Faith musings from the seat of a forklift.
Calling in sick in never any fun. For me it means laying on the couch all day with a blanket, dozing off and waking at odds times, usually because a cat or dog decided I was a pet bed. Days like that can hurt a company, as the loss of man power makes it harder on everyone else. This can be especially taxing on busy days.
Oddly, there are some Christians out there who believe that a day will come when there shall be an incredibly high loss of man power, and not at just one location. Rather, they believe that it will be a global event. What is that? What type of event could cause that many people to miss work? If you believe it, the rapture. However, let me ask, is this event truly scriptural?
Honestly? No. The entire philosophy of the rapture is riddled with holes. One of my favorite questions, based entirely upon 1 Corinthians 15, is thus “How many trumpets are there after the LAST trumpet?” Seems that I have never been able to get a straight answer regarding that one. Another question I like to ask, which I can not get an answer to is “If the Bible says in the Gospel of Matthew that no man may know the day nor hour of the return of Christ, then how can we even think to presume that such an event will occur as it would give people a way to countdown until Christ return visibly?” Again, I can not get a straight answer.
The problem is that people are looking to escape the tribulation period just prior to the return of Christ Jesus. Truthfully, I can’t say that I blame them. I once attempted to estimate the world the population at the return of Christ, based upon how many die in each of the judgments of the tribulation. My best estimate was less than one million. It is probable that my math was a little off, but my point is that not many will survive the tribulation period. Little wonder so many want a way of escape.
What type of answer do I get when I question the rapture in light of the passage from Matthew? Sadly, I am often told that verse means we can not know when the rapture will be. Odd answer given the fact that the verse says nothing about the rapture. What answer do I get with regards to my question about 1 Corinthians 15? Usually some silliness about the trumpet for the church to retreat. Retreat? Really? I have never seen that in my Bible and I use both the KJV and the ESV (as well as the NIV and NASB). Seems that even though I can’t find it in my Bible, there are those who firmly believe that the Bible does teach escapism. I’m not convinced.
Is the return of Christ Jesus near? The Apostle Paul certainly thought so when he wrote his letter it to the Romans. Even so, it is even now nearer than it was then. However, should be be getting worked up over it? No. To the contrary, we should not be concerned so much about when he will return so much as we should be concerned regarding what we are to be doing when he returns. We certainly do not want to be found slothful and lazy, mistreating others and otherwise not abiding by and fulfilling the law of God. Rather we should be found working to love and assist one another, not watching and hoping to escape a time of trial and judgment.
Being stuck at home because one is sick is not something anyone should desire. However, even worse it is to desire to be taken away and cause an even greater amount of distress to our employer because we are permanently missing, not having called in or otherwise informed the employer of the reason of your absence. In desiring to be taken away, to escape tribulation, we are, in effect, saying that we care little for the well being of those around us and only care for what becomes of ourselves. This is not what God called upon th e people to do in the Commandments. Nor is it what Jesus taught his disciples.
Whether we are sick and at home or we are at working doing our jobs diligently, let us have this in mind. Our Lord can return at any moment and we should pray that he will find us doing that which fulfills what he taught and commanded his disciples. If we are truly sick, we should let our supervisors know as soon as possible and we should pray that we will recover and return to work as soon as possible. To desire otherwise does not show love to our neighbors and does not fulfill Christ’s command to love one another.
When the Lord comes and establishes his kingdom, and thus war is no more. It is my prayer that we have all done our best to live according to the commands and teachings of Christ Jesus so that we are not found missing in action in his kingdom.
Incidentally, that verse in 1 Thessalonians 4, which reads “Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord”, I have bad news about that verse. It can also be translated to read “Then we who are left behind will be caught up together with them….”. If we take 1 Thessalonians 4:17 as written, we are already left behind.