The Dead Rise First Rapture Countdown by Alton Ragan & Robert McLaughlin

I heartily believe in the subject matter and the title of this book, The Dead Rise First. After all, it is very Biblical. I have a huge problem with the theology and leaving out a very crucial piece of scripture. However, I do admire anyone who is thoughtful enough and works hard enough to present a novel to the world, and who believe enough in it to self-publish it.

After saying that, I also caution ANYone who self-publishes to get an editor who knows what he/she is doing and do not argue with him/her when things need to be shifted around, cut out, and so on. Even self-published works can become best sellers if they are worthy.

While you instantly become embroiled in a pastor's family as well as the unheard of electronic's failures, it quickly becomes apparent that the editing of this work was haphazard at best and down right negligent at worst. Spelling errors, grammatical errors are storyline stoppers. The presentation is amateurish as well, with spaces between paragraphs as if it is a high school term paper or blog post rather than a novel. Either you indent the paragraph with no spaces between paragraphs or you do not indent and you leave about 8-12 points between paragraphs. Normally, it is  indent with no spaces. I do NOT understand why self-publishers do NOT take into consideration the eye comfort of readers. Although, the type size is a very comfortable 13 points.

As for the storyline: the reader gets bogged down around page 36 while the town is discussion 9/11 terrorism. Anything to explain why the electronics of every mechanism quit working.

The show stopper, though, was when I was faced with what Ragan and McLaughlin were saying. That there would be lots of time between the dead rising and those alive in Christ changing and being with the LORD. I will read just about anything until something pops us that is so against what I know to be true that I just can't proceed. Chapter 6 is about as far as I could go. I gave it an objective reading that far. It saddens me that two men could so disregard 1Thes 4:16  For the Lord Himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ shall rise first. 
and also 1Co 15:52  in a moment, in a glance of an eye, at the last trumpet. For a trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall all be changed.

It seems that authors are either lazy in research, or figure that readers are completely ignorant of scripture. In either case I am appalled. This could have been such a wonderful book and story if just a little more effort had gone into it, and if it had followed scripture more closely.

n the small town of Jordan, Oklahoma residents find themselves the victim of a shocking terrorist attack. A society so completely dependant on technology for its security and commerce has suddenly been turned upside down. Even worse than the uncertainty of their immediate safety is another problem that no one can explain.

People who have been dead for years are popping up all over town, appearing and giving witness that the Rapture of the Church is eminent but for the lost, the Great Tribulation. Who will listen to their message and repent and who will refuse to believe their own eyes?

Meet Jack, a pastor who is suddenly slapped in the face by what has happened and then baffled when he spots Sister Gregg, a former member of his church. The only trouble is the last time he saw the woman was at her own funeral. The town begins to shake at these events and as a church turns to their leader, Pastor Jack desperately searches for the answers he must give his congregation. How much time remains for people to repent is anyone’s guess, for Jack and his flock it’s a race to reach the lost.

The Dead Rise First is a fast paced, intriguing read for anyone interested in the Rapture. This book brings something new to readers and is provoking discussion among scholars with this one question: why do the dead rise first? Although purely fiction, the events are based on scriptural answers that unearth a new understanding concerning the rapture of the Church. Does it reveal a mystery about how God will raise the dead in Christ as seen in 1Thess. 4:13-14? Will it be the same way Jesus resurrected in Matthew 27:52-53? You decide.

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