By Nathan Jones
A great new movie about the Rapture has been produced and is being released in theaters this month. It is titled Final: The Rapture (watch the trailer). The film was shot in Argentina, Japan, Hawaii and Los Angeles. It is hard-hitting and realistic, complete with all sorts of special effects.
On our television show Christ in Prophecy, Dr. David Reagan and I had the wonderful opportunity to interview the movie's writer and director, Tim Chey. The following contains some behind the scenes insights into what went into the movie, as well as getting to know the vision and heart of the director.
Nathan Jones: Tim, why make a movie about the Rapture when some people claim the Rapture cannot even be found in the Bible?
Tim Chey: I can't tell you how many times people have told me that the Rapture isn't in the Bible. I was at a Dairy Queen just yesterday and a guy said to me, "Sir, the Rapture's not in the Bible. Sorry to tell you that." I replied, "If you look at 1 Thessalonians 4:17 and you look at its use of "caught up", that word is "harpazo" in the Greek and "rapio" in the Latin, where we get the term Rapture. So, yes, Rapture is in the Bible."
Nathan Jones: Yes indeed, "rapio" is where we get the English word Rapture, right there in 1 Thessalonians 4:17.
Tim Chey: Right, and I think it's a timely topic to talk about because so many people, especially the young generation, don't even know about the Rapture, let alone that it is or is not in the Bible. I think the Rapture is a really, really important topic.
Dr. Reagan: That's a very important point, because Nathan and I have noticed that when we go to prophecy conferences around the nation to speak we rarely see anybody below the age of 60 even. It's like the whole young generation is being by-passed about any teaching concerning Bible prophecy.
Tim Chey: Oh, yeah. The latest poll is only 10% of the nation is actually Christian, true Christians that is. I just think we have fallen so, so far from where the knowledge of Bible prophecy was even 20 years ago, like in the 1980's during the Reagan administration.
Dr. Reagan: Tim, you must personally have some interest in Bible prophecy to produce a film about the Rapture. Is that true?
Tim Chey: Yes, definitely. I've been studying Bible prophecy ever since I first got saved. I really believe that if we truly believe we are in the last days, we've got to act like it. Unfortunately, it's like a fire is happening and we're not even trying to put it out.
Dr. Reagan: You mentioned when you first got saved. Tell us about your background.
Tim Chey: I got saved late in my life. I was 35 years old. I was in the Philippines at the time when I got saved. It was incredible for me. The Gideon cooperation are always contacting me now because they want me to speak, all because I got saved through a Gideon Bible in a hotel. Sure, it sounds so cliché, but I actual picked up the Bible and I went through the questions in the beginning. I then got down on my knees and I accepted Jesus Christ, right there in a hotel in the Philippines, of all places. I've never turned back and I've just been on fire for the Lord ever since.
There's a verse in the Bible where Jesus says to the effect, "Those who have been forgiven the most, love me the most." Now I just work for the Kingdom of God, just out of gratitude for my salvation, and not to get any blessings or anything, even though God has blessed us so much.
Dr. Reagan: How in the world did you become a director of movies?
Tim Chey: I started at USC Film School when I was 18. When I graduated, I couldn't get a job. The biggest misconception is you go to a good film school and you'll get a directing job, but it doesn't happen. Trust me. In fact, out of my class only one or two really became film directors. The rest just ended up sort of disappearing, like becoming film crew, or not even getting into film. So, I couldn't get a job.
Without a job, I ended up going to grad school. I ended up working in a field totally different from what I'm doing now. After I worked for three years practicing law, I realized I just didn't have a heart for law. Of course, at that time I was still a secular heathen. I wanted to start making films, and that desire is what sort of propelled me back into the film industry. I directed my very first film for Universal Studios.
Dr. Reagan: That was before you were saved, right?
Tim Chey: Yes, before I was saved. Still, getting to make movies brought me no happiness. Corbin Bernsen is a good friend of mine who was in my film Suing the Devil, and he had no happiness after being in L.A. Law. Now he has a giant cross on the front of his door and he's saved — a totally sold out believer.
Nathan Jones: Praise the Lord!
Tim Chey: Sure, you see so many bad things coming out of Hollywood, but there are actors coming to Christ as well. It's a great time for a harvest, though the workers are few. That's the thing.
Nathan Jones: I love what you said earlier before this interview about how all the people, it was like 16,000 people who tried out for Final: The Rapture, they all read the script. They all therefore read the Gospel message. You have a mission field unheard of to actors!
Tim Chey: Oh, sure. It's an incredible harvest going on there in Hollywood. They are the media influencers, much like you guys are. If we can lead those actors and producers and directors to salvation, then they can lead other people to salvation as well. An actor friend of mine is good friends with Robert Di Nero and and we led him to be saved on the set, and now she's pitching the Gospel to Robert Di Nero. We are one heart beat away from the Gospel to anyone we want to give it to.
Dr. Reagan: I was astounded when you told me that you had reviewed 16,000 actors for this wonderful film called Final: The Rapture. There must be a lot of hungry actors in Los Angeles?
Tim Chey: Oh, there are lines. Whenever we cast, you see lines of actors stretching around the entire casting building with them all holding the script. You kind of feel sorry for them because you really want to give them work, especially as a Christian, but there are very few Christian actors believe it or not out there and we want to work with Christian actors. It's just that there are very few Christians that go to Hollywood, and I think that's a mistake.
In the second segment of our interview with Director Tim Chey concerning his movie Final: The Rapture, we'll go behind the scenes into the production and learn how the audience has responded.