I know the Church doesn't support the "Pre-Trib" Rapture, but

These verses were pointed out to me and i was looking for a Catholic interpretation.

Luke 17 34-36
I tell you, on that night there will be two people in one bed; one will be taken, the other left.
And there will be two women grinding meal together; one will be taken, the other left."
There will be two men in the field; one will be taken, the other left behind

Matt 24:40-41
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.

I didn’t know exactly how to interpret these verses so i thought i would ask :o

I am not a scripture scholar, but after reading those passages in context, they appear to be referring to the danger of being unprepared for the return of Christ.

Saying that these few lines are evidence of some rapture and tribulation is a giant stretch, in my opinion.

Rapture and tribulation are, I believe, 18th or 19th century ideas that have no basis in Christian tradition of any denomenations prior. If you asked Calvin or Luther about the tribulation, they would say “What tribulation?”

John Martignoni gives the following answer

Q: A friend of mine has been reading the “Left Behind” books that have all of this stuff about the “Rapture” in them…is there really going to be a “Rapture” like these books talk about?

A: No, there’s not. The “Rapture” refers to a passage in First Thessalonians, chapter 4, which talks about Christians being “caught up” in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Many Christians believe, and the “Left Behind” books promote, that this being “caught up” to meet the Lord will occur before the Great Tribulation which is headed our way in the near future. Christians will simply vanish, meet Jesus somewhere in the air, and then return with Him to Heaven to await the end of time

But notice,*** in verse 17***, Paul says that “…we who are alive, who are left,” shall be caught up. Remember that…those who are “left” get caught up to meet the Lord.
The “Left Behind” books get their name from a passage in Luke 17 and a similar passage in Matthew 24 which talk about the coming of the Lord being like the days of Noah and the days of Lot. Matthew 24 puts it this way: “As were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of man…they ate, they drank, they married and they did not know until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of man. Then two men will be in the field, one is taken and one is left. Two women grinding at the mill, one is taken one is left.”
“See,” Rapture enthusiasts say, “One is taken, one is left…the Rapture! Jesus takes the Christians and leaves behind non-Christians!” Two problems with that interpretation: First, Jesus’ coming is being compared to the days of Noah and the days of Lot. After the flood, who was left? Noah and his family…the good guys…the bad guys were taken! After Sodom and Gomorrah went up in smoke, who was left? Lot and his daughters…the good guys…the bad guys were taken! Second, remember 1 Thessalonians? It says that those who are “left” get to meet Jesus in the air. The good guys are left behind to meet Jesus.
In other words, you want to be left behind so that you can get caught up in the clouds to meet Jesus in the air and accompany Him back to earth at His 2nd and final coming.*** There will be no Rapture like the one the Left Behind books talk about…that view is not scriptural***.


This is all I could find on the subject and I’ll just post the Catholic position. You may read the remainder of the article.


What’s the Catholic Position?

As far as the millennium goes, we tend to agree with Augustine and, derivatively, with the amillennialists. The Catholic position has thus historically been “amillennial” (as has been the majority Christian position in general, including that of the Protestant Reformers), though Catholics do not typically use this term. The Church has rejected the premillennial position, sometimes called “millenarianism” (see the Catechism of the Catholic Church 676). In the 1940s the Holy Office judged that premillennialism “cannot safely be taught,” though the Church has not dogmatically defined this issue.

With respect to the rapture, Catholics certainly believe that the event of our gathering together to be with Christ will take place, though they do not generally use the word “rapture” to refer to this event (somewhat ironically, since the term “rapture” is derived from the text of the Latin Vulgate of 1 Thess. 4:17—“we will be caught up,” [Latin: rapiemur]).

Spinning Wheels?

Many spend much time looking for signs in the heavens and in the headlines. This is especially true of premillennialists, who anxiously await the tribulation because it will inaugurate the rapture and millennium.

A more balanced perspective is given by Peter, who writes, “But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow about his promise as some count slowness, but is forbearing toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. . . . Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of persons ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be kindled and dissolved, and the elements will melt with fire! But according to his promise we wait for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, since you wait for these, be zealous to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace” (2 Pet. 3:8–14).

Good luck on your research.

I know Catholics don’t support a “rapture” like the Left Behind series has , but so many Catholics seem quite defensive and angry about it. If all of a sudden the Pope says, “Yes,We think they’ll be a rapture like that” Would it really matter to everyone? Really? Would it shake the foundations of your faith? Would it offend you if it happend?

For the record, I don’t know how it’ll happen. I certianly don’t know when. You don’t either.

There are a number of treads on “The Rapture” on other Catholic Answer forums. You might want to use the search function to find them. Also, if you are really interest in the false doctrine of “The Rapture” check out the book by David E. Currie on “The Rapture”. It does a good job of answering your original question about Luke 17: 34-46 and Matthew 24: 40-41. Just Google “Currie The Rapture” and it will come up.

Also remember Catholics understand the Bible **contextually. ** so the question to ask first is, did the Lord literally mean" 2 people in the field" and 2 people “grinding at the mill”?

As contextualists, we understand that He is speaking in reference to people who appear to be in the same situation but that will be dealt with differently — according to what they have done or not done; their readiness for Jesus.

So remember context, this will help you understand all Catholic teaching better, not just the “rapture.”
Just fyi, Patrick Madrid is an excellent apologist and has some great resources for that type of self-study if you want to really wrap your brain around it. Good Luck!


Jesus is forewarning the disciples of the downfall of Jerusalem and the Temple within a generation. Mention of the “days” of the Son of man in (Lk 17:22) is referenced later to the “days” when foreign armies would besiege Jerusalem (Lk 19:43) and the “days” when the Temple will be devastated (Lk 21:6). This is the coming judgment of the Old Covenant world and not Christ’s second coming. In otherwords, first century events are a historical preview or type for Christ’s Second Coming in glory.

If the pope taught this, I’d consider whether the orthodox were right all along or if it were time for me to be an atheist.

The rapture denies catholic doctrine about the end times. The church teaches that it will NOT happen. As a result, no pope can teach such a thing as you presume, because it would be definitive error to do so.

I’m not aware of others becoming angry and defensive about the ‘Rapture’, but the fact is, is that no, the Pope would never speak of such a thing. Because in case if you haven’t noticed, there have been hundreds (and probably thousands) of Martyrs who have suffered and died for the faith. Who are we to be spared suffering for the sake of Christ?

Rather, we do know how the Second Coming will happen:

Mark 13:26
26 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.

I know no pope has. I said “If”.

And I’ve noticed that people have died for their faith, thank you.

If the pope taught this, I’d say, “Hey. Sounds interesting.”

I wouldn’t. It would be proof that the magisterial authority conferred upon the Church in the gospels was not present in Western Catholicism. Like I said, I’d give Orthodox catholicism a shot (possibly) or become an atheist since without a magisterial authority as promised by Christ, then Christ is either a liar or a fraud. Since Christ is NOT a liar or a fraud, however, the pope will never teach such a thing.

Oh, okay. If you would laspe into athiesm because of a reason like that, than I feel sorry for you. Nothing else to say…

Why? The Church is the authority behind the Bible, not the other way around. In fact, all access to Christ is through the Church. If the Church shows itself to be false, then the Christ who certifies the Church as true must also be doubted.

Like I said, either Christ was correct in certifying the Church as the pillar and bulwark of truth, against which the gates of hell could not prevail and which would be lead into all truth by the Holy Spirt… or Christ was wrong and He is not God.

The reason that Catholics are “angry and defensive” about it is simple. We defend the truth of the Gospel. Perhaps some do it more “bluntly” than others but there you are.

As for the Church modifying it’s stance on the matter of how the end times will occur - that is a matter for the Magisterium to deal with and does not effect my faith walk in the least.
The best and most sound advice in this matter is also the simplest. Live as if Christ will return at any moment. Live as if you would die at any moment. Be prepared at all times to meet Christ for judgement.
Then you don’t have to worry about all this other hoo-ha.


I recommend Will Catholics Be Left Behind: A Critique of the Rapture and Today’s Prophecy Preacher by Carl Olson.

I agree with you that Christ will return at any point, and to live like you might die. However, when Christ comes back, I don’t claim to know if it’ll be a “rapture” type event, or just a one time thing. What I do know is that many of our Protestant brothers and sisters will be going up to heaven with us. Regardles of how we get there, I want alot of people there.

Precisely my point - Al of this talk about end times - rapture -etc is just a lot of jaw excersizing. Not one bit of it increases or decreases faith or has any bearing on how one is to live in order to reach heaven.

What I do know is that many of our Protestant brothers and sisters will be going up to heaven with us. Regardles of how we get there, I want alot of people there.

I’m sure we will all be surprised at who is and is not in heaven…


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