Do You Want To Be The One Taken Or Left?

A fairly recent movement (at least in Biblical history time) is the Rapture theory, which has grown in acceptance and popularity within the Protestant community.  The Rapture theory, of course, tries to explain the tribulations at the end times and what will the end time, when Jesus comes in final judgement, look like.

One of the seminal Bible verses sited by the Rapturists is Luke 17:34-35.  It talks about two people, that just happen to be in proximity to each other and one is taken and the other left behind.  So, the Rapture assumption contends that the one that is taken is then taken to Heaven, to which the Rapturist would then add, being “taken up”, although the “up” is added and not in the passage.  The second part of that assumption is the person(s) left behind are the dammed sinners that have been judged to Hell.

Ah, but before the loyal Rapturist get’s too confident about wanting to be taken, better read the earlier part of this passage.  Verse 26 states, “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be in the days of the Son of Man.”  Then in verses 28-29 Jesus’ story continues, “Similarly, as it was in the days of Lot:  they were eating, drinking, buying, selling, planting, building; on the day when Lot left Sodom, fire and brimstone rained from the sky to destroy them all.”

Now, in these two stories, were the good guys taken or left?  Jesus is using these stories to get to the “two in bed” and “two women grinding meal together” sections in verses 34-35.  Looking at the context, if I were agreeing with the Rapture theory, I might want to be one of the people left behind.  As in the stories of Noah and Lot, the bad people, the people taken, were drowned and incinerated.

Now, this leads to the reason why neither I nor the Catholic Church has ever subscribed to this Rapture theory.  It is just that, a theory, a hypothesis.  Jesus forbade fortune and future telling endeavors, especially looking toward and worrying about the end times.  Per Jesus’ inferences, the end times will be a spectacular final clash between good and evil, but our individual end times will come at our own deaths.  That is what we must be preparing for, not the world’s end time.

Jesus challenges us to live in the moment.  That is why He introduced and taught that the Kingdome of God is at hand, in the world right now.  We are to act in the moment; to find that Kingdome right now, not some years or millennium(s) in the future.  We are implored and mandated to follow God’s word and callings to reach out to His outstretched arms to grasp His hand.  One cannot do that consumed, worrying about some happening that first, one has no control over, and something that we individually will never have to experience.  We need to keep our focus on what we need to do today, right now, to walk closer toward God and our salvation.  As Jesus’s story of the rich man building barns to store his excess wheat, “You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?[1].

Don’t’ be one of the persons consumed and worried if one will be taken or left at the Rapture. One is not really sure which one of these goes to Heaven and which the other way anyway.  Be a doer and not a worrier.  Our goal is to get to Heaven and bring all that we can with us.  We do not accomplish this goal by being a worrier and teach others to worry just like us.  We need to be and teach others to be doers of one’s Faith.  Action gets us to Heaven.  Acting on one’s Faith, stepping out of one’s comfort zones, and being attentive to God’s callings changes the world.

Let us not be concerned with the future.  Let us have our goal in hand to reach Heaven.  That does not mean being consumed by perpetual planning and worry about some future event(s) that one has no control over anyway.  What I do have control over; however, is how much I love God right now.  What I have control over is how much I believe in God’s love for me.  What I do have control over is how I turn that Faith and love into action right now to Love God with all my heart, soul and being, and my Neighbor as myself.  If I am not doing this, as Jesus commanded, the world suffers as we are mired in “analysis paralysis”.  We do nothing and watch the world slowly slip away when we could have been that light that at least the world surrounding us so dearly needed.  So, be a doer and not a worrier.  Let’s get to Heaven and let’s bring a few million people each along with us.  Amen.

[1] Luke 12:20

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