Does it really matter?
In my pastor years I had a couple of very dear friends who focused upon biblical prophecy and current events. They were convinced we were indeed living in the last days, and that the rapture could well happen in their lifetimes.
Yesterday, a lady at the Harbor Market where I sell my book, An Irreligious Faith, asked me if I was ready for the rapture. I said, “I think so.”
I kinda feel like I should have replied, “Are you ready to live and love like Jesus?” It’s a much more pertinent question. The rapture might happen tomorrow, or several hundred years from now. Nobody knows. Many people have thought it was just around the corner. Several have set dates. But Jesus said nobody knows the time of his return.
We do know, however, that Jesus summed up all of the previous teaching about God by saying we should love God and “our neighbor.” And that is relevant, pertinent, and urgent, no matter when he is coming back.
Christians who practice “hit and run” theology annoy me to no end. There was the lady who loudly proclaimed, “The Bible is all you need,” and the one who asked me if I was ready for the rapture. She had a much gentler spirit than the angry Bible lady. But what’s with the hit and run crap? What about respecting and loving the person (like Jesus?)
I know sometimes people get world weary, and just wish they could escape the planet. There are people who have had more physical and emotional pain come their way than I can imagine. No wonder they are tired of it all.
Some people feel that the world is going to hell. However, in spite of the all of the news media hype, the world today has less poverty and violence than ever in human history.
But aren’t our values eroding? Some are, others are improving. There is, and always has been, and always will be wickedness in the world.
Trying to figure out how the end times will unfold can be all consuming hobby. It can be fascinating.
But, I advocate for the here-and-now, over the bye-and-bye. We are responsible for the here-and-now. God is responsible for the bye-and-bye.
Let’s trust him for that. And live this life to its fullest, devote ourselves to the never ending task of learning to love unconditionally, and fulfill our God-given potential.
Photo Credit: Dharmadhyaksha. Creative Commons.
Glenn – I have had the pleasure of having this conversation more than once with the “get ready for Jesus return” in a threatening way. Like, we were all going to prison or something. I have to agree with you that we are responsible for the “now”. It’s all we have at this very moment. How we interact with others, showing them the Jesus we try to immolate…….all we have. I’m choosing to leave God to his own devices for the rapture, second coming or whatever He desires for the future.
It’s actually quite freeing.
Glenn – You are right.
We are to be ready for the return of Jesus, but that means taking care of his business, not watching and waiting (or slamming people). Is that what HE did?
I know Jesus will come again to take us to be with him forever. But I am not all that sure about being raptured. The older I get and the more I think about it, I believe in it less and less. It seems like too much wishful thinking. It makes for great reading when someone writes a fiction book, which I love! If we pray for the rapture to occur soon, is that like the prayers of the Israelites when they were in Egypt? “Calgon, take me away!”
Well said, Jeane. NIce hearing from you!