Viewers Show Their Christmas Love for ‘The Chosen’

Dallas Jenkins, filmmaker son of “Left Behind” series author Jerry Jenkins, is the creator of the streaming series “The Chosen,” which is the first multi-season series that focuses on the life of Jesus Christ.

The series has become a global phenomenon. It currently holds the record for being the highest crowd-funded project of all time.

Its devoted audience has funded $40 million in crowd-funding financing to date, which has facilitated the production of two full seasons of programming.

The number of viewers of “The Chosen” keeps growing exponentially, thanks to the series’ multiple streaming platforms and its very own app.

The New Testament project has been translated into 50 languages and has made its way into the world’s top entertainment app list.

The success of “The Chosen” has resulted in an upgrade of the project’s production facilities, allowing future filming of the upcoming third season to take place with a historically accurate set design, one that sits on 900 acres in Midlothian, Texas.

The series is available on the app with no fee or subscription required. The opportunity for viewers to voluntarily “pay it forward” is provided via crowd-funding at the conclusion of the screening.

Plans for the series to continue for seven full seasons is in the works, allowing for a full exploration of all aspects of the life and ministry of Jesus.

Part of the uniqueness of the approach that has been taken by the creators of “The Chosen” series has to do with the emotionally relatable characters that are featured in their cinematic story lines.

Bible believing Christians adhere to the doctrine that Jesus is both human and divine.

While still staying true to Scripture, Jenkins and company have focused more heavily on Christ’s humanity. This is in contrast with what many of their predecessor filmmakers have done.

“The No. 1 word that we put on our wall, the banner across everything we do, is ‘authenticity,’” Jenkins says. “So many past Bible projects telling Jesus’ story have been a little stiff, maybe a cleaned up, sanitized version of the story. We desperately seek to pursue a portrayal that’s as authentic as possible.”

For the role of Jesus, Jenkins went with an actor that he had used before, Jonathan Roumie. Having been raised in the Greek Orthodox Church and being a convert to the Roman Catholic faith, Roumie is highly knowledgeable about the Gospel story.

He had played Jesus in a touring multi-media project about the life of Saint Faustina called “Faustina: Messenger of Divine Mercy.” He had additionally played the role of Jesus in a short film by Jenkins, titled “The Two Thieves.”

As we move further into the Christmas season, the timing is perfect for a remembrance celebration of the birth of the holy infant. It is also a welcomed time to experience a cinematic retelling of the time-honored Christmas story, particularly a retelling that is respectful in its presentation. And the following one truly is.

Multiplying the joy of the season, the producers of “The Chosen” have created an additional stand-alone big-screen movie titled “Christmas with the Chosen: The Messengers.”

The recent Christmas feature contains the same high-level production value and powerful storytelling as that of “The Chosen” series, which pleases devotees of the initial project as well as others in the movie-going public who are seeking to escape the darker and more cynical movie fare that poses as holiday entertainment.

The Christmas edition of “The Chosen” has broken yet another record by becoming the bestselling movie in the history of its distributor, Fathom Events, with $8 million for 640,000 tickets in 1,700 movie theaters nationwide.

Fathom, which has been going strong for 17 years, is the 11th largest distributor of content to movie theaters.

In the lead-up to the box-office event, $1.5 million in tickets were sold during the first 12 hours of availability. As a result, the original 2-day run had to be expanded to 10-days.

On a musical note, “Christmas with the Chosen: The Messengers” is loaded with performances by an all-star roster of contemporary Christian music performers that include For King & Country, Phil Wickham, We The Kingdom, Matt Maher, Maverick City Music, Brandon Lake, Cain, Leanna Crawford, Jordan Feliz, Dawson Hollow, One Voice Children’s Choir, The Bonner Family, and Bryan and Katie Torwalt.

The music component of the film culminates in an epic performance of “Joy to the World,” featuring a collaboration of star musicians playing and singing the venerable hymn.

May all enjoy this miraculous time of the year when Earth receives her King.

Jerry Jenkins: ‘Left Behind’ May Be ‘Pretty Close’

Jerry Jenkins is one of the most successful authors of our time.

Best known for the “Left Behind” series, co-authored by Tim LaHaye, the set of End Times tomes quickly rose over the years to cultural phenom heights, awarding it the virtual status of a household name.

Gifted with the art of dramatic storytelling, Jenkins and LaHaye were able to take their humble talents and combine them with the ministry of Bible prophecy.

A multimedia franchise was born, one that consists of sixteen bestselling novels, three films starring Kirk Cameron, one reboot featuring Nicolas Cage in the lead, and some additional faith-based video game fare.

At the core of the “Left Behind” concept is a scripturally-based End Times precept that is woven throughout the passages of the New Testament’s final book, Revelation.

In the “Left Behind” books and attendant multimedia, those who choose to accompany the authors on their journey find themselves entering a realm of a future world in which people are desperately trying to cope with the disappearance of millions of their loved ones who have mysteriously vanished.

While on their search to find family members, co-workers, and friends, they find answers in the process to age-old questions about life here on Earth and beyond.

But ultimately revealed to them is that there is a protracted battle taking place between the Tribulation Force, which is an underground network of Christian converts, and a world-encompassing totalitarian government, referred to as the Global Community.

The Global Community is headed by an individual who is the embodiment of evil, the Antichrist himself.

It turns out that Jenkins hasn’t just been writing about End Times prophesies. As one of the most prolific writers in the country, he has been hard at work producing more than 200 books in multiple genres. Twenty-one of his books have been New York Times bestsellers and more than 72 million copies of his works have been sold.

He began his career as a sports writer and moved into a new mode of expression with a nationally syndicated sports-oriented comic strip called “Gil Thorp.”

He was anything but an overnight success. In fact, the book that launched Jenkins’s most successful series, the original “Left Behind” novel, was actually his 125th book.

Similar to many who attend Bible-oriented churches, Jenkins is non-denominational in his personal beliefs. He is often asked about his denomination, and when this happens he is ready with his two word response, “Jesus Christ.”

Because Jenkins has penned the most widely read books on biblical predictions, he is also frequently asked to comment on the unprecedented circumstances in which we find ourselves today.

He recently told the Christian Post why he believes that we are now close to experiencing the same End Times events that take place in the “Left Behind” series.

“We’re getting pretty close to the end. I think we have more reason to believe that now than we ever have,” Jenkins said. “It seems like something is coming. You just wonder how long God can carry us as sinful and restless as the world is.”

He avoids providing specific calendar days as to when these future events are to occur by pointing out the profound differences between finite human beings’ designs and the Creator’s plans and purposes.

“… God has a different economy of time than we do. He wrote in the Bible 2,000 years ago that the end was soon or imminent, and that we should watch and wait. We’ve been doing that all these years.” Jenkins explained.

“The Bible also says that to God, 1,000 years is as a day and a day is as 1,000 years. So if He waits one more day, in His mercy, that would be 1,000 of our years. Yet I don’t think there’s any more prophecy that needs to be fulfilled before the end, so it could be today as well,” Jenkins said.

Based on the idea that the end could come at any time, Jenkins views the saving of souls and the sharing of faith with others as a greater imperative than it has ever been.

“I think it’s obvious that we need to be at the task of being sure that the fewest people possible are left behind,” he said. “That means sharing our faith and being bold and not holding back. Sometimes we’re so afraid to offend somebody, we could offend them right into Hell. I think we need to just be overt, and it’s on them what they do.”

In addition to his other amazing accomplishments, Jenkins is the owner of a film company, Jenkins Entertainment, which is run by his son Dallas. The firm has produced uplifting family films since the early 2000s.

Jenkins’s son is the creator of “The Chosen,” the first multi-season television series about the life of Christ.

The story of the financing for “The Chosen” is instructive for young filmmakers. By utilizing a provision of legislation that allows crowdfunding companies to offer ownership shares to online investors, the project was able to raise more than $10.2 million from over 16,000 investors, making it the top crowdfunded film project at the time.

It now has $20 million in crowdfunding and has been viewed by over 90 million people in over 180 countries, catapulting it to the top crowdfunded media project ever.

The senior Jenkins’s latest novel is titled after his son’s hit series and will be released as a series of books. The first volume of the series is titled “The Chosen: I Have Called You By Name.” He is already in the process of writing a second installment of the series.

The author hopes that the culture can be impacted positively by “The Chosen” television series as well as “The Chosen” book series, much like the “Left Behind” series, by helping folks return to fellowshipping with God.

“That is that people … go back to their Bible, check it out, see what it says. Go back to church, return to their relationship with God or begin a relationship with God.”