Well, it's May 20, 2011. Rapture Eve. There's been plenty of excitement building. Expectation abounds. Christians all throughout the world are packing their bags, saying goodbyes, and waiting like little children on the night before Christmas; wondering what tomorrow will bring.
Cloudy with a chance of firey hail?
At the risk of sounding impertinent, though, I do have a couple of questions for you. Don't get me wrong here, I am really looking forward to meeting you face-to-face. But this whole "taking the Christians off to the clouds while leaving the rest of the world to suffer through tribulation" business leaves me with a few questions. Actually, they're your questions. At least, they're from your Word. Here they are...
But how are they to call on one in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him? And how are they to proclaim him unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!" But not all have obeyed the good news; for Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed our message?" So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ. (Romans 10:14-17)
You see, I struggle with the logic of the Rapture. Even since you ascended to the right hand of the Father you've called us to partner with you in preaching the gospel and making disciples. This is one of the many reasons why I love you and love serving you. You're a relational God, who invited us into relationship with you, and amazingly you ask us to invite others into relationship with you too.
That's been a pretty good system, I think. At least, when we've actually done what you've asked us to do, that is. So, I just find it a little "out of character" for you to go and change the game plan. I do like a good action film, but the thought of sitting on the clouds, eating popcorn and sipping mocktails, whilst we all watch the earth be systematically and progressively destroyed actually isn't that appealing. Maybe it is to the disconnected and desensitised, but to me, it pains me to my very core. Something within me tells me it pains you too.
So, I have a request. A last minute one, I know, but I'm hoping you may be able to consider it as your getting all the angels together and preparing to part the sky. So, here goes..
Leave me behind.
Again, I really am looking forward to seeing you, and I promise to wave as you take everyone else up to the party on cloud nine. But there's unfinished business to be done here. Call it "taking one for the team" but I'd rather suffer through the so-called tribulation alongside those who don't know you than spend it doing next to nothing with those who do.
So my prayer today is "Here am I, my Lord, leave me".
P.S. Do you think there's a chance those guys who did the maths forgot to carry the 1?