End times


#1

Hello everyone!

I was curious about the Catholic opinion on end times. From varous Catholics, they all seem to have different opinions. I’d like to hear your views and opinions on what you believe about end times and the rapture. Also, if anyone knows, what does the church specifically teach about this?
THANKS
~crazy4horses


#2

The “rapture” is a fairly recent Protestant invention.


I don’t worry about the end times but try to live every day as it were the last one. The end result is the same if the world is destroyed or I get hit by a truck. The only thing different is the timing so, again, I don’t worry about it.


#3

I never give it much thought, but 2nd. Peter 3:8-14 helps keep things in perspective for me.

*2Pe 3:8 But do not forget one thing, my dear friends! There is no difference in the Lord’s sight between one day and a thousand years; to him the two are the same. *

*2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slow to do what he has promised, as some think. Instead, he is patient with you, because he does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants all to turn away from their sins. *

*2Pe 3:10 But the Day of the Lord will come like a thief. On that Day the heavens will disappear with a shrill noise, the heavenly bodies will burn up and be destroyed, and the earth with everything in it will vanish. *

*2Pe 3:11 Since all these things will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people should you be? Your lives should be holy and dedicated to God, *

*2Pe 3:12 as you wait for the Day of God and do your best to make it come soon—the Day when the heavens will burn up and be destroyed, and the heavenly bodies will be melted by the heat. *

*2Pe 3:13 But we wait for what God has promised: new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness will be at home. *

2Pe 3:14 And so, my friends, as you wait for that Day, do your best to be pure and faultless in God’s sight and to be at peace with him.


#4

I don’t have any “specifically Catholic” teaching on the end times, although I once took a part of a non-denom course on it which helped me read what the Bible had to say about it, and that is certainly Catholic.

Clearly the study course, while basing its ideas on the Bible, had some apparently man-made conclusions that did not logically follow from the Bible. For example, they were convinced in some sort of 7,000 year history of mankind, where the last 2,000 years were the times after Christ. They based this, very strangely, on the notion that the world was created in seven days, and that was a pattern of sorts for the earthly reign of mankind, combined with “with God a day is like 1,000 years.” They thought the Bible was full of “coded messages” like that, but I was not convinced.

That aside, plus the fact that the rapture is not a Catholic belief, and now I’m wondering what you want to know about the end times.

Nobody knows the time Christ will come again, but there are signs that must be in place before He does. By the time He comes, things will have gotten so terrible that only the intervention of Jesus Christ will keep humans from destroying each other. Many of the things that are taking place in the world are eerily reminiscent of the end times, and if one includes OT prophecy it is interesting how much some of today’s modern weapons of war functionally resemble some of the beasts they mention. It often seems signs of the end times are around us. Children are suing their parents in courts of law, terrorism and wars, and all that.

As far as the prophecy that one will be left standing and the other taken, I don’t see how this translates into a “rapture” where Christ makes kind of a “stealth visit” before His next coming. That doesn’t make sense to me, because when Christ comes the second time we will know it for certain, and I don’t think there’s any support for these types of stealth activities. My personal idea is that this verse emphasizes that group identification will earn nothing in terms of your fate when Christ comes again…

Catholics, as geezerbob mentioned, don’t seem to talk much about the end times. Are there any particular things you wondered about, other than rapture? Most of what I know about rapture I read in a book called “The Rapture Trap” while at Eucharistic adoration, and I only read a couple chapters of that. :slight_smile:

Alan


#5

You may want to read some Carl Olson. He has done extensive study on Catholic eschatology (study of the end-times). Here is a link to some excerpts from his book “Will Catholics Be Left Behind”:
carl-olson.com/wcblb%20materials/wcblb_excerpts.html
If you surf carl-olson.com for a while, you’ll probably have most of your questions answered.

In order to understand the Catholic view, it’s helpful to understand what most Americans are taught - the Protestant dispensationalist pre-millenialist “Rapture”. This is a very recent invention, but has mass appeal as a fairly Hollywood ending to the world (which Americans gravitate to). Here is a link to help explain:
catholic.com/library/rapture.asp

If you have further questions, please ask.

God be with you,
RyanL


#6

[quote=crazy4horses]Hello everyone!

I was curious about the Catholic opinion on end times. From varous Catholics, they all seem to have different opinions. I’d like to hear your views and opinions on what you believe about end times and the rapture. Also, if anyone knows, what does the church specifically teach about this?
THANKS
~crazy4horses
[/quote]

I started a discussion on this not long ago, and some posters had great resources. Here’s the link to that discussion:

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=58366

One quick thing: the Catholic Church believes in the Rapture of the Church as well; it’s just the timing that is in serious question. The CC believes the Rapture will immediately precede the Second Coming, whereas most protestants have been taught the relatively new concept that the rapture will be before a tribulational period well before the Second Coming (like the Left Behind series).

But look at the resources people gave links to in the above discussion.

Peace,
javelin


#7

[quote=crazy4horses]Hello everyone!

I was curious about the Catholic opinion on end times. From varous Catholics, they all seem to have different opinions. I’d like to hear your views and opinions on what you believe about end times and the rapture. Also, if anyone knows, what does the church specifically teach about this?
THANKS
~crazy4horses
[/quote]

Hi, I checked out the Index of The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) for End Time(s) and was directed to Jesus Christ, the second coming. There I found over 22 paragraphs that illuminate the several aspects of the end times. If you have the CCC some are 675, 830, 673, 440, 680, 1060, 671, 677-78. If you do not own a CCC, I believe it can be consulted Online, but I do not have its Link. Whether you have the book or the Web Site, you are invited to find the other Biblically based teachings of the Catholic Church on this subject.


#8

[quote=javelin]I started a discussion on this not long ago, and some posters had great resources. Here’s the link to that discussion:
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=58366

[/quote]

I second this recommendation; there are some good answers on that thread with no need to reinvent the wheel. If you go to the top of this page and use the “Search” feature, you’re bound to find tons more, as this is a topic that comes up frequently in these forums.


#9

The early Catholic church once believed in a post trib rapture. That is Christ would return AFTER the tribulation.They believed the saints would be persecuted during the tribulation, Christ would return, catch up the saints and come down to earth to reign in Jerusalem for a thousand years. The early church by majority were pre millennial, See Justin Martyr’s writings and also Irenaeus.

                              But later, church fathers such as Origin and especially St Augustine allorgorized everything pertaining to end time prophecy. Augustine went so far as to call Christ's kingdom, not a future reign on earth, but the church on earth and that the church is presently living in the millennium. Because of Augustine's great influence,  the magisterium accepted his views and left it at that, totally ignoring the early church view. :)

#10

[quote=piety101]The early Catholic church once believed in a post trib rapture. That is Christ would return AFTER the tribulation.They believed the saints would be persecuted during the tribulation, Christ would return, catch up the saints and come down to earth to reign in Jerusalem for a thousand years. The early church by majority were pre millennial, See Justin Martyr’s writings and also Irenaeus.
[/quote]

Not true. From an article by Carl Olsen, whose comprehensive webpage on this topic is referenced above:

MYTH 4—

  • “The early Church Fathers believed in the Rapture and the millennial kingdom on earth.”*

This clever argument, used by Ryrie, LaHaye, Lindsey, and others, is effective in persuading those with little knowledge of historical theology or the beliefs of the early Church. True, several early Christian writers––notably Papias, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Hippolytus, Methodius, Commodianus, and Lactanitus––were premillennialists who believed that Christ’s Second Coming would lead to a visible, earthly reign. But the premillennialism they embraced was quite different from that taught by modern dispensationalists.

Catholic scholars acknowledge that some of the Fathers were influenced by the Jewish belief in an earthly Messianic kingdom, while others embraced millennarianism as a reaction to the Gnostic antagonism toward the material realm. But the Catholic Church does not look to one Church Father in isolation—or even a select group of Fathers—and claim their teachings are infallible or definitive. Rather, the Church views their writings as valuable guides providing insights and perspectives that assist the Magisterium––the teaching office of the Church—in defining, clarifying, and defending Church doctrine.

Those early premillennialists did not hold to distinctively modern and dispensationalist beliefs, especially not the belief in a pretribulation Rapture and the radical distinction between an earthly and a heavenly people of God; such beliefs didn’t come about until many centuries later. The early Church Fathers, whether premillennialist or otherwise, believed that the Church was the New Israel and that Christians—consisting of both Jews and Gentiles (cf. Romans 10:12)––had replaced the Jews as God’s chosen people.

In attempting to prove the validity of their beliefs by appealing to early Church Fathers, dispensationalists always ignore the Church Fathers’ unanimous teachings about the nature of the Eucharist, the authority and nature of the Church, and a host of other distinctively Catholic beliefs. They also conveniently blur the lines between the historical premillennialism of certain early Church writers and the dispensational premillennialism of Darby and his disciples.

To see the whole article, go to:
crisismagazine.com/november2003/olson.htm

But later, church fathers such as Origin and especially St Augustine allorgorized everything pertaining to end time prophecy. Augustine went so far as to call Christ’s kingdom, not a future reign on earth, but the church on earth and that the church is presently living in the millennium. Because of Augustine’s great influence, the magisterium accepted his views and left it at that, totally ignoring the early church view. :slight_smile:

Regarding Augustine, it is inaccurate to put him in the same class as Origen when it comes to the use of allegory in Scripture. His approach was much more balanced and rational:
catholic.com/thisrock/2000/0009fea5.asp


#11

Fidelis

           **[FONT=Trebuchet MS]Your quote from Olson's book**-"True, several early Christian writers[/FONT]––notably Papias, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Hippolytus, Methodius, Commodianus, and Lactanitus––were premillennialists who believed that Christ’s Second Coming would lead to a visible, earthly reign."

            ** REPLY**- That was my point exactly. That the fathers DID hold to a literal millennium. What Olsen fails to tell you in his zeal, is that the fathers were pre-millennial, but NOT pre trib. Or they did not believe the Lord would come for his church BEFORE the tribulation, but rather AFTER the tribulation. Olsen failed to tell his readers those facts. That is what the early fathers wrote and believed. :)

#12

THANKS!! All this information is helping me understand thisa little bit better. THANKS A LOT! This sure is a cinfusing topic! I guess I still have alot of reading, studying, and most importantly PRAYING :smiley: left to do! Thanks again!
~crazy4horses


#13

amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0965922820/qid=1119297165/sr=8-1/ref=pd_bbs_ur_1/002-3702933-9680861?v=glance&s=books&n=507846

this is the book you want for the subject


#14

I have a better one. The bible and the writings of the early church fathers on the end times. :slight_smile:


#15

[quote=piety101]**…**What Olsen fails to tell you in his zeal, is that the fathers were pre-millennial, but NOT pre trib. …Olsen failed to tell his readers those facts. That is what the early fathers wrote and believed…
[/quote]

From the article quoted above:

several early Christian writers––notably Papias, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Hippolytus, Methodius, Commodianus, and Lactanitus––were premillennialists

Those early premillennialists did not hold to distinctively modern and dispensationalist beliefs, especially not** the belief in a pretribulation Rapture** and the radical distinction between an earthly and a heavenly people of God; such beliefs didn’t come about until many centuries later.

Before you demonize Olson, you may want to read the full quote. He does, in fact, say what you allege he withholds. Also, there are a variety of beliefs amongst the ECF on a variety of subjects, and it is not wise to grab a few of them, claim that was the position of the whole early Church, and then insist that our current Church has somehow radically diverged from what the ECF believed. That smacks of heresy. Just FYI.

Peace,
RyanL


#16

RyanL

          Once again all those fathers you mentioned held to a future millennium and believed in a pre millennial return of Christ. As I posted earlier the fathers were not pre trib, but they sure held to the church's belief that Christ's coming was before BEFORE the millennium.  :)

#17

[quote=piety101]What Olsen fails to tell you in his zeal, is that the fathers were pre-millennial, but NOT pre trib. Or they did not believe the Lord would come for his church BEFORE the tribulation, but rather AFTER the tribulation. Olsen failed to tell his readers those facts. That is what the early fathers wrote and believed. :slight_smile:
[/quote]

:slight_smile: On the contrary, Olsen explicitly points this out in the quote above:

Those early premillennialists did not hold to distinctively modern and dispensationalist beliefs, especially not the belief in a pretribulation Rapture

Also, let me help you edit the above statement so that it is more accurate:

SOME OF the fathers were pre-millennial, but NOT pre trib. Or SOME OF THEM did not believe the Lord would come for his church BEFORE the tribulation, but rather AFTER the tribulation… That is what SOME OF THE the early fathers wrote and believed

Hope that helps. :slight_smile:


#18

RyanL

       You said it not me. If the church teaches today what the early church never held to then it is heresy.

        Did the early fathers embrace a future and literal millennium? Yes or No? Did the early church allow bishops to marry? Yes or no? Did the early church allow homosexuals to enter the priesthood? Yes or no?  Now when you have decided your answer, let me know if the church departed from some teachings once believed.  :)

#19

Fidelis

       Isn't that what I posted? Yes or no? :)

#20

Just another recommendation for the OP - Catholic Scripture Study on the Book of Revelation does a good job incorporating our view of endtimes vs. mainline Protestantism.
catholicexchange.com/css/


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