How can I Explain the Churches Stance on The Rapture

A penecostal friend says that she can’t believe that Catholics don’t believe in the rapture. She say’s it’s in the bible. I told her we believe in the second coming as we profess our faith every week. How do I explain to her that it’s a new protestant invention and that we as Catholics don’t adhere to that term rapture?

Thanks to all!

Tony

Try saying that 1Th4:12-18 is talking about us being with Christ, but it is not describing a separate event years before the Second Coming. I think the actual word “rapture” comes from the Latin of this very passage.

This site has tracts about the rapture, like this one below. Good Luck!

catholic.com/library/rapture.asp

Here are my suggestions. Sit down with your friend and show her all of the important “rapture” verses used by Protestants.

Compare 1 Thess 4: 15-17
with John 6: 54 and John 12:48
and John 11:24

The purpose of this comparison is show her that Jesus will only return on the “last day” which is the day of judgment. There will be no “secret rapture.” When Jesus returns everyone will know it and it will be the time of judgement.

The Catholic idea as to the meaning of being “caught up in the air” with the Lord is as follows: When Jesus returns on the Last Day it will be an event that is joyous to all the faithful. As you probably know many cultures have a custom of going out to meet and greet returning dignitaries. We do this for example when the President flies in on Air Force 1, or when the Pope comes to visit. Likewise, the faithful will recognize the Lord and be eager to meet and greet him. The widely practiced custom of greeting a king or dignitary upon their arrival will be beyond anything we have ever experienced and we will be caught up with the Lord as he comes to judge the world.

Rapture theologists also like to use Matthew 24:40-41 which says: “Then two men will be in the field; one is taken and one is left.Two women will be grinding at the mill; one is taken and one is left.” Luke 17:34-36 says essentially the same thing. The problem is that these verses are taken out of context and are thoroughly misunderstood by rapture theologists. Read all of the verses in Matthew starting with verse 37. You will notice that Jesus is comparing what will happen to the days of Noah and that those that are taken away are the bad guys. Noah and his family were left. In verse 39 of the KJV it says, “…the flood came, and took them all away;”

None of this refers to the “rapture” in the way some Protestants believe. Instead of a rapture of the good it is clearly a punishment for the evil people. Read all of Luke 17:26-37 and this punishment becomes abundantly clear. Luke refers to the similarity of these events to the days of Noah and the days of Lot. In verse 37 the disciples ask Jesus where those that have been taken will be going. His answer is, ``Where the body is, the vultures gather!’’ Some translations use the word “eagles” instead of “vultures” but the meaning is the same.

If you read the scriptures that your friend uses but in their proper context while remembering that Jesus only comes once at the end of time as seen in John 6:54, John 12:48, and John 11:24 it all becomes a slam dunk.

Excellent post by Pax–that should at least answer your friend’s question.

More a more indepth information on this subject, visit the links provided above, plus this site by apologist Carl Olsen:
carl-olson.com/rapture_articles.html

I’d also recommend “The Rapture Trap” by Paul Thigpen. Ypur friend would benefit from it as well, but if she will only read Protestant material, I’d recommend “End Times Fiction” by Gary DeMar.

thewordsofeternallife.com/dave_macpherson.html

Also, look for Dave MacPherson’s books on the topic. He is good at uncovering the history of the rapture teaching.

i explained to an evangelical friend at work the Catholic position, then gave him one of the free cds from
biblechristiansociety.com/
hopefully he will listen to the whole thing.
:smiley:

Others have made excellent suggestions, but you might want to point out to your Pentecostal friend that their theory of the “Rapture” is a new one. It dates to about 1830 or so. Prior to this, it was not believed that there was some secret Rapture that was going to whisk believers away prior to the Tribulation. That’s wishful thinking, and makes you wonder why they think that they’re so special that they will be spared suffering, while the saints and martyrs of the previous centuries had to endure a great deal for their faith. The “left behind” quotes from Scripture, if you look at it, have the exact opposite meaning: the ones who were “left behind” in Noah’s time were the ones saved on the Ark! Also, the “Rapture” as understood by Pentecostals has Jesus coming back, not a second time, but a total of three: one is supposedly secret, but it’s hard to see how the trumpets blaring is secret.

There are some excellent books on the subject. One is called, “Will Catholics be Left Behind?” by, I think, Paul Thigpen. Also, Catholic Answers has a report by Jimmy Akin that’s excellent (and short). Go to catholic.com and see if you can get it there. Then give him/her the report, after you have read it. God bless.

[quote=tparsons]A penecostal friend says that she can’t believe that Catholics don’t believe in the rapture. She say’s it’s in the bible. I told her we believe in the second coming as we profess our faith every week. How do I explain to her that it’s a new protestant invention and that we as Catholics don’t adhere to that term rapture?

Thanks to all!

Tony
[/quote]

The book The Rapture Trap is really good.

Maybe this will help:
ewtn.com/expert/answers/endtimes.htm

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.