The Catholic position is that Rapture theology is a work of fiction which has been adopted by some non-Catholic Christians as part of their belief systems. Rapture theology comes from a work of fiction written by Tim Lahaye and Jerry B. Jenkins entitled “Left Behind” The “Left Behind” series of books is acknowledged by both authors as works of fiction. Not only does rapture theology have no basis in scripture, it is exactly the opposite of what scripture actually says.
The basic premise of the Left Behind novels rests on the idea of a “Rapture” whereby all true Christian believers are taken up into the clouds to meet Jesus as the end of the world approaches. Everyone else - non-believers and sinners - are “Left behind” as the books title implies. This faulty interpretation is supposedly based on Jesus’ discussion of the end of the world in Matthew 24 and similar text in Mark and Luke.
*“So it will be also at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be out in the field; one will be taken, and one will be left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be take, and one will be left.” (Matthew 24:39-41)*The faulty interpetation of this passage - that all true believers will be taken away by Christ (raptured) and that non-believers will be “Left Behind” - fails to take into account the verses preceeding those cited above. The full context of “one will be taken, and one will be left” is given below.
**"For as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. In those days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day that Noah entered the ark. They did not know until the flood came and carried them away. So will it be also at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be out in the field; one will be taken, and one will be left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken, and one will be left. (Matthew 24: 37-41)**When Jesus says “One will be taken, and one will be left behind”, he is referencing Noah and the flood in the Book of Genesis.
*Everything on dry land with the faintest breath of life in its nostrils died out. The LORD wiped out every living thing on earth: man and cattle, the creeping things and the birds of the air; all were wiped out from the earth. Only Noah and those with him in the ark were left. (Genesis 7:22-23)*Noah was a righteous man and only he and his family survived the flood. Everyone else - the unrighteous, sinners, non-belivers, were “Carried away” by the flood. But rapture theology has it exactly reversed. In the flood, the good guys were left and the bad guys were taken away. In repture theology, bad guys are lft and the good guys are taken away. Luke’s recounting of Jesus “One will be taken, and one will be left” statement includes references to Lot and his escape from Sodom. Again, Rapture theology has reversed scripture. Lot is righteous and he is “Left behind” while Sodom is destroyed and the bad guys are “Taken away” by fire and brimstone.
Rapture: Good guys get taken, bad guys stay
Bible: Good guys stay, bad guys get taken awayRapture theology is also based in part on a passage from 1 Thessalonians
*Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Thus we shall always be with the Lord. (1 Thessalonians 4:17)*Rapture theology states that those who are “Raptured” will meet Jesus in the clouds and that he will take them all to heaven. The problem with this intepretation is that the passage above is a references to an ancient custom practiced in biblical times whereby the citizens of the city would leave city’s protective gates and “Go out” a few miles to meet a visiting king or general. Doing so was a sign of respect as the visiting king usually had soldiers with him and the citizenry of the city would be unprotected. The citizens of the city would then escort the king or general back to the city as an honored guest.
Again, this is exactly the opposite of rapture theology. In rapture theology, the good guys who are “Raptured” go up to meet Jesus in the clouds where Jesus does a U-turn and escorts them to Heaven. The biblical practice which Paul is referencing in 1 Thessalonians has the good guys “Going out” to meet Jesus and then they escort Jesus to earth.
Rapture: Jesus comes and escorts the righteous to Heaven.
Bible: Jesus comes and the righteous escort Jesus to earth.Rapture theology necessitates three comings of Christ; the first at the incarnation when Christ dies for our sins, the second (partial) coming at the rapture, and the thrrd at the end of time. The Bible speaks only of two visits to earth by Christ. Nowhere does Scripture mention three visits or two full visits and one partial visit (2.5 comings of Christ?).
There is a whole bunch of other stuff which rapture theology claims but the evidence above should be enough to convince anyone that Rapture theology is 100% reversed from what Scripture actually says.
Rapture theology is quite literally fiction from a best selling novel.