When you take the Bible seriously, most of the time it's a wild adventure, life-altering, mind-expanding, challenging, humbling, courage-bringing, bracing, nourishing, healing.
But that's Revelation. I mean, John was "in the Spirit on the Lord's day," having the mother of all day-trips.
I get confused, however, when Jesus talks like that. He heals ten lepers and harangues us for always coming to God with "what's in it for me" attitudes and hearts filled with ingratitude. And then He turns around and talks about floods and burning sulphur and people vanishing.
I understand the words. What am I supposed to do with them?
Still, I did enjoy watching my students' heads spin when I talked about a- and post- and premillenialism, and even preterism. I can now confidently declare myself to be a partial-preteristic amillenialist, if anyone ever asks.
And I was surprised to learn the Catholic church teaches a kind of tribulation: "Before Christ's second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers." (CCC 675)
The Vatican and Tim La Haye on the same page?