Circling Vultures

Matthew 24:36–42; Luke 17:11–37

One of the most famous concepts in Times thinking is those “left behind”. Part of the was the “Left Behind” series. It was also the dramatic portrayals of how two people would walk together, and one would just disappear. As an unbeliever, that always sounded…strange (okay, maybe crazy).

The problem with just that concept was, well, a deliberate misreading of the Scriptures. If you’re feeling a little attacked by this, my apologies. The problem is that the trope of half of the world’s population disappearing became so ingrained, that it became difficult to ourselves from it (self included).

Last week in Thieving , we talked about the Day of the Lord. And here we are again. The Day of the Lord is the backdrop to these words of Jesus. In this case, the Day of the Lord is more specifically a day of judgment and destruction.

Contrary to the standard “left behind” thinking, those left behind are those that survived. Those that are gone are those who have died. The words in Matthew imply a lack of by tying it in with the Flood of Noah’s time. The words in Luke are tied to Sodom and Gomorrah. Yet again, no salvation seems to be tied to those that are gone.

There are other verses in the Scriptures about some sort of rapture. They are all in ‘s writings. Yet, it is these in Matthew and Luke that have garnered the most attention and are the least likely to draw the conclusion of a rapture event…when read in context.

Sometimes God can use our misreading to actually draw deeper insights. We do have to be aware of misreading Scripture. What is often the case is that we get those “aha” moments when we’ve read a verse many times before, and either a different catches our attention, or we it read out loud. It’s times like this that we begin to grasp the that God’s word is still alive and still speaking.


When was the last time you were surprised by the Scriptures? How did it affect your understanding of that passage? Did it affect your understanding of God?


Jesus, you us to be . Help us to be ready for your return and insights from your Word. Amen.

Image courtesy of Nick Kwan