As I write this, it’s about 4 o’clock in the afternoon on May 21, 2011—the day that some Christian ministries have been proclaiming for months as the guaranteed day that Jesus will return to take His faithful home. Since my latest look at CNN.com shows no indications of sudden theophanies or mass disappearances of believers – departing for heavenly glory, I’m figuring that Jesus has only about 8 more hours to put in an appearance before this latest cadre of End-Times prognosticators is shown to be just as mistaken as all those who have gone before them have been. [Of course, to be fair, there are several others time zones where the end of May 21st will come later than 8 hours from now. So technically, I guess that Jesus may have a little more time than that.]
Now just on the off chance that the Rapture doesn’t take place—and all of us are still here on May 22nd—I can’t say that I’ll be surprised. I suppose that I have to count myself among those Christians who tend to think—that since Jesus himself said “only the Father” knew the day and hour of his return—it doesn’t do much good for us to burn much energy making predictions. Then again, I also can’t say that I’ll be especially pleased. After all, as one song puts it: “If we ever needed the Lord before, we sure do need Him now.” Given the level of violence and hatred and mistrust and unfaithfulness in the world, I actually do long for the day when Christ returns and “God makes all things new.” However, assuming that we’re all still here tomorrow, I think that what I will feel is hopeful—hopeful that with this little sideshow behind us we can focus once again on being rich in love, faithful in prayer, and dedicated to living in such a way that “God’s kingdom comes and God’s will gets done on earth as it is in heaven.”
So while I do look forward to that day when God completes the “redemption and restoration” mission the He began in Christ (although I have no clue when or how that time of completion will come), perhaps I can pray for now that the Rapture will come a little every day, as faithful followers of Jesus make his presence a little more clear in the world through their words and lives.
Maranatha. Come, Lord Jesus.