The End of Time
April 17th, 2008 by Sonja

LightHusband recently went out of town on a business trip to Cincinnati.  He traveled with his boss and a couple of co-workers.  BossMan and SalesGuy are more conservative than we are.  That’s the best way I can say this.  We are friends with BossMan and his family, but when it comes to matters of theology and politics, we generally agree to disagree about a lot.  We respect each others’ perspectives, but …

LightHusband returned from his trip yesterday and the rest of us were glad to see him again.  He used to travel quite often and we all have bad memories of that (me especially).  Like the time he went to London for a month when LightGirl was 6 months old.  He was housed in a stadium with no phone access.  It was fairly unnerving.  But he did get introduced to the Queen.  In any case, he and I went grocery shopping for dinner together yesterday afternoon on his return.  That may sound funny, but it’s something we enjoy, especially if we can leave the LightChildren home.

While at the store we ran into an old friend from our CLB1.  Now this lady also happened to be a founding member of that church.  She was (and is) a dear.  I spent a good deal of time with her oldest son when I worked in youth ministry (he was also helping out).  We had a nice conversation catching up with one another.  Then talk turned to our old church and goings on there.  She caught us up on some of the main big news.  Somehow we got on the subject of some books that she is reading and is very excited about.  It’s a series by an author named Joel Rosenburg.  Apparently, he’s written quite a series based on Ezekiel 38 and 39.  It seems to be very popular according to the sales figures on the website.  She spoke very highly of the books and recommended them to us.

In fact, she got pretty wound up about the whole idea of the so-called Second Coming and the Rapture and the End Times.  She got a big grin on her face and a light in her eyes and she stood on her toes.  The air around her was electric.  She spoke with certainty about the days to come and the fulfillment of prophecy.

Maybe I’m cynical.  Maybe I’m … I dunno.  But all I could think as I was listening to her was one word … zealot.  Well, other words came to mind too.  I wondered exactly what makes Christians with this perspective any different from Muslims who are engaging in war-like behavior to bring about their prophecies.  Then, as I was sewing today I was musing about it and I realized the root of my disturbance with the whole thing.

Everyone who subscribes to this theory of the end of time assumes that they will be among those who are raptured (caught up as it were).  They are all absolutely sure that they are among the ones who will disappear in a twinkling and everyone else (all the rest of the rabble) will be left to the horrors of the millenium.  Just as every Christian I know “knows” they will be going to heaven.  But … um … I got news.  Not everyone who thinks they’re going is.  OR … everyone (and I do mean everyone) is going.  What I mean by this is that if this whole metaphor were to actually be truth (and that is a big IF), there are a lot of people who might be in for a nasty surprise.

I have to wonder why it is that we always think that our own fruit (of the spirit) is sweet to God and therefore we’ll be raptured … but that other guy down the pew row, well … he’s not goin’ anywhere.  He may have prayed the prayer, but I don’t see any fruit in his life.

I’m just not so sure I want to be praying and acting like the Rapture is a good thing.  Because that prayer is not in scripture anywhere and does not assure me of anything other than checking a box on a human list.  It seems to me that living in a proper fear of God might just include an understanding that we are not in control … at all.

5 Responses  
  • Peggy writes:
    April 17th, 200811:38 pmat

    Woah, I am so with you on this one, sister! I just finished up reading Daniel with the little boys tonight (and if you don’t think that is a trip with a first and a third grader, I have news for you), and we had to have a bit of a talk about what it means to “seal up the scroll” — as in NOBODY KNOWS EXACTLY what will happen until it happens.

    I am weary of “Left Behind”ers and the rest of that lot — and many people that I love dearly are among them. My favorite polemic-type book on The End Times has a great chapter called “The Rupture of The Rapture” — and talks about how very recent all this perspective is. Sigh….

    This is right up there with Creation/Evolution on my list of things that are about as fun as a poke in the eye.

    So let’s talk sheep and goats, eh? ;^) The goats are SHOCKED to be out and the sheep are surprised to be in!

  • Lyn writes:
    April 18th, 20082:25 amat

    I am SO with you on this Sonja. I’ve never got into the left behind series – I’m quite skeptical of it actually, especially when you see how much money the authors have made from it (but that’s a whole other blog post in itself!!). I hope I make it to heaven, but I can’t guarantee it, only God knows. I can just live my life the best I can, following God’s ways, the rest is up to him – I can make no presumption. The same with rapture – if, dare I say, anything like that actually becomes a reality – it depends on how literal John’s vision was I guess (sigh, all of this gets so confusing for my little mind!). I’m with Peggy on the sheep and goats – I think there will be a lot of surprises (I just hope I’m not surprised!). As you wrote – we are not in control at all, so it’s pointless living our lives like “we’ve made it”, we need to constantly look to him and grow and change and attempt to become more Christ like on this earth. For as the prayer says “Your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven” – the kingdom is now, it’s here on earth, it’s not for another time.

  • Doug Jones writes:
    April 18th, 20088:19 amat

    Well on the whole left behind thing… they should have called it what it really represented – “my left behind.”

    anyway this whole discussion I think represents exactly what Jesus was talking about when he told the story of the “publican and the sinner.” I think you are right Sonja there is no prayer of assurance – there is just the example of the real “sinners prayer.” It goes something like, “have mercy on me a sinner.”

  • Peggy writes:
    April 18th, 20082:42 pmat


    This topic always makes me especially grateful for a foundation of covenant and hesed.

    It is not that there is no “security” — so that we will all be left wondering (hmm…now, that would be an interesting book title….) whether we will be forever with the Lord. It is that our security is first in what Christ has done in making the New Covenant, and second in our being faithful in our growing hesed (covenant keeping), as empowered by the Holy Spirit.

    This doesn’t have to become an “it all depends on my works” scenario…but it does become an “it all depends on my staying “in Christ” by loving God and loving others”.

    No, there is no “prayer” of assurance…it’s a relationship built on a growing understanding of Papa’s love that then lives out that love….

    Oh, why don’t more folks understand the Hebrew way of seeing all of this stuff??? 😉

  • Adam G. writes:
    April 19th, 20089:31 pmat

    Hmmm…and I don’t think sheep and goats have anything to do with “end times” as we know them. I actually would prefer to be left behind, in the biblical sense.

    It’s hard for me to take any part of premillenialism seriously. It seems like a lot of comic book eschatology to me.

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