Rapture, 11-12-13 FEB – #361, 362, 363



Apparently this week’s theme was “rapture week”, this theme of “The Rapture” and God sending Jesus back to earth had permeated the WHOLE week… Kinda takes your mind off your other troubles, huh?…

This is a long set of rambling writings composed over a week, but I think God is saying to me, to ALL of us as Christians to STAY AWAKE, just like HIS disciples in the garden… STAY AWARE, stay on your “A” game… keep working to show others Jesus’s love, and show yourselves to be faithful followers and teach, preach, but most importantly REACH!!!

Whether it’s thru music or reading or people, or so many God-sightings, God continually reminds me and us He’s the ONLY one who knows ALL….

God practically says after one’s salvation realization that “[You’ve come a long way, Baby” – now you need to delve into the harder stuff – you have EVEN MORE work to do…. I called you to REACH… Don’t brush over the painful truths!!!]”

Life can be hard, confusing, I know this and this week alone I discussed with multiple people their job losses, their pain, their anguish over dying family members, and even brutal attacks and killings…. I know life isn’t always a piece of cake…

BUT God wants folks to come to Jesus to find PEACE, to KNOW ETERNAL LIFE. Being a Christian means stirring up the hunger in others for God’s word – and then staying AT the table WITH THEM, if they can’t feed themselves. Here’s the writings…

Rapture, 10-11-12-13 FEB

l’m not making this stuff up… These awesome God-coincidences, these “duplicating themes of the week”… I’m reading an awesome book, one small chapter talks about the “Rapture”, I read it Tuesday, then while talking about my sacred Salvation Subaru car repair, I challenged a man nicknamed Satan (!) and later I talked to an undertaker (!)… Then Ash Wednesday my pastor’s sermon delivered more from the book of Joel… “For the day of the Lord is near; it will come like destruction from the Almighty.” …and then Thursday, on the Supernatural Radio (a Tom Petty song) in my loaner Subaru, Blondie sings “Rapture”… Rapture is the theme of the week apparently… Thurs night at praise band practice I had to reach out about this repetition to my pastor (conveniently our keyboard player too) and four of us discussed the time when Jesus will be sent back to Earth to wrap it all up… I learned how history tells us how awful things were (50,000 people killed every day) at the time when Jesus came 2000 years ago – wow (FYI $2000 is the repeating theme of the financial week too, my car will cost $2000 to fix , it says “I’m not dead yet” like in the Monty Python skit, but I digress…) …

… and then Friday I had at least three instances of random mentioning of the Rapture – including a paragraph in a scientific philosophy manuscript my friend is writing… PLUS endless music about death and life… So conversations abounded because of this repetition and I listen intently to it all – as I have so much to learn – yeah it’s rapturous!

God knows when to turn on the heat… Just give Matthew 24 (and 23, and 25) a read, you will see…

SO, in this awesome book I’m reading, called “Accidental Saints” by Nadia Bolz-Weber, I appreciate the section about “The Rapture”, quoting Matthew 24… And about how the pastor has to discuss the apocalyptic text in the Bible which she knows scares so many people! It’s not easy to convince non-believers to follow a God who is coming back for such a seemingly brutal end of the world scenario where Jesus becomes a thief, stealing people… Her sermon was really offered as an opportunity to be aware and to get ready, about Jesus coming to be a HOLY good thief NOW who wants to take the crap from us NOW beforehand, take out our sinful baggage to get us ready sooner than later, well before the second coming…

I agree, Jesus did come and IS here in spirit and is physically coming again to do the clean up work for God… Let us be AWARE, know what sins YOU can shed before HE comes and the more YOU do now (and YES, GOD WILL HELP) will lighten HIS load of cleaning up YOUR mess… You can do it, God WILL help.

All this I have been thinking about on my commute Wed morning, in my little borrowed Subaru, when even more rapturous themes flooded in … I was thinking about what next tune might come up on the Eighties station on Sirius radio… (you know I want to fill this little car with prayers and pause and praise for good music and for a good life to whomever drives it after me) … So, what comes on the radio? Blondie “Rapture” !!!!! I’m not making this stuff up!!! She sings about rapturous eating of Subarus… “go out at night, eatin’ cars / You eat Cadillacs, Lincolns too – Mercurys and SUBARUS !”

God must control the radio…

When I got the brand new borrowed car last Monday I heard the first song “Whip It” -Devo – whip it into shape, yup I know what God means… After Blondie I put it back to the 60s station (I’m trying to balance out ALL the music for a good car upbringing since I’m the first driver of this car, 300 miles so far). Yes my friends, God controls the radio for me – OR I can just connect everything I hear and see to God – either way God is awesome… I’ve got 60s and 70s, classic Vinyl… After “Rapture” played Creedence Clearwater Revival – everybody wants a revival right??? Then the Eagles singing about “turning water into wine”.. then Billy Joel singing about red and white wine… then some Grateful Dead… then Electric LIGHT Orchestra “Living Thing”…

So many songs right in a row about living and about death!!!… I like to listen to praise music too, and I like Christmas music as classic Christ-centering and I LOVE my church praise band music the best because it speaks TO ME and i speak it right back out – and because I know all the Sinners-turning-into-Saints who are synergistic in their PRAISE together… I find ALL music has some sort of praise in it – because those people singing them are ALL God’s children too (whether they know it or not… but I’m pretty sure they know it when they are thinking and singing about God and life and death).

The only CD I remembered to bring with me in my backpack contains, of course, “Come to the Cradle” which is my awakening song and contains a gem of a new song from my friend called “The Gift”, about how if we are to fully accept this gift of Jesus we must gift our whole hearts to HIM… I LOVE listening to the first song about coming to find PEACE, then singing about gifting myself to God by following Jesus…

The other random CD I found in the bottom of my backpack was Warren Zevon’s last album before he died way too early – the best song is “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” a fitting remake – and aren’t we ALL knocking on heaven’s door?! When the rapture comes I think Heaven will scoop down to see what it can recover from Earth – best to start knocking now and get our acts together sooner than later..

So, to wrap up this soulful Rapturous week:

I pray that hopefully Christians will stay on their “A games”… Awake, Aware, Appreciative, Alive, remembering God as “All in All”…. So when the Rapture comes it won’t be a surprise catch up to clean up our acts… perhaps if it happens in our lifetimes we will get to do what the “Accidental Saints” author speculated – rise up like Mary Poppins people and get taken up by God – I don’t know!!!!… BUT I AM glad that Jesus is on my side and looking out for me for eternity!!! We are the chosen ones if we choose God …

But the trick for everyday, not JUST for rapture, is that we MUST be ready to go when He calls! We must not fall asleep… The mission is not be complacent in our own salvation but keep working the system, keep shining the LIGHT, KEEP the Faith by SHOWING the Faith…

Keep listening, keep singing praises, keep reaching to God’s children… Keep Jesus in your heart as tightly as He keeps you in HIS… Then spread that Jesus heart… Cast HIS net… He’s got you!!! Be brave… Go help Jesus get some more fish…

Meanwhile, keep watch, because “you do not know the day or the hour” !!!

Joel (NIV)

The day of the Lord is great; it is dreadful. Who can endure it? Rend Your Heart 12 “Even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.” 13 Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.”

Matthew 24 (NIV)

The Destruction of the Temple and Signs of the End Times

Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. 2 “Do you see all these things?” he asked. “Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.” 3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” 4 Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. 6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains. 9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. 15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. 18 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. 19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again. 22 “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. 23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time. 26 “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28 Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather. 29 “Immediately after the distress of those days “‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’ 30 “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. 31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other. 32 “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 33 Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. 34 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. The Day and Hour Unknown 36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,[f] but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left. 42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. 45 “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? 46 It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. 47 Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 48 But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’ 49 and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. 50 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. 51 He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Footnotes: Matthew 24:15 Daniel 9:27; 11:31; 12:11 Matthew 24:29 Isaiah 13:10; 34:4 Matthew 24:30 Or the tribes of the land Matthew 24:30 See Daniel 7:13-14. Matthew 24:33 Or he Matthew 24:36 Some manuscripts do not have nor the Son.

Matthew 25:

The Parable of the Ten Virgins

“At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3 The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. 4 The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5 The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. 6 “At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’ 7 “Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8 The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’ 9 “‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’ 10 “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. 11 “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’ 12 “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’ 13 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.

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