I think it's safe to say that few things are as pondered and discussed by Christians the world over as the Second Coming. We read of it in the scriptures, we talk about it in church, and we read books written by gospel scholars of the things prophesied to come about. What's most interesting to me is the different conclusions we all draw. Some people subscribe to the believe of the Rapture (righteous people taken up to Heaven, while others are left behind) while others believe that the righteous will be taken up at the time of Christ's arrival. Regardless of personal belief, we all have one thing very importantly in common - we want to be ready when the time comes.
I was recently contacted by the company who produced "The Moment After," among other Christian films, and asked if I would review "The Moment After 2: The Awakening." I was more than glad to do so. Having read the "Left Behind" series, I was mostly familiar with the theology of the Rapture, and so I was able to pick right up on what was happening in the film, even though I haven't seen the first movie in the series.
Adam Riley was wrongfully imprisoned after helping Jacob, a man of God, escape from prison. An oppressive world government, known as the Global Alliance, has come into power and is actively seeking to find followers of Christ. Jacob uses his freedom wisely and begins gathering groups of followers into clusters where he can minister to their needs and encourage them to watch over each other. In the meantime, after spending two years in prison, Adam is able to escape and goes on the run.
He stumbles into the home of a woman who was taken up during the Rapture, and is discovered there by her nephew. After learning that Adam is a Christian, the nephew takes him to a cluster, where he is reunited with Jacob. Adam is pleased to see what Jacob has done in two years, but he knows that he's putting all the believers in danger with his presence.
Charles, a former FBI agent and friend of Adam's, has been blackmailed by the Global Alliance to spy on the clusters and bring the believers in. His wife doesn't have the mark of the beast, the microchip that allows the citizens to purchase food, and they have taken her into custody. If Charles doesn't do as he's told, the fate of his wife is questionable ... but then, it is anyway.
Put in the impossible position of spying on his friends or losing his wife, and then possibly losing his wife anyway, Charles feels trapped, and goes to find a cluster of believers, only to witness an Alliance execution of two of the believers' most faithful men.
I won't give away any more than this - the plot is complex and it's best if you see it yourself to grasp all the threads. But I really appreciated this look into the "what ifs" of our future and to see what these filmmakers conjectured as to how the world will play out in the final scenes before the coming of Christ. The point was driven home that in the end, it's faith that is the most powerful weapon, not guns or knives. While the film did have plenty of "teaching" moments, I'd have to say it was definitely an action film. There were moments of tension and suspense - it's for this reason that I would recommend it for teenagers and adults, rather than children - but it's not overdone. The violence was appropriate to the situations the characters found themselves in.
The storyline is definitely geared toward the mainstream Christian market, but I have to say, the messages will be appreciated by Christians of every denomination.
I thought this was a well-done film. I congratulate the production company on its success and I hope they continue to turn out quality, faith-building products.