I was thinking the other day about the suddenness of the rapture. In life, everything we do is gradual. There is a process. We grow up. That takes decades, and usually we don’t even notice the growth at first. You know what I mean if you ever saw your nephew after two months and you see how much he has grown but you don’t notice as much with your own kids.
We cook, that is gradual. We seek employment and get trained, gradual. There is nothing that we do or see or experience in life that takes place in the blink of an eye, certainly nothing as momentous as the rapture.
Paul wrote: “Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.” (1 Corinthians 15:51-52). The word twinkling is from rhipto, meaning ‘instant.’
Do you know what the strongest muscle in the body is? The muscle that lets your eye blink. It allows you to blink up to 5 times a second.
“The human eye can blink much faster than a second, and, in fact, it’s perfectly possible to blink several times in a single second. On average, a human eye takes between 300 and 400 milliseconds to complete a single blink. That’s roughly between three-tenths and four-tenths of a second. So, logically speaking, a person may blink two and three times every second and barely notice it because the blink takes so little time.” (source)
THAT is how fast it will happen. So the generation that is raptured (I believe it will be us) will be doing normal things (yelling at husband, sleeping, commuting to work, changing the diaper) and the next blink will find us face to face with Jesus, in the air.
“Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.” (1 Thessalonians 17-18)
I wrote about the change our bodies will go through from a scientific perspective, ‘the quantum leap’, here.
Edwin Abbott’s 1884 novella, Flatland is a true classic. There is no one more math-averse than me, but this little book is a social satire, math explanation anyone can understand, and theology. Few regard it as theology, more as math and social satire. But Abbott was a theologian and this book explores the difficulty in startling clarity and ease of understanding how hard it is for finite minds to envision and comprehend the God-dimension. It is a story of a land where everything in two-dimensional. The story is told by A. Square.
Blogger J. Max Wilson (a Latter Day Saints blog), says of the book, “Flatland is an ingenious socio political satire, an amazing treatment of the issues of faith and reason, a brilliant examination of prophets and revelation and how our limitations make it nearly impossible for us to comprehend things that are, nevertheless, true.”
In the first part of the book the protagonist has a vision of being sent to lineland where everything is one dimensional and trying in vain to explain his own world of two dimensions to all the lines and points, who don’t get it.
Wilson explains, “In the second half of the book, the protagonist relates how he received a visit from a being from the three dimensional world (a Sphere), how he was called as a prophet to preach the gospel of three dimensions, and his rejection by the people of flatland who cannot comprehend what he means by a “third” dimension.”
The moment when the Sphere comes to Flatland is analogous to Christ coming and manifesting to us in our dimension.
You can download it as a free ebook from Project Gutenberg here.
So there is the attempt at understanding the rapture and God’s dimensions in science through the quantum leap, through math analogies in Flatland, through art as in Salvador Dali’s ‘Crucifixion’ in four dimensions, and of course we attempt to understand God’s dimension biblically/theologically.
I can’t seem to get beyond the enormity of leaving behind three dimensions (plus time) and entering the eternal, incorruptible, and the sinless in the blink of an eye. No matter the scientific, mathematical, artistic and theological attempts to explain the reality of God, nothing can adequately do so, because in this current age, we live by faith not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7). Yet we are told that in the blink of an eye, we will live then by sight because of our faith! It will all be reversed. Faith becomes sight. And it will happen in 1/500th of a second.