What a topic! Though understandable after the "event" of Saturday...I had so many invites to hedonistic End of the World parties it was crazy.
Having been raised from childhood mostly by my Southern Baptist grandmother and a mom and aunt who rarely said anything about religion (but did let me miss church if I wanted to) I have had what you could call an immersion course in the Rapture Riot (as I like to call it).
Hearing enough about it, the Book of Revelations was the first book I read thoroughly (at age 8). I also asked a lot of questions because what I was being told didn't go hand in hand with what I was reading (what a shocker). In the end, I decided if the rapture happened before "The Tribulations" I didn't want to be a part of it. I wanted to see many of the things detailed in Revelations such as the dragon, the Lady clothed in the sun and crowned in stars, the angels and horsemen, etc.
Of course my desire to stay behind horrified my grandmother and after a stern talking to from her and her pastor, I never mentioend a word of it again...
14 years later...
After 2 years at a Christian college, where I studied the bible academically (and the New Testament in Greek), I am more apt to believe the Old Testament is more Kabbalistic wiht 127 different meanings for each verse, and the New Testament needs to be taken with a grain of...well...I won't go into all that.
I will say that now, Revelations still hold interest in me and more and more I am reminded of Aleister Crowley's books and teachings when I read this book.
The mysticism of a man, John, who had a vision and saw God and his thrones and all these magical things.
Plus, theres a Goddess in the book! Who woulda thunk it? The Lady clothed in the Sun, crowned by Stars, standing on the Moon. The Bride of Heaven. Sounds goddess-like to me.
The dragon has always been a favorite of mine (it wasn't until I was 15 that I made contact with my Dragon Guide and Guardian). Which leads to a second goddess! The Harlot. Now she may not be a goddess in the eyes of many Christians but she's a figure of great darkeness and the companion of the Dragon.
The 4 horsemen(no, not Jim Jack Johnny and Jose) with Hades following (I love how in Greek it is actually Hades in many translations and never The Devil, but sometimes Death. Just more fun when explaining there is not Devil in the Bible). The use of 4 is all through Revelations, which has a very strong numerological connotation. 4 hosrement, 4 thrones, 4 creatures, etc.
The use of 7 is also very strong with the 7 seals.
Anyways...I digress from the prompt...
What about the Rapture?
Well the Bible says Jesus Christ will come back for his followers but he will be like a theif in the night and no one will know the Day nore the Hour of his return.
So why are so many Christians obsessed with "It'll be in my lifetime" or "It'll be May 21, 2011" or "October 21, 2011" or "December 21, 2012" (now I have my own beliefs on 2012 but that's for another post).
I read another post on this ask, why are Christians so ready to be done with this life and move on with eternity? I think that it is because, even though they claim no belief in reincarnation and enlightenment, all beings desire it. We all desire to reach enlightenment or "heaven" and this life on this plane of existence is the main area to change your karma and reach enlightenment. We all feel this on a basic level and seek for it through religion, magic, meditation, etc. Even Christians.
Do I believe Christ is coming for his followers? Sure, but I don't think its going to be like in the Left Behind series or how many Christians think. I think Christ bridges a span of planes so that Christians can reach a level of heaven when they die instead of condemning their souls to a personal hell in the next life (for even Buddhists believe in hell).
Do I believe I will be left behind? No. I believe that I will transcend due to my own personal beliefs and work. I doubt that my next stage is true enlightenment but I have met people who are at that stage and it is glorious.
I'm sorry if thise post rambles. There is so much to say on the subject (which is why there are so many books on the topic).