2 Ways to Read Left Behind Series in Order by Lahaye & Jenkins

I grew up with the Left Behind books prominently gracing mother’s bookshelves. As I grew older, I wanted to explore this treasured series of hers for myself, but I had no idea how to read the Left Behind series in order.

If you find yourself in a similar place, I’m happy to be able to help you out. Before we take a look at the Left Behind series in order, let’s learn a little bit more about the series and its authors.

Who Wrote Left Behind?

Tim Lahaye and Jerry B. Jenkins co-authored the Left Behind series.

Before writing the Left Behind series, Tim Lahaye pastored what is now known as Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, CA and established the San Diego Christian College and Institute for Creation Research. He has written more than 80 books including the Left Behind series.

After suffering an injury playing sports in high school, Jerry B. Jenkins because of a sports reporter covering events in his local newspaper. While attending college at the Moody Bible Institute, he served as the night news editor for Moody radio and eventually became Vice President of their publishing division. He’s written more than 200 books.

Left Behind Books in Order

What is the Left Behind series?

Even if you’ve never seen them, you’ve likely heard of the different film franchises for the Left Behind series, which we’ll discuss a little later.

Both the books and the movies, though very different, both explore the idea of what the world would look like in the days and years following the rapture of the Church. This is an event foretold in the Bible where all Christians are taken from the Earth in an instant or “blink of eye.”

The first title, Left Behind, begins shortly before this iconic moment where millions around the world suddenly vanish, and the implications this has on society.

From planes crashing because the pilots have disappeared to looting, wars, and the banding together of nations to deal with a global crisis, Left Behind is a work of fiction about a very real future event.

What About the Left Behind Movies?

There are two different movie franchises. The one most people are familiar with are a bit older featuring Kirk Cameron and Brad Johnson. The first movie released in 2001 and the whole series contains three movies.

  1. Left Behind (2001)
  2. Left Behind 2: Tribulation Force (2002)
  3. Left Behind: World at War (2005)

Then there is the reboot featuring Nicholas Cage which got more media attention using a big name actor, but is not as beloved as the original movie with Kirk Cameron, though it received more ratings (due to its more widespread marketing).

  1. Left Behind (2014)

Will There be a Left Behind 2 w/ Nicholas Cage?

A Left Behind 2 is in the works, also known as Left Behind: Rise of the Antichrist, but this movie will not feature Nicholas Cage.

The movie is a direct sequel to the reboot from 2014, but it’s being directed by Kevin Sorbo who also plays the lead role of Rayford Steele (previously Cage’s role). In fact, the entire cast is different from any of the previous films.

#1 Left Behind Series in Order of Publication

There are two ways to read the Left Behind series in order. The first is according to their publication date, which is how millions of readers read them.

The first twelve books are the original series with the next three being prequels and Kingdom Come serves as a sort of sequel to the whole series.

  1. Left Behind (1995)
  2. Tribulation Force (1996)
  3. Nicolae (1997)
  4. Soul Harvest (1998)
  5. Apollyon (1999)
  6. Assassins (1999)
  7. The Indwelling (2000)
  8. The Mark (2000)
  9. Desecration (2001)
  10. The Remnant (2002)
  11. Armageddon (2003)
  12. Glorious Appearing (2004)
  13. The Rising (2005)
  14. The Regime (2005)
  15. The Rapture (2005)
  16. Kingdom Come (2007)

#2 Left Behind Series in Chronological Order

The second way to read the Left Behind series in order is chronologically. The only difference is that The Rising, The Regime, and The Rapture are moved to the front of the list before the first published novel, Left Behind.

It is not recommended for new readers to read the Left Behind series in this order.

  1. The Rising (2005)
  2. The Regime (2005)
  3. The Rapture (2005)
  4. Left Behind (1995)
  5. Tribulation Force (1996)
  6. Nicolae (1997)
  7. Soul Harvest (1998)
  8. Apollyon (1999)
  9. Assassins (1999)
  10. The Indwelling (2000)
  11. The Mark (2000)
  12. Desecration (2001)
  13. The Remnant (2002)
  14. Armageddon (2003)
  15. Glorious Appearing (2004)
  16. Kingdom Come (2007)

Summary of the Left Behind Books in Order

Now that we’ve listed out the two different ways to read the Left Behind series in order, let’s take a closer look at each of the books individually.

Left Behind Tim Lahaye

Left Behind

Are you ready for the moment of truth?

  • Mass disappearances
  • Political crisis
  • Economic crisis
  • Worldwide epidemics
  • Environmental catastrophe
  • Military apocalypse

And that’s just the beginning . . .
of the end of the world.

An airborne Boeing 747 is headed to London when, without any warning, passengers mysteriously disappear from their seats. Terror and chaos slowly spread not only through the plane, but also worldwide as unusual events continue to unfold. For those who have been left behind, the apocalypse has just begun.

Tribulation Force Left Behind Books in Order

Tribulation Force

It has been nearly two years since the day of the mass disappearances. In one cataclysmic instant, millions all over the globe simply vanished, leaving everything but flesh and bone behind. Global war has erupted, and the Tribulation Force sets a suicidal course that places them in direct opposition to the rise of Antichrist.

Nicolae Tim Lahaye


Rayford Steele and Cameron “Buck” Williams find themselves pressed into service for the man they believe could be the Antichrist.

Nicolae Carpathia takes over the United Nations, signs a peace treaty with Israel, and begins to lure the nations of earth together to form one global village. As believers band together following the Rapture, their peaceful world is destroyed again when global war erupts.

Soul Harvest Jerry B. Jenkins

Soul Harvest

The world is reeling from a great earthquake. As Nicolae Carpathia begins a worldwide rebuilding campaign, his rage is fueled by an evangelistic effort resulting in the greatest harvest of souls the world has ever seen. Meanwhile, Rayford Steele and Buck Williams search for their loved ones who haven’t been seen since before the earthquake.

Apollyon Left Behind Books in Order


As the world’s thousands of believers gather in Jerusalem for a stadium rally, the Tribulation Force struggles with their own personal crises. Nicolae Carpathia continues his rise to power, forcing believers underground.

But Nicolae isn’t prepared for a plague of scorpion-like locusts tormenting his followers—with a pain so horrible that men try to kill themselves but aren’t allowed to die.

Assassins Tim Lahaye


The members of the Tribulation Force face their most dangerous challenge. As international fugitives, they struggle to find supplies for safe houses around the world.

In despair over so many lost lives, Rayford Steele and Buck Williams make plans to dethrone Nicolae Carpathia and expose his plan to become the ruler of the world. Many believers want him stopped, but who will fulfill Scripture and help bring about the Antichrist’s death?

The Indwelling Jerry B. Jenkins

The Indwelling

The members of the Tribulation Force face their most dangerous challenges. Following the assassination of the Antichrist, some are murder suspects; others test the precarious line between subversion and being revealed. All over the news, reporters announce that Rayford Steele is Nicolae Carpathia’s assassin, but Buck soon learns the truth.

The Mark Left Behind Books in Order

The Mark

His Excellency Global Community Potentate Nicolae Carpathia is back, this time as Satan. Resurrected and indwelt by the devil himself, the beast tightens his grip as ruler of the world. Terror comes to believers in Greece as they are among the first to face a GC loyalty mark application site.

The gloves are off, as the forces of good and evil begin a battle for the very souls of men and women around the globe.

Desecration Tim Lahaye


His Excellency Global Community Potentate Nicolae Carpathia, no longer pretending to be a pacifist, has ordered every Morale Monitor armed as he prepares to travel along the Via Dolorosa and then onward to the temple, where shocking surprises await.

The lines are drawn between good and evil as God inflicts sores upon the flesh of those who have taken the mark. Meanwhile His chosen ones flee to Petra, where they watch anxiously as GC fighter planes appear overhead and bombs begin to fall.

The Remnant Jerry B. Jenkins

The Remnant

Nicolae Carpathia has his enemies right where he wants them: massed at Petra, a million strong. The Tribulation Force’s aliases and even their safe houses have been compromised, forcing Rayford, Buck, and all the members to flee for their lives while trying to maintain their overt opposition to the Antichrist.

All pretense is gone, even on the part of the Antichrist, as the planet hurtles toward the ultimate showdown between good and evil.

Armageddon Left Behind Series in Order


The scattered Tribulation Force is drawn toward the Middle East, as are all the armies of the world, when human history culminates in the battle of the ages.

During the last year of the Great Tribulation, safe houses are no longer safe and the world has become a powder keg of danger. Except for those already in Petra, everyone has been forced to relocate as the Antichrist ratchets up the pressure in the world’s most treacherous game.

As the Tribulation Force waits for the coming of Christ, Chloe Williams is drawn out of the safe house to investigate something suspicious. Buck and Tsion travel to Jerusalem while Nicolae Carpathia orders an attack on the city, and Rayford becomes seriously injured outside Petra. Who will survive Armageddon?

Glorious Appearing Tim Lahaye

Glorious Appearing

Thousands of years of human history stained by strife, death, and sin come to an end when the King of Glory returns to earth.

The satisfying conclusion of the seven years of tribulation covered by the Left Behind series portrays the return of Jesus Christ to earth in both glory and judgment at the height of the battle between the forces of evil gathered at Armageddon and the remaining Christian believers at Petra and Jerusalem.

The Rising Jerry B. Jenkins

The Rising

Get a glimpse into the lives of your favorite characters before they were left behind.

  • What was life like before the Rapture for Rayford, Irene, and Chloe Steele, Bruce Barnes, Buck Williams, and Tsion Ben Judah?
  • Why does Viv Ivins play such a pivotal role in Nicolae Carpathia’s life?
  • What were the events surrounding Nicolae’s sudden rise to power?
  • How did he become filled with evil?

In The Rising, Marilena Carpathia has only one dream: to be a mother. So when a mysterious clairvoyant promises the fulfillment of this dream, Marilena does not hesitate. Through genetic engineering and the power of the prince of darkness himself, Marilena is about to become a chosen vessel, one who will unknowingly give birth to the greatest evil the world has ever known.

Halfway around the world, God’s plans are subtly being carried out too. Young Ray Steele is determined to avoid one day taking over the family business. Instead, Ray sets his heart on becoming a pilot.

Soon Carpathia’s and Steele’s lives will intersect. And good and evil will clash in an explosion that will shake the world.

The eternal battle for souls has come to earth. The world hurtles toward the countdown to the Rapture.

The Regime Left Behind Series in Order

The Regime

Dynamic Romanian multimillionaire Nicolae Carpathia’s sphere of influence steadily grows as he parlays his looks, charm, charisma, and intellectual brilliance into success in business and politics. But is it mere coincidence that those who oppose or offend him suffer to the point of death?

Meanwhile, a young Buck Williams begins his journalistic career. Pilot Rayford Steele gains more responsibility at work and at home. Scientist Chaim Rosenzweig begins work on a secret formula that could change the world.

All three go about their daily lives, unaware of each other or of the powerful young man from Romania. Around the world, the stage is being set for the cataclysmic event that will change the world forever.

The Rapture Tim Lahaye

The Rapture

In this the final prequel to the blockbuster series, the story alternates between events on earth immediately after the Rapture and characters in heaven as they view the chaotic events on earth.

Kingdom Come Jerry B. Jenkins

Kingdom Come

Reunite with all your favorite characters and see how they fare in this capstone final title of the Left Behind saga.

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.

Looking for more Book Lists?

If you enjoyed these Left Behind in order, you should consider checking out this list of Dan Brown books in order.

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