Original post: The Rapture (2/6/13)
Read: Joshua 24:1-33, Luke 21:1-28, Psalm 89:38-52, Proverbs 13:20-23
“Teacher,” they asked, “when will all this happen? What sign will you show us that these things are about to take place?” He replied, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and saying, ‘The time has come!’ But don’t believe them.” (Luke 21:7-8)
Relate: It was the beginning of the school year, I think my sophomore year, when some guy had made this prophesy about God coming back. Everyone was talking about it and the Christians on campus were using the opportunity to witness. Our basic message was that the guy was wrong in picking a day but God is going to come back eventually, are you ready? The guy had even predicted a specific time for the rapture and a few minutes before that time someone pulled a fire alarm. Of course it was a big joke once we got outside but then I got together with a couple Christian friends and we hung out in the bathroom for a few minutes before heading back to our classes. You could almost hear the entire classroom sigh in relief when I finally came back in.
Harold Camping got it wrong. So did countless others through time. To a degree, so did the disciples. At the beginning of the chapter, Jesus predicts the fall of Jerusalem. The disciples ask three things. When will this happen, and what will be the sign of your return and of the end of the world? Jesus answered all three and a lot of what we look at as end times prophesy here was fulfilled leading up to the destruction of Jerusalem. A lot more are things that have been happening consistently through time. Today the Solomon Islands have been rocked by earthquakes. A major earthquake hit Japan on Saturday, The Wednesday before that one hit Chile and that Monday one hit Kazakhstan. Google search it and you’ll find that the number and intensity hasn’t changed. What has is the interconnectedness of our world and the population so now we hear more about it and it seems more damage is being done when they hit.
React: The disciples were absolutely convinced God was going to come back in their lifetime. They were wrong but that certainty motivated them to greater efforts. The generation following the was convinced of the same and worked with the same fervency. Throughout history a belief in His soon return has also been marked with a fervency to be about God’s work. Harold Camping was wrong. Twice. No, three times. The Mayans didn’t predict the end. Apocalyptic prophesies have come and gone and will continue to do so. Until, suddenly, He does come. I’m convinced it will be soon. His soon and my soon might not be the same but He will come back. The greatest danger s that, like those in the days of Noah, people will be so caught in the ordinary drudgery of life that we don’t realize what has come upon us until it is too late. Will I be ready? Will you?
God, I know You’re coming. Let it be soon. Help me not just to be ready but to consistently live in the urgency of that immanent return. Let me pray harder, walk straighter, and speak bolder because this might be my last day to do those things. Don’t let that final hour catch me living ordinary.