Saturday, May 21, 2011

The End of the World?

I suppose it's a little late for me to be chiming in on all of this Camping business about the rapture happening today, May 21, 2011 at 6 PM, considering last night I saw that part of the prediction is that it will happen at 6PM YOUR local time, which means that if rapture hasn't occured in Austrailia, it's not happening over here - at least as predicted by Camping.

I can't help thinking about it, though.

I've come to the realization, that the people who are joking about it, who are talking about it - those people are most likely a little bit torn.  Torn between skepticism, and fear.

It's easy to make jokes about the "crazies" who are parading around the world with signs and tracts and plastering up billboards while they preach on the street corners, but the thing is, I see myself in those people.

I have this little twinge of hoping that the rapture really WILL happen today at six.  And this little twinge of fearing that it might.

What will rapture mean for the people I love who aren't believers?  And what will it mean for me as a mother and wife?  What happens to those relationships and do I have a reason to care? 

At this point in my life, there is nothing that matters more to me than my children.  And so...  in the rapture...  what will happen to them? 

There are a lot of questions that I've always had, but since people aren't all that keen on talking about the rapture, even in Christian circles, I haven't thought about it all that much... until this Camping thing.  This "crazy" end of the world prediction.

Now - I'm versed enough in scripture to know that Matthew 24:36 says that no one knows the day or hour - even Jesus didn't know when all of this was going to go down.  Scriptures say that the rapture will come "like a thief in the night".  It will happen in the "twinkling of an eye" - "one will be taken, and the other left".  There's a lot in there to back up rapture, to back up End Times stuff - it's in there - just like taste.  In light of this knowledge, and my own common sense in looking at Camping's math (resembling monkeys at a keyboard typing volumes of Shakespeare), I can safely say that I'm relatively certain it ain't happenin' tonight at 6 PM.  That and the fact that the twitter feed from Australia looks pretty normal at this point.  But... that doesn't mean the rapture isn't something that should be on my mind.  In fact, it's something I should probably be thinking about a whole lot more.

Looking forward to the Second Coming of Christ is what we Christians says we're doing around here.  Watching and waiting.  Jesus tells us to be on the lookout, not to be "asleep at the wheel", so to speak, when the time comes. 

I think this means a lot of things.

First of all that we're supposed to understand that He could come back anytime.  Not just today at 6 PM, but anytime.  Before that - maybe sometime in the next five minutes.  Maybe before you finish reading this post.  Maybe tomorrow or next year or a thousand years from now.  None of that should matter because we should be living EVERY single day as though Jesus were coming back in the next second. 

Besides understanding about The Second Coming and living like it's reality, we need to order our lives so that when He shows up we won't have to freak out because we know we've been neglecting Him and our relationship with Him and the people around us.  I've heard many a sermon preached on living your life so that if you were on trial for being a Christian you'd absolutely be found guilty.

Can I say that that's the way I'm living? 

This past week I was at a conference in Ohio.  I wonder if ANYONE at the conference knew I was a Christian.  Is there anything different about me?  Do they NEED to know?  How desperate should I be when it comes to sharing my faith?  Is it enough to just be as loving as I can?  What's the difference between me, a Believer, and any other moral human being?  Does that hope shine through me all the time?  How can I be sure?  What does being sure even mean?

I see the news reports about Camping's followers with their soapboxes and their signs and tracts and I write them off as psychos - but really - the fact is, at least they, and everyone around them, knows exactly where they stand.

Tomorrow, unless there's a dramatic happening in the next 24 hours, there are going to be a lot of people who are totally lost.  People who have invested everything in Camping and his prediction and who have spent all of their savings, lost friends and family to their "craziness", made fools of themselves, quit their jobs, sold their homes will be lost.  What will they do next?  How do you come back from something that you've sold yourself to so whole-heartedly and then you find out when you come over the other side of the mountain there's nothing there?  I don't know the answer.  I do know that this is our fear as human beings. 

When you are totally sold out for something you are willing to go anywhere, do anything, sell everything - give up family and friends and possessions to pursue the thing that you are sold out for - to tell everyone about this thing you've found.

How many of us can say we are totally sold out for our beliefs?  How many of us are totally sold out for Christ?  Are we willing to be fools?  Are we willing to go anywhere, sell everything - give up security and comforts and go at life as though we ACTUALLY believe that the only thing that really matters is love, truth, and salvation?  What does it look like for us - right now - to be SOLD OUT for Christ? 

How would your life be different?

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