28 May 2011

Wishing the Rapture Would Have Raptured the Rapture.

I for one am glad the rapture didn't happen last weekend. I have only got to mid way through Boy Meets World with Brittany and would have been pissed if I hadn't at least seen Corey and Topanga get married. Thankfully it looks like I will get there. As long as I do so before October 21st.

Heaven and Hell and the end of the world and Rapture are all words that have been branded about at one point or the other in the last couple of months or so.

For better or worse, there is an ongoing conversation right now all about the end of the world and what the next world will look like.

Of course this isn’t something new. People have been predicting the end of the world for what seems forever. People have been talking about who is ‘in’ and who is ‘out’ of Heaven and Hell for a long time. The conversation comes around and it will disappear (unlike the way we were supposed to during the rapture) and it will inevitably come around again. Perhaps though, the reason it has been so in the limelight is because it is the first time it has really come to our attention in the age of the internet.

For whatever reason though it has been exhausting. It has been tiring to think so much about Heaven and Hell and to think about the world ending. I am tired of hearing about it and I am tired of reading about it. And I think there is a reason why.

I think it is quite telling that when Jesus spoke he rarely mentioned Hell. It wasn’t something that he spent a great deal of time trying to explain. What he did spend a great deal of time doing was talking about Love. Talking about how to love each other better. How to treat others. He didn’t really deal with doctrine. He was interested in relationships and He was interested in healing. Feeding the hungry and healing the sick.

And maybe that is why I am so tired of talking about Hell and when the world will end. Maybe it is because it is a distraction from what we really should be doing.

Does Hell exist? I don’t know. Will everyone be saved? I don’t know. Apparantly it has been our job recently to decide those things. Thankfully it's not.

Of course there will be some who say that we are dealing with real people and that we need to warn them about Hell and we need to warn them that they need saved.

But truthfully I don’t want to be scared into following Jesus. I want to follow Him because he loves me. I want to love people so they don’t go to Hell, right now.

None of us can be certain of what Heaven and Hell will be like. We just can’t. If the Bible was so clear on it we wouldn’t still be debating it.

But the Bible is clear on how to treat each other. Jesus was very clear about that.

If we preached more about a God that loves us so much that he is continuously pursuing us and is constantly longing for us and not waiting to punish us for all eternity, maybe we would be less interested in proving our point and more in following Jesus.

In the story of the Prodigal Son the father was always waiting for his son to return. Every day he was keeping an eye out for him. And when he did return he ran after him.

That’s Love. That’s a God who doesn’t give up on us because we are worth it. Not a God who is just dying to end the world so He can punish us.

The world was supposed to end last weekend. When you make a statement that world is going to end you are really saying that God has had enough and His patience has ran out.

Well we are still here and I don’t think His patience has ran out. If that is a sign of anything I think it is a sign that God still cares and isn't ready to give up. I think we should forget about proving what we think about Heaven and Hell is correct and focus on the one thing we do know. That we are to love each other and share Jesus love with people.

Are you ready for Jesus return? Maybe that’s the wrong question.

Maybe we should be asking,

Is God ready to return?


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