The film opens with portraits of three Evangelical families –James and Laura Bagg, a Connecticut couple who work as military jet-propulsion engineers, Tony and Devonna Edwards in McAlester, Oklahoma, and Dr. H. Wayne House in Salem, Oregon -- all certain that upon Christ's Second Coming they will be "raptured" or lifted into the skies to join Christ while the rest of humanity suffers for seven years during “The Tribulation."
Despite their very different lives and locations, all three families find the modern world laden with symbolism that suggests the End Times are at hand, and they proclaim the immense importance of Israel, where the battle of Armageddon will leave the earth ravaged, before Christ creates a new and perfect world.
The film then follows Wayne House and fellow minister Robert Dean as they lead a Christian Study Tour group to Israel -- among the tens of thousands of Evangelicals who pour into the Holy Land each year. As Wayne and Robert baptize their entourage in the River Jordon, sing the US national anthem on the Sea of Galilee, proclaim love for Israel, and describe how the Dome of the Rock, one of the holiest sites in Islam, must be destroyed in order for Jesus to return, a revealing and controversial relationship between Christian Evangelicals, Jews, and Muslims emerges.
Finally, we follow Wayne House and Robert Dean to a massive gathering in Dallas, Texas, where Evangelicals debate, in highly sophisticated terms, the need to spread Biblical literalism to counter the dangerous effects of post-modernism. The climax of the conference comes as Pastor John Hagee, the enormously influential Texas Minister of an 18,000-member megachurch, declares, "World War III has started."
The Edwards' daughters, in particular, struggle with their own future. If they are raptured soon, how will they ever marry, or have children of their own?
By portraying the Evangelical apocalyptic worldview from within their community, Waiting for Armageddon seeks to clarify the elusive relationship between Christian Zionists and Jews, and foster dialogue among dissenting groups. In the end, the film asks whether this large American voting block is creating a self-fulfilling prophecy of international holy war.
Franco Sacchi, Kate Davis and David Heilbroner