Luke 17:22-37

Then he said to the disciples, “The days are coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. They will say to you, ‘Look there!’ or ‘Look here!’ Do not go, do not set off in pursuit. For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day. But first he must endure much suffering and be rejected by this generation.

Just as it was in the days of Noah, so too it will be in the days of the Son of Man. They were eating and drinking, and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed all of them.

Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot: they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, but on the day that Lot left Sodom, it rained fire and sulfur from heaven and destroyed all of them —it will be like that on the day that the Son of Man is revealed.

On that day, anyone on the housetop who has belongings in the house must not come down to take them away; and likewise anyone in the field must not turn back.

Remember Lot’s wife. Those who try to make their life secure will lose it, but those who lose their life will keep it. I tell you, on that night there will be two in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. There will be two women grinding meal together; one will be taken and the other left.” Then they asked him, “Where, Lord?” He said to them, “Where the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.” Luke 17:22-37

I have written about this before and probably will again. The memory is seared into my mind. It was Wednesday night at the Bible camp I attended during the summer between 6th and 7th grade. They gathered all of us campers in the cafeteria and showed us a movie called “A Thief in the Night.” The title song of that movie was a sweet little piece of haunting soft rock and roll that we sang around the campfire at night.

When the movie was over and the lights came up, the director of the camp invited all the kids who KNEW they were Christians and therefore KNEW that they wouldn’t be left behind at the rapture to leave the room. The heathens and Christian pretenders were to stay behind.

I, an obvious heathen and Christian pretender, (or you could just say a traumatized 12 year old, alone at that camp without any friends from home, who cared more about what the other kids thought of me than I did what God thought of me), left with the faithful ones. But I guarantee you that I accepted Jesus into my heart repeatedly for the rest of the week. I guess it just didn’t take.

I look back on that experience through adult eyes and I see many facets in the story. I see well meaning Christians in charge of the events at the camp who really believed that they were doing their part to fill up heaven by following the Great Commission.

I see those same people as seriously misguided brutes who emotionally and spiritually wounded kids like me for life through the abuse of their power as they manipulated and traumatized us.

I think back to the kids who left the room. My new friends and I who waited outside while the heathens got a chance to accept Jesus. We pretty much just waited out there. We did as we were told. The other kids seemed used to stuff like that in a way that I certainly was not.

But that week did more than freak me out. It planted seeds that later became a decision to become a pastor. Maybe, to become an un-pastor. Because if that little branch of Christianity that takes a few verses out of the New Testament to construct a theory of the rapture that sells millions of books is right, then I would rather be left behind. My sense is that following Jesus would demand it of me.

Let us pray: Come, Lord Jesus. We pray again and again: come, Lord Jesus. Come to us, wherever we are, whatever we are going through, come to us. Come to love us, to comfort us, to guide us. Come to use us for your loving purposes in the world. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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One Response to “Luke 17:22-37”

  1. Dave Armstrong Says:

    Interesting perspective!

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