Catholics and the rapture

my friend believes in the pre-tribulation rapture, which I know is not the catholic position

she insists that it’s not because she has watched protestant tv, she says that she has read the bible and that’s how God helped her to interpret

I try to explain the church’s position but she just told me I was wrong.

I’m really worried, we had a disagreement about it today and I just don’t know what to do now.

she is a very devoted, faithful catholic so I really don’t understand this

is it wrong or sinful to believe in a position not taken by the church on an issue like this?

Not sinful, but she will be badly scandalized when things don’t go down like that.

I can offer you a suggested book to give her that may help. I have it and it’s very good.
What Jesus Really Said About the End of the World

								 						**By: ** **[David B. Currie]("")**

What they call the “rapture” we call the “resurrection”. It unfortunately does not stop at that comparison, because the thrill of the rapture is so much more appealing to the human ego, than the resurrection. Escaping the judgment of God, either general or specific, really does have its appeal, but it is wrong.

I’ve seen this phenomenon from Catholics a few times. Initially mystifying, I now usually chalk it up to influence from perhaps misinformed sources. When I attempted to go through RCIA, a very earnest member of the group had a virtual barrage of questions about Antichrists, marks of beasts and that stuff. Clearly she’d been reading too much Left Behind. I found some of her questions befuddling… but then I am a partial preterist, which probably colored my opinion.

In any event, I found pretty informative. Indeed it contains details I was not aware of until now, particularly the quote from (then) Cardinal Ratzinger. It may be worth it to share this link with your friend. If she is Catholic, she should understand her personal interpretation does not supersede the authority and teachings of the Church. And of course the Catechism is the best source for this, though it’s perhaps not as specific as some would prefer.

I used to believe in the pre-tribulation rapture, but it was actually the scripture which changed my mind.

The Church does teach the rapture, but calls it the Parousia , and it happens when Christ comes again.

Pre-Trib rapture thought believes that** the Rapture happens in Revelation 4:1** when the apostle is told “Come up here” – the rapture happens before all the “bad stuff” occurs to the world.

Their main reason for believing in a pre-tribulation rapture is various scripture such as Revelation 3:10 which says “I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth.” and I Thessalonians 5:9 which says “For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ”. In other words, they say that those who have put their faith in Christ will be saved out of the world and will not come under the harsh judgements which are described in the book.

However, there is a huge clue in the scriptures which gives the timing of the rapture. I Corinthians 15:52 says that the rapture happens at the 7th Trumpet: "Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. This verse is one of the main verses which adherents of the rapture point to, to prove their position of a belief of a rapture.

So according to scripture, the rapture does not occur in Revelation 4:1, but at the last trumpet in Revelation chapter 11 which coincides with Christ’s 2nd coming: “Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.’ And the twenty-four elders, who sit on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying, ‘We give You thanks, O Lord God, the Almighty, who are and who were, because You have taken Your great power and have begun to reign. And the nations were enraged, and Your wrath came, and the time came for the dead to be judged, and the time to reward Your bond-servants the prophets and the saints and those who fear Your name, the small and the great, and to destroy those who destroy the earth.’”

So this is something you might be able to point out to your friend, that according to the scriptures the rapture happens at the 7th Trumpet–not before the trumpets start blowing–as the adherents of the pre-trib rapture believe.

The “Rapture” of which your friend speaks never existed in any church teaching in ANY church until John Darby invented it in 1830.
I was popularized in the 1930’s and has taken on a life of its own.
No such thing. Made up. Church Militant is correct.
A simple Google search will turn up this hoax that millions have bought into.

The ewtn article is highly recommended as well.

Here’s a really good resource which talks about the Parousia and gives all the main verses regarding it. They are the same verses the “Rapture Believers” point to.

But there is no such thing as a secret “Rapture” which happens before Christ comes again.

If she was a devoted faithful Catholic then she would know that she is to read Scripture within the living Tradition of the whole Church, as the Catechism tells us, and not private interpretation as protestants.

There ain’t no rapture.

This doctrine was taught by nobody until the early 1800s and forms no part of Church teaching.


Does she also believe that a third temple will be built and Christ will rule from the temple for 1000 years?

Which is a part of the rapture theory.

If you escape the God’s chastisement, that is when you should worry!

Heb. 12:[6] For whom the Lord loveth, he chastiseth; and he scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. [7] Persevere under discipline. God dealeth with you as with his sons; for what son is there, whom the father doth not correct? [8] But if you be without chastisement, whereof all are made partakers, then are you bastards, and not sons.

There is common ground here if we just admit our limitations.

IMHO you don’t want to get caught up in arguing bible verses that prove or disprove when salvation happens or doesn’t happen. It is a quagmire to avoid. The arguments go either way because the scripture do not make it clear.

In fact, the scriptures do make it clear that we don’t know.

*44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. *

Pre-trib folks will say that this verse means that he does come BEFORE the tribulation. Really? I guess that means that is when they ‘expect’ him. And therefore, the scriptures tell us it won’t happen then. (See what I mean by quagmire).

So the burden of proof is on those who claim to know. There has been a long line of folks who said they figured out when it happens. They always end up looking pretty silly, or worse.

I would ask your friend, what is wrong with the position that we simply don’t know?! Especially in light of Mathew 24:44?

Keep in mind that she will say that this verse proves her point.

The Rapture Trap

The Rapture tract

The Rapture track

John Martignoni is one of the best Catholic apologists on the issue of the rapture. If you haven’t listened to his free talk on the rapture, here it is:

He also wrote about it this topic recently in the following newsletter: in which he makes many of the same points he makes in the talk.

My favorite part is this: very important in arguing against a “Rapture” interpretation of [1 Thessalonians 4:16]…[is this:] notice who all gets “caught up” to meet the Lord. It’s not just the living, but also the dead. Verse 16: “For the Lord Himself will descend from Heaven with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first…” There is a resurrection of the dead here! So, Rapture believers have to believe that not just the living in Christ disappear, but also that Christians who have died will rise from their graves and disappear as well!

But there’s a problem here. A big problem! If we turn to the Gospel of John, chapter 6, we find something very interesting. John 6:54: “…he who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the… last day.” The LAST DAY! Those who eat His flesh and drink His blood, whether you take that literally or symbolically, Jesus is talking about folks who believe in Him…they are Christians. And they will be raised when? On the last day before the tribulation starts? No, it doesn’t say that. On the last day before the appearance of the antichrist? No, it doesn’t say that. On the last day before Jesus starts His 1000-yr. reign on earth? No, it doesn’t say that either. It says on the last day…period! No qualifiers!

John 6:39: “…and this is the will of Him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that He has given Me, but raise it up at the last day.” John 6:44: “No man can come to me, unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the…last day. John 11:24: “Martha said to [Jesus], ‘I know that he [Lazarus] will rise again in the resurrection at the…last day.”

How come Lazarus has to wait until the last day? Why can’t he be raised up at the Rapture with all the other believers in Christ? Why? Because there is no rapture before…the last day! source Give his talk a listen and then offer it to your friend. You will probably both be blown away.

she sai she won’t talk to me about it anymore because she doen’st want to argue and doen’st want me to be upset with her

she says it has nothing to do with protestant influence, she read it in the bible and is just so convinced that she is right.

I don’t think she uses the computer much so maybe I will try to get her that book.

another part of it is that she suffers from a lot of health conditions and the idea of Christ taking her out of the world before more bad stuff happens is comforting to her

obviously, I can’t force her to change her mind about it, but just in case she doesn’t, is she putting her soul in any kind of danger?

It is important, as far as we are able, to do research on questions like this, and others. When I heard about “The Rapture” from some Charismatic Christians," I didn’t know enough then to believe it one way or the other. As a Catholic, I was certainly never taught that. This was their ‘convincing’ verse:

“After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.”

1 Thessalonians 4:17 NIV


Believing in the rapture is not putting her soul in danger. It’s a lot more important that she has faith in God, and that she lives her life with the kind of love that Jesus taught. From what you wrote about her, it looks like she is doing fine.

I guess I get overly worried, possibly

because it’s this sort of thing that almost made me lose my faith. I had a real crisis a few years ago when I discovered that there were branches of churches that taught that the pope was the antichrist, the church is the whore of Babylon and espousing millennial theories and rapture stuff all at the same time.

it’s definitely misguided, that’s for sure

does that book cover the book of revelations? because I think that might be part of the issue, that she’s getting things from revelaitons mixed up with the rapture

This was their ‘convincing’ verse:

“After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.”

1 Thessalonians 4:17 NIV

“Going out to meet” someone meant greeting them as an honored guest and escorting them back to your home where they stay with you. It also means going out to do battle with someone.

*When Jacob came from the field in the evening, Leah went out to meet him, and said, “You must come in to me; for I have hired you with my son’s mandrakes.” So he lay with her that night. (Genesis 30:16)

Moses went out to meet his father-in-law, and did obeisance and kissed him; and they asked each other of their welfare, and went into the tent. (Exodus 18:7)*

This is exactly the opposite of the rapture. In the rapture we 'go out to meet" Jesus but then go with him to heaven. Going out to meet however, means that we escort him back to earth where he stays with us.

And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband; and I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them; (Revelation 21:2-3)

Jesus will return and make his dwelling with men. That is what the Bible says and that is what “Going out to meet Jesus in the air” means. The rapture is exactly opposite of the Bible.


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