A couple of days ago, I received a flier in the mail, an invitation to a prophesy seminar. Now, not too many years ago, I entertained a fascination with the whole The Late, Great Planet Earth, Left Behind phenomenon. I believed there would be an Advent 1.5 seven years prior to the ‘real’ Second Advent. I believed Christ would perform, as a cheeky someone whose name I do not recall once said, a ‘touch and go’ to extract the church from the world before the great tribulation. The church would be spared ‘the great suffering’ . I accepted the whole peculiarly American contemporary evangelical rapture theology, a theology of costless entitlement, without much question.
I want to state up front that in no way, shape , or form do I question the intent, character, motives, or sincerity of those who sent this invitation to this seminar. I also want to state that there are many godly men and women who accept this eschatology. Sophisticated, I ain’t, and all that being said, I think most would have to raise an eyebrow at the images from the flier below.
I think that this view of Christ’s return forces a focus on current headlines rather than the Word. Perhaps more accurately, it forces Scripture to be interpreted in the context of current news, a lens far removed from the context of the original readers through which Scripture is to be first understood. I also think this eschatology is a bit dangerous because it infers that the contemporary Church will not have to suffer tribulation as history approaches closure. Think about the persecuted church through history; think about those Christians in the third world, in Islamic countries, in China, in this day and age, who are being martyred for their faith in Christ. Where is their ‘rapture’ from tribulation? So much could be said on the subject.
In closure, as I read and study the Word, I am moving more to an amillennialist eschatology. I also look forward with great anticipation the return of my King, our mighty Redeemer and Saviour, Christ Jesus. His return may occur within the next heartbeat or long after I pass on, but I long to see my Saviour. Whatever your eschatology, I hope you, too, long for the Lord’s return.