Tag Archives: Rapture

Today’s Billboard

23 May

By now, you may have seen this photo floating around on facebook. I came across it last evening…

Yes, it was awkward. Not just for Harold Camping & his followers, but for all people. I’ve had many conversations…some people making a joke about it, laughing & scoffing at the fact that the rapture did NOT happen. You know…we’re still here. Some people who have said they are truly concerned & scared about the possibility that the world could end someday. People discussing their own beliefs, their own thoughts about faith, Jesus, God & the rapture. Also, many conversations amidst fellow Christ followers who are upset & frustrated by Harold Camping’s claims because now we have to walk around with a sense of scorn placed on us because someone falsely misrepresented our Jesus. Those of us who follow Jesus believe in him & the Bible when it says; “No one knows the day or the hour…” as said in Matthew 24:36. We believe & know Jesus will come back…it’s just a matter of when.

Let me share some more scripture around Matthew 24:36. It says:

Matthew 24:36-44

The Day and Hour Unknown

    36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,[a] but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.

   42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.

God says that NO ONE knows. Not even Jesus. But, the Bible is full of scriptures that give us signs to be vigilant about that will give us warning. Here are some scriptures that warn of the “last days”.

2 Timothy 3

 1 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.

 6 They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7 always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. 8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth. They are men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. 9 But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.

2 Peter 3

The Day of the Lord

 1 Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. 2I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles.

 3 Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4 They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” 5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. 6 By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. 7 By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

  14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. 15 Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. 16 He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.

1 Thessalonians 5

The Day of the Lord

 1 Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, 2 for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.

Something that always strengthens my faith is the truth that the Bible was not written yesterday. It wasn’t written 10 years ago! It was written thousands of years ago & IS God’s word. From the beginning of time. The relevancy of the writings & what is happening around us today cannot be denied. Matthew 24 is a very detailed portion of scripture that gives us a great deal of information on the last days & what is to come. I encourage you to read it. Here is a link to read it in full:

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+24&version=NIV

So, yes, May 21st as supposed “Judgement Day” was awkward for all of us to some degree. But, the good news is that for every joke that is being made about it, for every laugh & roll of the eyes; many people have begun to talk about Jesus. Many people have begun to really evaluate their lives. If any good can become of Harold Camping’s false prediction, it will be the good of more people coming to believe & follow Jesus. Also, those who already follow Jesus are strengthened by the truth of his word that no one knows the hour & we should always be ready & live a life of devotion to him.

Matthew 24

42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.

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My Last Day Here.

20 May

It is Friday, May 20, 2011.

Today started just like any other day. I woke up to the sound of my daughter whispering, “M–O–M”…”can you get me something to e-e-e-e-at?” My children seem to use whining in all of their sentences. Or at least the prolonged endings of words that seem like whining. I rolled my tired self over to the edge, getting up way too fast, which then causes me to get dizzy…so I have my morning pause on the side of the bed so I don’t pass out.

The roaring of little feet go running down the steps & before I can ask what she wants, my little girl (#3) is holding a box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch in front of her face…shaking the box loudly to say, “I want this!!” I try to muster a smile, but instead, I’m saying “SSSSHHHHHH!” so she doesn’t wake up the other beasts upstairs. (Big sister (#1) gets cranky if she gets up too early!!) I pour her some cereal & scroll through Netflix quickly for her to watch something. She decides on “Hello, Kitty”, and I slowly trudge back up the stairs. I crawl back into bed & pull the covers over my head; hoping to eliminate the blasting light coming in through the window & eliminate any sounds that may carry up the hallway from “Hello, Kitty” downstairs.

I sleep for another 25 minutes until #1 has to get up & get ready, meanwhile, Brother (#2) has already made his way downstairs to join #3. It’s the same old picking out clothes, fusses & whines about the hairstyle I helped #1 with, packing up snacks & lunches & some hugs & kisses as my husband & #1 head out the door.

This is how my days begin. Every day. Except, obviously, my husband & #1 don’t leave for work & school on the weekends. 🙂

Tomorrow, May 21, 2011, is Judgement Day. Or Rapture Day. Or Going to Heaven Day. Or so some people think. Oh, wait, they are “Christian” people. You know, the people who claim to worship God & Jesus, most likely go to church, supposedly love people, give to charity, supposedly treat others with kindness & respect…you know…the “Perfect” ones. Those who can do NO wrong. Those who supposedly look down on “other” people who may not believe in Jesus or God. “THOSE” crazies. Or are they? Are “Christians” crazy? What is the definition of crazy? Or better yet, what is a definition of a Christian?

Definition of CRAZY

1
a : full of cracks or flaws : unsound <they were very crazy, wretched cabins — Charles Dickens> b : crooked, askew
2
a : mad, insane <yelling like a crazy man> b (1) : impractical <a crazy plan> (2) : erratic <crazy drivers> c : being out of the ordinary : unusual <a taste for crazy hats>
3
a : distracted with desire or excitement thrill-crazy mob> b : absurdly fond : infatuated <he’s crazy about the girl> c : passionately preoccupied : obsessed <crazy about boats>
 
 
Well, by looking at that definition, I’d say we’re all crazy to some degree. Wouldn’t you agree?
 
But, I know what you think. I know how it works. If someone believes in “something” that categorizes them, then THAT is crazy. THOSE people are the ones who can officially carry the label.  I get it. Yes, it makes sense. Crazy.
 
However, I was thinking this morning while I was getting ready about this whole May 21, 2011, “Judgement Day.” I couldn’t help but think about it. I mean, every person on the planet is probably thinking about it. What if they are right? What if they are wrong? Would I go to heaven? What if it ends up being a big joke? Bring on the “I told you so’s…”. Every single one of us has a stance on this so-called “Judgement Day”. I know we do because facebook & twitter are full of opinions & comments. My personal favorite was this one:
 
“To all those” Saved, Born Again, Better Thans” C YA ON SUNDAY!!!!”
 
WHOA! WHOA! WHOA! Hold on just a New York minute!!! This is where my mind started brewing & rumbling around about what this supposed “Judgement Day” is doing to people! It is making people turn against one another. It is making people scoff at one another. It is throwing out respect for other people. It is in essence saying,
 
“If YOU claim that the rapture or Judgement Day is happening tomorrow, YOU are a crazy. But, wait. I won’t stop there. ANYONE who loves God or loves Jesus is crazy. Looney! See…they are ALL the same!!! Even those who don’t believe the Rapture is happening tomorrow! You all worship the same so-called God. What a joke! How foolish are you! You have ZERO credibility in my book if you are religious or claim to be born again/saved, etc. What a worthless, waste of time those people are!! Fools!!”
 
This is where it get’s dicey for me. (Yes, it is the year 2011 & I just said “dicey”) Why are Christians all lumped together into ONE category? Why if I believe in Jesus & God do I get categorized into the same big pool of Christians regardless of how fanatical or misguided some people are? No matter what philosophies they hold? No matter what goes on in their little “groups” of so-called church? Even if it is definitely not biblical? WHY?
 
When we lump all people who say they believe in Jesus as being “Christian” & then when one denomination of supposed Christianity messes up or gets all insane or cultish…why are we all penalized? It’s like saying that all Islam believers are terrorists. When we clearly know that is not true.
 
 So what is true? Who is right? What is fair to say? Why does Christianity have such a large umbrella overhead that supposedly holds everyone who says God exists underneath it?
 
I personally, have NO idea if this group of Judgement Day people are correct. I have never even heard of them prior to just a few days ago. I guess we’ll see tomorrow. Or will we? (sorry, I couldn’t help it) But, why is it that because one group of people claim this that people start taking a look around at the world & at themselves? And all of a sudden conjuring up such harsh feelings toward people we don’t even know or didn’t even know about a week ago? Why is it that because they “claim” something (even if it isn’t true) that the world thinks we can just bash them & ridicule them? Do people bash & ridicule you for what you choose to do?
 
Don’t we ALL carry claims with us? Don’t we ALL have so-called “signs” that we carry around? I mean, let’s be honest. If we don’t believe that tomorrow is the Rapture or Judgment Day, then we believe in something else, right? I think it is safe to say that many of us don’t think we’ll ever die. None of us would ever say that, because we know it is silly to say we’ll live forever, but many of us LIVE like we’ll never die. Indulging in unsafe, disgusting behavior. Filling our bodies with unhealthy amounts of food, drugs, alcohol. Neglecting our children. Abusing others. Ignoring that phone call from a friend because she talks too much & taking her phone call means you will be on the phone FOREVER so you tell yourself you’ll call her back tomorrow. Excusing any belief in God or Jesus as something that is for “fools”, when deep down, you wonder what DO you believe?
 
Really, people? Really?! You are NO better than those who claim tomorrow is Judgment Day. You think & believe you will ALWAYS have a tomorrow. You live it. You claim it. Because if every single one of us truly believed today was their last day, we would have a very different world. Families would be happier. Parents would spend more time with their children. Spouses would forgive each other & stay true to their vows. People wouldn’t lie, cheat or steal…I mean, who would want to die being known as a liar or thief? People may even truly take a look at their beliefs & if heaven & hell exist. They may just think a little deeper about God, Jesus & faith instead of laughing about it. Things would be very different. But, day after day, we go to sleep & we wake up putting off things we should do today for tomorrow because we just don’t believe today will be it for us. I’m just as guilty. I really am. There are days that I don’t always tell the truth. There are days when I don’t make the best decisions. But, I can’t walk around laughing & scoffing at someone else’s claims when my claim can sometimes be pretty absurd, too.
 
I believe in Jesus. I whole heartedly, 100% believe in Jesus. I believe that he died on the cross for my sins. I believe that I need to follow him & the way he lived. I believe that I need to share his love with others. Especially those who don’t deserve it. I believe that I need to love the poor & share the hope I have found with the world. Does that make me automatically insane or someone who thinks I am better than someone else? Truly, that is NOT the case. Maybe you have come across someone who did make you feel inferior & hurt you. And for that I am truly sorry. Or maybe you took your self questioning about your own beliefs & turned it into an offense because it was too painful to ask those deep questions within yourself? If I believe following Jesus is a decision I personally make, why would I think I am better than anyone else? OR does that make me the “same” as someone else who “claims” to love Jesus, but their life doesn’t seem to really line up with how he lived? Is that my place to judge? Are we in the same category? Can I say I love Jesus, but hate people around me? Can I say I follow Jesus & his love for the poor & walk by a bum on the street without even a glance? Can I say that I accept forgiveness from Jesus but I can’t accept forgiveness from my dad for the years of physical & emotional abuse I endured? Can I say that I believe only in God & worship nothing else but him if I have an enormous abundance of material possessions that are unnecessary–if I spend many of my waking hours planning vacations for myself, ridiculous amounts of shopping trips to the mall; do I worship things? What about fine-dining at the best restaurants in excess or over- indulging…eating until I am so full I can hardly breathe? What if I spend countless hours at my job while neglecting my family? Wouldn’t it be safe to say that I just might worship my job? Or that maybe I worship the success it brings? Maybe I worship the accolades I receive for being such a “hard worker”. I mean, what makes one claiming to be a Christian truly legit? Who are we?
 
Let’s be real people. We’re not all the same. Christianity isn’t a “one belief fits all” approach. I can tell all the people that I want to that I am anything I want to say I am or even “think” I am. But, we all know that evidence is what separates what one says they are from what they “actually” are. That age-old saying, “the proof is in the pudding”. Yep. It’s true for Christians, too. It’s not enough to say you “believe” in God or Jesus. It’s what happens in one’s daily life that confirms who one says they are. Anyone can smack a label on themself. Anyone can stand up & tell people what they are. They can even fool many people. And sadly, they can even fool themselves. And in the process, lead many, many people astray or just give them a reason to not want what you have because you are such a hypocrite.
 
The bottom line is this: No one. NONE of us can say with 100% certainty that these Judgment Day people are wrong. Nor, can we say with 100% certainty, that we are right! Because only God knows. Tomorrow will come. None of us can guarantee what will happen tomorrow. Or the next day. Or the next day. Instead of spewing out hatred for all Christians or other groups of people & spending our time fighting & arguing, maybe we can begin to just worry about ourselves & if today was our last day, where would we go when we died? What would we leave behind? Would anyone remember us? What did we stand for? Did I do everything I possibly could to let those around me know I loved them? Did everyone around me know that I was a true, legit follower of Jesus? Did the people around me know that Jesus can save anyone, including them? And then what does that mean? How is that lived out?
 
It is a very challenging thought. As my day went on, I began to ask myself, “What if today WAS my last day?” From conversing with my children to doing my daily tasks…how do I want to live? How would I want to be remembered? Do people know how much I really love them? Do people really know how much I love Jesus & how much he has changed my life? Am I someone who truly reflects love & joy? If I am honest, most days, I don’t think I would pass the “last day” test. Oftentimes, I am cranky, complaining about something (like the weather) & just downright blah city. I’m not talking about living each day in complete fanatic behaviors (like quitting a job, saying my goodbyes, etc.) but just being someone who makes each day count. To lay my head on my pillow & truly know that I tried my best to love the way Jesus did. To know that I made a difference…even if just a little difference.
 
To know that my last day here was the best day of my life. Not necessarily just for myself, but for the people I am leaving behind.