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RAPTUROUS NEWS - written by Tanis Harms
TOPIC:        confidence, end times
SCRIPTURE:    Daniel 9:20-27;  1 Thess.4:13-18, 5:1-11;
.             2 Thess.2:1-16, 3:1-15,
Style:        satire/conversation:  Fearful and Scared
.             start to run away.  Leader explains
.             the end times details to them so that
.             they don't have to be afraid.
Props & set:  bags of clothing and things


(SCARED and FEARFUL rush in carrying bags.
They stop to stuff their belongings further
into their bags.  LEADER walks in.)

LEADER   What’s going on?

FEARFUL  We’re getting out of here.
.        We are in the end times.
.        The Tribulation has begun.
.        This time - it really has begun!

LEADER   Wait-wait – wait a minute.
.        Do you not remember what Apostle Paul
.        talked about in his letters to us?

FEARFUL  But the guy down the street told us –

LEADER   You’d take his word over Apostle Paul’s?

FEARFUL  Well, what he said made so much sense.
.        And he has these powers –

LEADER   You mean, those tricks that he does
.        with smoke and mirrors?

FEARFUL  Well, and, I mean, look at all
.        the persecution and suffering everywhere –

LEADER   We are told to expect suffering
.        for the Lord’s sake - whenever.

SCARED   I don’t want to suffer.                        2

LEADER   No one WANTS to suffer.  But-
.        that’s just part of regular life.
.        Now - as for the tribulation,
.        the Bible says that before it begins,
.        people will be saying “peace and safety”
.        and THEN darkness and destruction
.        will fall on THEM – on THOSE left behind.”

FEARFUL  But what about us?
.        What if we’re left behind?

SCARED   And what about our loved ones
.        who have already died?

LEADER   There will first be a shout
.        and a loud trumpet.
.        The Christians who are already dead – will rise.
.        Then all the rest of the Christians
.        will be caught up with them
.        to meet the Lord in the air,
.        who will take us to heaven
.        to be with Him forever.
.        THEN the Tribulation will start.
.        THAT time here on earth, is not meant
.        for the Christians - the Church.
.        It is a time for the sinners to be judged,
.        and a time for Israel to realize
.        that Christ’s Second Coming to earth is near.
.        It is a time that was prophesized by Daniel,
.        which is when God will fulfill
.        His promises to the Israelites.
.        God has saved us from that time,
.        from the wrath to come,
.        so let us be encouraged and keep
.        building each other up.  Understand?

FEARFUL  Kind of.

LEADER   Paul explained to us that the Holy Spirit
.        is holding back the Abomination of Desolation.
.        When the Holy Spirit is taken away,
.        we will go with Him.  We have to,
.        because we are sealed with the Holy Spirit.
.        The Holy Spirit is in us.

SCARED   But we still need to get out of here.          3
.        We’re just going to head for the hills and wait.
.        You can see that the signs of the times
.        have already begun.

LEADER   When the disciples asked Jesus about the signs,
.        they were asking Him about the signs
.        of His ‘SECOND coming’ –
.        of His coming DOWN to earth.
.        Do not get that confused with
.        Him ‘meeting us in the air.’
.        The disciples didn’t know
.        that Jesus would be rejected and crucified,
.        which would be the beginning of the Church Age –
.        the gap that Daniel talks about.
.        They were expecting to just go
.        right into the Millennium –
.        the Kingdom of Heaven – which is the time
.        when Jesus takes the throne as King,
.        and all of God’s promises
.        to the Israelites are fulfilled.
.        The disciples wanted to know the signs
.        leading up to THAT time.
.        So once the Tribulation begins,
.        THEN the signs will start to happen.  

FEARFUL  Wait a minute...  Huh?
.        Now I’m scared AND confused.

LEADER   Okay, God made a covenant with the Israelites.
.        God made a promise that they would have
.        a perfect King.  Then God gave them
.        a timeline of when to expect their perfect King –
.        let’s call this timeline the Jewish Age.
.        Jesus came to earth the first time
.        to be their perfect King, but the Israelites
.        did not recognize Him as their King
.        and rejected Him.  Jesus was crucified,
.        and now there are seven years
.        left in the Jewish Age.
.        This is now the gap that Daniel mentions.
.        Let us call this gap the Church Age.
.        This is where God has a NEW covenant
.        with all the nations – where we can all come to Him
.        through Jesus’s work on the cross.
.        We are not told how long the Church Age will be.
.        So when no one is expecting it –
.                                                       4
SCARED   But we ARE expecting it.

LEADER   -Like a thief in the night –
.        who doesn’t let you know
.        when he’s breaking into your house-
.        a trumpet will blow, and
.        the rapture will take place.
.        And all believers dead and alive
.        will be caught up into the air.
.        THEN the last seven years will begin,
.        along with the signs.
.        The Israelites will see the signs
.        and remember that Jesus will be coming
.        to earth again soon to be their perfect King.
.        But those “signs” are also
.        the horrible judgments on the earth
.        for the people who did not become Christians
.        during the Church Age.

SCARED   But surely it will be soon.

LEADER   It could be.  But then it may be
.        thousands of years from now.
.        We just don’t know.  Only God knows.
.        What makes you think you know more than God?
.        Meanwhile, you can’t just sit around and wait.
.        You could be waiting a long time.
.        So, you must stop spreading these rumors
.        and stop making people afraid.

SCARED   But shouldn’t we make the people scared
.        of being left behind – so scared -
.        that they want to become believers?

LEADER   Our motive to tell others about Jesus
.        should be based on LOVE.
.        And someone’s motive for becoming a believer
.        should be based on LOVE.
.        Forget about the fear of being left behind
.        and going through the Tribulation –
.        what about the fact that anyone could die
.        tonight – because of health or in an accident?
.        THAT COULD happen at any time.  

FEARFUL  Now THAT does make sense.  But now
.        I’m afraid of dying tonight.
.                                                       5
LEADER   Look, God told us to fear NOTHING,
.        but to only fear God Himself.
.        You’re already a believer.
.        If you died tonight, you’d be going to heaven,
.        to be with God, in a perfect place,
.        never to suffer again.

FEARFUL  Oh!  Never thought of it that way before.

LEADER   Okay now, you need to get back to work.
.        God expects us to live a productive life.
.        Because of God’s presence
.        through the Holy Spirit, we can be confident,
.        stand firm, spread the good news,
.        and do good deeds, serving one another.
.        And we are to live with love –
.        in peace - not fear.
.        Are you going to trust the guy down the street,
.        or trust in God who promises us
.        that we have been saved from the wrath to come?

SCARED   I’d prefer to trust in the all-powerful God.

LEADER   Excellent choice.  Now let’s get back to work.

(LEADER points the way out. SCARED and FEARFUL pick up
their bags and head back out.)