One of the most well-known Christian fiction series based off the biblical book of Revelation comes to a close as its final book hits stores Tuesday.
Left Behind, a series of stories that depicts the Tribulation period after all Christians have been raptured up to heaven, will see the end of its 12-year history when Kingdom Come is distributed in hardcover to a large variety of retailers nationwide. Around 300,000 copies are set for release.
The Left Behind novels, written by evangelicals Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, have been a disputed topic in the Christian community over the years due to theological differences. Nevertheless, the authors have had large success not only from their books but also from video games that were created based off the same theme.
As the title of the last installment suggests, Kingdom Come – the 16th title in the series – tells of how Jesus finally overcomes Satan, which leads to a heavenly kingdom here on earth. According to one of the authors, the publishers had been pushing for the title to be Jesus Wins.
"They told me it would be a better title for the book and what it's about, but the message is still the same," expressed LaHaye to the Los Angeles Times.
Tyndale Books, the series' publishing house, will market the book in New York beginning on its release day. There will also be appearances by the authors in California, Oregon and South Carolina as well as an online campaign where the first chapter of the book will be posted on select websites.
On Tuesday, the two authors will also be interviewed on ABC's Good Morning America, a popular weekday morning news show.
The post-rapture novels have had a successful shelf-life, selling more than 43 million copies, and also opening doors for Christian fiction to be sold in mainstream bookstores.
"(This) will be the end of an era, certainly," responded Cheryl Kerwin, senior marketing manager for Tyndale Books, in the LA Times. "But only until we repackage the entire series. In three to four years, we'll relaunch the whole series with new covers. In that sense, the series will never really die."