Like a Thief
On this day, in 1934, the infamous crime duo of Bonnie and Clyde were gunned down in Bienville Parish, Louisiana. Most of us have seen the movie of their lives that was made famous; with Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway in the title roles. It is hard to believe that this movie came out in 1967 – 44 years ago. In summary, Bonnie and Clyde had traversed the countryside robbing banks, with something of a Robin Hood mentality; taking from the rich, but not as insistent as taking from the poor. Make no mistake; they were public enemies, and had broken the laws on countless occasions. They were responsible for many crimes, also being charged with killing 13 people; 9 of them law enforcement officers.
Eventually, a deal was struck with their driver and his father, at whose home Bonnie and Clyde were staying at the time. Bonnie and Clyde were finally killed along a country road by a former Texas Ranger and a posse he had put together. The members of the ambush team fired 167 bullets into the vehicle, with more than 50 rounds hitting Bonnie and Clyde. They were dead at the scene. The official time of death was 10:19 am. Just as the public did not know when Bonnie and Clyde would strike next, the end came just as suddenly for them. No prison, just instant death once the time had arrived – in fact, eyewitnesses said that the first shot to hit Clyde, a head shot, was instantly fatal. Bonnie was left to wonder about her exact time of death for several more seconds before her life was also ended.
The point is, that in their own strange way, Bonnie and Clyde lived each day as if it was their last. They took precautions, but every other member of their gang was either caught or killed, and they were the last 2 gang members to avoid the law – at least until May 23, 1934.
And as I think of this, I can’t help but also be reminded of the things the Bible says about the coming Rapture. We are told that nobody knows the time or the place. But rather than re-hash yesterday’s post, it seems more appropriate to use this time to encourage Christians that now is the time to live each day as if it were our last.
There are many different theological positions on when the Rapture will occur – pre-Trib, (ahead of the Tribulation period), mid-Trib (halfway through the Tribulation), or even post-Trib, meaning that the Rapture will occur after the 7 years of Tribulation. And people argue whether believers will be present on earth, or whether the church will have been raptured into heaven to avoid the trials of remaining on earth during the reign of the antichrist, etc. Aside from this issue, we have differences of opinion on when the Rapture will occur relative to the 1000 year reign of Christ on earth – before or after. So, pre-Mil, or even the absence of a 1000 year reign (amillenialism) are also positions. Pretty complicated, huh?
And you know what? None of us can know for sure, and to be perfectly frank about it, the only thing most of these positions can agree on is that someday in the future, eternity will start and we will be with Christ, and God the Father, forever. Of course, this also includes the presence of the Holy Spirit. And while we may put a stake in the ground, it is much more important to think about how we live our lives than trying to predict exactly when these endtime events will occur. All we know is that the Scripture, in 2 Peter 3:10, we are told, “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.”
This means that we should stay alert, and live our lives expecting the Rapture at any moment. In the context of the day, those on watch were to not fall asleep at their posts, so they could guard the house from intruders. The idea here is that we must not fall asleep, as there is not greater embarrassment than to not be ready when the time comes. And one of the things I have learned throughout the years is that too many times we focus on the small stuff; and neglect the greater parts of Christ’s message – such as to love one another as He has loved us.
So my encouragement tonight, regardless of where you fall in your beliefs of the endtimes, is that you dedicate your life to being the best you can be – and that means living for Christ. For we do not know the time, or the date, of the Rapture, or any other specific timelines surrounding the various endtime scenarios. My prayer is that we will focus on what unites us in our beliefs, and not what separates us. For these topics can be very divisive, and that is not my intent here. Rather, these posts are meant to encourage and unite; not to divide and create anxiety – that means loving one another well. And none of us knows for sure exactly what God, and the rest of the Trinity, have in store for believers. Suffice it to say that Christ intercedes on our behalf with the Father, and he loves His sheep. And His sheep know His name. Better stop now, I feel another post coming on……. Grace and Peace…….