Left Behind

Steven Bouma-Prediger

READ : Matthew 24:36-42

Then two will be in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. (v. 40)

The “Left Behind” book series is wildly popular. As a result many Christians fear being “left behind,” for they equate that fate with suffering and damnation.

The biblical view of the future is quite different. “For as the days of Noah were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man,” Jesus states at the beginning of this text. Before the flood “they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage” – normal everyday things – and “they knew nothing until the flood came and swept them all away.” So it will be, by analogy, when the Son of Man comes. Two will be in a field; one will be taken, one left. Two will be grinding grain; one will be taken, one left. In the parallel passage in Luke’s Gospel, Jesus’ disciples ask him, “Where, Lord?” and Jesus responds “Where the corpse is, there the vultures will gather” (Luke 17:37). In other words, those who are taken away go to their death.

Contrary to what many believe, those who are left behind are saved from destruction. We should want to be left behind – for when Jesus returns the earth will not be obliterated but transformed into the place God intended, full of God’s glory.

PRAYER

Transforming God of grace, give us a view of the world transfigured by your love.