Rapture, a Revalations Timeline, and Confusion


#1

I’m in a discussion on another board with what was about faith and works, but has sort of shifted into a discussion about the rapture. The person I’m discussing this with has outlined a sort of timeline or something (He’s hard to follow sometimes) and I don’t think I believe it. He keeps talking about two judgements for the unsaved and one for the saved, the saved being only judged by Christ but the unsaved being judged by God, the saved being judged before the Throne of Jesus and the unsaved judged before the White Throne. Here’s his last post, can anyone help me make sense of and refute this? (I’m Pascal, even though they keep calling me Paschal)

Paschal, context is very important, and equally important is TIME LINE. I have outlined the time line for you pertaining to the CATCHING UP of the Church (ALL CHRISTIANS) at the time of Christ returning to get them. But understand that when the Church is RAPTURED, that They (the Church) meet Christ IN THE AIR. He is not returning to earth just yet. When he does the The Church will come with Him as His Mighty Army.

1st Thessalonians Chapter 4 verse 16. For the Lord Himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and the trump of God: and DEAD IN CHRIST SHALL RISE FIRST: Verse 17. Then we which are alive and remain shall be CAUGHT UP TOGETHER WITH THEM “IN THE CLOUDS” TO MEET THE "LORD IN THE AIR: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

Note where this meeting takes place. Not on earth, but IN THE AIR. No mention of thel lost, being resurrected, they will be the last.

Once again here in Thessalonians we see THE CHURCH i.e. the Christians being RESURRECTED AND caught up BEFORE THE LOST are resurrected and judged. The Church is ALREADY saved, and will not be JUDGED FOR SIN, as Christ has ALREADY paid their sin debt. They will be judged for their GOOD WORKS. The saved are unless RAPTURED BEFORE DEATH are destined to die only once.
The lost are destined to DIE TWICE. Once on earth, and the FINAL JUDGEMENT when the lost are sentenced to Hell, which is the SECOND DEATH. Thus verse 14, in Revelation Chapter 20; And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the SECOND DEATH.

Right now I plan on saying, “To accept your timeline it would be necessary to believe that Revelation is literal, which I do not. Revelation is apocryphal literature which has historically been literature that discusses a current topic in an encoded or secret way in order to avoid death or torture at the hands of those in power (in this case Nero). I believe the numbers listed in Revelation are symbolic (like the 1000 year reign you mention refers to a complete and perfect kingdom of God). Finally, the rapture is too young a theory and not found in any of the writings I have read of the Early Church Fathers, so I don’t believe it either.”

Thoughts?


#2

the saved being only judged by Christ but the unsaved being judged by God,

This person you are discussing this with said this and yet he/she considers themself a Christian? Christ = God

Anyways if you haven’t read what the CA library has on this subject I would recommend it.

catholic.com/library/rapture.asp

catholic.com/thisrock/1999/9904fea1.asp

catholic.com/thisrock/2002/0209fea5.asp

Also Scripture Catholic has a good discussion on it:

scripturecatholic.com/second_coming.html

scripturecatholic.com/misc_qa.html#tradition-II

God bless


#3

Here is an excellent book to read by Catholic convert, David Currie, who was a former protestant minister who believed in the rapture. Contains a huge amount of research. Available at amazon. Just out in 2003.

Rapture: The End-Times Error That Leaves the Bible Behind

Currie covers all the verses that the rapturists use to promote their end-times scenario. The whole rapture idea is basically to deny that Christ has already set up his kingdom on earth…the Catholic Church.


#4

One of the very best Bible studies on this is found at The Bible Christian Society

Download this FREE MP3 of it called The Rapture and the Bible, and the notes are here.

You won’t be sorry.


#5

I fully agree with this guy. The true Church Christ Himself is now building is made up of ONLY true believers, and He knows each and every one of them (2 Tim. 2:19). He promised us that He would come again and receive us unto Himself, that where He is there we will be also (Jn. 14:3; 17:24).

As for the Book of Revelation, the Church is not mentioned after chapter three, and John (a member of His Church) is told to “come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things” (Rev. 4:4: 1:19). The divine judgments of seals, trumpets and bowls that come upon the earth do not occur until AFTER John is called up.

There’s no reason why one shouldn’t take the Book of Revelation in a literal sense.

I agree with him that true believers do not go before the White Throne judgment as described in Rev. 20:11-15. That’s for unbelievers only and these are destined for the “Lake of Fire,” which is the “second death.” The Church Christ is now building (made up of all true believers since Pentecost) is part of the “first resurrection,” and the “second death” has no power over them (Rev. 20:6).


#6

Not Nero, Domitian. Nero had been dead for about 30 years when Revelation was written. The current Emperor, Domitian, resembled Nero in many ways – including launching an Imperial persecution. There was a legend that Nero would come back to life (Nero Revividus) and John plays on that legend and on the similarities between Nero and Domitian.


#7

And that’s one of the problems with the historical interpretion, everybody has his own opinion as to when, historically, it all took place. But the real problem is that nothing in history compares to what is actually revealed in chapters six through eighteen.


#8

Given the internal clues and the comments of the early Church fathers, it’s pretty clear that Revelation was written during Domitian’s Persecution.

I agree with you that John was not writing a weather forecast or a stock market prediction – or any of the other millianial interpretations favored by the supermarket tabloids. John wrote for the here-and-now – his here and his now. The value of the book is in its timeless application to the general human condition and its theological lessons.


#9

I disagree. Chapter nine reveals the Protestant revolt of the 16th century and there are many others.


#10

Rawb, probably by now you are more confused than when you asked the original question. I have one comment and then a suggestion: The comment is that there’s a good book on the dating of Revelation; it’s called “Before Jerusalem Fell” by Kenneth Gentry. I think you were right for a number of reasons; Nero probably is the one referred to in Revelation, and it was probably written about A.D. 68 (before the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70).

Here’s the suggestion: I wouldn’t say to this other person that you don’t read Revelation literally. Tell him you DO read Revelation literally, and then read the first three verses of the book. It plainly states that these things written in the book must SHORTLY come to pass and that THE TIME IS AT HAND. So, whether it was written pre-70 or sometime around A.D. 90, in order to read Revelation LITERALLY, you have to read the majority of the events of Revelation as having come to pass within that first generation of Christians.

In other words, the majority of Revelation is NOT a prophecy about the future of Christians today. It is a revelation of Jesus Christ as the great Redeemer and Judge, as revealed in the events of first-century Judaism and the Church.


#11

I agree, the majority of Revelation is NOT a prophecy about the future of Christians “today,” i.e., we who make up the true Church, the Body of Christ. This is only covered in the first three chapters. NOTHING in chapters six through eighteen refers to the true Christian today.

When put in its proper, prophetic setting, the Church is not on earth, so it cannot be affected by those seal, trumpet and bowl judgments. She returns from heaven with Israel’s promised King at the end of these future, earthly events (Rev. 19), when He (their King) sets up His promised, Davidic Kingdom on earth - for which He was born (Matt. 2:2; Lk 1:32-33; cf. Dan. 2:44-45; Zech. 14:9, 16).

Again, there is nothing historically that compares to those judgments. Unless you’re going to say that the Book is one great big hyperbole. But then, what good would it be? Who could trust it? It would serve no purpose.


#12

Not necessarily! At the end of the Book Jesus Himself says “I am coming quickly.” It’s been 2000 years. “Shortly” and “quickly” are relative terms in prophecy. We’ve been in “these last days” (Heb. 1:2) for two millennia now.


#13

If that is so, then Catholics of the 15th Century should have been writing about the coming Protestant revolt.


#14

OH!!! So during and because of that “revolt” one third of mankind was killed off by four angels (9:15, 18)? And the rest who did not repent of their murders, sorceries, immorality and thefts? Who are these vast number of men described in 9:20-21? Western, Euopean Protestants?


#15

Just as Isaiah 53 has already been fulfilled historically and yet still reveals Jesus more fully to us, so also with Revelation. As the first verse states, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ.” I trust it completely and think it has a very wonderful purpose–just not the purpose some use it for.

Note to original poster: I think you can see by now, you pays your money and you takes your choice on interpretations of Revelation. I would stick with the generally accepted interpretation of the CC.


#16

I think to say a specific historical event was prophesied, one must demonstrate:

  1. The prophecy was identified as foretelling that event before it happened, and

  2. The actual event corresponds to the prophecy.


#17

If the pre-A.D. 70 date is correct, then Jesus DID return quickly, in judgment, as He was warning. By the way, He also said exactly the same thing to His followers in Matthew 24: “Verily I say unto you, this generation [the generation He was speaking to] shall not pass away until all these things be fulfilled.” Again, I take Him literally at His word.


#18

Note to the original poster: If you are interested in further research on this, the position I am describing is known as “partial preterism.” It argues that most New Testament prophecy was fulfilled in the first-century church, with the exception of Jesus’ Second Coming and the Resurrection of the Dead. To which, I am sure, we all are looking forward, as fellow believers, no matter our specific differences.


#19

I think the FUTURISTS have it worse, for as if the preterists and historicist make mistakes because of IGNORING history, as the case between Nero and Dominitian, the futurists are depended upon their interpretation and MANY MORE do not agree. Thus, for instance, regarding the rapture some Futurists are PRE-tribulationists, others are MID- and yet others are POST-Tribs.

Blessings,

E.C.


#20

Not if they could not interpret Revelation properly, plus the wide spread use of Bibles was not a 16th century reality.


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