You would have called your pastor too if you had been forced to watch movies as a child where people were all baking cakes and stuff and then “poof!” they were gone!

To answer the question: “How are you guys doing?”
The company that hired my husband on after he was laid off doesn’t have any work. They’ve been trying to keep him busy doing odd jobs around the equipment yard, but on Friday, they told him to stay home today because there was nothing for him to do. I have a feeling he’ll be off all week. This is when the “you’re no longer on salary” shit starts to hurt.
Tony is trying to start a business which has very low start up costs and I have faith that he will make it work. I’m proud of him for being proactive and not sulking about what has happened to him. I fully support him in his new business venture and will do everything in my power to help him make it happen and be successful. I also have faith that good things will happen for me– things that I have been working hard for. I have to believe that they will pay off and my hard work will, at some point, be recognized and rewarded accordingly.
I’ve been continuing to pray every day and I started to read the bible. This is not the first time that I’ve read the bible on my own without anyone telling me what it all means, but the first time that I’ve stuck with it for longer than a couple of days. I find it hard at times to keep interest, because, you know– it’s totally different than a blog. Like, I can’t comment and be like “God, what does that mean? Email me! or ping me on G-chat when you have some time, k? Thanks!” (Also, I have an incredibly short attention span.) But then, I’ll read something that speaks to my soul, as if it were written just for me and I get sucked in, wanting to learn more. Wanting to understand what it all means and how it pertains to my life.
I’ve always found the bible to be a liiiiiiittle scary. Most of my memories of biblical teachings were of the “You’re going to burn in the pit of hell if you do not repent of your sins!” There wasn’t a whole lot of teachings of the Grace and love of God.
And don’t even get me started on the whole “Jesus is coming soon” sermons. SCARY.
Now, that’s not to say that I don’t believe in “The Rapture.” (Although, I’ll fully admit I started to roll my eyes when my dad would say that to me because YOU’VE BEEN SAYING THAT SINCE THE DAY THAT I WAS BORN AND WE’RE STILL HERE SO I’M NOT SCARED ANYMORE! But, that was probably just my rebellion and NOT my disbelief) However, there was a time I believed it and I feared it with every fiber of my being.
Example:
Anytime my parents were late coming home, I would start to panic. “The rapture most have happened! And I was left behind! I’m going to have to have my head chopped off to get into heaven!” But before I’d have a full on meltdown, I’d pick up the phone and call people who I was sure would not be “left behind”, like, our pastor! And if he would answer the phone, I’d rejoice because “The Rapture didn’t happen after all! I wasn’t left behind! I’m not going to have to have to suffer persecution to make it to heaven after all!”
(True story!)
Needless to say, I didn’t really experience a lot of the “Joy” that I hear people talking about when they speak of their faith.
I want to experience that joy. I’m ready to know what that feels like.
If you were raised in the Christian faith, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the Rapture. What were you taught about it? Do you believe in it as an adult? Do you think that we’re “living in the last days?” Your point of view will be valuable to me.

141 thoughts on “You would have called your pastor too if you had been forced to watch movies as a child where people were all baking cakes and stuff and then “poof!” they were gone!

  1. kirida

    Funny thing: I remember when the show Models, Inc. (the Melrose Place spin-off) first aired, I prayed that the rapture wouldn’t come so I could at least find out what happened to the girl who had the soap ad campaign.

  2. Vanessa

    My Mom used to scare me with the Rapture. I remember becoming separated from her in a store once and loosing my sh*t because I couldn’t find her. It didn’t help the store was mostly empty.

  3. lani

    Your story about being scared about being left behind cracked me up. When I was growing up, I woke up one night and had to go and make sure Mom and Dad were still in bed and I didn’t get left behind. Also, I read the Bible where it talks about the moon turning red or to blood or some such thing (can’t remember the exact scripture) when I was little and then looked outside at the full moon and was sure it was red. I was in a total panic.
    As far as believing that we are in the last days. I do. Our world and the things happening in it completely match up with what Jesus said would happen.

  4. Y

    So, I wasn’t alone in my fear of the rapture?
    And I know the fear was very real, but your comments made me laugh. haha.

  5. Y

    Yes! The bloody moon! I still get scared when there is a redish looking moon.
    And, about the last days, yeah, it’s kind of hard to read Revelations and NOT believe it’s true.
    But even still, I have doubts. My Dad would say that’s “Satan” trying to deceive me.
    Ah, it’s all so complicated and scary. I just don’t know.

  6. danelle

    I’m a born again Christian but tell people my religion is “Christian Lite”. My faith is the same but I don’t go to church. I don’t believe you have to play in the band to enjoy the music, you know?
    When I think of the Rapture it doesn’t scare me or anything, in fact it makes me a little sad because my husband who I love dearly is an unbeliever.
    A good pastor I had once said “You’ll be surprised who is in heaven. But mostly you’ll be surprised at who ISN’T there.”

  7. Maria

    I was raised Christian. I was taught/read in the Bible that one day the Lord would come back ‘like a thief in the night and the clouds would roll back’ and he’d call up good and bring them to heaven and then call up the wicked and read to them from the book why they were going to hell and that they would run to the caves and hide behind rocks and then he’d condemn the devil for his sins and the sinners would burn until their sins were atoned for and the devil would burn for 1000 years.
    I swear to holy hell that I’ve heard ‘we’re in the last days’ for my ENTIRE life. Dude. Our time must be sooooo different from God’s.
    Now, I’m Apatheist, with agnostic atheist principles. I’m a big ol’ fat heathen that will be burning in hell if there is one. :)

  8. Scout's Honor

    Okay, so that story is so farked up. What the heck! I always thought my parents had been mamed in a terrible car accident or decided life was better without us six kids if they were late. Wow! Even with my religious upbringing, never did I think the rapture was imminent. Now, living in a town with a National Laboratory, I thought for sure nuking from Russia was coming. But rapture? Um, no.
    So, not so religious anymore. Surprise. However, I hope you find peace with it.

  9. Overflowing Brain (Katie)

    I was raised Catholic (am now apathetically non-denominationally mostly Christian married to a Jew) and I work at a Catholic school. We don’t call it the rapture, though the idea is the same. There will come and end of days wherein the good will be sorted from the bad and repentance is key.
    I guess now my feeling, since I’m not really personally affiliated with any religion, is that this concept of a rapture doesn’t seem realistic in the way it is presented. I don’t see there being one day where the world comes to a screeching halt. I feel like it’s a gradual process, wherein in a natural timeframe, we’re all being judged and when it is our time to leave this earth, we will move on to whichever afterlife our real life has dictated. I feel like each of our deaths is a personal rapture, if that makes sense. Our world is ending, we are no longer living and that is when our life’s worth is established and weighed and seating assignments for eternity are handed out.
    I know that probably in no way follows what the bible says (it also scares me, it is dauntingly large), but it is what I have come to believe in my own personal faith and trials in life. And I just cannot imagine the loving God that I believe in to be one who would halt the earth and make such a sudden stop to his own creation.
    But that’s just me.

  10. Scout's Honor

    Oh, and hey, I’d call myself agnostic too and forgot to put a smiley face on mine. :) go Maria!
    Live and let live. Judge not. Life is beautiful not for it’s sameness, but all it’s differences.

  11. maryann

    Hi Yvonne, it’s your sister. I read your blog today. I tried to go on flicker to see if you posted the pictures from Gabby’s birthday and I couldn’t figure out how to get on flicker (go figure)! Anyway, I knew that if I got on your blog I could see los photos and here is this post on the rapture. I don’t know if you want to know what I think, but here goes…
    If you believe in Jesus and believe that He is the way, the truth and the life, then you believe that His word is truth. His word tells us of the rapture and that we will not know the exact day and time, but we will know the season. Read Matt.24:27-44. It’s not something that we should live our life in fear of (which I totally remember having to say “good night Yvonne, Jesus loves you and so do I!” because dad would tell us not to go to bed in anger…remember….I was terrified that if I didn’t say that to you then the rapture would happen in the middle of the night and I would be left behind because we were always mad at each other!) It’s a hope that we should have. A hope to be in heaven! A hope that all our tears will be washed away and we will be in eternity with Him. Heaven is a place that I want to go to. It is always God’s goodness that leads us to repentance and God’s goodness and mercy that leads us to have a desire to know more about him and want to be in heaven with him. Much love…your sister.

  12. Headless Mom

    My parents didn’t teach us much about this-a conversation for another time.
    I believe that there will be a rapture, a judgement day, that Jesus will come back. There are many things that are happening in today’s world that were predicted in the bible as being part of the “end times”. That being said, God’s timing is not ours, and I also believe that He will give ample time for the “kinda-believers” to choose Him before He has final judgement.
    This is heavy stuff for a Monday afternoon. We can talk more if you want…

  13. Nina

    When I was a kid, I always had trouble falling asleep because of that “thief in the night” thing. I was certain that when I feel asleep that’d the that, and I’d wake up alone in the house.
    Now, I don’t go to church anymore, but I’m not scared or worried about the rapture. It’ll happen when it happens, and I’ll end up where I’m supposed to.

  14. AlwaysCurious

    It’s amazing how much diversity there is within Christianity. I think my experience growing up the church was day to your night. I’m Lutheran and liberal at that. My church was very open and forgiving. There were no hell and brimstone sermons. There was no screaming. Our preachers touched on the whole no premarital sex/abortions are bad thing, but it was never framed in the “you’ll go to hell if you do” kind of way. We never really spoke of the Rapture.
    When I was little I was very afraid of Hell and I would ask my Bible school teacher lots of questions. Basically he always told me– try your best to be a good person. Be nice to people. Love Jesus. God will know if you are trying, and that is good enough for him.
    Maybe I WANT to believe that is true because it is easier than trying so hard to be perfect. But it makes sense to me in a “God the Father” kind of way. Our Fathers want our love and our respect and our best efforts to make them proud. Nothing more, nothing less.

  15. becky

    Y, I so remember those days as a child. Did they show you the films “A Thief in the Night” and “A Distant Thunder”? They terrified me for a long time. I can still hear the music in my head. I sometimes had rapture dreams where I would be left behind and be in a total panic. The concept has always scared me. And even though heaven is supposed to be a wonderful place, the forever and ever part still puts me in panic mode, because I just can’t imagine it or understand it. But I applaud you for working your way through these things and trying to figure it out.
    My church wasn’t quite as hard-core as yours, but there was definitely a lot of hellfire and brimstone in the 70s. Later, though, they did talk more about joy and love.

  16. Lisa Milton

    Just when I thought I had the market on heebie jeebie scary Christian upbringing, I realize I was spared the Rapture talk.
    That would have freaked me out considering I was obsessed with being good enough to get to heaven as a kid.
    (Hope your family finds more work soon.)

  17. Edie

    When I was a kid I was terrified of the God my parents told me about. I would fall asleep thinking, “I’m sorry for anything I did wrong” over and over just in case the end of the world came while I was sleeping so I wouldn’t go to hell. I had nightmares where the sky would open up and trumpets would play and I knew that was it. I’d be terrified and again repeat, “I’m sorry for anything I did wrong” over and over. Those nightmares continued well into adulthood. I stopped having anything to do with God as soon as I left my parents house.
    You said you were afraid you’d have to get your head chopped off to get into heaven… that wouldn’t by any chance have been a reference to a little movie where the rapture occurred and everyone left on Earth had to get bar code tattoos to be able to by groceries and if you didn’t denounce The Lord they chopped off your head, would it?

  18. Susan

    I was raised in the Southern Baptist church, and, yes, there was talk of rapture. I remember watching a film about it . . . with the disappearing acts and everything. Maybe it was the same one you watched. But, I also remember sermons about the return of Christ and how “no man shall know the hour or day.”
    You know, the strange thing is that I’ve now left the Southern Baptist church behind, not Christianity, just the religion, but I don’t discount the rapture. I suspend my disbelief (faith?) in a lot of areas. My atheist friends have no fun arguing with me, because I’m not going to quote scripture to their every scientific fact.
    I just want to believe, and so I do. I also watch a lot of X-Files. That Mulder would be a great Christian, I think.
    Also, props to you for being brave enough to explore your faith and share your thoughts online. A lot of people turn away from faith/God/religion and never return. It’s rare, what you’re doing, and wonderful. I wish you and your family peace.

  19. Gabby

    Oh, THE RAPTURE!!!
    I was raised in a strict Christian church and YES we knew all about what was going to happen to the ones left behind. Once, my parents had gone to prayer at night and when they didnt come back soon enough my sisters and I were already crying, thinking we were “left behind”. It was such a scary feeling. I believe that there will be a rapture and also that we are living in the end of times. Its been almost 20 years since I was made aware of the so called Second Coming and I can honestly tell you that I wish I was prepared right this moment to go to heaven, but I am not. A lot of things happen in the church that I grew up and its not that I doubt the word or that I dont believe it God but I just wished the things that happened to me when I was a little girl didnt have to happen and maybe everything would be much better today. I still talk to God and ask him for forgiveness and mercy over me. I know he listens. I know he does. Thank you Lord for still listening to me. I know you have a purpose in me. Just like you showed me when I was 11 years old and I was speaking tongues and feeling the holy spirit in me, I know that you are waiting for me to come back to you.
    Thanks for sharing Y. Wow. I dont even know how I just typed all of the above. Lets keep our head up and have faith in God. Thats all we can do.

  20. Motherhood Uncensored

    YOU are a brave woman. You should have asked people’s opinions on vaccines and circumcision to make it a more lively discussion.
    Heh.
    The rapture occurs every few nights or so thanks to the we-vibe.
    The end.

  21. Narami

    I was raised, and still am a joyful Catholic. We don’t call it the rapture but we mean the same thing and when I was a kid I would spend entire days thinking about that, and of course being scared, not sleeping, nervously waiting for something to happen in the middle of the night. There’s nothing in that part of the bible that appeals to a kid, I think. I remember purposefully ignoring everything about the final day because it felt too tragic for me.
    Now, it’s more of a joyful thing, the moment when we can be with Him and in His peace, yay!! It’s sort of the same process that I had with death. When I was a teen I had moments of total horror thinking about death, now I’m all “when I have to go I want to go to Him and His love, and it will be AWESOME.” I think it’s just easier as an adult to understand and accept the ideas of ‘the end’ better. Yeah, kids shouldn’t get to that last book :o)

  22. Amy

    I was raised Souther Baptist. We saw the movie I think you are talking about and it really scared me, too. But after a while I looked at it as something good. I know I was born again and that I have a place in heaven. I just don’t dwell on the “end times”. I try (not too well at times) to live each day as if He were coming back then. I’ve always wondered when I’m “getting my drink on” what would Jesus think if He came back now? But then again, there have been times when I was frustrated with my kids or with life itself that I would just pray for the Rapture! At least in Heaven I can eat all I want! :)
    Good luck with the job hunt (I feel your pain, believe me!) and with your “search” for spirituality. And thanks for always making me laugh.!

  23. Sarah

    My neighbors have a bumper sticker on their automobile saying, “This van may disappear at any moment: all passengers within are rapture-ready.”
    Every time I pass their driveway I want to shout, “Get over yourselves. Jesus doesn’t want your Town and Country!”

  24. nicole

    hi yvonne,
    i doubt you remember me but we live in the same town and have children the exact same age- our last being surprises that we once discussed. i never stopped reading your blog even though i stopped writing mine 4 years ago. i’m not sure why but i always wanted to know if you were “ok”. i love that you are exploring your faith these days. i’ve always been faithful but never as much as i have been since the birth of my “surprise” son…..a true gift from God that i couldn’t deny. i haven’t commented, just read, but this post has me feeling the need to just say…good for you. i’m so happy to see your looking to Him for guidance these days. He won’t let you down. i really felt i needed to share this with you. take care and keep reading (i so relate with your short attention span!). as for the rapture- your sister sounds very wise–and full of love for you.

  25. Jules

    Well-I’m also Catholic and had no idea what the term Rapture meant when I heard it in relation to the Left Behind series. The word rapture is not in the bible as far as I can tell (correct me if I’m wrong) and while I enjoyed the Left Behind series-it’s really just the human side of us that needs to rationalize and imagine what the rapture will be like-you know, the clothes and jewelery left behind and planes falling out of the sky, etc. I don’t worry about what Judgement Day will actually be like-i don’t think we can truly comprehend. It’s enough to live in the world today and try to live like a Christian and not get led astray.

  26. jess

    It’s so strange that you should be thinking about this now, Y. I’ve been reading this great book on Christianity that’s blowing my mind, and lots of it is about Revelation. I grew up in a Pentecostal church and I distinctly remember the pastor saying he was sure the rapture would come in the next 2 years. Five years later he ran off with his wife’s best friend. (I don’t ever remember being too scared of being left behind, but that’s because I was a prissy little goody two-shoes of a kid.)
    A pastor at my current church taught on Rev. recently and pointed out that most of the prophecy fit in perfectly with historical events that happened shorty after it was written (fall of Jerusalem, etc). which made a lot more sense than anything I’d ever heard though if my parents heard that they’d think I was a cray-zy heretic. :) That’s okay, they’d think that about a lot of things, I’ve stopped trying to argue with them.
    In any case, I think if God is going to stop the world and start over it’s because He’s finally going to put an end to injustice and suffering, not because He’s going to throw us all in a fiery furnace. My favorite description of it has always been C.S. Lewis’s The Last Battle. Just read the end, the rest of it isn’t even that god anyway. :)
    The book I’m reading is called Jesus for President. I only picked it up because the title was so ridiculous that I thought it might be humorous to read and make fun of. Instead it’s a radical rethinking of the whole history of Christianity and the kind of book that keeps making me exclaim out loud, things like: “so I’m NOT the only one who’s ever had these thoughts!”
    I’d love to discuss this more, with anyone!

  27. Lizzi

    First, I have to say that if anyone had told me a year ago that you would have posted this question, I never would have believed them! You’re amazing Y, and it’s been so interesting experiencing all of these events with you.
    I am a recovering Catholic and born-again Christian, and absolutely believe in the rapture as it is written in the Bible. It makes me so sad to read all of these posts and comments about being terrified as children (and adults) of God and what was to come. What a horrible thing to teach children about someone who loves us so much! I can’t find it right now, but there is a verse about children being saved, regardless of their parents.
    I’ve tried to teach my children that there is absolutely nothing they can do to make God, or us, love them any less, and that they can’t “earn” their way into Heaven. Thankfully, it’s not about who we are or what we do, but about what we know in our hearts.
    Like someone said earlier, the description of the last days is about a season, and if you put Time in perspective, us being in the season of the last days and it seeming to be a really long time could certainly be possible. But I’m not worried about it. My family is saved and I pray daily for those I love who aren’t.
    One last thing – while I don’t believe that it is God who sends the trials we have to deal with in our lives, I do believe that He uses those trials to bring us closer to Him. He is using all these things in your life to lead you to Him. Therefore, “rejoice and be glad” in it and He will see you through and bring you out stronger in the end.

  28. Amy

    Wow, I just read all those comments and was like, what was the question again?? So here are my answers:
    What were you taught about it?/Do you believe in it as an adult?
    You know, there are very few people that really understand the order of events of the end times. Growing up, I knew there was an end times. I understood things were going to get really bad and then we’d disappear and that was good. I grew up Pentecostal so I think I did have that fear right before bed that I better ask forgiveness for everything “just in case”. Now I believe in the whole “once saved, always saved” thing so that’s not an issue. Growing up and through the years, I’ve heard so many messages..you never know if the rapture is going to happen today or you might die soon so you better “get right with the Lord”. I always hated how the first emotion people felt as a Christian was fear but then again I’ve heard, it doesn’t matter why you believe as long as you believe. Understanding comes later I suppose.
    Anyway, all that to say I still believe in the Rapture. Wholeheartedly. I have yet to understand Revelation fully and what everything means but I do know Christ is coming back like He promised and we don’t know when that is.
    Do you think that we’re “living in the last days?” I believe the end-times is a series of events and yes, we are on that path. How long? Who knows.

  29. Anne Glamore

    It’s funny that Headless Mom and I didn’t talk about it although we hung out a lot at BlogHer, but I think she and I probably share a lot of the same beliefs.
    I live in the South, and was in high school in the 1980’s. For a while my big fear was that the Rapture would happen before Dec 31, 1999 and I wouldn’t get to Party Like It’s 1999. Being a planner, I also deduced I would probably be married and have children by then, and I worried that I wouldn’t be able to get a babysitter.
    As it worked out, I hosted the New Year’s Party, we played Prince and partied like it was 1999, a neighbor’s kid kept all the children in the basement, and Y2K troubles never materialized.
    But back to YOUR topic– I’m a big fan of James (the book). (Not my high school boyfriend who joined me in worrying about babysitter availability for 12-31-99)
    It really helped me get through my medical issues and surgery.
    Love you!
    AG

  30. Jennifer Skaggs

    Funny thing about that “Thief in the Night” movies – left me with lots of nightmares and I still have visions of the electric razor in the sink…dah, dah, daaaahhhhh (cue scary music). As an adult – now I see that I should have been more frightened of the plugged in razor that fell in the sink than the rapture!
    Still a believer though and have learned so much of God’s LOVE these past years. When my husband lost his job (2 yrs ago) and wanted to start his own business – I was Scared to Death – kind of prayed for the rapture to come RIGHT NOW – but someone told me to read Psalm 37 and trust God not to let my children starve, etc. It was helpful to me during the lean times…which are getting better each week – hope it gives you some peace too. (Funny thing about the “lean times” – I didn’t seem to get any leaner during them – sigh.) Been a lurker on your blog a long time – you’re awesome and your kids are a witness to how great you are!

  31. Michelle

    I was raised Christian (although certainly not the hellfire and brimstone sort) and never heard of the Rapture until I bought one of those novels in that series about it (I thought it was science fiction). And no, I don’t believe in it. I guess I was raised on God Light – he isn’t wrathful or vengeful in my world.

  32. Carrisa

    I fully believe in the Rapture. Although I didn’t learn much about it until I was 18 or so and the Left Behind books came out. And I loved reading them. I only got through like book 5 though. And yeah I kind of believe that we are in the “end times”. This mostly has to do with my very Christian mother and her ability to keep me (her black sheep child) “in the loop”.
    I’m always saying that I hope I get my shit together in time for the Rapture because Lord knows I do not want to be Left Behind while everyone I love (heathen husband excluded) is off in Heaven having a grand old time.

  33. Y

    A Thief in the Night! That’s what the movie was called! THANK YOU! (It was driving me crazy.)
    I should be fair. it’s not that our church NEVER spoke of God’s love and grace. It’s just that what I remember the fear. My Dad no longer speaks to me that way (except for when their is an earthquake, then, he totally does) and he most definitely has spoke to me of God’s love and grace, but what I remember most was living in fear of being left behind or dying without “being right” with the Lord.
    This is so awesome to be able to write these things, these doubts and questions that I have and to be able to have this discussion with you all. Thank you for participating.

  34. gwendomama

    I was raised in the Episcopal church, and I have news for you. The Rapture is something that the Evangelicals (nouveau christians, in some circles) invented.
    NOBODY I knew in my small town of PA where we grew up, had EVER heard of the rapture when we were kids. And we all were church-going kids.
    If you had asked me what the Rapture was, I probably would have said, ‘Isn’t that some sort of flying dinosaur?’

  35. Miga

    I remember my father scaring me one day with stories from Revelations. Gave me nightmares for weeks, but nightmares seemed to be my norm, so not really saying much. Anyway, today, I’m still trying to figure out what it is that I believe. I know right now that I do not believe the bible is the word of God. I believe it was written an compiled by men who claimed to be speaking God’s word. I believe too much was left out to make a sound decision on what it right and not right. I also believe that the bible as we know it has been translated too many times to have an accurate interpretation. (Ever watch History Channel where they’re trying to find something from the bible? Almost always turns out to be mistranslated.)
    I do believe in God and that Jesus was his son. I do believe that Jesus will come back one day. I also believe that when Jesus does come back he will shame and scold people for having used his name for the wrong reasons. I think he’ll tell us all how we got it all wrong. That it’s not about the shame and degradation, but about the love, acceptance and compassion.
    Who knows for sure? No one.

  36. Kimberly

    OMG, I am scared for my kids now! I’m going to have to sit in Sunday School with them, making sure they’re not having the pants scared off them. 😉
    I wasn’t raised Christian–I came to it (to Him, that is) in high school–but as an adult now I believe in the Rapture and all that. And lemme tell ya, there are days when I’m like, OK, God, come get me now! because I know that, while I’m in no rush to leave this life, what Heaven has in store for us is more than we can even FATHOM, and that pretty much blows my mind.
    I wish we heard more about heaven and the Rapture in church. We never talk about that stuff, or if we do, it is just touched on very lightly. We seem to be more …hm…more outreach-based, working to get people “into the fold”, and not so much getting in depth with the people who have been believers and want more. A lot of people leave our church after going there for years for just that reason.
    Of course, if I joined one of those “small groups” my pastor keeps harping on, we might talk more about that kind of stuff there…I wouldn’t know… :)
    I pray that you’ll be richly rewarded in your spiritual journey. Just out of curiosity, what translation of bible do you use? Have you tried The Message paraphrase? It’s great for reading over big chunks of text, although I like to have an NIV or something on hand for the more detailed studying, you know, when something really speaks to you and you want to learn more.

  37. Texan Mama

    I grew up Catholic and they didn’t focus too much on the rapture. I think that’s more of a reform-church idea (ask your pastor which protestant religions are reform, if you don’t already know). I am Lutheran now. (LCMS)
    Just wanted to let you know, I have an awesome bible – the Concordia Self-Study bible. It is the NIV translation (very widely used) and it has WONDERFUL explanation notes on the bottom of every page. It gives contextual and historical information as well as cross-references to related passages throughout the bible. I just wanted to suggest it because it helps me a lot when I’m reading and wonder, what does that mean? Where else have I heard that? If you want to read the bible and REALLY understand what’s going in, it’s a good bible to use. I’m just sayin’.
    God Bless you in everything!

  38. Surcie

    The church I grew up in was really focused on the rapture and who was destined for hell. Accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior had more to do with avoiding hell than anything else, IMHO. Now I am a “pastor’s wife” and I am actually much less concerned with the rapture and the afterlife. God has given us this life in the here and now and it is a gift. The Bible says Jesus came so that we “might have life, and have it more abundantly.” I want the abundant life that Jesus offered–not just fire insurance. I believe that God is love and that Christ’s overarching theme was one of grace. I also believe that some groups of Christians have distorted God’s word in order to use it as a weapon that alienates the lost & hurting rather than invites/includes/encourages them.

  39. sandie

    I’ve loved your blog for over a year now and this is the first time I have been moved to post. I have been a church-going Christian all my life (have gone to Presbyterian, Lutheran, and Episcopal churches). I’ve never once heard any minister speak of the rapture or of Jesus coming back in any literal way.
    Here is what I have learned from ministers and other spiritual leaders and from my own reflection. I believe that Jesus is alive today, and always will be alive in our hearts. Every time we act in a way that is kind and compassionate and treating others with dignity and respect, we are living Jesus.
    I believe that God is the divine spark that is within us and within everything on creation.
    I believe that the most important thing Jesus ever said is to love your neighbor. He never said love your neighbor IF they are Christians or love your neighbor IF they believe the same things you do or IF they are perfect. His words are simple. Love your neighbor. Gay, straight, black, white, rich, poor, chubby, skinny, man, woman. Love your neighbor.
    As for the bible, I believe it is best read as a very important piece of historical literature. It is individuals’ understandings of God at the time that it was written. There is incredible beauty in it, but there are also things that we know now to be factually untrue. Some of the stories in the bible are meant to be heard with your mind, some with your heart. (And as some have pointed out already, much of what was written is tarnished by multi-level translations AND translators injecting their own biases.) That said, it is a phenomenal book and reading it is good for the soul. You don’t have to believe it word for word to believe in the central teachings of compassion and peace and justice.
    If I were to believe in the concept of rapture (I’ve never given it much serious thought), it would be that at the end of our own days, we will have a chance to reflect on our lives and feel peace and goodness and gratitude or anger and resentment and regret. I don’t believe in a literal heaven and hell. Heaven and hell are right here on earth with us, all the time. We constantly make choices that put us in one or the other.
    Thanks for asking the questions. It’s good for me to force myself to think of the answers every now and then.
    (PS – love your blog.)

  40. Genevieve

    I was raised christian and we attended a very strict, legalistic church as well as a more pentecostal one (just slightly different lol.) Started going to a non -denominational church as a high schooler and have stuck with that as an adult. I can remember rapture lessons from both of them. I dont remember being too scared of it although my mom did try the rapture guilt on me once in awhile. But mainly it was taught to me in more of something to look forward to. Although I did have a really bad dream about being left behind once but that was in college in the midst of my totally not living right. Guilty conscience perhaps lol.
    I do believe that the rapture will happen but as to when I dont know. My mom has always been of the its-going-to-be-anyday thinking. But in the new testament (cant remember which book..one of the last ones I think lol) it talks about how the apostles then thought that Christ was coming back very soon. It also says that no man knows the hour or the day. However on the other side it does talk about being aware of when He could come back and being ready.
    Honestly I dont really worry about it anymore. I know that I am saved and forgiven. Period. End of story. Does that mean that I take advantage of Gods grace and live as sinfully as possible? Of course not. But I also know that I am not earning my place in heaven by trying to be as good as possible either. I think when we take it out of our own hands (Worrying about being left because we totally fell short of the mark that day) then it ceases to be something that is scary or worrisome. I just try to follow the 2 greatest commandments and everything else just kind of follows
    Love God with all your heart
    Love others as you love yourself

  41. mandy

    I believe it whole heartedly. I do think that the book of Revelation uses a lot of symbolism and I couldn’t dream of understanding or wholely comprehending everything without a pastor (or theology expert) to help me with the translation. I have thought the same thing though, being left behind. Speaking of that, “Left Behind” is a fantastic fiction story written by Tim Lehay and someone else..in the story, that is based on the bible, it personifies everything beautifully and it so easy to understand. I loved it, there are like 12 books or more in the series, but it is really interesting. If you haven’t read it, you might want to check it out. (it’s at the library now) (it’s addicting, you won’t rest until you have read the last one!)
    I am happy for you, and I know you will see that Joy! It’s hard, in the midst of this turmoil, to be in a place where you can see it. But just your attitude about it, and your huz’s business venture seems like you have a special influence. Surely, without God-you (and any human) would be FUH-reakin out. I know, I’ve been there too. I wish you the best, best best!

  42. chrissylas

    Oh my gosh… I am so glad to hear that other people were as terrified as I was at those Revalation movies. “Thief in the Night” caused me to have nightmares for YEARS. Literally. Even now when I cannot get in touch with my family I become convinced that the rapture has occured and that I am alone. Following right on the heels of that thought is the thought of a guillotine and barcodes.
    I’m a lapsed Christian. I want to get back into going to church but I became so dissillusioned with it as a teen that I have a really hard time getting myself back into it. I’ve always been terrible at remembering to talk to God (although I tend to do that with my more corporeal friends as well). I grew up thinking that this must mean that I’m a terrible person.
    Thanks for posting this Y. Makes me think that there might still be hope for me.

  43. Jenn

    Interestingly, I was barely aware of “The Rapture” for most of my life, despite being raised Christian and going to church every Sunday. I guess Methodists are pretty light on the “burn in hell” and “end of the world” stuff and heavy on the “love each other” and “do unto others” stuff. So I guess I was lucky. I remember worrying about nuclear war when I was young because of the Cold War, but I definitely never worried about the Rapture. I’m sure it probably had something to do with my parents too. This is all the type of stuff they emphasized too.
    Though I don’t really know that I consider myself much of a believer at all anymore, strictly speaking, I definitely think these types of lessons, and not lessons in punishment and being scared, helped me and my brothers to grow up pretty free from fear and confident that just being a good person and doing the right thing were the important things to worry about. Those are things I still believe and would teach my own hypothetical child.

  44. dana michelle

    As others have noted here, Lutherans don’t quite belive in the same “rapture” as the Fundamentalists, but we do believe that there will be a judgement and that the believers will be taken to Heaven while non-believers will be consigned to the fires of Hell.
    I was always scared to death at the thought of Judgement Day, and I have to admit that age 49, I still am to some extent. I’ve always pictured it as the sky breaking wide apart, and have long maintained that I hope I am dead and buried when that day comes, because it sounds absolutely terrifying. I still won’t read Revelation, because it scared me so much as a kid.
    I don’t think I’m so much frightened of where I will go (I’m of the “he that believes and is baptized” type of thinking) as just seeing it all unfold before me. I also fear beling alive at the end of the world, because it will supposedly be so horrible here on Earth that we will be praying for the coming of Christ. There are so many horrible things happening all around us every day, I sometimes wonder how much worse can it get? There certainly seems to be a lot of the prophesies of the end times coming to fruition right here and now. But I know that He says that “we will not know the day or the hour”, so I try not to let it get to me. My mother has been saying that we are living in the end times since I was small, and I have to say the older I get, the more I believe her.
    I think it’s pretty common for us to have that fear, because eternity is such a hard concept for us little pea-brained humans to understand. I don’t think I fear eternity as much as I fear getting there.
    I’m glad that you are exploring your faith on your own terms, Y. Remember that you don’t have to believe exactly as you were raised. You have a right to find a relationship with God that is comforting to you.
    Side note to “Nicole” who posted at 6:11 today. Are you the Nicole who had two beautiful little girls and a kitty named Bella? I remember finding your blog many years ago through a comment you left here, and I have always wondered what happened to you! I think you became part of a gardening blog for awhile, and then disappeared from the internet entirely. I don’t have a blog of my own, but used to comment on yours fairly regularly. If this is you, I am so happy to know that you are doing well. Seeing your comment brought a big smile to my face :)

  45. *mindi*

    i went to a lot of youth rallies and things as a kid, and in the Bible belt where i lived, the rapture was talked about often.
    i remember hearing the phrase that “He will come like a thief in the night”, and “no man knows the hour”, so i thought i could out trick God and think about Him coming back ALL the time, so that he couldn’t come. weird? yes.
    i would wake up most days (or go to bed at night) and say “Jesus is coming back tomorrow”, or today, or whatever, and since i “knew the hour”, He wouldn’t come.
    apparently it worked. 😉

  46. Kait

    Ha! You think that the rapture is scary? Try asking your dad what he thinks a demon sounds like and then him busting out with the deepest, most frightening growl you have ever heard – on a dark night in the car. Yeah, I possibly might have peed myself a little bit.
    To be honest, I always found the Rapture a little scary (those Thief in the Night video’s should be BANNED). As I got to be a little older and realized that there are a LOT of views about the rapture (as in, what exactly will happen, when it will happen, etc), it seemed less frightening to me. Even though I don’t think about it as much as I used to, when the moon shone red tonight (thanks humidity, funny clouds and general crappy too-hot weather), I was frightened for a minute.
    ::hugs:: I’ve been thinking about you a lot, as I’m trying to find my way in this whole God thing as well.

  47. karen

    I was raised a Christian, but not being from the Baptist denomination, i never even heard of the rapture until much later. I think it was right around the time that all those “Left Behind” books came out and i was all, “Huh? What’s up with this?”
    I believed (and still do) that Jesus will come back some day, but then that will be it. No rapture.
    But really? What we are teaching our kids, and what we are trying to focus on more than anything, is that it’s not all about “then.” That uncertain future time when Jesus will be coming back. Or even the future time when we will die and go to Heaven or Hell. What’s important is now. Bringing the Kingdom to Earth.
    It’s wrong and unfair to try to scare or guilt someone, especially a child, into believing in God. God is Love. Why try to use terror when love is so much more powerful?

  48. talda

    why did i start laughing when you said you didn’t want to get beheaded? i so remember that movie…and i remember being scared because i didn’t want to get left behind either [and that one girl who i thought was good who turned out to be evil? ugh, totally wrong].
    i grew up in church as a christian and i do believe in the rapture as it’s written. i’m no longer afraid of it because now i understand what i need to do to ensure that i’m called up as well. i no longer live in fear that the time is nigh and all but i do get worried about friends and family who don’t believe and while i don’t press my beliefs on them, i do keep them in prayer that something reaches them before “the end times.”
    i didn’t get to say this last time but i’m so glad to hear that you’re reestablishing your relationship with God. i grew up in churches that stressed His love and joy along with the bad stuff, i guess you can call it, and i’m always sad when i hear about people who were turned off from God because of their church’s stringent policies. being a christian is more than going to church, which is a part of it, but it’s about developing and maintaining a relationship with God, our heavenly Father. He does love us all in spite of our faults and shortcomings. if we just took the time to seek Him out, we’d be able to hear from Him. i hope you continue with your exploration and that you are able to hear from God.

  49. chirky

    You ask some really good questions. I didn’t grow up in an overtly Christian family, and therefore wasn’t subjected to a lot of hellfire-and-brimstone type preaching. Or fears about the Rapture coming and me being left behind. I did grow up learning about God’s love, how he loves us all, despite our best attempts to disregard him. But it wasn’t until I was an adult that I really understood what that meant. I now attend a non-denominational church.
    I believe in the Rapture, but I don’t think it has come yet. I also believe that the Rapture is the last thing I need to be concerned about. I think God is less interested in us knowing and planning for an event that does not have a defined date. I think God is more interested in us knowing Him, in trusting in his sacrificial provision through Christ. He’s interested in the condition of our hearts, in whether we’re seeking Him.
    I don’t know where in the Bible you’re starting to read, or if you’re trying to read it straight through. (don’t do it. it’s likely you won’t make it. namely: numbers. the book kills me every time.) i’d start in the New Testament. Try John. I’d read it about 5 times. And then I’d move on to Romans. And after I read that a couple times, I’d move on to Philippians, or perhaps James.
    Just my two cents.

  50. mamikaze

    those Thief in the Night movies have scarred me for life. The image of a guillotine scares me to the bone now. No spiritual guidance should use fear as a tool for salvation. The girl looked so sweet, then she turned the good people in to the bad guys! Oh dear.

  51. Linda

    Ha! “The Thief in the night” and then “Distant Thunder.” My parents were youth pastors at a church back then and they showed it to the youth. I was 10 and let me tell you… it scared me to DEATH!! My brother and I both have issues with the rapture. When the Left Behind book series came out, we both said, NO THANK YOU!!
    As for what I now think and believe… I do believe in the rapture. Whether it happens in my lifetime or not is a true mystery. I have a relationship with God, and I feel safe with him. I don’t feel scared. That has changed over the years, and really only once I started a family. I learned so much through the eyes of my children.
    Its late, and I’m tired. I live in Central Florida and we’re all waiting for Hurrican Fay to come and pay a visit. But, when I read your post, I had to comment!
    Keep up reading your Bible. I’ll try to do the same. :o)

  52. Heidi

    I was raised in a fire and brimstone Pentecostal household, my grandfather was a preacher.
    At 38 I’ve had my struggles with my faith and what I believe, but now at 38 I’m finally finding my way back. Something keeps pushing me to keep seeking God. And I truly believe it’s God pushing me to listen.
    So, as far as the rapture is concerend…yes, I lived the fear too. Do I believe it will happen? Yes. Do I believe it is going to happen soon…Maybe… The more problems we have in the middle east and the tension we have as Christian Americans with the Muslim extreemist….I’m starting to think, that sooner or later that religion will be the one that will drive us to a large scale war.
    This is just my opinoin, it’s not what I believe is true.
    But when one thinks seriously about war, it seems to have always started in the name of Religion.
    There has been a lot of blood shed over millions of years all in the name of “God”, which is sad. But if you truly think about it….We’ve already had US citizens and soldiers beheaded in the name of Allah.
    Will Christians have to choose who their God is?
    The problem lies when people don’t respect another’s given right to choose what they believe, and are forced to choose a God they don’t believe in, or lose their head.

  53. Heidi

    Let me just also say, that I’m starting to think like this because if Christians as a whole had to Choose one God over another or be beheaded…I’m thinking that the GOD I believe in would remove his people from this earth.
    But again, it’s just a thought process…not a wholeharted…slam it down your gullet belief.

  54. Tiffany

    I never knew of the Rapture as I grew up–being that I was raised as a Catholic. I only learned of this term or anything in the Bible when I was in my early 20’s because it was my youngest sister-in-law who witnessed to me when she was about 15 years old.
    When they first spoke to me of it, it was with such fear and awe with those stage-like whispers “You better beware!!!”… At that time, I was such a skeptic that I didn’t think anything of it except “what weirdos” especially towards the sister-in-law who is the same age as I am because her actions didn’t reflect what she was proclaiming as her belief.
    I became a born-again Christian about 15 years ago. Its been up and down but I’ve never strayed far because I felt as if God kept pulling me back. When I first came to the Lord, my husband was back-slidden. I decided to raise our children in the faith he was raised.
    We are both serving God and raised our children in the church. In regards to the teaching of the Rapture—believe it or not, we’ve made it into a Bible Study for them because they’re teens now and we both believe they will have a better concept and understanding of what the Rapture means.
    Everyone has a different “theory” of when the Rapture will occur.. pre-tribulation, mid-tribulation, or post-tribulation. All I can say is we just have to trust in God despite all that is surrounding us.
    The media is keeping us “informed” of middle east events.. Russia… and its amazing to try and piece it with what the Book of Revelation shares. However, how many times have we had people interpret it for and give us a timeline and a definite date?
    We neither know the time or the hour of when all will fall into place for God to begin the finale. All we know is that we just have to trust in Him, believe in Him, and serve Him faithfully.
    Let me also share as I read the other comments, I had to smile because many shared the same experiences as my husband and his sisters. They all have shared a time when they were children when they thought the Rapture occured. They spoke of that movie “Thief in the Night” and I was able to watch it as well. I also read some of the “Left Behind” series but there is one book in particular that stood out and really had me thinking of the Rapture. It was called “Revelation”, a story of this childless couple living on a farm and all these occurences begin to happen. It is a great book and I have never been able to find it again but this book actually got me thinking and reaffirming to myself to just trust in God.
    Remember..these are the latter days where many will fall, there will be many that claim they are the messiah… basically so many things that will distract us from God.
    Just keep your eyes on Him..that’s all I can say despite my long comment.
    Thanks for a great post. Be blessed.

  55. Celeste

    I went to a private (read: Christian) school from 2nd to 6th grade and I totally remember them showing us that movie in assembly. I don’t remember how old I was (too young, for sure), but that movie terrified me. And to this day whenever I tell anyone about it they look at me like I’m crazy. Thank you for making the reference and thanks to everyone else for the name of the movie.

  56. Hannah

    HI! Long time reader, first time poster!
    Im incredibly NON RELIGIOUS and was raised that way so Im constantly befuddled (hee befuddled) by any religion that operates with fear as its backbone. As in “ah, the rapture!! Tell your children the world is ending!!” and scaring the crapnuts out of kids around the world. It seems fear and judgement towards others are the basis of the Bible (go ahead and tell me Im wrong, I probably am it just seems that way to me) and something about that just doesnt sit right in my tummy. If you believe in God and put all your love into God, shouldnt he be loving and kind and non judgemental as well? Towards everybody, including gay people and all the other people that the Bible deems “sinners”??
    To put it simply, I dont get it. So I dont preach it, man. But Im all for whatever makes your heart happy and free..and if the Bible does it for you, as it does for so many people, that is truly wonderful. I wish I could say the same!
    Signed,
    GoingToHellInAHandbasket

  57. christine Gill

    Awwwww… bugger, I dunno bout this stuff.. but I think I used to, back when I knew it all…
    I’ve seen end time theology split up friends and… Gah, I dunno.

  58. DeeMarie

    I grew up in (and still attend) a very “God is Love” kind of church. We do know of the Revelation, and what we’ll happen, but we focus on the goodness, the fairness, and the sometimes just-ness of God. I guess I’m fortunate that I’ve never seen the “Thief” movies. I believe that if you’re living a life where you’re earnestly seeking Him and trying to be a better person for Him, that there’s nothing to fear. I believe that The Rapture will be instant… the end result will be eternal, but I don’t think there will be people left.
    It’s truly a joy to see you taking on your faith and the questions that come with it so genuinely.
    And I would agree with Chicky. John is an excellent place to start hearing more about the love of Jesus, then James for the characters of christianity, and then Hebrews to learn about how our faith can change the world through Old Testament examples.
    I wish you the best.

  59. Bunny

    I was raised in a Lutheran church and we don’t really have any mention of the Rapture. It is my personal belief that our souls, that part of us that we cannot see, yet is there, moves on to a loving, perfect existence. I can’t really describe this heaven since it doesn’t include our earthly bodies, so I have no idea what it would look like.
    I also believe that we are ALL children of God and all sinners. I think the fate that awaits our souls is there for us all, through the grace and love of God.

  60. ingrid

    I totally had rapture panic when my mom was late. My dad was “not saved” therefore I knew he would be coming home. This comforted me in a weird way. For me it was a combo of “that” move and the song “I wish we’d all been ready.”
    Nothing like scaring Jesus into people.

  61. Lisa

    I can totally understand where you’re coming from with the whole “The Rapture took place and I got left behind!” As a kid, I can remember my mom going somewhere and leaving us alone and we didn’t have the benefit of a phone to call anyone. I’d go into panic mode and start running around the neighborhood screaming and crying because “I didn’t make it in the rapture.” A few hours later she’d come back and I’d be chastised for reacting like I did. The problem was, I was a kid, a young kid, 10 or 11. The UPC (United Pentecostal Church) I was part of instilled such fear, how could we look at a relationship with God as a positive thing? I’m here to tell you that it can be and IS a very positive thing. And it (God’s Grace) does NOT come with conditions. It’s a GIFT! Nothing we can do, say, think, etc. will earn it for us. It’s free for the taking. Grab hold of what’s yours; you won’t believe the joy that can truly be yours. I’m living proof it’s REAL! God bless you! :O)

  62. Miss Britt

    Honestly? I try not to think of The Rapture.
    Because a) it freaks me the hell out and b) I figure it’s worrying for nothing. It’s not like worrying will CHANGE anything.
    I kind of cling to that whole “you will not know the day or the hour” bit.

  63. Kelley

    Hmmm, being raised a heathen I had completely different ideas of what the rapture was. Methinks I need to start doing some reading. But can I skip the all the begat stuff? cause that is where I got stuck last time, trying to remember who begat who cause I thought it would be important later.

  64. Christy

    I’m Catholic and I never heard of the rapture until I met some Southern Baptists in high school. I do believe in the Second Coming, but I don’t take such a literal view of Revelation. It’s a beautiful, poetic, symbolic prophesy in the tradition of the Old Testament prophets. There are lots of parallel symbols. I don’t think that you can read it as a literal blueprint for the future. It’s more like one man’s impression as glimpsed in reflection through a tiny hole. There is great hope there, great fear (of the unknown), and uncertainty. And one of my favorite verses is from Revelation – “He will wipe every tear from their eyes.” That’s not so scary, is it?
    Best of luck to you. I will include your family in my prayers.

  65. Michelle

    I grew up Lutheran and we didn’t focus too much on “The Rapture”, however I was taught that all you need in preparation for Jesus return was John 3:16.

  66. Veronica

    One of the clearest memories of my childhood was rapture related. I was playing in my room and realized I was alone in the house. I went into the backyard but no one was there. I called my Aunt’s house, who lived close by, who I KNEW would be taken (think Carrie’s mom) and there was no answer. I called my uber religious grandma, no answer. I thought the rapture had come FOR SURE. It was like I had been dreading this moment for so long, wondering if I’d be taken or left behind, but pretty certain I’d make it and here it is! I was left behind! OMG! I’d have to get the mark of the beast tattooed on my hand and pledge allegiance to the debil to be left alone (how would I survive? I can’t even drive?) or I could resist and be tortured and thrown into purgatory. What to do? What to do! Then my mom walked through the door. They were visiting neighbors. Oh well.

  67. Marcie

    I was raised in a protestent church, and I have never even heard of “the rapture”, and I’m 33!
    I don’t really believe in organized religion. I think this is all silliness that some spirit is going to come and get us in the middle of the night. Most religions are fear based, and to me, that’s what the rapture is. Fear keeps people under control.
    What I think is that we have to live our best lives possible. Just my two cents.

  68. Leticia

    I grew up in a church very similar to your parents church. As a matter of fact, when you post those old pictures, it reminds me so much of the church we used to go to.
    I couldn’t wear anything that showed my knees, couldn’t listen to secular music or go to the movies and when I was younger I didn’t understand. I just knew I never really fit in with my friends at school.
    BUT, I’m grateful for how I grew up because as an adult, I know this has helped form some of my values and morals and my general outlook on life. Yes, I grew up believing the rapture and I do believe it still. Have you ever read the Left Behind series of books? They really “modernize” how the rapture can happen and spin it into a set of books that is so contagious.
    I know God is real, and Y — he is in control. You have to believe that. Sometimes we don’t understand the reason for things, but in the end, they are all part of his plan.
    As an adult, I am not as strict as my parents were about some of the religious things. We do attend church weekly but we also go to the movies (if we can afford it, gosh its expensive!) and we do listen to secular music sometimes and we even occasionaly drink. What I’ve come to realize is that what is important is having a RELATIONSHIP with God, not doing all the rituals. Its important that he comes first before anything, before the drinking, before the other vices…I truly believe that this is what is important.

  69. Kyla

    I went to Christian school and it was a hot topic, of course.
    Now that I’m thinking with my own brain and I see that some of the things I was taught don’t only have ONE way to be understood, I don’t know. I honestly haven’t spent much time thinking about it. I think the God I know loves me right? So He’ll take care of me and I shouldn’t worry about it too much. Each day has enough trouble of its own and tomorrow can worry about itself.

  70. LK

    Wow . . . not a light topic at ALL. Well, I was raised Catholic (still am), and I was pretty much taught that Jesus would come again, proclaim judgment, all good souls would go to Heaven while everyone else would go to Hell, and the world would cease to exist. I always imagined it looking something like Jesus standing on a cliff or bluff with his arms raised up, the sky turning a sulfuric red, and the bodies of the just being assumed into Heaven while everyone else stayed and suffered. Not exactly a warm and fuzzy thought, but that was the visual I always got.
    As an adult, I still believe in the Second Coming, the Apocalypse, the End of Days, the Rapture, whatever you want to call it. I can’t not believe it. I’m not scared of it, really, but I do hope that I don’t have to witness it. It’s hard to not think that we’re not nearing the end of the world sometimes–the Euro, the prominence of RFID and biometrics, the never-ending violence in the Middle East, etc.–but I don’t think we’re there yet. And if we are, well, that’s just motivation to behave!
    Funny . . . my husband and I were just talking about this same exact topic last night.

  71. nicole

    yvonne,
    can i borrow your blog for just a sec?
    dana michelle- yes, it’s me, nicole! i remember you well and yes, my girls are growing and beautiful and i have an adorable son, too. and bella is still alive and well and large! hubby and i are still happily married, just blog free now. i hope you are doing well! i always enjoyed our emails. thank you for remembering me! please take care!!!
    also yvonne,
    i think what jennifer skaggs commented really sounds like a word for you. all that you have been going thru with your health and finance “stuff” and you are looking to Him….explore that more and you’ll find answers you need. i will go back to being a lurker now.
    nicole

  72. SassyPants

    Y, I love reading your posts about you exploring faith. You are so open and honest. So many people will not admit fear or doubt. Why? I totally don’t get that!
    Anyway, yes, I do believe in the rapture. But I didn’t grow up in a fire&brimstone kind of church so it was never something to fear. I don’t know if we are in the last days. I guess I never felt the need to know. There’s certainly nothing I can do about it. I don’t think that if Jesus showed up, even on one of my worst sinning days that he’d leave me behind because I just lied to a police officer (no sir, I didn’t realize I was going so fast). It’s what is in our heart that matters, not our actions of the day. Anyway, I hope we’re not in the last days. I love my life and would like to live it out before I go to heaven. That’s another thing I never understood, the people who would pray that Christ would come soon. What the heck? I love my Lord but he gave me this life and it’s good. I’m going to enjoy it. I guess I’m an “I want it all” kind of woman. I want to live all of this life and then move on to heaven. No reason for this to be cut short.
    Keep reading, keep talking to others who love you and support you and follow your heart Y.

  73. Kitchen Vixen

    I grew up in a very faith-based family, in a Christian church (I don’t want to specify which denomination, because there’s a lot of misunderstanding about it) but it was a church that focused on Christ’s love and the power of prayer. Fire and brimstone and “the rapture” were never mentioned, just the idea that we are all continuing to work out our relationship with God. Even when we are no longer in these material bodies, we are still moving forward with our relationship with God, until we are one with the Spirit.
    I’m no longer practicing with that sect, I’m more of a Methodist now (thanks to Wesley in college, loved them!) However that idea of God’s love being so much more encompassing than judgement still stays with me.

  74. Julie

    I was raised in a fundamentalist Baptist church. We were also shown those horrible movies (but weren’t allowed to actually go to the movies, not even a Disney movie) and it scared the crap out of me.
    I remember clearly getting off the bus one day in fifth grade and my mother wasn’t home. She was ALWAYS home. I was sure that I had been left behind. My mom did show up, she was just running late, and wasn’t sympathetic *at all*. “If you were frightened, it was because you aren’t really saved”. Not like it was her fault or anything.
    I don’t see how anyone can get anything out of Revelation. Seriously, I think John was either high or crazy. And most of those things can be interpreted to suit whatever scare tactic the preacher would like to use that week.
    Another vivid memory is of the song “There is Joy in Serving Jesus”. Really? There is? Because I didn’t and still haven’t (despite having two family members who are preachers) seen any joy. I see lots of guilt and self doubt and judgment of others.
    As you may have guessed, I no longer have any faith in God. I see no evidence of any such thing, in church or out.

  75. Tracie

    I do not believe the Bible is infallable truth. I believe that God continues to reveal Itself to us, and that God’s truth is available to each of us through our experiences of living the life that Christ set out as an example.
    I believe there is that of God in each of us.
    I believe that heaven and hell exist on earth, not “up there” or “down there” after we die. I think that our love or hate for one another is what creates heaven and hell.
    I do not profess to have all the answers, nor do I think any particular church/pastor/priest has all the answers. I believe the answers are revealed over time — when we obey the great command to love our neighbor as we love ourselves.
    Tracie

  76. patois

    I can’t help you out with my childhood reactions to the Rapture. I was raised Catholic, and I don’t remember ever hearing about it. Seriously.
    But I did have to say that I laughed — out loud, even — when I read about your panic and calls to make sure the pastor was still with us on earth. I know I shouldn’t laugh — or should I since you really made it sound funny — but I couldn’t help myself.
    Don’t see if I’m online if the Rapture comes. My being here won’t confirm that it didn’t happen.

  77. Tracee Sioux

    Letting go of all the jazz I grew up with has been hard. They say religion is good for kids – but It’s baggage lots of times.
    I don’t think about the scarring or scary stuff. I try to leave the baggage at the door. The baggage is a creation of People – not God.
    I put the focus on The Light. The Awakening. The Quest. The Learning. That’s where I think the focus of a real spiritual journey should be.

  78. Crockstar

    I grew up with “Like a thief in the night” and still believe it will be like that, but I am no longer scared because I now have a desire to know God and I have assurance that I am saved. The scariest part of growing up in a strict Bible Thumping family and church was thinking I could lose my salvation. That was the crux of my hang ups. For example: If I willfully said G-d Damn would that be the unforgivable sin? And yet even with that fear I just didn’t care and tried to work it into every conversation. I wanted to live my life and all this religion was holding me back.
    I went to one of the most strict Christian Fundamental University in the US, Bob Jones. I also graduated from Bob Jones Academy. There was a time I woke up from a nap and it seemed like no one was on my dorm floor. I completely panicked that the rapture had taken place and I was left. I was quietly crying while walking down the hall looking for someone, someone else that was left.
    What I find so incredibly sad is that there is a whole generation rejecting God’s love and grace because of the fear and legalism our parents shoved down our throats. Will the parents and pastors be held responsible for their children’s rejection of God? I don’t know, but I sure hope that I am able to show God’s amazing Grace to my daughter, family, and friends.
    At my lowest point I looked up a Stephen’s Ministry in my area. It saved my life, literally, because death felt like the only option. I hope that whatever it is you choose to help you through this rough time it will reveal the love that God has, not His wrath. I wasted a lot of years doing it my way, and believe me, my way had to have been the hardest way.
    On a side note of fear and how I still can’t shake my legalistic upbringing. Because God had to complete break me by leaving me with nothing but faith, I can’t help but think that if I turn away from God again to do my own thing he will use my daughter to bring me back to Him. How messed up is that?

  79. Tracy

    Hi. I was introduced to your blog recently and am very grateful. You are the multi-faceted, ranting, sobbing, praying, struggling, seeking soul I see in the mirror daily; with an ardent desire to learn and grow and seek out the Truth.
    I write this as I feel it and not how I think some would want to hear it.
    I was born into a Catholic family. My mom ‘fell away’ from Catholic followings when I was young, and for many years my interaction with church was only when I spent time with my grandparents. I still to this day consider their church as my first church.
    Growing up and spending more time with my single mom, I learned to grow away from the church — to equate the judgement of others with the church they sat in and therefore with their religion and God, but somehow I always managed to keep the light of Christ in my heart to turn to.
    Many years passed of the occasional Sunday Mass and Midnight Christmas Vigil; and then it happened. I stood in the ICU of a major hospital while my mom laid on life support awaiting a liver transplant. I looked at her in anger for putting me through this, and looked to God for a hug. I flashed over the years of my life as a child and recalled the crappy things I had seen and experienced; and I understood that the only way I had become the person I had was through His Divine Intervention; guiding me slowly but surely with a forceful hand on my shoulder. That day, I chose my faith and went back to church.
    I practice Catholic teachings, but I too think we don’t always get it right. Loving they neighbor is for me to do; judging their actions is for Him to do. I struggle with people’s opinions of my faith, of the Church I belong to, but I know I go there to praise Him, to worship Him, and not to do it for anyone but Him because he kept me safe. I see now that the hatred, misguidance, distorted beliefs within any religion are not the religion but the humans within it.
    That being said, I stand more at the beginning of my journey, even though that was about six years ago now, and haven’t thought much about the Rapture (even though my born-again Christian step-dad teaches me from his understanding and beliefs about it.) I believe Jesus will come again, will judge us; and I can only Pray I’m on track to make it to the good side. I often fear my actions are ‘bad’ and God will be ‘upset’ with me; but I am learning of his love and Grace; and seeking daily his wisdom to teach me to love myself, to be kind to myself and to share Him with others.
    I have not found the attention span myself to sit with the Bible. The Spirit leads me to it in ‘troubled’ times and I find Peace within it. So the ‘end of days’ truly means nothing or very little to me. I am focused on what I can do today to inspire others to look to the Spirit within them, to love my neighbors, to lift the lowly. My purpose is to learn and serve His purpose, and I use my church as a temple to be in community with others on the same journey.
    Thank you, Miss Y, for allowing the Spirit to speak through you in this blog, for being couragous in all you’ve experienced, for Forgiving; and for allowing us to be a part of it.

  80. Leah

    I believe in the Rapture. I believe we are in the end times. Events stated in the Bible are happening now. I hope you continue reading the Bible, if you know anyone that is walking with God too, it would help if you had any questions.

  81. HeidiChick

    ummm…uh oh….I don’t think Lutherans told me about that Rapture stuff. : )
    I think I better read all the comments before I say more…its been awhile since I had the time to visit.

  82. Mary Watkins

    I am Catholic and believe that there IS going to be an end time but I don’t think it’s now. I think that each generation thinks this is it – this is all there is. I know a lot of Catholics believe that we are on our next to last Pope because of some seer that talked in symbols. Add to that those freaks in Medjugore – yeah what ever.
    One thing that scared the crud out of me was a few years ago (about ten) there was a thing on TV about the anti-Christ being born in China and that the world would end in 2054 because of him.
    I like to think that if do the right thing and believe then we are doing what we can to live with Him.

  83. alayna

    Okay, you totally cracked me up about the being left behind and calling your pastor – hilarious! I was raised in a non-denominational church (well, really I started going when I was in 7th grade, by myself, my parents weren’t real regular church-goers) and it was similar teaching to what you’ve decribed, but maybe not so scary – I don’t remember anything about having my head chopped off! But, I do know I was scared to DEATH of Revelation and avoided it at all costs. There was lots of talk about this being the last days and Jesus coming back, and I felt real guilt b/c we were supposed to long for Jesus to come back, and I was all like, but I want to have a life and get married and have babies, so don’t come before that, k?
    But at 1 point, I was so sure Jesus was going to come back any day that I was in high school, and I told my mom that I needed to forget going to college or making any plans for the future, b/c I should just spend my time telling people about Jesus. This was 1 of those times when it was handy to have a mom a little more grounded b/c she was all, Honey, people have been saying that since I was your age. It’s good to have those ambitions, but go ahead and plan for your future, b/c it says NO ONE knows when He will come back. I felt a huge burden lifted, and just went ahead with my normal life.
    Ookay, fast forward a few more years, and I started dating a boy who was a Methodist. I went to their campus ministry, and I started to hear much more about the love & grace that I had never heard about. Whoa! Talk about water to my soul. It felt so good to not constantly either be in fear or beating myself up in guilt b/c I hadn’t shared Jesus with the grocery store checker that day! I married that Methodist boy, and he’s now a pastor. He took a class in seminary on Revelation, and lo & behold, there is more than 1 way to interpret that book. And I don’t know which way is right, but I do know that I sure like the way my husband was taught – it’s not at all scary.
    There’s a book about it, but I can’t remember the title or anything, email me if you want it. But basically, the premise is that the book of revelation had to make sense to the 1st century Jews that it was originally intended for. So all the stuff that people say now like the locusts are really giant helicopters just wouldn’t fly. And a lot of that stuff like the moon turning to blood and people thrown in to the sea were full of imagery that those 1st readers would have understood (just like we understand an elepahnt & a donkey as the political parties) Now, it doesn’t mean that it’s not relevant for us today – it is! It tells us how to live faithfully in an ungodly world – just like those 1st century Christians were having to do. In this view, we have been in the “end times” ever since the book was written. I mean think about it – those people were being killed for thier faith. We are suffering persecution right now. Some more than others (like Christians in China) but we also suffer persecution when we refuse to live by the standards of the world (like not cheating on our time cards or something) Okay, that is probably waaaaay more than you ever wanted. But it’s what I believe – I have no idea if it’s right or not, but I really don’t think God wants his children to live in fear, and I don’t think he wants to scare people into believing in him – Jesus didn’t do that. So there you go! Hope this helps if you even made it to the end of this post!

  84. chiquita

    Wow, alayna, this is what my reaction was too:
    I really don’t think God wants his children to live in fear, and I don’t think he wants to scare people into believing in him – Jesus didn’t do that.
    As a former Episcopalian, now Unitarian Universalist, married to Jewish man, I can’t believe that there is a literal heaven and hell and that my husband and I will each go to a different “place.” If I believe anything concrete, it is that we all go back where we came from, to the great unknown, and that the universe has a vast supply of love and energy and that even when we die, that spirit is not lost, it just lives on in a different way.

  85. Leigh

    I was raised in the church of Christ, and we didn’t talk about The Rapture in those terms, but the fact that we don’t know when Jesus would return was often mentioned. I would get scared about it sometimes, worrying that he’d come right after I did something bad and before I could ask for forgiveness.
    I don’t think about it much these days, and my faith has changed somewhat. I know that Jesus will return someday, but I believe that God’s grace will cover a lot and that if our hearts are right with him, we don’t have to worry about what we’re doing in the seconds before his return. I always got the impression that EVERYONE would know when Jesus returned, though, like there will be trumpets and lots of light. But I have no Scriptural basis for that, just my impressions from what I learned growing up.
    As for end times, I have no idea–we didn’t talk about that in the CoC.

  86. Amy

    I was raised in the Christian faith but in such a way so that as I grew, I was encouraged to ask questions and explore and develop my own faith.
    I was a STRONG believer until just after I got married. The last 5 years or so have just been about me trying to come to grips with what I believe and why. I still have faith in God, the Bible, and all that entails but I am struggling to put what I’ve been going through together in terms of what the Bible and churches teach.
    I was taught about the Rapture and believe it but I tend to believe a LOT differently than what is usually taught in church. I don’t know if we are in the end times but I know the Bible talks about wars, famines, and weird extreme weather increasing as a sign of end times. So, this could be it I guess.

  87. Sylvia

    I got taught about the Rapture – talk about nightmares! This whole thing freaked me out – it’d be all food burning and babies drowning and cars crashing and planes? Why did no one ever mention planes with Christian pilots?
    I couldn’t see it as anything other than a horror film. I tried to talk to my best friend about it but she was like “Who cares, they are damned anyway” and I realised that it had simply never occurred to her that she might get left behind.
    I keep trying to explain to people about the Rapture and it seems like no one in all of Europe has a clue what the hell I’m on about. They are like, huh what? You guys get taught that in Church? What the hell is that supposed to mean.
    I laughed at you calling your pastor. But what I want to know is, did you fess up? I’d have been tempted to hang up in relief, without wanting to admit that I thought I might not be perfect.

  88. Alison

    You know, I was raised in a very non-religious family. We started attending the Protestant service on the military base we lived on. Nothing too crazy. I liked going, but by 9th grade my parents started missing more and more Sundays. Since they were my ride, I stopped as well. My dad was raised Christian Science and we would go to that church when visiting my grandma. It was very loving though.
    All we ever learned was that Jesus was going to come back. Nothing crazy or anything and actually my Sunday school teachers told us we really shouldn’t read Revelations until we were a bit older, so we could better understand it. This was when I was in 7th grade or so. I’ve since read it and it confuses me to no end, but I’m so glad I didn’t read it then!
    I spent junior high and high school in Utah. I was made fun of and asked many questions for wearing a cross necklace there. Not to mention guys wouldn’t date me because I wouldn’t be going to the same heaven as them. Seriously, I was told these things by people.
    Anyway, I believe Jesus is coming back. I don’t believe it will be a big huge ugly mess though. I know some believe it will, some believe it won’t, and some believe it all is a joke. That’s what makes this crazy world go round though.
    I do think that the end is nearing, but it always is. We get a day older and are that much closer to dying anyway. If that makes sense? But I think it is going to take awhile for the end to come. Time is different in the bible, it isn’t so quick to happen.

  89. Kira

    Jesus Himself said “You know not the hour or the day” – so be ready. For years, as a child, I took that to mean “live in fear,” but now I just think it means to live life as you’re supposed to. Be good, find the joy, and accept that there are things out of your understanding.
    THAT I can do.
    I guess what I’m saying is that NO ONE knows what the end days are going to look like, or even if that’s what’s meant by Revelations. I don’t think it’s helpful to waste so much time and anxiety on something that we can’t expect to understand, when there’s so much to work on that’s within our understanding. For me, when I can be unfailingly patient and kind to everyone, even (especially) my 13 year old, well, then maybe I can start to worry about the Rapture. Wait, after all the hungry people are fed too. And my house is clean. And and and.

  90. HeidiChick

    wow- well I did some reading. And even though I don’t believe in the rapture stuff — I sure hope you make some sense of it! (i sure wonder how I’d feel if I were raised with the concept….but I never did believe in the second coming of any sort either….)
    I like the comment about how it means to them something like live life like it might happen….make every moment count sorta thang..
    But I AM very scared of 2012. Google it. But then I just tell myself, hey, if we are all (rapture ready or not) wiped off the earth in December 21, 2012, then no Xmas shopping stress that year, huh?

  91. Kristy

    Holy cow! I had no idea that so many other people shared “rapture fear”. I can remember waking from bad dreams and calling my friend’s uber-christian mother to make sure I hadn’t been left behind. Just another product of a church that used scare tactics and considered movies over a “g” rating, dancing, and anything else fun to be a sin.
    As for the do you believe now question … well I have struggled with waning faith for the last 10 or 15 years. I still believe, but man I wish I had the conviction that I did when I was a kid. (Hope this isn’t posted twice. I had an error the first time.)

  92. dana michelle

    Nicole: Hope you’re still reading through this thread and will see this. I’m so glad to have stumbled across you again after all this time! I am doing well, too. Drop me a line at danammartens@yahoo.com if you would like to catch up.
    Y: Something I didn’t think to say, although others have mentioned it, is that no matter how hard we may try, we really aren’t in “control” of our own destiny. It is through Christ’s death and God’s grace that we receive salvation. That doesn’t mean that we can life live any way we want, but it does mean that He recognizes that we are imperfect and are going to falter. Grace is His gift to us, and all we have to do is accept it, believe and do the best we can to live by His precepts. He doesn’t expect perfection.
    Just reading how many people were in fear of The Rapture makes me thankful that I just grew up being afraid of Judgement Day! Those books and movies sound downright terrifying. I agree with the others that have said that God does not want us to be afraid. He is in control. All we have to do is trust Him.

  93. Lisse

    In the olden days, parents used to tell their children fables and fairy tales to scare their children and control their behavior. Now they tell them about the Rapture. How sad.
    I was raised Catholic, so while we talked about the Judgement Day and the Second Coming, we never talked about the Rapture.
    The thing that strikes me about the self-proclaimed “Rapture-ready,” is the complete lack of humility. I learned about the Rapture when that dreadful Left Behind series came out. It brought me to that conclusion that if you think you are going to be taken in the Rapture, you probably won’t.

  94. Jenny, Bloggess

    Holy. Crap. That whole thing about having to call your pastor to make sure that you parents hadn’t been kidnapped by God and you’d have to have your head chopped off? That’s insane. And me calling someone insane? That’s…insane. So basically yeah, you’re insane. But probably going to heaven while I get my head chopped off. I didn’t even know that was something I was supposed to be scared of.
    Great. Add that one to the phobia list.

  95. Meg from GA

    I grew up and still am a Methodist. I have never feared God, I guess I think of Him as a Father…but I do remember when I was young and at a week long church camp, We were made to watch a movie. I don’t remember which one, but I do remember that it was about the end of the world and if you chose Him you were killed, but you went to heaven. (A HORRIBLE thing to make young children watch…) I had nightmares and refused to go to sleep until I was just exhausted! because I was so afraid of not waking up. I have never doubted God or doubted he exists but I was not, and still not ready to die. I feel certain I’m a good person and when the time comes I will go to heaven and see all those who have gone before me (I also have a story about a preacher that told me that when we get to heaven, we won’t see anyone we love but we will be so enveloped in God’s love we won;t notice!!! I sooooo don’t agree or like that idea!) Religion is such a personal thing but I do have to tell you, the comment about you calling the preacher and if he was home, the rapture didn’t happen was so like something I would have done!!!
    I guess I typed all that just to say, I believe in the “second coming” and I don”t think I’m afraid of dying, just afraid of missing my family/son/husband etc…

  96. Monica

    I’m a (non-practicing) Catholic, so not sure about the whole rapture thing… personally, I think it’s a way for the church to scare the crap out of us, since I believe that as long as we are good people who do good things and avoid the 7 deadly sins and obey the commandments that we’ll go to Heaven.
    But that’s just me.
    I was gonna suggest though, that maybe instead of reading the bible from front to back, try concentrating on a question and open it to a page. Most of the time, you’ll find your answer. It’s what I was taught as a kid, and something that most Native Hawaiians do here. (I hear people do that down south too.) Just thought it might benefit you a little.
    We have several bibles- Catholic and Christian- lying around the house, but my favorite is Iva Hoth’s comic book bible. It’s fun to read and easier to understand. Hehe.

  97. WhenSheWorePonytails

    Woah, holy can of worms. Get it? “Holy”? I’m only funny to me, though.
    My mother was a Assembly of God person and Dad is a Southern Baptist. Honestly, I am now of the opinion that God knows me inside and out. I’m not going to “try” to be “good” or “saved”. I’m going to be me. Flawed and crappy. Not to say I’m not “saved” or anything. I just feel like God knows me better than to think I’m that girl that used to show up in her long dress on Sunday. I’m far more than that. So if the rapture comes and I don’t make the cut? I’m going to have to drink a lot because I’ll be all scared of having my head cut off if I don’t. Luckily those guys at the liquor store will still be there. 😉
    And one time when it was daylight savings time, I went to church an hour early and thought, “Oh CRAP! I knew I wasn’t ready!!” hehe

  98. Kris

    We’re catholic and once my neighbor told me about the devil and my mom was all “the devil? doesn’t exist!” So she was a rose-colored-glasses kind of catholic and believe me, the end of times NEVER came up.
    If you’re reading the Bible, which I find impossible without a study guide personally but I’m just starting, I thought you might be interested to know about the amplified version?
    http://www.amazon.com/Amplified-Bible-Zondervan-Publishers/dp/0310951410/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1219198952&sr=8-1
    I just heard of it and it makes it much easier to comprehend.

  99. Front Porch Legacy

    I believe!
    I BELIEVE in God the Father Almighty,
    Maker of heaven and earth:
    And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord:
    Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost,
    Born of the Virgin Mary:
    Suffered under Pontius Pilate,
    Was crucified, dead, and buried:
    He descended into hell;
    The third day he rose again from the dead:
    He ascended into heaven,
    And sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty:
    From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
    I believe in the Holy Ghost:
    The holy Church;
    The Communion of Saints:
    The Forgiveness of sins:
    The Resurrection of the body,
    And the Life everlasting.
    Amen.
    And I believe He will return again. And I can’t wait to see Him in the clouds. It’s going to be AWESOME!

  100. JenniferB

    I am Christian, but not of a faith that shoveled the “rapture fear” at us. I am grateful that I was allowed to grow a relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ without it being a fear-based one. I feel comfort when I pray and I do feel His hand in my life, very regularly. I love to read the scripture, and one of my favorite chapters in the Bible is Psalms 100 — I call it the Thanksgiving Psalm. It reminds me of God’s love and that in His love for us He wants us to be happy. I hope your faith will continue to be strengthen as you pray and read, and that your family will be able to recognize the blessings of the Lord in your life.

  101. sassy

    The Bible is absolutely overwhelming but so full of wisdom and information. The thing that helped me more than anything was buying a Life Application Study Bible. It really helped me understand things as I was ignorant about Bible history. I didn’t become a Christian until my 20’s so I really needed some training wheels. I found it very helpful. Just wanted to share.
    And I did not grow up in the church at all…Baptist Mom/Agnostic Dad. So the rapture was something I learned as an adult. I gotta say the Left Behind books scared the ever loving crap out of me. And when I pay too much attention to the world news I am afraid we are at the end times. I don’t know how LONG it will be though. But it scares me.
    I just wanted to thank you for sharing your faith journey with the world. I have lost my way and reading about your journey is helping me hopefully find my way back. Thanks from the bottom of my heart. (The one that is scared of the anti-christ!)

  102. Nette @ Smiling Mom

    Holy Comments, Batman!!
    I use to fear that the rapture would come before I was old enough to be married and have kids. I was especially afraid after reading those Left Behind books….
    Now, although I still believe, I choose not to think about it. I know I love God. I know I’m not perfect, but I have faith. So if it happens when I’m alive, so be it. If not, so be it.

  103. Jennifer @Here I Stand

    This is such an interesting discussion! I was raised Methodist and became Lutheran (ELCA, aka the more liberal wing) as an adult. Little mention of end times/Rapture from the pulpit growing up, but some folks in our church were much more conservative than others. My little sister came home from vacation Bible school talking about getting her head chopped off…I don’t think they showed her the movie you mention, but obviously either her teacher or one of the kids talked about it. The pastor in our church was very much about the love of God, not fire and brimstone at all.
    As an adult in the Lutheran church, a women’s Bible study I was a part of did a study of Revelation, and invited a pastor to talk to us about it. According to this lady, Lutherans don’t believe in the Rapture or anything else in the Left Behind books.
    And truly, Yvonne and anyone else, you should actually read Revelation for yourself. Then try to figure out how these end-times theologies could be anything but speculation. When you’re dealing with symbolic picture language, there’s no way to be as definitive as you’ve been taught. What I got from reading Revelation without the lens of a particular end-times theology is that bad stuff will happen (and doesn’t it all the time anyway?) but that in the end, God is in control and will make things right. Also, that heaven is so beautiful that it defies description.
    NOTHING about chopping off heads. Nothing about being caught up to the clouds, either. That reference (which is the whole basis of the Rapture idea) is from one verse in one of Paul’s letters. I expect that Jesus will return, that those who love him will be with him, and that those who want nothing to do with him will also get their wish. Whether that happens sooner or later I don’t know…but I’m not convinced I need to know. So many things we think we NEED to understand…and the older I get, the more I think that we don’t need to understand–we just need to love and serve God in the present.
    hm. If anyone got to the end of my mammoth stream of consciousness, thanks for reading this far!

  104. pastor jeff

    Y,
    I haven’t read you before, but Mamacita pointed you out to me. She tries to keep me up on all things theological, which is a pretty cool discussion you’ve initiated.
    A couple of thoughts that might be helpful to some (or maybe just to me):
    1. Balance. It’s easy to get sucked in by crazies or nuts at one end of the continuum or the other, on ANY topic, but especially transcendent things. God-is-love 24/7 or All-Vengeance-&-All-Fear-All-The-Time is popular, but probably neither helpful nor accurate. (I wouldn’t be a very good parent if I were just one or the other.)
    2. What’s the picture we get from thoughtful, balanced Christian teaching?
    Read Paul’s first letter to his friends in Thessalonica sometime, especially chapter 4 (starting with verse 13) through chapter 5. He mentions words like “destruction” and the day coming “like a thief in the night”. BUT….
    …words like “hope” and “encourage one another with these words” appear too!
    I really liked what one of the comments in response to your post said. They mentioned not being born a Christian but coming to HIM later in life. “Him not “it”.
    And that’s what we do. We don’t call ourselves Christ followers because we buy into a particular end-times scenario, but because of a relationship with a Person.
    Just a couple thoughts from another fellow traveler.

  105. Jennifer, Playgroups are no place for children

    I didn’t really start attending church (Catholic) until I was about 13. I don’t remember EVER learning about the Rapture. I don’t ever remember being scared of church or of God.
    I know that many people I know, who are mostly Catholic, used to fear their actions as children would send them into purgatory. I guess I’m lucky to have always had positive church experiences.

  106. extreme weight loss

    Your story about being scared about being left behind cracked me up. When I was growing up, I woke up one night and had to go and make sure Mom and Dad were still in bed and I didn’t get left behind.We’re catholic and once my neighbor told me about the devil and my mom was all “the devil? doesn’t exist!” So she was a rose-colored-glasses kind of catholic and believe me, the end of times NEVER came up.Thanks for discussing about………

  107. Cristin

    Why am I singing that Rapture song by Blondie?
    I was raised Catholic, went to church every Sunday and received all my sacraments and I don’t ever remember a homily about the Rapture. It wasn’t until high school when someone told me about swarms of locusts and such nonsence. I’m not sure where my beliefs stand today, honestly. I haven’t been to church in 8 years but still pray daily. All I know is, if you shove religion down the kids throats they will rebel and abandon all things religious. I did for awhile and am slowly coming back, much like you. Thanks for this post, it really made me think. (And sing that stupid rap part of the Blondie song.)

  108. Mrs darling

    Of course I believe in the rapture. In the book of Matthew it tells us that there will be a day when two will be grinding at the mill and one will be taken and the other left behind. Paul says He (Jesus) will come in a twinkling of an eye and those that are alive will be caught up with him in the air. Jesus himself tells the disciples that He will come back as a thief in the night and if we are not watching and prepared we will not be caught up with Him. To say the idea of the rapture only comes from one verse is erroneous and not true.
    Y, you cant pick and choose what parts of the Bible you are going to believe. You either believe all of the New Testament or none at all.
    Unbelievers love to spout verses from the OT to prove God says weird and strange things but in truth He did indeed have different laws then because it was the Jewish law.
    But if something is said or repeated again in the NT then that is for those of us living after Jesus birth. The verses I quoted above are from the new Testament. Jesus said He would return in the clouds. In the book of Revelation it specifically says He will come with all the angels and they will be riding white horses. God said it, I believe it, and that settles it!
    You have some excellent comments on this post, Y (and then some not so excellent :)) But I am so proud of how you are searching for truth. Truly God is working in your life. Hugs and prayers!

  109. alison

    My husband has been laid off once before, and we have been told by his current employer that he is on the bubble once again. You have had a ton of comments so I don’t know if you will read this, but I just started reading Rick Warrens Purpose Driven Life. I read it about 3 years ago and it was eye opening for me. With everything that my husband and I are going through we decided to read it together. I highly recommend it.

  110. Stacy

    I was raised in the Christian Church and am raising my family the same. I don’t remember ever hearing much about the Rapture. We talked about the Second Coming, but never in the way you described it. I do remember worrying that the world would end before I had a chance to “live”. I don’t worry about that now so much. I am not sure if I believe we are living in the end times. People have always thought that forever. Jesus’s diciples thought they were living in the end times. It will happen when we do not expect it and there is nothing we can expect live in such a way that we will be ready. I hope things get better for you and your family.

  111. Brandie

    I know exactly how you feel about reading the bible (and being scared about the rapture). I very recently decided to (1) follow a read-through-the-bible-in-one-year plan and (2) blog about the entire thing. I figure since I can’t shoot God an email, I’d bounce my questions and whatnot at the general public in a more anonymous way.
    It’ll start on Jan 1st, but there is a little bit about it up now if you (or anyone else) wants to take a look. I’m hoping to build a bit of a community up around it:
    http://bloggingthroughthebibleinoneyear.blogspot.com/
    Whatever you do, best of luck through it all!

  112. Stefanie

    I’ve been a Christian for 10 years and had always heard of the Rapture and therefore believed it, even though we’d never discussed it in church. In October 2007, I joined a Discipleship class and began reading the Bible. I started with the New Testament because I think it’s more relevant and Wow, easier to apply to my daily life. So when I got to Revelation, I assumed I’d read about the Rapture. Nope, not a word about Christians disappearing into then air. No poof. Nothing. So now, I don’t believe in it. But, I also don’t know when Christ will return, but I try to be prepared, since the Bible instructs us to be vigilant and states that no one but the Father knows the time of Christ’s return.
    I’m SO glad that you are seeking God through all of your struggles and that you have started to read the Bible. When I started reading it, I realized that my faith was founded in what other people had told me and not on the Bible. Crazy!

  113. kat

    well this has nothing to do with the rapture but i have to tell you, i’ve always come away from your page, feeling inspired…i feel like we grew up together, in a totally not psychotic way. :) i’d totally invite you guys over for a bbq.
    i was raised much the same, and years later in my life, was forced to take a good long hard look at *my* faith, sorting thru what were really my OWN beliefs, and what i’d been taught/told to believe.
    i think the most important factor in your spiritual life and journey is that your faith is YOUR FAITH. God IS right here. and every step of the way. He is as real to you as you let Him be. learning to let go and let it be, go hand in hand.
    i’m with ya, girlie. God and i used to roll mad deep. but i took a bypass somewhere, and along the way, i’ve had some pretty thick fogs to sort thru, too. but there is this deep abiding feeling i carry with me that i’m not alone. that all this chaos life throws our way…all this stumbling around in the dark, is for a greater good and purpose.
    i hope you’ll be wrapped up so tight in blessings, it’ll knock your socks off
    much love, >^..^

  114. Nancy

    HI i came across your blog from a Google search and wanted to commend you for getting back in your Bible!
    theres a good web site called http://www.biblegateway.com and they have every version of hte Bible imangable
    i want to start by saying i have had (and still do occaasionaly) those same fears you have it has gotten so bad before as to put me in a frenzy and i couldnt be alone for long but slowly i htink i am learning to concor that fear with the lvoe and patiens of Christ
    ok on to my opinon on the subject YES most Definalty yes there is a Rapture of the Church and to those who said ive heard it all my life and he hasnt come yet … our time is not His time out thoughts are not His thougths !!!
    there will be a rapture of hte Church and those who have not accepted Christ as Savior and have heard a CLEAR preasentation of the GOspel WILL die and go to hell, there will be no “ok Lord heres the rapture save me now” it doesnt work like that. i havent seen any movies about the rapture but i have read the “left behind” books both adult and kids version and they are not completely Biblical
    well i have to go i hope this has helped some…..
    but i have one question? are you saved? do you belive that Jesus Christ came down from heaven lived a perfect life for 33.5 years and then Died on a cross for your sins? if you dont then you need too
    you say you are reading your Bible read Romans 3:10, 6:23, and 10:9-13
    there are ABC’s to this yes i know your thinking “who is this kid and what is she doing here” well i am a Christain who has(and still does) struggles with these exact same fears and this is how i know that i am “safe”
    A-accept that you are a sinner (rom. 3:10), you are not a sinner beacuse you sin, you sin ecause you are a sinner (rom. 5:12 & 6:23) know that there is nothing you can do about your sin in your own power.
    B-belive that Jesus came here and LIVED a perfect life and then DIED as the spotless lamb, the final Blood God would ever need. (John 3:16-18)
    C- Confess to God that you are a sinner and that you know there is nothing YOU can do in and of yourself to get to heven, and ask HIm to come in to your heart wash it whiter than snow and dwell there with you, thank Him for HIs promise to do so (rom. 10:9-13)
    there is a verse that proves if you ever have these fears or doubts again that you are still saved and to put that fear you are having over to HIM
    John 10:27-29 (King James Version)
    27My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
    28And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
    29My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.
    heres another
    1 Peter 5:6-8 (King James Version)
    6Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
    7Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
    8Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
    im sorry this is so long but i want you to kno that i will be praying for you and i hope this all works out
    if you like you can emial me at
    geordiegirl89@yahoo.com

  115. gorillabuns

    Yeah, someone else thinks of Blonde when reading this post. Now, where is my sequined tube top? Rapture? Hell, we could all go at any second of any given day. I try not to think about it.

  116. Amanda

    Hi,
    I was raised Methodist too, if you worked hard and attended church – you were in – Now I’m married to a Pentecostal Evangelical Minister’s son and attend an Assembly of God Church. Our conversations at home center around the triumphal return, riding white horses, never being in pain again, and getting to see Grandpa again. I so wish you could come to my church. Over half the congregation has tattoos somewhere and all genuinely care for each other. No legalism – only love for the Father and the Word.

  117. Katie

    Another Catholic here, I’ve never heard of “The Rapture” before reading this post. Sure we all read Revelations as kids and got a good kick out of that. I kinda read the Bible as inspirational fiction though, I’m a dreadful Christian really.

  118. Ginny

    I was raised Catholic, but my mom recently told me that my brother nor I ever really did believe any of it. I do remember feeling some fear. Once I took some mythology classes though in high school & saw all the students laughing at the silly greek gods, I thought wait a 2nd our story is just as silly. Now I no longer live in fear, I just live my life the best way that I can. Treat people how I want to be treated & am trying to leave the Earth just a little bit better then I found it.
    Good luck to you in your search & your job struggles. We have them as well, so I can understand how you are feeling.

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