On that day a person out on the deck of a roof must not go down into the house to pack. A person out in the field must not return home.
Remember what happened to Lot's wife!
If you cling to your life, you will lose it, and if you let your life go, you will save it.
That night two people will be asleep in one bed; one will be taken, the other left.
Two women will be grinding flour together at the mill; one will be taken, the other left. "
[Two men will be working in the field; one will be taken, the other left.] (Luke 17:31-36)
There have been numbers of times in the Gemz over the years that I have pulled a surprise on you. Like recently, with the switch in focus from the Prodigal Son to the older brother and both receiving their inheritance. Or as we found in Luke 11 and the parable of the friend at midnight, the "importunity" is not the one outside the house knocking, it's the one inside the house receiving the request. Now, let's have a look at a possible switch in this example of the pairings – one taken and one left. Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins have made the notion of Left Behind popular in the world of Christian fiction. Some of you will be aware that this is the same Tim LaHaye I quote from time to time.
What is interesting about this segment is there is discussion over the interpretation of what is being said here. There are those who think the person who is left behind is the one who suffers punishment. That is the standard view.
The Left Behind series, the movies that are made based on the rapture, most Christian novels or interpretative works, hold the view that those who are saved, those who have a relationship with Jesus, are taken out of the world in the Rapture. That is, they are saved from the Great Tribulation. Yes, there is a big discussion as to when that will be, in relation to the Tribulation itself. Will the rapture of Christians occur PreTrib (before the Great Tribulation starts), MidTrib (in the middle period of the Great Tribulation – after 3 and a half years of a seven year period of the worst trouble ever on earth) or PostTrib (at the end of the Great Tribulation period)? It is not my intention to discuss the merits of PreTrib, MidTrib or PostTrib viewpoints here. I am trying to stick with what Luke has written. Thus, under this interpretation, those who are taken (raptured) are removed so they willnotsuffer punishment.
There is another interpretation which suggests it is the person who is taken, who suffers punishment. Those who hold to this, feel the passage is about judgment. Judgment is the emphasis of this passage they say. The two illustrations used with this statement of one being taken and one being left behind, are Noah and Lot. Two illustrations of when the judgment of God fell upon mankind. In each of these accounts, it is the good who were left behind and the evil ones were taken out of the world by judgement. Thus, the proponents of this interpretation insist we must be consistent with the application of the illustrations. Therefore, they argue the point that it is the good who are left behind and the evil ones are taken. They argue that to hold the first view (the standard view) you must reverse the illustration that Jesus gives.
I am going to do to you what I often do, and leave it to percolate overnight. Well, for some of you it will be night and for others of you it will be day. Just don't get left behind. I will state what I think about it all tomorrow, before I deal with the last verse in this chapter.
"Where will this happen, Lord?" the disciples asked. Jesus replied, "Just as the gathering of vultures shows there is a carcass nearby, so these signs indicate that the end is near." (Luke 17:37)
If you don't want to deal with the other knotty problem, either because it is too hard and confuses you or you figure you know the answer and your mind is already made up, then do some pondering about verse 37. Why is it that Jesus often doesn't seem to answer questions asked of Him, but rather makes some kind of obtuse comment that is hard to understand?
Clipped fromLeft Behindby Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins
"The terrifying truth was that he (Rayford Steele) knew all too well. Irene had been right. He, and most of his passengers had been left behind."
Buck Williams: It's true. I can't believe it, it's true! . . . We should have known better, but we didn't. What does it matter if we think we know? In the end, there's no denying the truth.
Buck Williams: I don't have all the answers, but for now faith is enough.
Rayford Steele: The believers have been spared for what's next.
Chloe Steele: What's next?
Rayford Steele: It's gonna get a lot worse.
Chloe Steele: What could be worse than this?
Yes folks, it's true. Don't be left behind. Ian