Just thought I'd share this link to an article by NT Wright called "Farewell to the Rapture". I am increasingly encountering people whose beliefs include such anti-Biblical concepts as Jesus returning in secret and taking them up into the sky. This belief comes from a whole system of belief that has infected the church in the US and making inroads over here, it's often known as Premillennial Dispensationalism (as opposed to simply "Premillenialism" which is an orthodox Christian theology thats been around for ages). Premillennial Dispensationalism comes originally from the writings of JN Darby in the 19th Century and was unknown before that. It has been popularised by the "Left Behind" series of novel and movies. NT Wright deals with the subject of the Rapture very well in this typically excellent article.
Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien tells a story in an imaginary world that somehow rings true. In Tolkien’s fantastic universe of humans, hobbits, elves, wizards, dwarves and monsters, a great evil threatens to cover the world in darkness and make every living being its slave. Chaos is the order of the day. Fear rules the hearts of most. Hope is faint. Yet amid the darkness, there are flickers of light in the love, unity and courage of a few heroic characters. One of them is Aragon, who is destined to be king. The trilogy ends with his long-awaited return to the throne and triumphant deliverance of his people. Mark 11:1-10 is one of the Bible passages for Palm Sunday, it tells of Jesus entering Jerusalem to the cheers of the crowd, it is the return of the King: Now when they drew near to Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples and said to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately as you enter it you will find a c