In the twinkling of an eye on Saturday, millions of people around the world suddenly disappeared to the dismay and astonishment of those who remained.
Investigators quickly determined a common link between all the reported disappearances and discovered the rapture of the Christian church as described in the first book of Thessalonians took place. In an ironic twist, however, hundreds of thousands of alleged Christians were also left behind, many of whom held to the belief that the so-called “rapture" was to happen at the end of the seven year tribulation while other presumed believers had refused to accept such an unlikely scenario from ever taking place, calling it un-Biblical.
"Well, I guess Jesus one-upped us again," said John Dowling, a post tribulation activist who often preached on the folly of believing that Christians would be spared the impending destruction of planet earth. "I fully believed we should be subjected to God's wrath along with non-believers in addition to already trying to dodge Satan's hate and lies. So I guess that's that. We're in it for the long run."
Others were not so accepting of their pending fate. According to the Bible, those on earth have about three more years or so of peace before what can only be described as the disaster flick Hollywood could only dream of begins to dominate the headlines. One woman was seen outside a local church sobbing uncontrollably yelling, "I was wrong" over and over.
Debate over the reality of the “rapture” had declined in recent years as those who believed in the sudden snatching away of the Christian church were marginalized as “kooks” and “a bit out there” by other professing Christians. Despite claims in the Bible that Jesus would return “like a thief in the night” and that Christians should look up and look for Jesus, many in the faith choose the more popular path of denying any idea that believers would be spared the supposed coming worldwide judgement.
Jessica Stewart, another Christian left behind, said her pastor never preached about prophecy or end times so she got her information from popular theologians who routinely mocked the idea of the rapture. Stewart indicated she was always on the lookout for the “anti-Christ” rather than living as if Christ could return at any time. Stewart felt she was caught flat-footed by the day’s events and now regrets not heeding all the obvious warnings in recent years of Christ’s immediate appearance in the clouds.
“I lived life as though Christ would not return at any time because I was waiting for the appearance of the “anti-Christ” and the abomination of desolation,” Stewart said. “I knew once the new Jerusalem temple was built and a political leader stepped inside and demanded worship, we had three and a half years left and from there I could pretty much determine the exact date of Jesus’ second coming.”
Pre-tribulation activists were often dismissed as “escapists” who found comfort in the “blessed hope” and simply wanted to believe in the idea that Christians would be removed from the expected horrors of the seven year tribulation period that apparently has now started with little fanfare - outside the disappearance of millions.
Dowling said in hindsight he should have taken the Bible literally and recognized more fully the number of biblical accounts when God removed the righteous before commencing his wrath on evil.
“Clearly the Lord has given us over to our desires and wishes. Obviously, I’d rather be with Him right now but I guess that’s not going to happen. Not right now anyway,” said Dowling who was packing boxes full of non-perishable food and other long term survival needs. “I suppose converting to the idea of a mid-trib rapture is my best bet at this point.