Reverse Rapture

A post this morning by John Byron on what is wrong with “Rapture theology” made me think of a parable about the Rapture that Peter Rollins told. Because of what has been in the news lately, when I went to his web site to look for it, I found he had reposted it in his most recent blog entry. Here it is:

Just as it was written by those prophets of old, the last days of the Earth overflowed with suffering and pain. In those dark days a huge pale horse rode through the Earth with Death upon its back and Hell in its wake. During this great tribulation the Earth was scorched with the fires of war, rivers ran red with blood, the soil withheld its fruit and disease descended like a mist. One by one all the nations of the Earth were brought to their knees.

Far from all the suffering, high up in the heavenly realm, God watched the events unfold with a heavy heart. An ominous silence had descended upon heaven as the angels witnessed the Earth being plunged into darkness and despair. But this could only continue for so long for, at the designated time, God stood upright, breathed deeply and addressed the angels,

“The time has now come for me to separate the sheep from the goats, the healthy wheat from the inedible chaff”

Having spoken these words God slowly turned to face the world and called forth to the church with a booming voice,

“Rise up and ascend to heaven all of you who have who have sought to escape the horrors of this world by sheltering beneath my wing. Come to me all who have turned from this suffering world by calling out ‘Lord, Lord’”.

In an instant millions where caught up in the clouds and ascended into the heavenly realm. Leaving the suffering world behind them.

Once this great rapture had taken place God paused for a moment and then addressed the angels, saying,

“It is done, I have separated the people born of my spirit from those who have turned from me. It is time now for us leave this place and take up residence in the Earth, for it is there that we shall find our people. The ones who would forsake heaven in order to embrace the earth. The few who would turn away from eternity itself to serve at the feet of a fragile, broken life that passes from existence in but an instant.”

And so it was that God and the heavenly host left that place to dwell among those who had rooted themselves upon the earth. Quietly supporting the ones who had forsaken God for the world and thus who bore the mark God. The few who had discovered heaven in the very act of forsaking it.

  • Angie VanDeMerwe

    The only problem I have with this is when it comes to another’s life. One cannot be “God”, in a ‘sovereign” way, as each person has to determine his own life/destiny, unless he consents to and cooperates with/in the “network” of his own choosing….this is the basis of liberty of conscience in how one desires to live their life. This “coming of age” is a place of autonomy, and self respect.

  • Angie VanDeMerwe

    The only problem I have with this is when it comes to another’s life. One cannot be “God”, in a ‘sovereign” way, as each person has to determine his own life/destiny, unless he consents to and cooperates with/in the “network” of his own choosing….this is the basis of liberty of conscience in how one desires to live their life. This “coming of age” is a place of autonomy, and self respect.

  • Jim

    I
    think one important aspect of a free will relationship involves really knowing
    the “other party”. So far God has been portrayed as someone who had to beat the
    crap out of His Son so that we could approach Him, then asks us to trust Him.
    If you don’t then in October (adjusted from May 21), He will be back to give
    you a punch bowl full of disasters along with an abyss dwelling multi-headed beast
    that will gnaw on your butt cheeks if you don’t smarten up. Let’s say that you
    are presented with a more accurate picture of God than this traditional one,
    how might that skew free will in a more favorable direction? This also gives rise
    to the question; does this all have to be settled out in this human lifetime?
    What might the possible outcome of free will be for people who meet Christ face
    to face in the next life and find out He is both approachable and a fun dude to
    be around? Or is obedience to rules and an eye for an eye philosophy even
    bigger than God? Thanks to Peter and Angie you’ve both got me thinking, maybe
    heretical thoughts, but nevertheless thinking. Maybe us churchy guys have been
    giving people inaccurate information about God and in the process have actually
    screwed with peoples “free will” choices.

  • Jim

    I
    think one important aspect of a free will relationship involves really knowing
    the “other party”. So far God has been portrayed as someone who had to beat the
    crap out of His Son so that we could approach Him, then asks us to trust Him.
    If you don’t then in October (adjusted from May 21), He will be back to give
    you a punch bowl full of disasters along with an abyss dwelling multi-headed beast
    that will gnaw on your butt cheeks if you don’t smarten up. Let’s say that you
    are presented with a more accurate picture of God than this traditional one,
    how might that skew free will in a more favorable direction? This also gives rise
    to the question; does this all have to be settled out in this human lifetime?
    What might the possible outcome of free will be for people who meet Christ face
    to face in the next life and find out He is both approachable and a fun dude to
    be around? Or is obedience to rules and an eye for an eye philosophy even
    bigger than God? Thanks to Peter and Angie you’ve both got me thinking, maybe
    heretical thoughts, but nevertheless thinking. Maybe us churchy guys have been
    giving people inaccurate information about God and in the process have actually
    screwed with peoples “free will” choices.


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