Many things enter my life as distractions! Yummy chocolate chip pound cake for instance is certainly one! Enjoying the first piece isn't the problem, it's the slices after that which really try to grab my attention! There are other distractions though lately which have been bothering me, in particular the non-events of this weekend promoted by some to be The Rapture. I know you are probably sick of hearing about that as am I, but this being my journal I thought it important to get a few thoughts down before they began to slip my mind.
Let me first start off by saying a few things. I seem to hear a little too often in Christian circles blaming the enemy [Christian speak for Satan] for everything bad that happens, even to the point of daily routine frustrations. Can he be? Sure. Is he always? I doubt it.
Yet I do not underestimate his power nor his involvement in my life. I tend to believe that anything that leads us away from the Cross of Christ is demonic in nature. It could be something cultural, but also often it's religious and legalistic behaviors or rules that pull us away from His Grace. Do I think that the prosperity gospel (a teaching that tells us that if we are truly following Christ that we will be healed, rich, and powerful) is demonic in nature? Absolutely. Is the fact that I spilled my coffee over my pants on the way to work that caused me to be late the scheme of the enemy? Possibly, but I doubt it.
So when I first began hearing the views of Family Radio about the upcoming Rapture it simply annoyed me. I saw them as a very misguided group of people with very poor theology preaching from a twisted view of Scripture. As we got closer, it became a joke to me, often joking with friends which one of us will be around after 6PM on Saturday. Now however, after the time has come and gone, I'm a little bothered by it, and here's why.
I could be wrong, and I pray I am, but I have a bad feeling that the significance of the Rapture (The Rapture) has been diluted a little among some believers. I simply think that all this joking and teasing those extremely misguided views has left some with a layed back attitude to the real event coming. I don't mean to imply that some of my brothers and sisters in Christ don't think that Judgement Day is a big deal, I just think that all this joking possibly took the edge off the event.
Do I think that taking even a slight edge off a believer's feeling about the Rapture is the work of the enemy? Sounds like it to me ...
Father, I pray that you continue to stir in Your children a sense of conviction about our ultimate fate. While some groups have and will continue to try and predict your Son's return, may we learn to ignore their views without losing sight of what that Day means for all of humanity. May we not reach out to those lost by using fear and control, but rather love and compassion. Continue to protect Your children from the attacks of the enemy, no matter how subtle, so that we can remain in union with You and do Your Will, always preparing for your return.
But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. (Matthew 24:43 ESV)