Is the great apostasy near?


#1

Is the great apostasy, spoken of in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 near?

Catholic eschatology has long held that an apostasy of Christians or specifically Catholic Christians is associated with the end times. My view is that the great apostasy, which takes place during the tribulation, is near.

The foundation has already been laid. Many Catholics no longer consider the Church or the Magisterium or the Pope to be their teacher. They adopt whatever ideas are taught by sinful secular society, even in opposition to Church teaching. Many have already departed from the Church in their hearts.


#2

It’s certainly nearer than it was last night, or last week, or last year. Is it ‘near’, though? A wise professor once taught me that any attention given to eschatology which deals in signs or predictions or earthly events, but isn’t Christocentric, is an eschatology that’s deficient. Better to ask, “is the parousia near?” The answer to that is simple: yes – for (most? some?) of us, as near as our own deaths. Better to ask “am I ready to meet my maker?” than “am I reading the signs of the great apostasy correctly?”… :thumbsup:

The foundation has already been laid. Many Catholics no longer consider the Church or the Magisterium or the Pope to be their teacher. They adopt whatever ideas are taught by sinful secular society, even in opposition to Church teaching. Many have already departed from the Church in their hearts.

Couldn’t we make exactly the same qualitative assessment about the middle of the last millennium, during the Protestant Reformation? :wink:


#3

Look around.


#4

My opinion: yes. And I think it started right around 1900 or thereabout.


#5

I thought it started about AD 33. :slight_smile:


#6

I am of the belief that hubris is the easiest plague to throw on humanity and, thereby, nothing beats the blood, sweat and tears expended to prevent something that somehow becomes its greatest harbinger and brings-it-on.

That said however, arm-up.

Don't wait for someone to force you into Apostasy, or for the Apostic to gang-up on you and chop your head off on CNN (who will air it) for not renouncing.

Turn the tables, make it clear that pain will be dealt to non-believers.

And let's start in the middle east.

Oh heck, why am I saying "let's"? come along when you're ready, I probably won't wait for ya.


#7

Yes, the time for loving our persecutors is upon us.


#8

If I had to guess, I’d say no (or rather, I have no reason to suspect so). All of the bad things that are happening today have happened before.

But of course, this doesn’t really change much either way. Whether it is or not, we should act as though we personally could die any second, but the world and Church we leave behind will be around forever.


#9

I have to disagree somewhat. All the bad things currently happening have not happened before in the same way they are now, coming together in a perfect storm of moral bankruptcy.

I think of the book that Carle Zimmerman wrote in the 1940’s “Family and Civilization,” in which he examined the types of family structure throughout all of history. He found only three era’s in which family structure crumbled so completely as to undermine the civilization, once in ancient Greece, once in ancient Rome, and once again in the current age. Since the book was written in the 1940’s he had not even yet analyzed the worst of the current decline which was yet to come, and is still continuing.


#10

Why would we believe that? You got it wrong when you predicted World War 3 some years back.


#11

[quote="Ron_Conte, post:1, topic:337437"]
Is the great apostasy, spoken of in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 near?

Catholic eschatology has long held that an apostasy of Christians or specifically Catholic Christians is associated with the end times. My view is that the great apostasy, which takes place during the tribulation, is near.

The foundation has already been laid. Many Catholics no longer consider the Church or the Magisterium or the Pope to be their teacher. They adopt whatever ideas are taught by sinful secular society, even in opposition to Church teaching. Many have already departed from the Church in their hearts.

[/quote]

Dear Ron Conte,

Cordial greetings and a very good day. Hope all is well. Thankyou for raising this most solemn topic, which, given the troublous times in which are lot is presently cast, deserves far more attention than it is wont to normally receive.

As to whether this Antichrist is to be an individual - some powerful pernicious personality - or a collectivity, is a most baffling question, dear brother. From what I have read, many Catholic commentators consider the Antichrist to be a personification of the evil forces that will get the upper hand during the very last of the "last days" of the world. According to St. Paul the activity of the Man of Sin is already taking place, although he is not yet revealed. Now as this activity has been going on since the early days of Christianity, the Antichrist would seem to an apocalyptic personification of the powers of evil let loose. Moreover, in the Gospels our dear Lord nowhere speaks of one Antichrist but of many false Christs and false prophets (cf. S. Matt. 24). This would also agree with St. John's teaching in his Epistles, whilst in the Book of Revelation the Antichrist symbolizes the sum total of persecuting political powers and false prophets by the two beasts who are emissaries of Satan. However, St. Paul's teaching with regards to the Antichrist (II Thess. 2: 3,4) is certainly quite compatible with his being a single person, and the manner in which all the Sacred Books from Daniel to the Apocalypse speak of him, as a man incarnating all the forces of evil and as a false counterpart of Christ Himself in the final days of the world, does not permit us to lay aside as improbable the view that the Antichrist is indeed an individual. Nevertheless, this general interpretation is not defined as an article of faith and thus the faithful are at liberty to hold that, prior to the Second Advent, some great force opposed to Christ will emerge and will deceive many members of the Church, dragging them into apostasy. Perhaps both will occur.

When, dear brother, St. Paul speaks of the "last days" he of course refers to the entire Messianic era in which we now live, which will get progressively worse and not better, finally culminating in the revelation of the 'Man of Sin', of which I have just been speaking. The Apostle also says that the Gospel Age will be characterised by a defection from Catholic doctrine, even from within the bosom of Holy Mother Church - "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers having itching ears; and they shall turn their ears away from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables" (II Tim. 4: 3,4). Whilst it is perfectly true that opposition to authentic Catholic teaching has always been a characteristic of the interadvent period and thus should not elicit our surprise or dismay, it does seem that the Church will face terrible times as we approach closer the Second Advent of Christ. Have we then entered the great apostasy of the very end times? Possibly, yes. What certainly admits of no doubt is that there is a crisis and widespread apostasy within the bosom of the Church today that appears to be quite unprecedented. As you say, dear brother, multitudes of putative Catholics no longer believe the teachings of their Church and have embraced a sort of *a la carte *approach. Again, you are quite correct when you say that many contemporary Catholics have adopted the mindset of the godless secular society with which they are surrounded. What I find so deeply saddening is the hand in hand with the world religious practice that is now so common in the Western world, even among those who identify as 'conservative' and orthodox. There is little passion for the pursuit of holiness and striving to live up to the arduous demands of our most holy religion, as if this was somehow equated with Puritanism or Jansenism. Very sad indeed.

Of course, dear brother, false doctrines have always beset Holy Mother Church, being propagated even in the early Church, but as St. Paul looked into the distant future he could forsee the dangers increasing with the unremitting flood of false doctrines, and with it the corresponding corruption of morals. .

Whatever our present plight, the faithful must not despair or become discouraged, for the activity of forces hostile to the cause of good will never utterly prevail against the Church of Christ (cf, S. Matt. 16: 18). However, the faithful remnant will be quite a small body prior to our Lord's return, whenever that blessed event will be. As Christ Himself said: "Nevertheless, when the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?" (S. Lk. 18: 8). Now whilst this faith may not always be entirely denied, neither will it be held or fully embraced, especially as we approach the final days of the world. Men will increasingly have a "form of godliness" but deny its power in reality by a shameful worldly conformity. This will surely be a feature of the final apostasy at the end of the age.

God bless.

Warmest good wishes,

Portrait

In Christo


#12

Portrait,

many of the Saints, in interpreting Sacred Scripture, understand the Antichrist to be one particular individual human person (in the distant future). It is also true that there is a certain “spirit of the Antichrist” (the attitudes and grave sins that lead to his arrival). But there are no Saints AFAIK who say that He is not an individual man.

There is a common idea in Catholic eschatology that the tribulation is divided into two parts: the lesser and greater tribulations. There may be a great apostasy in each.

Today, most Catholics do not believe what the Catholic Church teaches. They feel free to believe whatever they like. They have one foot out the door already.


#13

I’m not going to second guess God. He wills when and where it will happen. . there are too many seers, predictors who read into and see into world events, so JW. All it does bring derision on christians and make us look like a bunch of whack jobs. trouble of one day is enough- don’t speculate or fear the next day but live like it is the end. . Like the book of Revelation God wins in the end ,so why fear.


#14

Here is a good fiction book on how the world will end (no rapture, but the 2nd coming)

gutenberg.org/ebooks/14021


#15

I think you make a good point Ron, but I personally think it needs to get much worse. I see some zealous Catholics out there that are reversing some of the rediculous self righteous Pharisee-like Catholics that still make up a portion of many parishes. Its going to get to a point where those people will be weeded out of the Church by persecution because they won’t be willing to die for the faith, because they sure don’t live for it! I’m not one who likes to hint any predictions, but I would not be surprised if the stage is being set.


#16

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