with this book, it falls on tired old cliches and stereotypes. There is nothing at stake, because the reader knows how it will end--"good" will prevail and the "evil" will be vanquished. It's even lampshaded within the book that the final fight will be anticlimactic, and it is. Believers in Christ are portrayed as attractive and and smart, and non-believers are obviously meant to be "ugly" (or, as one of them is described, fat and greasy) and stupid. Any good points the bad guys make--like, what's so loving about eternal torment? Why is God so intolerant of other people's beliefs?--are never really answered. I expect most of the non-believers are like me--it's not God's existence they have a problem with, just the way he runs things.

Please, unless you're like me and have an OCD compulsion that you have to read whatever's next on the shelf at the library, skip this one. It's not worth the spiritual heartache. If you want to get saved, get saved. You don't need this mess of a book to do it.

ETA: Also, the authors have no idea how kids think. Why does Joshua mention that Rahab is a "harlot"? Is that really an appropriate thing to be telling children? And the way David tells the story of him fighting Goliath is snoresville. Those poor kids would be so bored. It's not sacrilege to word the story in a way that's a bit more exciting to kids. And what was with that recitation of one of the Psalms? I would have totally zoned out as a child. I mean, I know these kids are supposed to be "perfected" or something, but it doesn't make for a very interesting reading experience.

I actually found that to be a problem throughout the story. So much of it is copy-and-pasted from the Bible. And everyone has the exact same personality. Everything that's unique about them has been "purified" and they're all more or less doing the same thing. The same is true of the earth. Why change the Dead Sea into freshwater? Why flatten all the mountains and raise up all the valleys, save for one spot in Jerusalem? Everything's the same. There is no variety. It might be infinitely better than hell, but it's still no paradise. And it gets worse once they reach the "blissful eternity" stage. Everyone truly is a mindless zombie for God, and they all wear white robes, and there's no more night, just day all the time, all light, no darkness, and the gold is "clear as glass"--why? Isn't solid gold more beautiful?

It's just a really depressing picture of eternity and I don't know why anyone would look forward to it. ...more

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