As a non-Catholic interested in learning about, and possibly becoming a Catholic, I am wondering does the Catholic Church teach/believe in the rapture of the church?

Why or why not?

Listen to THIS

This should answer most of your immediate questions.

There are more in the link below in my signature.


Welcome! The concept of “Rapture” is a very modern interpretation of scripture that, as I understand, even Luther did not believe, since the idea had not appeared on earth as yet. As to Christ’s return, lets examine how God behaved in history: In Noah’s case, the evil were taken, the faithful were “left behind” in the Ark. When Moses descended from the mountain with the Covenant, the evil were taken, the faithful were “left behind”. We have no reason to believe that God will act any differently when Christ returns. It will be as Jesus spoke, but too many private interpretations of scripture have lead to this whole rapture thing. Once you die, there is a particular judgment (heaven or hell).

For those who are not spiritually perfect at the moment of death (virtually all of us), how are we to be made clean so as to enter into God’s presence? We all die in sin, and nothing unclean may enter the Kingdom. This is where the teaching of purgatory came to be. There has to be a mechanism for purification of the soul after death. Otherwise, we are all doomed. The Catholic church has a 100% scriptural method for post-Baptismal cleansing (reconciliation, or confession), and so teaches that God’s grace allows for an equivalent post-death cleansing of sin for those who are destined for the Kingdom, but still retain some level of sin.

John Martignoni, biblechristiansociety.com/ noted Catholic apologist, and a great resource for any and all interested in the faith, offers FREE apologetics CDs. He addresses virtually every question about the faith, including the rapture. He explains Catholicism from a strictly biblical viewpoint, which is very helpful to those expressing an interest in the faith. You might send him a few bucks, as that is how he supports himself.

Christ’s peace.

The Rapture?

Here’s what the Church teaches. You can go from there:

When each of us dies, our souls are immediately judged by God. This is called the Particular Judgment. At this point we begin our eternal destiny. If we are going to hell, our souls go directly there. If we are deemed worthy of heaven, our souls will go directly to heaven, or if we are going to heaven but are in need of purification, we may go to Purgatory first for a while (everyone in Purgatory will eventually go to heaven). Whatever our fate, our souls will stay there (heaven or hell) until the end of time, at which time the Second Coming will occur.

At the Second Coming at the end of time, those Christians still alive will be taken to heaven (what some Protestants think of as of “the rapture”). Then will occur the General Judgment. At that time the souls of the living and the dead will be reunited with their bodies and brought together and judged before all. Those who have already been judged in the Particular Judgment will be brought from wherever their souls were -heaven, hell or Purgatory-- and have their judgment confirmed before all, so that both the justice and mercy of God will be manifest to all.

After this, time and Purgatory will be no more and all will enter with their souls and bodies into their eternal destiny, either hell or heaven.

This is an extremely bare-bones sketch, so if you want to get the details, see the five articles I linked below:


In addition, you have to learn to recognize erroneous teachings about the End Times popularized by fundamentalists. In other words, toss out the “Left Behind” and “Late, Great Planet Earth” baloney. Here are some resources to help you develop some discernment in these areas:


Here’s a website with several articles from a Catholic perspective regarding this subject. The writer is Carl Olsen, the author of the best selling book “Will Catholics Be Left Behind?”


I’d also recommend going to the Catholic Answers home page and putting “Rapture” or “Left Behind” into the “Search” feature. You’ll find several good articles there from reliable writers. Here is one of their Special Reports on this:

If you’re looking for other good books on the subject by Catholics, look for the following:

The Rapture Trap, by Paul Thigpen

Rapture, by David Currie

If you prefer tapes or CDs, I’d recommend:

The Rapture Files, by Tim Staples
The Rapture Revealed, by David Currie
(both available from St. Joseph’s Communications)

Will You Be Left Behind?, by Carl Olsen
(Same link as above)

Catholics & The Rapture, by Patrick Madid

Introduction to Prophecy, by Steve Wood
Delusions of Rapture & Prophecy, by Steve Wood and Paul Thigpen
familylifecenter.net/cart… ser=51422080

Hope that helps! :slight_smile:

I woud recommend biblechristiansociety.com/download/mp3/rapture_and_the_bible.mp3. It’s a nice presentation defending the Catholic Church’s teaching on the Rapture. Don’t worry about the name/email thing; you can just make something up.

Yes, I’m pretty sure we are permitted to believe in a Scriptural interpretation of the rapture, a calling up to Heaven, but it is after not before the tribulation. Just as Christ went through the Passion, the Church will go through the tribulation. A pre-tribulation rapture is a Protestant feel good idea and not Scriptural. Some of us are going to get to be marders.


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