Sheer terror: “I’ve been left behind!!!!!”

The rapture doctrine was used to instill terror in me as a child and a teen. I’ve researched where this late doctrine came from and I don’t believe in this doctrine any more. For 1800 years Christians had never heard of the rapture theory. It is a fairly new “revelation”.

I used to get up in the middle of the night and tip toe down to my parents’ room to see if they were still asleep or if they had been raptured. I was terrified of being “left behind” even though I’d said the sinners’ prayer at least 200 times by then. God is a God of love and comfort and closeness. Not a God of fear. Hell and the rapture were preached to me as an infant. Not a good way to end up with a healthy psyche. I focused on the lake of fire and on the rapture, not on God’s love – because the whole environment was one of fear, control, shame, guilt.

It’s such a relief to know that there is no special rapture for believers. I know Christians are “divided” on this theological issue, but all I can say is, do your research about the person who invented this theory! It caused me years of anguish and terror and anxiety. When I met my husband, he told me about his similar fear of the rapture as a child. And my sister-in-law confided in me about it too. They were forced to watch the A Thief In the Night (a kind of 70’s “Left Behind”) video series as children. No child is emotionally ready for that level of fear. It is downright damaging.

I don’t freak out in sheer terror any more when I get home and the house is unexpectedly empty. I used to freak and think I was left behind. I know people who would make a phone call to a really “good” and “holy” Christian friend who most definitely had made the rapture cut and hang up when they answered, just to make sure that the rapture hadn’t happened. I have friends who are still afraid, and still do this.

It must grieve God’s heart that some of His children live in fear because someone made up a doctrine to control people and instill fear in their hearts. “ARE YOU READY FOR THE LORD’S COMING?” was a constant question in my childhood and teens and twenties. It used to baffle me. What did “ready” mean? How could I possibly be perfectly “ready” to meet The Almighty? I guess it was a fear-based question. I am now excited to meet Jesus because I know Him as a God of love. What a difference. Night and day. Because now I KNOW Him, not just know ABOUT Him. There is a big difference.