End-times fiction is known for its fast-paced drama and is normally packed with geo-political intrigue. It can’t be easy to write, and it’s one of the most challenging to read, in my opinion.
There are many who’ve tried, and succeeded, in making the end times come alive in the same way solid Biblical fiction authors can bring the past to life.
It’s a precarious undertaking, to do justice to such a complex portion of the Bible, and the current landscape of the global drama, but end times books are well worth reading, for many reasons.
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Why Read End Times Books?
You may be wondering about reading end times books, whether it’s worthwhile or even healthy.
Personally, I know that the future is unknown, but there are certain things that are sure, based on prophecy, human nature, God’s Word, and satan’s anger and jealosy. I may not know exactly when or how these things will happen, or what any other specifics are.
But by reading well-researched and written end times books, I can stretch my understanding and my faith, just like when I read Biblical fiction or any other Christian fiction. They point me to God, and demonstrate some of the many ways faith in action should look like.
The end times books below will stretch you too, and help you understand the seriousness of what is to come. By that, I mean that our time here is limited. And there are a few things that can only be done in this life. We won’t get another opportunity. Specifically
- Trusting God by faith
- Sharing his love with unbelievers
Once the end comes, when we are in heaven, our faith will become sight, and our doubts will fade away. And there will no longer be unbelievers who have a chance to be saved. That clock runs out.
We are living in the time just before that clock runs out. Whether for an individual you know, or for all of us, only God knows. We need to live like it matters to us.
But don’t just take my word for it.
Q/A with Terry Brennan
Here’s an excerpt of a recent Q/A with author Terry Brennan, who’s written several end-times books:
Q: Empires of Armageddon is categorized as “end-times fiction.”
How would you describe the genre and what encouragement would you give a reader who isn’t sure about prophetic or end-times fiction to get them to read this new series?
As Christians, one of our foundational beliefs is that Jesus Christ will return. Many believe his second coming will usher in the final countdown to the end of time as we know it. There are many parts of the Bible that prophesy about the second coming.
Many scholars believe the creation of the nation of Israel in 1948 started the “end-times clock” ticking. So, most likely we are in, or on the cusp of, the end of days. The end really is near—whatever “near” means in God’s timing. I believe any novel that weaves into its plotline elements relating to how or when Christ will return, or its impact, qualifies as end-times fiction.
It’s important to remember that end-times fiction is not the book of Revelation. It’s not theologically deep or hard to understand.
Ishmael Covenant can be characterized as an end-times thriller because there is a strong thread connecting the plot of the book, and the series, to last-days events such as how the quest of the protagonist may ultimately affect biblical prophecies. But primarily it is simply a story of the conflict between good and evil, and how that conflict plays out in the life of an ordinary guy.
At its core is an everyman protagonist—a Christian man, accomplished and successful in his career, who is enlisted in a life-threatening situation beyond his sphere of experience and understanding. This lethal danger, projected not only against the man himself but also against his family, is perpetrated by the Turk and his disciples, a shadowy gang of murderous thugs who ruthlessly pursue our hero from one country to the next.
One complicating factor is that our protagonist realizes the spiritual implications and consequences of the deadly conflict into which he was recruited. As a result, his faith and character are challenged to the utmost as he confronts a relentless string of obstacles to fulfilling his call.
Q: Is there a scriptural or spiritual theme that inspired the writing of Ishmael Covenant?
My Bible is an NIV Study Bible with extensive explanatory notes on almost every page. One of the longest notes and—for me—one of the most impactful refers to Ephesians 1:3 where Paul writes about “heavenly realms.” In part, the note explains that Christians are in a real, tangible war, what it calls a “titanic conflict”:
“In the Christian’s union with the exalted Christ, ultimate issues are involved. . . . At stake are God’s eternal eschatological purpose and the titanic conflict between God and the powerful spiritual forces arrayed against him. . . . As a result, the spiritual struggles of the saints here and now are not so much against ‘flesh and blood’ as against the great spiritual forces that war against God in heaven.”
I was struck by the idea that there are great spiritual forces that war against God in heaven. More sobering is the idea that my spiritual struggles here on earth have, in some way, an impact on that war in heaven. Not all of us will come face-to-face with evil incarnate, as Brian Mullaney and the other characters of Ishmael Covenant do. However, agents of evil are at work in the world today, just as they have been since Lucifer’s rebellion was crushed and banished to earth.
Q: How did your studies while writing the book change your thoughts on the spiritual warfare we face in daily life as Christians?
I don’t generally live my daily life conscious of the part I play in this great spiritual battle in heaven. I most often perceive the evil I face as personal. So, my wife and I pray against the spirits of evil that try to steal, rob, and destroy in our lives, in our family, and in our marriage, which is good to do.
Through digging deeper into the concept of spiritual warfare for this book, I’ve learned that I need to reach beyond the personal conflict of good and evil in my life and be more conscious of the vastness of this titanic conflict around me. I need to be an example, a reflection, of Jesus and his love for all souls. And I need to stand up for light—to be a warrior-ambassador for light—in a dark world that often seems to be getting darker.
But the bottom line is inevitable. Good triumphs. The end of the Book will never change.
End-Times Fiction: My Favorite End Times Books
The Ishmael Covenant:
Terry Brennan’s Ishmael Covenant is the beginning of a powerful trilogy of end times books, on tour with Read with Audra.
His marriage in tatters and his career ruined by lies, Diplomatic Security Service agent Brian Mullaney is at the end of his rope. Banished to Israel as punishment by his agency, he’s assigned to guard a US ambassador and an insignificant box. Little does he know that this new job will propel him straight into a crisis of global proportions.
Inside the box is a messianic prophecy about the fate of the world. And a dark enemy known as The Turk and the forces of evil at his command are determined to destroy the box, the prophecy, and the Middle East as we know it. When Ambassador Cleveland gets in the way, his life and his daughter’s life are threatened–and Mullaney must act fast.
Now agents of three ancient empires have launched covert operations to secure nuclear weapons, in direct defiance of the startling peace treaty Israel and its Arab neighbors have signed.
And a traitor in the US State Department is leaking critical information to a foreign power. It’s up to Mullaney–still struggling with his own broken future–to protect the embassy staff, thwart the clandestine conspiracies, and unmask a traitor–before the desert is turned into a radioactive wasteland.
Fans of Joel C. Rosenberg, Steven James, and Ted Dekker will relish the deadly whirlpool of international intrigue and end-times prophecy in Ishmael Covenant–and will eagerly await the rest of this new trilogy.
Read an excerpt from Kregel by clicking here!
Well, let’s just say I’m excited. The pace is perfect for this type of suspense drama. The action is intense, but spaced well between investigations and intrigue. There are a lot of people to keep track of, but there’s a ‘who’s who’ guide at the front to make it easy to double-check if you get confused.
I’ve made several real-world connections into some of the tensions in the Middle-East. Things I probably should already know, and on one level, I did. But it was phrased well and pulled together into one spot, and it clicked for me.
Brian Mullaney is both fun, strong, and going through some really tough stuff. Definitely someone I’d want on my side, and someone I’ve caught myself praying for once or twice the last couple of days. Please tell me I’m not the only one who forgets fictional characters aren’t really real sometimes!!!
Some scenes border on info-dumping, but 2 things make this ok: He’s setting up a trilogy, and it’s amazingly important/helpful information.
If you enjoy well-researched end-times fiction, suspense, action, and travel to interesting destinations, I would highly recommend reading The Ishmael Covenant.
Blood Moon Redemption
Blood Moon Redemption is a story I won’t soon forget! I’m not sure I can do this book justice in a review, because just saying READ IT is not sufficient, and I don’t want to spoil the story.
The Time Slip between 1492 and Present Day, with some mid 1900s added in was so well crafted. The fast paced suspense, and the spiritual growth was very believable. Tassie’s journey wasn’t fun, but it was fun to read about, knowing that there’d be a good ending!
I think my favorite quote is by a boy in 1492 named Gabe: “Let’s go, Lydia, We will sail to a new land and grow up together. I will be a rabbi, and you will be my wife.” to which she replies “Will not. Gabe, I will hit you if you try to marry me” Which basically tells you exactly what’s going to happen next.
But the other quote, the one that had the most impact on me, was about grace, and the tassel of the Jewish prayer shawl: “The five knots of the tassel they equated with the five books of the Torah. Five in Hebrew, the language of God, blessed be He, gives the meaning of grace. such grace that we can know the Torah, that we can belong to the God of the universe, that we have His commandments, and can know them, that we can obey his commandments.”
God didn’t have to make a way for us to know him, or his laws. He didn’t have to make a way for us to be able to obey him. But he did. And that’s Grace.
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit, and chose to review it here. All thoughts are my own.
The Last Jihad Series
Okay, I’ll be the first to admit I read this series of end times books entirely out of order. But even so, I still enjoyed it thoroughly and didn’t get too lost. The amount of prophesy untangled, things I’d never understood or considered, was amazing. All of them, but particularly The Ezekiel Option (book3) showed me Biblical nations and how they play out today, taking a deep dive into Ezekiel 37-38. While I know it’s fiction, and many figments of the author’s imagination, it is still phenominal, requiring hours and hours and hours of Bible study, to pull something like this off so well.
I can remember when my mom purchased the first 7 Left Behind books all at once, and I read through them in just a couple of weeks. It was miserable waiting 6+ months at a time for the next book to come out, for the remainder of that end-times fiction series! (OH MY! I just looked it up, and book 8 released in 2001. I can’t believe it was that long ago!!)
I realize that in order to fill as many books as they did, they took liberties. But it’s still fun, and intriguing and definitely makes you think about what you’d do in similar circumstances.
More Fantastic End-Times Books
Here are a few of my other favorite End-times books. You may be familiar with some of these guys other works, (narnia, anyone?) but these are equally impressive in their own rights!
And while you’re at it, you’ll probably love these Christian mystery books, and or some solid Biblical fiction!
End Times Books: Fiction, or Non-fiction?
What are your favorite end-times books? And would you rather read end times fiction, or do you prefer nonfiction?
Until Next Time, Love God, Love Books, Shine The Light!!
It sounds like an interesting book. Although personally, like I found in the only Left Behind book I read, the author tends to lead the reader astray from the truth, according to God’s Word. I typically stay away from books about prophesy and go straight to the source, my Bible. But I loved your interview with the author.
Definitely, when I want to study, I go straight to my Bible, and a few trusted sources.
I find end-times fiction and biblical fiction both are useful as stories that imagine what might be (or might have been) and are fun experiences. Not where I get theology from. The good ones point readers back to the scriptures, and make me want to learn more.