The big news, and punch line, this week is that Harold Camping has proclaimed that the rapture will occur on Saturday, May 21, 2011. He offers a series of mathematical equations which leads him to make this bold declaration.
The truth is that his math is so incredibly made up and so shockingly un-Biblical that it is hard to imagine anyone actually believing him. And the best thing to do is to use this opportunity to proclaim the true Gospel to those who feel frightened by the declaration, and many are making use of that opportunity.
So, needless to say, when we all wake up on Sunday morning and go to church, and someone is not there, we will not assume that they have been raptured; we will just assume that they are not there for whatever reason.
Of course, the idea behind the rapture is not one of peace and tranquility at all. The idea of the rapture is that so many people have disappeared that you do not know who has been raptured and who has been left behind. The idea of Camping, as well as Tim LaHey and Jerry Jenkins is that those who are left behind will notice those who are gone and start looking around to see who else is gone in something approaching utter panic. People, believers, are gone; the workings of the entire world have been severely complicated by the sudden loss of population. Where have all the Christians gone?
And yet, the believers, the Christians, who should be worried about those who are not in church on Sunday morning, will do so with nothing more than a shrug, and in some cases a disapproving scowl. No one will think that those who are missing have been raptured; and yet there will be little concern for the missing.
So on Sunday morning, while you are sitting in your pew, take note of those who are missing, both those who are missing for just this one Sunday, and those who have been missing for many Sunday’s. Do not go into an utter panic thinking that they have been raptured, but do reach out to them, call them, visit them, see if they are okay. They may not have been raptured, but they are still in need of the love of Jesus.