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Noted in Passing: Waiting on the Rapture

So I’m chatting with Abigail Adams, a believing woman with an attitude. While I’m fretting about the state of the nation and the world, she says she’s just sewing pajamas and waiting on the Rapture,  “I’m kind of encouraged when things go from bad to worse.”

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  • Mike Austin December 27, 2021, 11:59 AM

    The “Rapture” one of those theological concepts that causes fists to be thrown when theologians of different denominations get together and attempt to be ecumenical. Many moderns think that the “Rapture” is one of those things that are believed by all Christians. Umm…nope. Catholics believe in no such thing. And neither to the majority of Protestant denominations—there are 10,000 of these at least. Why this idea is so widespread today in probably because of the popularity of the “Left Behind” series of books—a few of them I have read and enjoyed.

    “Left Behind is a multimedia franchise that started with a series of 16 bestselling religious novels by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins that dealt with Christian dispensationalist End Times: the pretribulation, premillennial, Christian eschatological interpretation of the Biblical apocalypse.”

    So how many of you have a working understanding of:

    1. Dispensationalism
    2. Pretribulationism
    3. Premillennialism
    4. Eschatology
    5. Biblical Apocalypse

    I would guess not many. And neither do I. Yet these are the foundations of the belief in the “Rapture”, at least as it is popularly understood. I once—30 years ago—had an interest in Catholic Apologetics, and merrily went Protestant hunting to prove the case for Catholicism. I found this multi-year effort to be tedious and, in the main, a waste of time. A man will believe what a man will believe. Now my position is that Christians should understand that their enemy is not each other—whatever their differing doctrines—but “the World, the Flesh and the Devil.” We have the Carpenter’s word on this. Believing Catholics have much more in common with believing Lutherans than they do with atheists, heretics, blasphemers and the worldly crowd that controls most of the power centers of this earth.

    Nowadays I have as much interest in debating theological differences as I do in learning Medieval Bulgarian. I leave such things to the Holy Ghost—where such things belong. Saint Francis wrote, “Teach the Bible always. If necessary, use words.” True that.

    • John Venlet December 27, 2021, 12:34 PM

      Now my position is that Christians should understand that their enemy is not each other—…

      Yes. “Teacher,” said John, “we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.” “Do not stop him,” Jesus said, “No one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us. I tell you the truth, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward.” Mark 9:38 -41 – This is also repeated in Luke 9:49-50, and other scripture passages.

      • Mike Austin December 27, 2021, 1:04 PM

        When I die—and I have this on Good Authority—Jesus will not ask me how many Rosaries I had said or whether I believed in the Rapture. He will ask me if I had fed the hungry, clothed the naked and protected the widow and her orphan. Upon my answers rests my eternal soul.

    • julie December 27, 2021, 12:42 PM

      Yes to all that. I’ve seen God at work in too many different lives to think that anybody who disagrees with me is going to hell.

  • Mike Austin December 27, 2021, 1:07 PM

    You write like a true Christian—which is what you are. Peace Be With You, Julie.

  • Joan of Argghh! December 27, 2021, 3:06 PM

    I had the unique privilege to know a Welsh preacher who was at the revival where the whole theology of the rapture began. He knew the troubled young girl/woman who was “prophesying” it and renounced it. There’s a lot more to the story, but suffice it to say, it’s like the so-called prosperity gospel. Just because people believe it, doesn’t mean it’s biblical. But it starts somewhere. It’ll all end when the New Jerusalem descends from Heaven, and there will be a new Earth, and the meek will inherit it. Those being “taken away” from the grinding stone, the fields, will be the carcass, not ‘the Body’ where the vultures, not eagles, gather.

    • Mike Austin December 27, 2021, 4:08 PM

      Yep. For my money it all begins in the Bible and it all ends in the Bible. If something contradicts Scripture, then ipso facto it is incorrect—if not evil.

  • Mike Austin December 27, 2021, 4:02 PM

    Watched the video “Everyone’s Gone to the Moon”. Haven’t heard that song in almost 60 years, yet I remembered every note and almost every word. Odd how memory works, especially in a 68 year old mind.

    And how many got the joke at the end? Ralph meant what he said to his wife.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98qw86DsdZ0

  • Auntie Analogue December 27, 2021, 4:35 PM

    Convicted on several counts of pedophilia, Jonathan King served some hard prison time.

    That said, back when it was on the pop charts and Top 40 radio, I did enjoy listening to “Everyone’s Gone To The Moon.”

    • Mike Austin December 27, 2021, 4:46 PM

      You have supplied “the rest of the story”. Sometimes life starts well but ends poorly. Sometimes it starts poorly but ends well. Sometimes it starts poorly and ends poorly. It hardly ever starts well and ends well. Read about the life of Isaac Asimov’s son David. But not after eating.

  • Geoff C. The Saltine December 27, 2021, 5:51 PM

    Hey Mike, since you went way off topic,how’s your Pope working out for you?

    • Mike Austin December 27, 2021, 6:06 PM

      The pope is Benedict XVI. “Francis” is pope like Biden is president. “Francis” is an anti-pope. Such beasts pop up now and then; they are neither new nor unique. Anyone with even a passing knowledge of Medieval History would know this.

      I have no desire—absolutely none—to get into a debate about the history of the Papacy, Catholic Theology and Dogma, Iconography, Tradition, Papal Infallibility, Mary and the Saints, the Rosary, the Magisterium and so on.

      If “Francis” is my pope, then Biden is your president. How’s your president working out for you, Geoff?

      • julie December 27, 2021, 6:39 PM

        Again, totally agree. My family were baptized into the Catholic Church in 2015; the Pope* had nothing to do with it. Nor any priest, celebrity or politician. This is where and how we were called to serve Him, and so it is.

      • Geoff C. The Saltine December 27, 2021, 6:43 PM

        You might want to go back and read the end of Book.
        Also one does not go out “Hunting” souls to bring them to your way of thinking, you reach out to them to believe in Christ as their own personal savior.
        Peace be with you.

        • Mike Austin December 27, 2021, 6:48 PM

          As I wrote, I will not be debating theology. Was I not clear enough for you? You should find somebody else in front of whom you can demonstrate your ignorance.

  • AbigailAdams December 27, 2021, 6:02 PM

    Theologians and Biblical scholars are still debating pre-trib, post-trib, etc. I know the Bible, too, and Jesus comes before the Day of the Lord. It’s in the Bible. But there are many churches which no longer preach or teach harpazo/rapture. Unbelieveable as it seems, many American churches (and theological schools/seminaries) don’t even acknowledge basic and necessary tenets of Christianity.

    I’ll be glad to post some pertinent scripture about the rapture if anyone is interested. But to denigrate real Bible knowledge by referencing the “Left Behind” series and a story about someone making up the rapture story a long, long time ago is plainly inaccurate and I think, here, meant as a put down. Do take care and heed Revelation 22. In the meantime, I’ll just keep watching and praying — as Jesus told us to do.

    • Mike Austin December 28, 2021, 1:44 AM

      Most of the mainline “Christian” churches are no longer Christian in any meaningful way. They have gone the way of the world and have no room for Christ, whom they find more than a little embarrassing. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops—most members of which are not truly Catholic at all—cares more for “global warming” and “tolerance” than it does for abortion and teaching the faith. And how many Protestant churches boast about their lesbian priests and bishops?

      Jesus wondered if there would be any faith upon the earth when He returns.

  • AbigailAdams December 27, 2021, 6:19 PM

    And, perhaps, my commentary on “waiting on the rapture” is based on the simple fact that all Christians know how this (world) ends. A broken world full up with broken (fallen) humanity cannot mend anything. And since it appears that some of us, ahem, have finally come up with a new way to rain evil down on most of us. . .well, don’t ya think it’s about time to pray for Jesus’ intervention in a big and final way? Suits me down to the ground.

  • buddhaha December 27, 2021, 8:04 PM

    In an attempt to lighten things up, and given the season, I offer Linus’ comment when Lucy tries to get his opinion as to the existence of Santa Claus:

    “I refuse to become involved in a theological argument.” 🙂

  • Gnawbone Jack December 28, 2021, 3:17 AM

    Amen

  • Jack December 28, 2021, 8:42 AM

    The entire Bible is dedicated to the return of Jesus, the actual and physical return of the Lord of All Creation onto the universal stage (in the flesh, so to speak) and regardless of great Biblical knowledge, belief, personal experiences, visions, listening to great ‘teachers’, having the Lord ‘speak to you’ or any other thing you might think you know, the real truth is that all of that is hidden and will be revealed in time and circumstances beyond the knowledge, control or approval of humanity.

    So I think that it’s pointless to argue about it or believe, even for a split second, that one religious denomination has more points on the board, or more favor with the Lord, over another. He will judge those who set themselves up to design and manage denominations but more over He will go straight to the heat of the matter when He deals with the individual. The problems, as He sees them, will be resolved and no pope, bishop, Phd or any other mantle will matter for a second. I suspect that they should fear that reckoning more than any other thing.

    I also think that it is ridiculous for evangelicals to argue about the timing of and the unfolding events that will save them…even more than they are already saved by grace through faith…from physical events of the Great Tribulation.

    People are funny. I have a great and long time friend who is evangelical and he tosses a bid for leaving this lovely planet, via the rapture, into practically every conversation we have. I love him too much to tell him just how tedious all of that is because like most evangelicals he will argue with me at the mere hint of disagreeing with him and he always goes off the reservation and starts making things up to defend any challenges to his theology. I just pray for him as I know he does for me.

    We are in this World but we are not to be part of it and a good bit of life should be dedicated to extricating ourselves from its influences and helping others do the same. And, if that’s the case, why on earth would anyone who loves the Lord and desires to serve Him want to be raptured in the first place?

    • AbigailAdams December 29, 2021, 8:21 AM

      Jack, I agree, people are funny. You’re pretty funny, too. And I mean that with all good will and sisterly ribbing as I ponder all the “I think(s)” in your comment, above. If you think evangelicals are bizarre, you should spend some time listening to charismatics. I write that somewhat tongue in cheek, however, because I have spent the past year listening to all kinds of believers and I’ll tell you something: I admire the depth of their faith. Who are we to judge, right?

      In reply to your last paragraph, it’s not a binary choice. Given the state of the world, it’s getting easier and easier to remember just how not “of the world” we are. It’s alright, I think, to grow wistful and a little homesick for the eternal light glowing on the porch of Heaven, welcoming us home. We can love and serve our Lord here and also yearn for Him to “O come, o come, Emmanuel!” Are we in the midst of the birth pangs? No one can know, but we are told to keep watch and to pray.

      • Jack December 29, 2021, 6:33 PM

        Yeah, I do think and I seem to think all of the time. I came to the Lord through the Charismatic Movement back in the 1980s and for me at that time, their theology was exactly what I needed to get my attention and I enjoyed attending church with them. I saw a lot of wonderful things happen in those services but its main draw was the love and devotion of people for the Lord in a way that just didn’t have a lot of rules. God’s amazing love of us was the theme, where up until then, I was pretty sure that God was just awful…and I won’t elaborate.

        After a few years with the Charismaniacs and desiring to mature in my faith and get away from that thing called the Prosperity Gospel and some of its trappings, I began attending Assembly of God churches and although some of the theology was the same, the AG’s are much more formal, more organized and really far less enjoyable. It has been such a long time ago that I’ve forgotten much of it but they can be nutty. I dated an AG minister’s daughter and I loved to scuba dive. She and her family were uptight about it because they called it mixed bathing and that was a major sin in God’s eyes. And then, there was the conviction of the church administration that if you did not evidence the indwelling of the Holy Spirit by speaking in tongues, you were Hell bound. And there was a lot of that kind of thinking. A year or so of that and I got tired of it all and I eventually went back to my old Protestant roots that I had not visited in 25 years or more and there I have stayed, sort of. But right or wrong they are Christian and I do admire their faith even if I don’t necessarily agree with it.

        The longer I live the less I care about what goes on in the world. The absolute most of it is human trash that an ill dog would not approach and humans lap it up and beg for more and most of them have no limits in their cravings and on most days I cannot understand why the Lord has not wiped this place slam off the map. But the desire to ‘go home’ doesn’t really burn in me like it seems to in some. Probably because I love living here and I’m familiar with some of it but beyond the veil of life I have no idea of what lies ahead. I’m terminally ill and I’m not afraid to pass on except for the hurt that will result for my daughters. And I’m sure that that dimension will be beyond anything we could ever imagine but I’m not the kind who wants to know what is behind Door Number 3 more than anything else.

        This Rapture thing is an evangelical hope but scripturally we know nearly nothing about it. I think (there I go again) that people who let the theory of this Heavenly Get Out Of Jail Free Card become a strong element of their theology are just lazy and highly suggestive. But what do I know…..:)

        • AbigailAdams December 30, 2021, 8:22 AM

          Jack, thank you for your reply to my reply. In response: My first experience of formal church was a two room (three if you count the outhouse) “building” situated a few hundred feet from a small local lake in a countryside of farmers and ranchers, attached to a town of 400 people (which included the population of farmers and ranchers). I don’t even know if it was an officially organized church; probably not. I know that I learned John 3:16 there and “The Old Rugged Cross”, too. Just thinking about it now I have to smile because maybe it’s true that everything I need to know I learned in the kindergarten of church. As a precocious student of human nature I saw, and my heart was delighted by the idea, that even the adults in my life answered to another–even bigger–Father.

          Fast forward: I came to the Lord at an alter call at a Foursquare church (at about 14 years old) but it was a little too “wild” for me, so I joined a mainline protestant congregation and was baptized at 16. I’ll remember that event forever. Then came the falling away (sort of) throughout my 20’s and 30’s. There was never a time I didn’t believe in God, but I was living like the teenager who sneaks out of the house after the folks are asleep. You know? In my forties a good friend got me involved in a yearly, 9-month long, Bible study through BSF (which lasted five years), then another four years with another group called Community Bible Study. Both study organizations were strictly non-demoninational and met weekly with daily study questions, a small group discussion, and ending in a weekly lecture on that week’s portion of the study. A one year study, for example, might be limited to the Acts of the Apostles or a study of Luke. I had to do Genesis twice. It was like statistics for me in college.

          Fast forward again: Today I am simply wanting to obey God. I don’t want to grieve the Holy Spirit. I want a tighter relationship with Jesus. My plate is full. I’ve lately been watching Jordan Peterson struggle with God. A lot of people may think Peterson has cracked up for good, but I am seeing a man who truly knows the implications of complete obedience to God Almighty. He’s got it exactly right. What Jordan is missing in his approach is the mitigating salvation of Christ. He’s not there yet. You gotta give him extreme props though for contemplating complete obedience, Cold Turkey, bare-knuckled. To my mind, God didn’t give him that platform and millions of young social media “followers” for nothing. And that’s where my mind is these days. I’ve learned to say “Thank you, Father” in everything. I’m finding that to thank God for all of it is a game changer.

          And, Jack, you can know what what is waiting for you on the other side of this veil. It’s in the Bible. Not all of it, but most of it. Are you reading the Bible? I’ll let you in on something: As far as I know, I should be dead or just about. I was diagnosed with a cancer that has an 85% recurrence, about four years ago. After three surgeries and two courses of chemo, it was clear, but that was after the cancer returned twice. I decided that I’m not going to work for 75% of the year just to pay for insurance that has such a high annual deductible and order my activities around surgeries, chemo and the increasingly longer recovery periods. So I just stopped. That was a little over a year ago. We’ll see. Right now I feel okay. I’m not worried at all. Most of the time I don’t even think about it. I don’t qualify for any sort of insurance relief and I’m not wealthy enough to self-insure. Thank you, obamacare.

          But here’s the kicker: we’re all terminally “ill”. No one gets out of here alive. Given that rude statistic, I’m always amazed at those who give little or no thought to how they will spend eternity. I understand why if they are an avowed atheist, but those who consider themselves a believer in “a God of some kind”, deists and the like, I don’t get. Of course Jesus said this about that: “So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”

          • Jack December 30, 2021, 8:32 PM

            Wow, so many things to ‘think’ about. So…Jordan Peterson. I like him and I’ve listened to his various vids on YT but I’m more into that channel for slightly less intense subjects. I had heard that he was in the process of becoming born again and that he was struggling but that’s about all I knew. It took me years, after becoming a believer, to get to a point that I desired obedience out of myself and it most certainly was a daily bare knuckle thing with me and the Lord. I fought salvation at every step and every turn and I think the reason was that my spiritual knowledge had not grown enough to know just what I was up against with Him, that I was under constant spiritual attack and that I had never given up on the idea that just a little tweak here or there was all I needed and after that tweek, I really didn’t need anything further from God. It took me probably 25 years or more to come to a place where I simply surrendered to Him and meant it and I also knew I wasn’t even good a surrendering. It was always something with Him…lol. I don’t struggle today and I try to do as I know or as my soul knows but I’m barely out of the womb.

            The other side: These comments will be odd and probably bizarre but here goes: People talk as if life after death will be like life here and when I think about it like that I am in no particular hurry to get ‘there’. I’ve always been curious about what comes after that last human breath and some of the reports I have listened to by people who have seemingly had NDE’s are incredibly interesting and from all accounts they believe with absolutely no doubt that they have been in Heaven. Some of these accounts are brief but others smear a lot of jam on the bread and one of the events they describe is a life review that they watched with the Lord.

            Let’s say that such a thing really does occur. I really don’t want to do that….to me it would be watching my porno movie life with the Creator. I know the stupid and sinful things I’ve done and I don’t want to ever see them again. If our sins are forgiven and forgotten I really don’t like the idea of having to watch that re-run.

            Another thing they speak of is seeing throngs of souls who are waiting and who greet us when we cross over. In my human reasoning I look at it like…well, who the heck could those souls be? Ancestors from hundreds or thousands of years ago?? I don’t know them and I don’t care about them nor do I want to see them. Others I’ve know who have passed? With the exception of my paternal grand parents and a few old friends, who really were friends in good and bad times, I haven’t missed any of them at all. And after considering that I’ve spent my entire life around people in the business world I’m pretty sure I’d be delighted to spend eternity with my dogs and horses and occasionally have someone drop by.

            I do believe that God in His creative wisdom has prepared us, or will prepare us, for learning and development that we could never imagine as humans but other than that I have no idea of how to even think about it. With the limitlessness of God or Heaven, how could anyone speculate on what might beyond this veil?

            • AbigailAdams December 31, 2021, 12:03 PM

              Jack — Hold on to your hat, friend! I’m going to tell you something about the afterlife that will sound crazier than anything you’ve heard thus far. Stay tuned. I’ve got to go out today — our daughter and her roomate are coming home for Christmas. She just moved to NYC/Brooklyn a month ago. It’s on her bucket list. She’s only 25 years old, so I say more power to her. But she’s a PNW girl, born and raised, so she’s got an 18 month limit on her NYC adventure. Talk to you later.

              • Jack January 1, 2022, 11:34 AM

                I can’t wait to hear from you. Happy New Year, btw. What’s a PNW girl?

                • AbigailAdams January 2, 2022, 10:53 AM

                  Happy New Year, Jack! PNW is Pacific Northwest. She is adamant about her roots here, and she skis and rock climbs. NYC is just one of the things she wants to experience as a temporary resident. Thankfully.

                  I haven’t related this story for a very long time, but it was a true bifurcation point in my life — in so many ways. I’ll be leaving unnecessary details out: I was 29 when my 37 yo husband died suddenly of a catastrophic brain aneurysm. This was back when little was known about the symptoms of such an event. We’d been married nearly 10 years at that point and were truly, madly, deeply in love and, by all accounts, things would only get better. I didn’t know at the time how rare it is for married couples to be best friends, too. The sudden loss of my best friend and our lives together was just too much. About three weeks after his death, while friends and family were visiting we sat down to watch a movie together. I fell asleep on the floor and experienced what I later learned was an NDE. But I was a healthy, strong 29 yo, so how could I possibly have an NDE? Not only that, but I’d never heard of NDEs, read about them, or heard about them. I was never interested in things like that. The answer, a bit later.

                  In my “dream” I experienced the high velocity movement through the velvety purple/black tunnel where I came to a very smooth halt at the foot of someone(?)/an entity surrounded by brilliant light (hard to describe, but a brilliant, intense light that didn’t hurt the eyes, with an entity somewhere in the center of it). And the light was a physical manifestion of a love that doesn’t exist here. The love was compassion and empathy so complete that no words can describe it. The love was completely understanding, and forever after the event I’ve never lost the sense of seeing myself “in that light”, so to speak. I’ve gained the ability to see myself from that perspective and to have compassion and empathy for my humanity. I make mistakes; I try not to, but I live and learn and learn some more. I don’t attach myself to my or others’ mistakes and trespasses.

                  The entity in the light “said” (although nothing was auditory, just a non-verbal exchange), “You can choose (to stay or go back), but there is more you can do. All that matters is that you (we) love each other.” From what I had experienced of this real love at that moment, this was a tall order for mankind, and for me, personally. But once I experienced this fully saturated agape love, I couldn’t imagine love in any other way. It’s hard to describe. The heart and mind opens so completely that, momentarily at least, all my worldly boundaries dissolved and I was (very happily) a part of the whole; no longer an individual but still me, as though the whole wasn’t complete without me, but complete without me as well. That’s the answer: Love. Love is all that matters.

                  The entire exchange lasted a long time but in a flash (the twinkling of an eye). I don’t know but that the “life review” that people are disinclined to go through isn’t much more than actually gaining the understanding that we’re human and we screwed up, but it’s not worth thinking about because love is all that matters. The mistakes we make here — as much as they may harm others — are more often attacks on our selves. Because we refuse to take the love God has for us we diminish our ability to experience that love, model it, and express it to humanity. We lose the ability to have compassion for “the least of these”, including those we see as evil (loving our enemies).

                  At some point I grew fearful of moving beyond and into the unknown. I’d been through an intense period of a lot of unknowns at that point, after my husband’s death. I repeated the same high-velocity path back into my body (which I had seen lying on the floor). As I took this trip, I felt in my physical body what can only be described as being directly connected to a very strong electrical current; liked being directly plugged into an electrical outlet. It wasn’t unpleasant at all, but it was extremely intense.

                  Post-NDE: Loss of fear. For a very long time I was fearless. Later that winter I had the best ski season I’ve ever had because I was fearless. I fell fast asleep on the bumpiest airplane ride I’ve ever had — from Salt Lake to Montana — in a twin-prop, in an amazing snow storm, over the Rockies. I no longer worried about what would become of me — not in a nihilistic way, but because I knew it was stupid to worry over things I can’t control or, even, over things I only think I am controlling. God’s got this.
                  Time: I suddenly had no care about the passing of time. In fact, time no longer makes sense. Tomorrow could be today, today could be two years ago or even two years hence. A second of time can last forever. Much later on I discovered Einstein’s theory of special relativity involving time and his “taco” in which time folds over on itself. I had experienced light speed which I think blew out my sense of time as we currently measure it.
                  Too big for this body: For at least three years post-NDE I felt way too big for my own body. I can only think it was experiencing the vast boundaryless-ness that caused this. That sensation ebbed eventually, but it’s a sensation I’ll never forget. At first it was distracting and uncomfortable. Our bodies have natural limitations apparently.

                  Empathy: I cannot stand watching those so-called funny videos of people doing stupid things in which they hurt themselves. I can’t even stand to hear about them, because I physically feel their pain. I never had this problem pre-NDE. It’s the same thing with emotional pain.

                  Hope/Certainty: I came out of that experience knowing that God exists, there is no doubt of Heaven, and that our hope is not in vain. For anyone to ask if I believe there is a God, I can say that I know this for a fact as much as I know my own heart is beating this very moment. It’s only a matter of “time” (LOL!) before we experience the pure bliss of His personal presence. He is so great, so vast, so amazing, that it is contentment wrapped up in awe wrapped up in love. It’s so wonderful it’s almost painful.

                  How could a healthy person have an NDE? It was years later that medical scientists identified cardiomyopathy — “Broken Heart” syndrome. It is a result of extreme emotional distress. https://blog.virginiamason.org/2013/02/21/broken-heart-syndrome/#:~:text=It%20is%20believed%20the%20heart%20muscle%20is%20overwhelmed,syndrome%20and%20Takotsubo%20cardiomyopathy.%20Why%20does%20it%20happen%3F

                  So there you have it, Jack. And I’ll bet you a dollar there are going to be a LOT of people you’ll see in Heaven who you didn’t think you’d care about seeing (again, or for the first time). Personally, I’m very much looking forward (in addition to my first husband) to meeting C.S. Lewis, John Adams (and, I hope, all the Founders). My list is big.

                • Vanderleun January 2, 2022, 3:15 PM

                  Just as an aside, I was thinking only this Sunday morning that it would be nice to hear from Abigail Adams today… not only for the message but for the pointer back to a woman who was one of the founders.

                • AbigailAdams January 2, 2022, 11:05 AM

                  Jack, just testing here to see if there is a limit on the number of nested replies. I just spent an hour composing my story and it disappeared! Argh!

        • AbigailAdams December 30, 2021, 9:24 AM

          Jack, I forgot to share some thoughts about your comment, above, on the rapture.

          There is really quite a lot about it in the Bible. I’ll be glad to reference scripture if you’re interested, but I’m sure your friend has you covered 🙂

          Me and most I know who rely upon scripture to understand the rapture are not making it up (because we’re relying on scripture), and not torturing interpretation to make it work. It’s all in there. It’s not a get out of jail free card, either. Think about it: Jesus is returning to this earth. Would we call His second coming a get out of jail free card? No. So why is one of the primary arguments against the rapture considered cheap grace? But the Bible is clear that Jesus is coming from the Heavens along with the Angel and the sound of the trumpet, to be “caught up” in the Heavens with him (harpazo), where they will remain until His second coming, and then His and their return to this earth. It’s not that believers aren’t enjoying their time here and, at times, even love living here. But God said if you love the world, you cannot love him. He was emphatic about that.

          The unanswered question remains “when?”. Most believers I know are not only fine with the mystery, but in understanding that it can be any time at all, we realize that every day here counts in so many ways. I love the parable of the oil for the lamps for the return of the bridegroom.

          The rapture is not wishful or hopeful or magical thinking. It’s Bible prophecy. I don’t undersatnd the scoffing or scornful attitude towards it. Maybe it’s like the Pharisees who could not believe Jesus was the Son of God. I don’t know.

          • Jack December 30, 2021, 9:01 PM

            To me, the most information on the Second Coming exists in Matthew 24 where Jesus himself speaks to his disciples about the end of the age and His return. I have a tendency to take the unveiling of those events as He presents them. He warns of false Christs and prophets, wars and rumors of them and of famines and natural disasters that He says are the beginning of things.

            In v. 9 He uses the word Tribulation and tells His follows that they will be hated by all nations. He uses the next few verses to elaborate on events in the Tribulation and then He says that those days have to be shortened because of His elect and that AFTER the tribulation of those days the sign of the Son of Man will appear in Heaven and at that time He will send his angles to gather His elect. And so on.

            Evangelicals and Charismatics read these things and then they argue about whether or not the Rapture will occur before, during or after the Tribulation but a literal reading seems to indicate that everyone who is alive on this planet during those days will go through the event and some of them will perish during it.

            If that’s the case, it will be a severe time of testing for every soul who professes belief and trust in the Lord. I just hate seeing people of faith argue about it because the vital truth is that despite our most fervent beliefs none of us know anything.

    • AbigailAdams January 2, 2022, 11:09 AM

      There is a limit (or limit on number of words) to nested replies. So, watch here for my NDE story.

      • Jack January 4, 2022, 8:08 AM

        I read of your experience and it parallels other reports that I’ve listened to or read. One of the things about them, and this is certainly no criticism or denial of them, is that they are very subjective. I’ve always considered myself pragmatic, it was a thing I picked up from my dad, who was a geologist, a Christian but grounded in science, working within the reality that he knew and understood as much as his intellect permitted. He had an experience one morning after waking early where he went to his chair (all dads have them) to have his first coffee and read his morning paper. He encountered a man standing in his living room. This man was of normal height, wearing a long brown robe, something like a monk’s with the hood shading his face. His presence didn’t rattle my dad much because he instinctively knew that no one had broken into his house. Dad’s first reaction was to look at the clock on the wall for some sense of time and when he looked back at the man the hood on his habit was not covering his face. Dad said he had Mediterranean features and a short beard but Dad could tell that this guy was not of this world and that he knew everything there was to know about him so Dad pointed at the sofa and asked if he would like to sit down. My Dad said that all he could think about at the moment was ‘I don’t know if he has come to take me away but I have a thousand questions if he will care to sit’. The figure didn’t respond and Dad said that the man looked at him as if to rebuke him and then without uttering a sound or walking away, he just faded into the early morning light and disappeared.

        That visitation shook him to his core and he never did resolve it but with no other way to explain it Dad just seemed to accept that something strange had occurred and he went through the remainder of his life not knowing the purpose of that event.

        I had an experience in 1982 that was odd and I started to write a detailed summary of it but it would be too long and after 40+ years my memory of all that occurred isn’t so clear any longer but I was in the process of becoming a Christian and for most of my life I really didn’t believe in the existence of God and I was particularly sure and ready to argue at the drop of a hat that there was no way that God, if He does exist, could actually love and care about us as individuals. There are billions of us of every tongue and tribe, from the beginning of it all up to and including the present, and the possibility of that just didn’t fit my world view. There are hundreds of back stories to my rebellious development and I believe that each one of those prior events shaped me to be hard minded about life and reality but one night I went to bed and before I fell asleep I had an experience in which I was shown, if that’s how to describe it, a type of panoramic view of events, most of which have never made sense to me. But part of this panorama was a view of immense warfare and it appeared that the fighting was occurring in the Middle East. I viewed a lot of suffering but this occurred in 1982, years before the US was involved in any wars in that area of the world. Moving on…while I was involved in this thing something held my left arm and it seemed that I was traveling at a high rate of speed through pure darkness and when the sensation of movement stopped I looked to my left and there was a figure with a black robe and grey hair, whose face I could not see, turning the pages of a large book. After turning 2-3 pages the figure stopped turning the pages and without any warning the hand on my arm escorted me back through a column of dark at a high rate of speed and I was back in my bed.

        There was no sense of love, sorrow, understanding or forgiveness in any of my experience but it was real enough that I have remembered it every day and the only thing I could take away from it all was that the man in the robe was a Judge who was looking for my name in His book and mine wasn’t there. With the exception of feeling that I had been given a warning I have no idea what the rest of the experience was supposed to tell me or represent but I have taken the warning seriously and that event along with others that have occurred over the last 40+ years has changed my entire life.

  • James ONeil December 28, 2021, 9:33 AM

    In my rational moments I’m agnostic. Frankly that’s the only rational position. Atheism, monotheism, etc. are all maters of faith, can’t be tested, can’t be proven. at this time. Afterlife? Won’t, can’t, know for sure until we get there, or don’t.

    Having said that, I’ve, as I suspect have most folks, experienced much that can not be explained rationally. Because something can’t be explained by reason does not mean it isn’t there. Hence faith. I readily admit mystery and while I’ve found ways to get through my days based on reason and faith, I won’t argue theology, one can’t argue theology rationally. Mine works for me. If yours works for you fine.

    In my rational moments I’m agnostic, but I know, I don’t guess, I don’t surmise, I don’t postulate, I absolutely know there are far more things twix heaven and earth, Hank, than just reason and rationality.

    • ghostsniper December 28, 2021, 11:36 AM

      I agree James.
      People have called me an atheist but I have never claimed that.

    • Foo December 28, 2021, 7:30 PM

      James, I’ve said same for years, agnostic,
      until I stumbled on a quote by Einstein, who I understand would be described as a Deist…

      “I cant tell you the specifics of God, but you cant help knowing there is one, when you look up at the stars.”

    • Foo December 28, 2021, 7:31 PM

      James, I’ve said same for years, agnostic,
      until I stumbled on a quote by Einstein, who I understand would be described as a Deist…

      “I cant tell you the specifics of God, but you cant help knowing there is one, when you look up at the stars.”

      The easy answer to how to live is “what would Jesus do”…
      Thats about as complicated as I care to get about this.

  • edaddy December 28, 2021, 9:46 AM

    To which religion/denomination does God belong? Everyone seems very adamant that He blongs to theirs.

  • edaddy December 28, 2021, 9:48 AM

    I’ll park this here just for fun … https://www.bitchute.com/video/x0KpRGqcUj39/