Mar 03 2021


My early faith came with a hearty helping of rapture fever. Bumper stickers warned, “Get right or get left!” We sang, “You’ve been left behind!” to scare our friends into accepting Christ. Honestly, I just wanted Jesus to hold off until I got to have sex.


I read a book called “88 Reasons The Rapture Will Be in 1988”. Traci and I got married in May of that year. Just in time, thank Jesus! The rapture was due in September according to the author but it evidently got cancelled.


Every few years a new round of apocalyptic expectation surfaces in pop culture. Y2K. 2012. 2020. Funny how those are all election years! Who doesn’t want to escape then?


Rapture in Luke?


The reason I bring this up is that the passage I am teaching this Sunday (Luke 17:20-37) is one of a small handful of passages people use to support the idea. It’s the basis of the Larry Norman song mentioned above.


“A man and wife asleep in bed
She hears a noise and turns her head, he’s gone
I wish we’d all be ready
Two men walking up a hill
One disappears and one’s left standing still
I wish we’d all been ready
There’s no time to change your mind
The Son has come and you’ve been left behind”


This is close to what Jesus said, but not exactly. If you read Luke’s gospel looking for the rapture, you may see it. But if you examine your assumptions, you may be surprised what you find. Beware, it’s hard to see your own assumptions.


Doubt Your Assumptions and Trust Your Bible


Shortly after the disappointing non-rapture of ’88, a friend asked me some questions that helped me examine my own assumptions. I realized that what I thought I knew was keeping me from seeing what was right in front of me.


The Bible can interpret itself if you let it. Trust your Bible and doubt your assumptions. Not the other way around.


Come Sunday with a Bible and and open mind. I’ll show you how a little doubt can strengthen your faith.


Read Luke 17:20-37 and use these questions to examine your assumptions.
– What do the stories Jesus uses as examples have in common?
– Who is taken away and who is left alive in the stories of Noah and Lot?
– Who loses their life and who preserves it? How is Lot’s wife an example?
– How do your assumptions prevent you from asking better questions?

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