Web sites offer those left behind help after rapture
By Rusty Surette, News 9
Pastors and spiritual leaders across the world agree when the rapture happens, everyone will know.
"It's called the time of Jacob's trouble," said Pastor Paul Blair of Fairview Baptist Church. "It's called the 70th week of Daniel. It's called the Day of the Wrath of the Lord."
Although some may recognize those names, many more know the event as the rapture.
"There will be a time when God pours a wrath, literally, on this earth that's described in the book of Revelation in detail," Blair said.
Nobody knows for sure when or how it'll happen, but those who've studied the good book have some idea of what's to come.
"The rapture says that at some point there will be an end time and those who are believers in Christ will be caught in there with him and will be taken with him to heaven," said Christian counselor Dr. Kim Kimberling.
A new Web site offers help to those who could be left behind. Raptureletters.com allows a person to create a list of family and friends who will receive an e-mail following the rapture. The letter explains what happened and how to make things right with the Lord. The site claims to have a dead man switch that will automatically send the e-mails when it is not reset.
"Their intention may be good, but I think it takes the focus off what God wants us to do," Kimberling said.
Kimberling said true believers should not have to worry about the rapture and should not rely on a Web based program to help others.
"Maybe it's a nice gesture to have an e-mail system, but I think God can work that out," Kimberling said.
The service is provided by a religious organization in California. They said it's free but there's a request for a financial donation, which caught the attention of the Better Business Bureau.
"What we're talking about here is people that are preying on the beliefs of others and that's not right or fair," Bob Manista of the BBB said.
Another Web site, Wewantyoursoul.com offers cash value for someone's soul.
On another site, a man living in Kansas City agrees to watch someone's pets after the rapture for a fee.
On the Web site Youvebeenleftbehind.com, customers pay $50 a year and in exchange they can store private information and documents that will be e-mailed to those who are left behind after the rapture.
Although it may sound like a good way to prepare for the end, some people said you should consider the online offers a consumer warning of holy proportions.
"There's a huge difference between religious beliefs and business," Manista said. "Unfortunately, the Web sites we're talking about seem to smack more of business...versus religious beliefs."
Those looking for advice on how to prepare for the rapture are encouraged to go to a church or talk to a religious leader.
"I think somewhere in the Bible it says you can't buy your way into heaven and those Web sites are trying to tell you, you can," Manista said. "Don't do it."
NEWS 9 received no responses after attempting to contact the operators of each of the sites mentioned.