how to deal with the “rapture”

So, if you are reading this, it is because the rapture didn’t happen, or you didn’t make it if it did.  Okay, there’s my joke for this whole thing.  That being said, all this hoopla about some rapture happening and some tribulation beginning all to be finalized in October on Judgement day, has really got many people asking good questions, it’s got some mocking the whole idea of some sort judgement day and the “end of the world as we know it“, and other’s ignoring it for various reasons.  I have a few thoughts on how to view this:

  1. Extreme 1: Contempt and Mockery for it: While I must confess, I have boarded on this land a few times, my point has not been to make fun of the man who came up with this date, as I don’t even know his name, but rather all the details surrounding it – still no excuse.  The thing is, there will be a final coming of Christ, the world as we know it will end, and those living and dead will be eternally judged – it’s going to happen, and this is no laughing matter.  Those of us who believe in some sort of second coming and some sort of final judgment, believe so based on the scriptures; we should allow those same scriptures to inform how we react to those who are deceived.  Matthew Paul Turner has a really good article on this, click HERE to read it.  I can’t help but wonder, when we are asked about the rapture or a 2nd coming or a judgement day, do we revert to mocking, because we don’t have a solid way to explain what we think… which leads to the next point…
  2. Extreme 2, Consumed by it  – We could do a quick google search to find all the days that some sort of end was supposed to happen: in AD 90 St. Clement claimed the end of the world was upon us; in 365 Hilary of Poitiers announced it would happen that year; Hippolytus and Sextus Julius predicted Armageddon would happen in AD 500; AD 1,000 many Christians in Europe predicted the end of the world on January 1st of 1000 – then starts the fad that every time a hundredth year approaches dooms day predictors get loud (you remember December 31st 1999); and no one can forget the very man that made these predictions famous in our time, good ole’ Darby – When you look back at each of these incidents (and many more) you will find that many of the followers of these men, reoriented their lives, or were so ‘consumed’ by these predictions so much so that it changed the way they lived so much, that when the ‘rapture‘ didn’t happen, they had many repercussions – it would be the equivalent of someone forgoing their debt payments for months on end, all because it was going to end, just to find out that while the end of the world didn’t happen, the end of living in their nice house has.  While we are to anticipate it, while we are to look for it, if we believe all the scriptures say about morality, service, ethics, marriage, etc, etc, then our lives shouldn’t change because of some prediction, rather all of our decisions should be in light of the fact that Christ will return in glory some day, be it tomorrow or in another 4,000 years – this is the equivalent of those who live one way on Sundays and another the rest of the week… Don’t let our lives be consumed with the 2nd coming, rather allow the 2nd coming to inform how we live for Jesus everyday…
  3. Extreme 3, Ignoring it – Scripture is very clear, that this is not an option either, in fact, Titus 2 tells us that all of life should be informed by the reality that Jesus did come in grace and is coming in glory, and those two realities should shape everything about the present, the in between.  In fact, Paul goes as far to say, that Jesus’ people should be waiting, expecting, or living as if they really believed it was true – the truth is most of our lives really reflect that we never give the 2nd coming a thought, as opposed to living like it informs all we do.  I love this quote by C.S. Lewis: If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next.  I’m convinced that the reason people ‘write-off’ or ‘ignore’ this subject is because if we didn’t , it would reveal how little most Christians know about the 2nd coming outside of some sermon they may have dozed in and out of, or some 16 part FICTION book series, which brings me to my final point…
  4. Balanced Approach, Know About It: The truth is, out of all the things that separate different belief systems, including atheistic science, the one thing we ALL hold in common is that this place we call home is coming to an end.  Now how we handle it is different, while many belief systems are trying to educate people in order to empower them in such a way that they can either delay it or stop it, the end that is, as if it is a bad thing, our scriptures tell us to expect it, look for it, long for it.  This is all kind of fresh to me, as I just finished a class that dedicated 25% of its time to Last Things, so it has been interesting getting into brief discussions with those around me.  So here are a few things you can do to know about it more:
      1. Scripture – grab some friends and begin to do a study on last things – I would challenge you to do one thing, throw out what you have been taught, and approach your study with new eyes, I bet you’d be amazed at what you end up not agreeing with and what you end up believing…this is a very fun journey…
      2. Resources – Study your view and views that oppose yours, just because it’s not your view doesn’t make it wrong… there are some great resources out there, here are a few: As Far As the Curse is FoundSurprised by Hope, The Bible and the Future, The Meaning of the Millennium, etc – there are many more, but these are a good place to start
      3. Think – it’s one thing to just learn the ideas that are out there, it’s another to THINK while you are studying, “how does this inform my life NOW?”
so, there you go… you are still here, I’m still here… and while May 21st is just another day, it is one day closer to the end, how does that inform our lives now?

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