What The 70’s and 80’s Taught Us About The Rapture…
Posted: Wednesday, April 8
Verse of the day:
Be dressed for service and keep your lamps burning, as though you were waiting for your master to return from the wedding feast. Then you will be ready to open the door and let him in the moment he arrives and knocks. (Luke 12:35-36)
In 1988, a man named Edgar Whisenant wrote a book entitled “88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will Be in 1988.” In hindsight, the claim seems wildly ostentatious, but in 1988, 4.5 million copies were sold. Thousands were convinced that Jesus would undoubtedly return in 1988. Church attendance increased, and some even quit their jobs in preparation. (I never read the book. In fairness . . . I was 5.) Humorously so, in 1989, Whisenant released a sequel, “The Final Shout: Rapture Report 1989.” You can understand why his sequel didn’t garner nearly as much attention.
Let’s go back another decade.
In the 1970’s, a new term was coined: “Catch 22.” The phrase derived from a novel by Joseph Heller; the concept is a dilemma with no escape because of mutually dependent conditions. When it comes to the second coming of Christ, scripture is very clear with two competing ideas.
Jesus is coming soon! // I Peter 3:12 “Looking forward to the day of God and hurrying it along.” // Revelation 22:12 “Look, I am coming soon!” // Revelation 22:20 “Yes, I am coming soon.”
and . . .
No one knows when Jesus is coming. // Acts 1:7 “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.” // Matthew 24:36 “But about that day or hour, no one knows.” // Luke 12:40 “The Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”
The paradox of “catch 22” is a call for balance. Living in the light of just one of these truths will form an unbalanced Christ follower. Let’s summarize it this way . . .
We cannot live everyday as if it was our last, and we cannot live everyday as if we were guaranteed another. Catch 22. Jesus is coming.