2nd coming to a Perfect Church?


#1

Another wonderful Thanksgiving with my Evangelical sister-in-law and this question came up. Per my sister-in-law the bible says that Jesus’s second coming will be to a “perfect church”. I’m not sure what bible passage she was referring to (maybe in Hebrews). Anyway, they (my sister-in-law and niece) view the Catholic church as not the true church (of course) and certainly not perfect (if they told me the truth they would probably despise (sp?) it).

I told them I would get back to them for this new argument (every family get together is a new challenge for me - I’m the only practicing Catholic in my entire family now that my Grandmother passed). Any ideas on how to defend this? I, of course, believe the Catholic church is the True church that Jesus instituted while on earth but they don’t believe this.


#2

a perfect church, or a church full of perfect people??

Jesus is the head of the church… to say the church isn’t
"perfect" is to say that the head of the church isn’t perfect…

i don’t think they would say that would they?

:slight_smile:


#3

The Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:21) will not be easy on Christians and those who survive until Christ’s Second Coming will be more perfect because of their sufferings but the only perfect Church is the Church in heaven where “the spirits of just men made perfect” are with Jesus. (Hebrews 12:23)

Jesus told his disciples:When you pray, say: “Father, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. 3Give us each day our daily bread; 4and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive every one who is indebted to us; and lead us not into temptation.” (Luke 11:2-4)

Clearly, Jesus expected the members of his Church on earth to struggle against temptations and need their sins forgiven until the “kingdom come” with his Second Coming.


#4

She may be referring to the thousand year reign of Christ on earth before the Last Judgement as discussed in the book of Revelation chapter 20. If I am not mistaken Evangelicals believe the earth will be purified before this happens.


#5

The perfect church is the church without defect.INDEFECTIBILITY. Imperishable duration of the Church and her immutability until the end of time. The First Vatican Council declared that the Church possesses “an unconquered stability” and that, “built on a rock, she will continue to stand until the end of time” (Denzinger 3013, 3056). The Church’s indefectibility, therefore, means that she now is and will always remain the institution of salvation, founded by Christ. This affirms that the Church is essentially unchangeable in her teaching, her constitution, and her liturgy. It does not exclude modifications that do not affect her substance, nor does it exclude the decay of individual local churches or even whole dioceses.

Pocket Catholic Dictionary - John A. Hardon, S.J.


#6

I think when people say these things, the first ripely has to be to “Show me the verse - what are you talking about”. We go around trying to guess what they mean. My belief is that most times, when you point them to a specific verse, the interpretation is obvious and fairly easy to refute their position.

Let’s not just fall over when our faith is challenged - challenge back!


#7

There is a perfect church that must come before Jesus returns to take them away. The Body of Christ is not perfected yet because there is not yet a 5 fold ministry in action.

                   (And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.) Ephesians 4:11-13 

There it is showing God using the the 5 fold ministry to perfect the Body of Christ unto a perfect man.


#8

[quote=RobertLindstrom]There is a perfect church that must come before Jesus returns to take them away.
[/quote]

The perfect church already exists on earth – she is the church that Jesus founded, the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, the only church that possesses the trait of indefectibility. “She now is and will always remain the institution of salvation”.


#9

The passage concerning the perfection of the church is most likely Ephesians 5: 24-33 which reads as follows:

“As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. Even so husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no man ever hates his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is a profound one, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church; however, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”

This passage is rich with meaning. Clearly the Church is going through a constant process of sanctification. The Church is the body of Christ. The Church is the bride of Christ. Notice all of the language of love and the parallels of husband and wife. Notice that this is all a profound mystery. None of this is a denial of the true Church (i.e. the Catholic Church), but is instead a reference to the sanctification and perfection of the body of Christ. If anything, the passage would support the notion that the Church has imperfections. If this is true then the imperfections cannot therefore invalidate it status. The perfection of the Church is a work in progress. For the Church to be without wrinkle or blemish would require that every member be without spot or blemish, and we know that none of us is perfect. Sanctification is a process for both the individual and the Church.

The indefectibility of the Church is a different issue relative to the content of this post, and I in no way take exception to the comment of Matt16_18.


#10

[quote=Pax]If anything, the passage would support the notion that the Church has imperfections.
[/quote]

The members of the church have, of course, imperfections. These imperfections are removed by abiding in grace.

Jesus explains the nature of the church in the parable of the vine and the branches: "I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch of mine that bears no fruit, he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already made clean by the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If a man does not abide in me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned.
John 15:1-6The church is not the branches alone, it is both the vine and the branches. The vine is perfect, but the branches attached to the vine need pruning by the vinedresser. The branches that are brought to perfection by the pruning of the vinedresser bear much fruit. :slight_smile:

The unfruitful branches are lopped off the vine by the vinedresser and cast into the fire. :frowning:


#11

[quote=Matt16_18]The members of the church have, of course, imperfections. These imperfections are removed by abiding in grace.

Jesus explains the nature of the church in the parable of the vine and the branches: "I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch of mine that bears no fruit, he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already made clean by the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If a man does not abide in me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned.
John 15:1-6The church is not the branches alone, it is both the vine and the branches. The vine is perfect, but the branches attached to the vine need pruning by the vinedresser. The branches that are brought to perfection by the pruning of the vinedresser bear much fruit. :slight_smile:

The unfruitful branches are lopped off the vine by the vinedresser and cast into the fire. :frowning:
[/quote]

Agreed :thumbsup:


#12

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.