Left Behind
Left Behind

From After Class Podcast

It began as an ordinary Sunday for lead evangelist “Dunker” Dave, but no one anticipated how it might end.

“We were only joking,” explained James Murray, chairman of the elders. “I guess some people can’t stomach a good ribbing. We all feel terrible now.”

The first service went off without a hitch; the second, not so much—an April Fools’ joke gone awry.

“The boy performed splendidly,” explained deacon Joey Gatton, “perhaps too splendidly!”

Dunker Dave beamed with pride when Murray’s son came forward to be baptized. The two of them went back to the dressing room to change. Jimmy Jr. donned his symbolic white gown, and Dave slipped into what he playfully dubbed his “spiritual wetsuit.”

The congregation lifted their usual praises to God, and the unsuspecting evangelist began explaining to the young man exactly how the baptism would go.

But suddenly, before Dave could finish, a blaring trumpet filled the auditorium and drowned out his final instructions.

Is that another speaker malfunction? Dave wondered with a tinge of frustration, as the sound lingered much longer than usual. I’d better go check it out.

He was about to poke his head around the corner when it all came to an end—all of it. The horn, the piano, and the singing had stopped. The silence was deafening. Suspecting he had lost his hearing, the nervous evangelist asked Jimmy, “Can you hear me, boy?”

“Yes, sir,” Jimmy replied. “I can hear you; I just can’t hear anything else.”

Not knowing what else to do, Dave led Jimmy cautiously into the water in full view of the auditorium. But much to his astonishment, the sanctuary was completely empty. Not a single soul was present—just bulletins and articles of clothing littering the pews and floor.

A spirit of terror consumed him, his legs grew faint, and he leaned heavily against the boy.

“No,” Dave muttered in disbelief, “It couldn’t be. It can’t be.”

“Sir,” Jimmy asked, struggling to bear under the weight, “Can’t be what? Where is everyone?”

“The rapture! The rapture! They’ve gone to be with the Lord!” Dave bellowed.

“I knew it!” the young thespian cried right on cue, “I knew I should have gone to the first service!”

Dunker Dave was crestfallen, but before he could muster a word, a loud chorus of voices cheered over the loud speaker, “APRIL FOOL!” And the room quickly repopulated with laughing, back-slapping congregants.

“Wait . . . what?” Dave puzzled. Then he repeated it . . . and just stood there, in disbelief, dumbfounded, staring at the water.

As paramedics gently led the wide-eyed pastor away, James Sr. lamented, “It was really sad. He never really snapped out of it. He just kept repeating, ‘Kirk . . . Kirk . . . Left . . . Behind . . .’”

“I guess there’s no such thing as a victimless prank,” Gatton added, “And now we need to find a new pastor.”

The After Class Podcast guys are Bible and theology professors at Great Lakes Christian College; from left to right in the logo, they are Samuel C. Long, Ronald D. Peters, and John C. Nugent. They strive to engage provocative contemporary topics with wit and careful biblical scholarship.

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