WHAT ABOUT THE DEAD?
They will be resurrected at the End of the World, and form a gigantic queue to be judged by Rapture Jesus. The saved enter the Kingdom of Heaven; the others, not so much.
WHAT ABOUT THE ONES WHO LIVED BEFORE JESUS, AND NEVER HAD A CHANCE TO ACCEPT HIM?
Out, except for a few select "Pre-Christian Saints" who were lucky enough to unwittingly facilitate the coming of Jesus: guys like Abraham and Moses. Everyone else, out.
ISN'T THIS A PRETTY UNJUST PROCESS FOR DETERMINING WHO RECEIVES THE REWARDS OF ETERNAL LIFE?
Now you're confusing Rapture Jesus with Judge Judy.
WHAT HAPPENS TO ME IF I'M NOT RAPTURED?
You will suffer through great tribulations until the End of the World, at which point — whether you've lived or died — you will be cast into the eternal fire of Hell.
CAN I AVOID THE ETERNAL FIRE BY ACCEPTING JESUS AND BEING BORN AGAIN DURING THAT TIME BETWEEN RAPTURE AND THE END OF THE WORLD?
Camping says no; once the Rapture happens, the remaining 6.5 billion or so are shit out of luck. Others say yes, in theory, but strongly suggest that those who haven't gone to Jesus by now are such jerkoffs they'll almost all end up rejecting God, even after seeing the Rapture. And most of those who do decide to follow Jesus during the Tribulations will be hunted down and killed by the heathens.
HOW LONG WILL IT BE BETWEEN THE RAPTURE AND THE END OF THE WORLD?
Most dispensationalists say that the Rapture kicks off a seven-year period of Tribulations before the establishment of the Kingdom. Camping, who thinks the Tribulationsalready began some years ago, says five months.
WHY IS THERE DISAGREEMENT OVER WHETHER WE'RE ALREADY IN THE TRIBULATION PERIOD?
As best I can tell, it depends on how you feel about the quantity of worldwide butt-fucking. All sides agree that the prevalence of gay sex is a sign of the approaching End Times. They also agree that gay sex will then be even more rampant during the Tribulations — one popular Rapture site notes that "homosexual and lesbian relationships [will be] highly encouraged." The difference is that Camping believes that there is so much same-sex fucking in the world now, we must already be well into the Tribulations, while mainstreamers believe that this is nothing compared to the amount of gay banging we'll see later.
CAN HOMOSEXUALS BE RAPTURED?
Oh no, no, no. Judgment Day, according to the Rapture movement, is directly analogous to the destruction of the Sodomites for trying to have anal intercourse with Lot. In other words, the End Times is primarily about Jesus punishing butt-fuckers.
IS TODAY'S RAPTURE MOVEMENT DRIVEN MOSTLY BY THE SUBLIMATED VENGEANCE FANTASIES OF SELF-LOATHING CLOSETED HOMOSEXUALS?
I would say on the whole it's roughly 50 percent that, and 50 percent about punishing the other smart-alecs who look down their noses at true Christian believers. With Camping, maybe more like 80/20 — he's really eager to see the homos suffer.
ASIDE FROM RAMPANT GAY SEX, WHAT ELSE SHOULD I PREPARE FOR IN CASE I AM LEFT BEHIND?
It's considered likely that the social and economic order will collapse, so you might want to stock up on gold, and on "Survival Seeds" to grow a sustenance garden. Both products are conveniently advertised on many Rapture-related Web sites. Also, you'll definitely want a high-powered automatic rifle, to fend off the Antichrist's police when they come to carve numbers into your flesh.
>> READ: more Rapture articles in the May 20, 2011 issue of the Boston Phoenix <<
David S. Bernstein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @dbernstein.