In a recent episode of "The Comfort Zone," Christian evangelist Ray Comfort and his colleagues discussed the potential that "Left Behind" has for stirring conversations about Christ, whether or not the film actually presents the Gospel.
Christian actor Kirk Cameron, who starred in the original "Left Behind" film series, is a good friend of Ray Comfort's. The film is based on the series written by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins, which support the pre-tribulational rapture view that Christians will be taken up into heaven before the Great Tribulation takes place on earth. Theologians who do not ascribe to this point of view, such as retired pastor and Christian author John Piper, don't believe that the premise of the "Left Behind" series is well-supported by Scripture, however.
Nicolas Cage stars in the film as Captain Rayford Steele, and Chad Michael Murray plays Kirk Cameron's character, Buck Williams. Although the original "Left Behind" was a rather successful film, bringing in more revenue from DVD sales than did "Toy Story 2" and "Erin Brockovich," the directors of the remake hope that the fresh cast of A-list actors will attract a wider audience.
The original film contains a Gospel presentation, which Ray Comfort helped to write. Christianity Today reports that the remake does not emphasize the Christian faith, however. While Comfort said it would be ideal for the film to have the Gospel presentation in it, he is excited that Nicholas Cage chose to accept the starring role and hopes that his involvement in the film will help to stir more conversations about Christianity. "They went to great lengths to get an A-list actor, it was very difficult for them," says Comfort. He noted that "Noah," which starred Russell Crowe, stirred a lot of conversation about the Bible even though it did not accurately represent the Biblical account.
Comfort has produced a number of evangelical films himself, including "Evolution vs. God," a more Biblical version of "Noah," and "180 Movie." He is currently working on a film about homosexuality called "Audacity" as well. Comfort believes that social media and film have a large influence in today's culture, and that Christians ought to use these mediums to share the Gospel. "We have to move with the times, and see what works and work with it. Become all things to all men," he says, referring to 1 Corinthians 9:19-23.
"A lot of people are very scared [of the end of the world], and we've got the answers. We know Who holds the future in His hands," Comfort says. Because many people - unbelievers as well as Christians - are curious about end-times prophecy in the Bible, believers are encouraged to use "Left Behind" as a segue into sharing the Gospel with others.