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What’s the Deal with The Rapture?

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It’s important to begin any kind of discussion of tomorrow’s foretold event with one clarification: the world isn’t going to end on May 21st, 2011.

…It’s going to end five months LATER, after the pious and penitent have had time to settle into their new Heavenly digs and the rest of us are too deep into football season (if it happens) to really care too much. Jesus is nothing if not one for delivering the unexpected encore!

But what is the Rapture? Will God’s chosen be pulled to Heaven on a ray of alien light, drawn skyward as though by tractor beam? Will they simply drop dead at the dinner table, parted from their weak manflesh? Are there some other heretofore un-imagined means by which they’ll be transported to their final reward? No one knows! Which makes the Vegas odds on this thing something of a disaster, but the countdown to 6pm — when it’s all supposed to go down — that much more captivating. If God’s hand literally scoops His elect people off the streets and into white satin robes and non-alcoholic beer, I am going to be a VERY RICH MAN for my last five months on Earth.

No one quite knows how  the 2011 Rapture — as distinct from the many other Raptures scheduled, then delayed over the years — is going to happen, but I think we can all agree that it, you know, will happen. None more so than Christian radio broadcaster Harold Camping, its original and most ardent prognosticator. Says Mr. Camping:

“I know it’s absolutely true, because the Bible is always absolutely true.”

Lay-up! The math on this thing is also pretty rock solid.

  • The number five equals “atonement”, the number ten equals “completeness”, and the number seventeen equals “heaven”.
  • Christ is said to have hung on the cross on April 1, 33 AD. The time between April 1, 33 AD and April 1, 2011 is 1,978 years.
  • If 1,978 is multiplied by 365.2422 days (the number of days in a solar year, not to be confused with the lunar year), the result is 722,449.
  • The time between April 1 and May 21 is 51 days.
  • 51 added to 722,449 is 722,500.
  • (5 × 10 × 17)2 or (atonement × completeness × heaven)2 also equals 722,500.

What now, heathens? While some would say that his prediction for an earlier, 1994 Rapture renders this latest date slightly suspect, you can’t fault a man for believing that 17 years was enough time for True Believers to have totally forgotten. (Was he supposed to predict Wikipedia, too?) In any case it is clearly Camping’s world, and the rest of us are just living in it for five more months.

So it’s definitely going to happen. Now the difficult question: will you, or anyone you know, be leaving us at 6pm local time tomorrow evening? Have you seen to it that your pets will be well looked after when you go? Are you left-behinders planning on looting a newly non-Evangelical world alongside all your best Facebook friends? There are major decisions to be made in the next 24 hours, and those decisions will see you on the side of the angels…or down here amongst the rotting, decayed mass we call “humanity.” I know where I’ll be — sitting on the roof and jamming on the harp (“One of Us,” acoustic), waiting for the Great Beyond.

…And of course thinking about all the hoodrat stuff I’ll get to do in Heaven as my reward for being so good down here. ALL ABOUT THE AFTERLIFE, Y’ALL!

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