We've all been brought up with a Pre-Trib Rapture mindset, waiting for the trumpet to blow. I have always thought that I might as well be. It's the optimism in me. I'd like to think I don't have to go through the tribulation, and hey, that's optimistic, unless of course I'm proven otherwise when the sky starts to fall.
But in talking about the possibility presented that there won't be a pre-trib rapture, I started asking questions. "How do we get on the white horses?" "What happens during the thousand years?" "What about those who die during it?"
And most importantly:
"When do we eat?"
Isn't there supposed to be a big wedding feast? Sitting around talking with friends and eating for a thousand years?
Because really, (aside from looking forward to savoring and worshiping Jesus), I can't wait for the eternal friendships that Heaven will bring.
My sister in law laughed, "You don't care how or when it happens, you just want to have lots of people and food!" Amen, sister!
I love friends. I love people. It's a huge passion inside of me. The downside of this is that nothing lasts. I was not the kid who had one best friend from kindergarten to high school. When circumstances or activities changed, so did my friends, even the very special ones.
It only gets more complicated as adults. When you get married, what do you do with your opposite sex friends? Then, not only do relationships have to match with my personality and time and schedule, it's a huge bonus if the spouses get along and the children don't hate each other.
Many times friendships revolve around ministries or a sports team or your job or convenience of location or (fill in the blank). And then just when you're really getting to know someone, they move, or change ministries, or send their kids to a different school.
Honestly, it can all be pretty discouraging. I can see why so many people get to middle age and are lacking in friends.
But I'm a social addict. That means I need people, so I will fight harder than most to make sure it happens. Isn't it sad, that I look at friendships as having to "fight" for them?
The upside? I know that one day, we will have an eternity to catch-up in Heaven. As I saw one friendship sliding away, I encouraged the friend with these words: "I'm looking forward to visiting your mansion a lot in Heaven."
Can you even imaging perfect relationships? No lies, hidden agendas, secret thoughts, or awkwardness? No gossip or slandering or betraying. No back stabbing. No thinking one thing and finding out another. No impressing or unhealthy competition. No limit on time.
Ahhh... now that sounds Heavenly. Regardless of how the end happens, the bottom line is, it will happen. And by trusting in Jesus, I can have confidence that this "heavenly ideal" will be a reality. He came once, and He promised to come again. Now THAT is something worth getting excited over.