So Let’s Have a Little Talk about the Rapture

I was sitting in my usual Wednesday night service, listening to an interesting take on servant and master roles in Colossians, when out of nowhere the teaching was taken over by a rather loud, fire-and-brimestone type sermon about the end times. I was slightly taken aback—how do master-servant roles apply to the end of days? Still not too sure about that… I was writing when the pastor randomly busted out with, “And who of YOU are excited to see Jesus at the Rapture?!” (Emphasis not added, if it was up to me, it’d be in all caps and 48p font, but alas I’m just a commentator).

Now, don’t get me wrong. I do believe in an end of days, and I do believe that Jesus will come down eventually to impose judgment. However, this does not mean that I am looking forward to this day. A common desire for Jesus to come sooner rather than later, because that would mean that we are in Heaven with Him while others are left to endure the tribulations that are expected to besiege the earth, fails to realize just what that desire entails. As with much of Christianity today, believers want the awesome and spectacular without the hardship and the trial. If Jesus is to come back, it is fundamentally because we as believers have failed. We have failed to impart Jesus among those around us, our culture fallen so far into sin and debauchery that only Jesus himself may redeem it, and there are so few true Christians left in the world that there is no hope of salvation. Does this sound like something one would want to live through? Everyone I ask tells me that they cannot wait to sit with Jesus and talk about what they have done for the Kingdom of God, but hoping to see the End of Days leads to the idea that there is a great likelihood that it will be less of a pat on the back of a job well done, and more of a holy smack to the face that one has not done enough.

Furthermore, how would you, as a believer, feel if you knew that you were in Heaven reaping all the riches of God and praising Him, while your friends and loved ones that you failed to reach are stuck on earth suffering and dying? Too often we focus on the amazing quality of the Rapture—meeting Jesus and God in the air, praising Him with the angels—we never stop to think about all those people whom we love and care about languishing on earth because they chose not to believe. I don’t know about anyone else, but in the midst of all my praise to God, I cannot help but imagine a great deal of grief and guilt that I am in Heaven while my friends and family are left behind. With only 46% of believers believing that they have a great responsibility to bring others to Christ, it seems entirely likely that many of those whom you care about will remain behind while you experience Heaven for eternity (Barna Research Group). How exactly does that make you feel?

So why do so many Christians today long for the Rapture to happen as soon as possible? Heck, an entire section of the population believed so whole-heartedly that it was going to occur on May 21, 2011 that they sold all of their belongings to pay for billboards proclaiming that date, and when it did not occur, many committed suicide. If the Rapture itself means that we fundamentally failed the mission that Jesus entrusted us to, and that our friends and family members that failed to come to the Lord are going to suffer while we rejoice in Heaven, why do we look forward to it so wholeheartedly? To be completely honest, when someone tells me that they cannot wait for the Rapture, I seriously question their faith. I cannot help it. How could someone be so unashamedly seeking of God’s blessings without also desiring to shoulder His mission? If you can celebrate in Heaven, with the knowledge that those you care about suffer, I seriously question your love for those around you. So then, if you have failed to allow the Spirit to work through you (failing to love your God), and fail to care about the fate of those around you (failing to love your neighbor), why then are you so certain that you will be in Heaven at all? Perhaps, if more Christians honestly asked themselves these questions we’d care less about longing for the Jesus to return by force, and more about truly bringing Christ to the world through us.

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One thought on “So Let’s Have a Little Talk about the Rapture

  1. 2 Peter 3:12 (CEV) YOU SHOULD LOOK FORWARD to the day when God judges everyone, and YOU SHOULD TRY TO MAKE IT COME SOON.
    The ‘true’ “Christian of today” understand that there must be “the hardship and the trial” to get to the “awesome and spectacular”. The Rapture is a second chance for nonbelievers to come to Christ…and yes you are correct, it will be a time like no other, but…
    James 1:12 (NIV) Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
    Getting to “sit with Jesus and talk about what they have done for the Kingdome of God” is not how we get to be with Jesus. The fact is that there is NOTHING WE DO to get to Heaven…IT IS A GIFT from God for believing that he sent his Son, Jesus Christ, and we believe that he died and ROSE through the awesome power of God and there for have put our TRUST in Jesus Christ as our Savior. Is that such a difficult thing to believe? In my opinion it is not, so why don’t more believe? The story of Jesus is known to your family and friends…right?
    Do you really think we will have the same ‘mind set’ after the Rapture as we do here on earth?
    1 Corinthians 15:52 (CEB) in an instant, in the blink of an eye, at the final trumpet. The trumpet will blast, and the dead will be raised with bodies that won’t decay, and WE WILL BE CHANGED.
    I am sure that in the presence of God what or whom I had here on Earth will not be on my mind…I will no longer be flesh and blood being…I will be a spiritual creature, a spiritual creature that has captured THE PRIZE.
    The ‘entire section of the population believed’ on May 21, 2011…were they folks that studied the Word?
    Mark 13:32 (CEV) No one knows the day or the time. The angels in heaven don’t know, and the Son himself doesn’t know. ONLY THE FATHER KNOWS. (It can’t be any clearer than that!)
    The Rapture “itself means that we” have fundamentally completed our requirements and have made it to the boat, much as Noah and his family did. How do you think Noah, or Lot felt with the destruction of some cities or the entire population of the planet? I’ll tell you how I would feel: Total thanks to God for His GRACE! People watched Noah, belittled Noah for over a hundred year while they build the Ark. Don’t you think Noah witnessed to the people his belief in God and the Flood to come? Yet he and his family were the only ones willing to get into the Boat!
    As I get older I find myself ‘longing’ for Heaven:
    2 Corinthians 5:2 (CEV)While we are here on earth, we sigh because we want to live in that heavenly home.
    Psalm 119:81 (NLT) I am worn out waiting for your rescue, but I have put MY HOPE in your word.
    Proverbs 13:19 A longing fulfilled is sweet to the soul, BUT FOOLS DETEST TURNING FROM EVIL.
    Hebrews 11:16 Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, FOR HE HAS PREPARED A CITY FOR THEM.

    I pray every day that my Sons have or will put their trust into Jesus Christ. They have been with me to ‘church’ as children and now as adults, are they members of THE CHURCH…Christ’s body of BELIEVERS? Neither you nor I can force someone to believe. However we can live our live in such a manner that folks will want to know what our JOY is all about, and perhaps want some of ‘Him’ for their own.
    We are ordered to…Revelation 18:4 (AMP) I then heard another voice from heaven saying, Come out from her, my people, so that you may not share in her sins, neither participate in her plagues.

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