raptureNOTE: I originally wrote and posted this on my old blog back in 2011, when the wackiness surrounding this was at its peak. I’m reposting it here, both as a bit of nostalgia, but also the sentiments expressed in this still reflects my thoughts every time someone comes around to predict the rapture and / or return of Jesus; specifically, the victims left in the wake of all this.

With only 8 days remaining, I think maybe I should at least say something about this whole rapture business. Throw in my two cents and all that. Wasn’t planning on it, on account of I don’t really have any vested interest in the recent hullabaloo (I can’t believe I just said “hullabaloo”…and spelled it correctly the first time, according to my spell check). Really, there’s been already a lot said and written about it, a lot of jokes and a lot of theological counter articles, blogs and tweets about this. Along with the usual metric ton of trolling and snark attacks.

I’m talking about the group promoting the Rapture as happening on May 21st of this year. I’m no theology expert; even as a very loosely termed layman, I have strong delusions of adequacy in this and other areas of Biblical studies. But, I try. And I hope to at least make some kind of amusing sense at it. This is, after all, only my thought process surrounding the hype.

This isn’t the first time a group like this has put a date on the rapture. I remember there being a date set back in October of 1992. It was in the paper, the Omaha World Herald, bit of a smaller column buried somewhere in one of the sections. And here we are, nearly twenty years later, and I’m hearing about May 21st on talk radio, seeing the billboards, reading the blogs and websites.

And I’m sure there are many out there who remember the (in)famous pamphlet ‘8 Reasons Why Jesus Will Return In 1988′. As someone who wasn’t born again until 1989, I’m glad Jesus decided to postpone things for whatever reason. Possibly to allow the Tim Burton Batman film to be released or something, I couldn’t tell you. Maybe also to allow Duke Nukem Forever to finally see the light of day. But then, that’ll probably be the harbinger of Hell finally freezing over. But I digress.

Personally, I went through that Ends Time Prophecy stint early on. Pretty hardcore about it, too. Meaning, I was kind of a d-bag about it. Time and, for lack of a better word, maturity has tempered my bull-headedness, praise God glory to Jesus amen. I’m familiar with the arguments and points on all sides of the issue. Premillennial, Postmillennial, Amillennial. So I understand that the one constant thread that runs through all of them is this:

No one knows the date or time of Jesus’ return. This is kind of an important point that a lot seem to either forget or willfully ignore. So ever time I hear someone claiming they know the time of Jesus’ return and/or the rapture, I’m somewhat amused.

So yeah, I obviously fall within the unbelieving camp as far as the May 21st date is concerned. However, if on the off-chance these guys are right, I have to ask, why couldn’t the rapture be scheduled on a Monday, instead of a Saturday? Preferably in the middle of the busiest time at work. While I’m driving, or carrying a bunch of breakable things. That would be awesome.

Verbal jocularity aside, there is one thing that concerns me. What’s going to happen on May 22nd? For those in that group, who are believing that May 21st is going to be their last day on Earth, and put all their faith into that…if the rapture doesn’t happen, what then? Will they turn their back on God? Will their faith be shaken because Jesus didn’t call them home? Will they continue to believe in whatever spin their leaders put on this?

Believe me, I’ve been in this position before. Maybe not this exact type, but one where my trust and hope and faith was invested more in something other than entirely on God and His promises in the Bible. When the illusions were shattered, it nearly destroyed me. Fortunately, I wasn’t foolish enough to completely forget Who I needed to trust in. I pray these people don’t completely forget, either.