Refuting the Rapture or "Left Behind" Theory

As a “soon-to-be” Catholic I desire knowing what the Catholic Church teaches so that I can live my faith now instead of just waiting… Although I know I will never fully know the entire teaching by heart but can continually find out more of what She teaches…

I know the Church is Amillenialist (against millenialism) and that we believe the Second Coming is correlated with the Final Judgment.

I have a roommate that constantly enjoys bringing up his views on how the Left Behind books are right although fictional in setting and bombards me with his beliefs about the Rapture.

I continually tell him the Rapture happens with the Second Coming… not as a pre-SC event. And that we do not believe in a literal 7-year “Tribulation” period nor a literal 1,000-year reign of Christ.

With Scripture and Church Teachings, how can I refute this issue?

The original Catholic Encyclopedia didn’t even have an entry for ‘the rapture’.

The new one does, probably so that Catholics who hear Protestants use the term will have some idea of what they’re referring to.

No one knows the meaning of the Bible verses in question. Those who claim that they do are making it up.

It probably refers to something symbolic whose meaning is now lost, like most of the symbolism in the book of Revelation.

I’m gonna make up something…
Although,I should probably leave THIS ALONIANS(I kill me…:rotfl:)
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

13 But we would not have you ignorant,brethren,concerning those who are asleep,that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.
{It’s important that you get this,so your’e not scared like those other guys}

14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again,even so,through Jesus,God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep.
{since Jesus did it,we will,too!}

15 For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord,that we who are alive,who are left until the coming of the Lord,* shall not preceed those who have fallen asleep*.
{because the scriptures proclaim it,so it’s got to be true,that if you are still standing when Jesus gets her,those who are in dormition are first}

16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command,with the archangel’s call,and with the sound of the trumpet of God.And the dead in Christ will rise first;
{self explanitory}
17 then we who are alive,who are left,shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air:and so we shall always be with the Lord.
{Beam me up,Jesus!}
18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.
{so,just calm down,there guys.}

You can find the rest in chapter 5

Basically,this seems to me to be an exhortation to keep an eye out.

It appears on the surface to imply that those left won’t physically die.
But,even Jesus died before He was ressurected.
that’s the way it works.

John 12:24
For unless a grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies,it remains alone:but if it dies,it bears much fruit.

and…

Matthew 24:40,41
40 Then two men will be in the field;one is taken and one is left.
42 Two women will be grinding at the mill;one is taken and one is left.

Luke 17:37
37 And they said to Him,"Where,Lord?"He said unto them,"Where the body is,there the eagles will be gathered together.

Is this the believer who the eagles are gathering over,or the non-believer?

:knight2: c’mon! Bring it!!!**

Brian, go to the top of this page, click on “Library,” and enter “rapture” in the search area (upper left). You will get several very good articles that will aid you!

Ruthie

One of the passages cited by rapture believers is Matthew 24:37-41

36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. 37 “For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. 38 “For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be. 40 “Then there will be two men in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. 41 “Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one will be left.

However, they get it mixed up between which type of people were taken and which were left by the flood.

In the pro-rapture theology, it is the unsaved people who are left behind, but if you look at how Jesus relates the story, the people left behind after the flood are the righteous.

You will have to go through this passage very slowly and carefully with them, but it’s worth the effort. Take time to flip back to the OT with Noah before continuing with the gospel passage.

The Holy Spirit will work wonders with the smallest seed you plant in their minds.

Here’s a couple of articles for you:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rapture

rusearching.com/leftbehind/leftrapturehistory.htm

The Catholic author of one book I read gives this simple explanation:

At Jesus’ second coming, he will descend to earth in the same way he left, and “every eye will see him.” The bible indicates that those who have fallen asleep will accompany him to earth, and that those of us who remain, will be snatched up to Jesus as well, in order that we too may be seen by all eyes, including those who have mocked and persecuted us. All Christians, those living, and those fallen asleep but now resurrected, will escort Jesus back to earth, in triumph. Christians will be vindicated to all the world. “And we will always be with Jesus.” On the earth. And this occurs after the “tribulation.” Christians will go through the “tribulation” before the second coming.

No two second comings, one invisible and the other visible. Just one extremely visible one.

So simple, yet rapturists make it so complicated.

Interesting. Since the earth is spherical, any idea how he plans to pull that off?

God created the freakin’ universe . . . I’m pretty sure that he can “pull that off” :stuck_out_tongue:

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 and who are in a state of sanctifying grace 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 in God’s presence 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:

rosary-center.org/ll57n1.htm
rosary-center.org/ll57n2.htm
rosary-center.org/ll57n3.htm
rosary-center.org/ll57n4.htm
rosary-center.org/ll49n6.htm

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:

catholic.com/library/rapture.asp
catholic.com/thisrock/2000/0011fea2.asp
catholic.com/library/false_profit.asp
catholic.com/thisrock/2002/0211fea3.asp
catholic.com/thisrock/2000/0001fea1.asp
catholic.com/thisrock/1995/9510ntg.asp
catholic.com/thisrock/2002/0209fea5.asp
catholic.com/thisrock/1998/9812chap.asp
catholic.com/thisrock/2003/0304bt.asp
catholic.com/thisrock/1997/9705chap.asp
catholic.com/thisrock/1994/9409fea4.asp
catholic.com/thisrock/1994/9410fea2.asp
catholic.com/thisrock/2000/0009bite.asp

Finally, here are some resources to help you develop a well-balanced Catholic understanding of the Book of Revelation, biblical prophecy, and eschatology. All of these are HIGHLY recommended:

The Navarre Bible Commentary on the Book of Revelation
The Navarre Bible Commentary on the Major Prophets
The Navarre Bible Commentary on the Minor Prophets
amazon.com/gp/search/ref=br_ss_hs/102-2381711-9848916?platform=gurupa&url=index%3Dblended&keywords=navarre+bible

The End: The Book of Revelation, tape/CD series and Study Guide by Dr. Scott Hahn.
saintjoe.com/more-info.php?product=177&Title=The-End

Will Catholics Be "Left Behind”? by Carl Olsen
ignatius.com/ViewProduct.aspx?SID=1&Product_ID=260&AFID=12&

The Rapture Trap: A Catholic Response to “End Times” Fever,by Paul Thigpen
amazon.com/Rapture-Trap-Catholic-Response-Times/dp/0965922820

The Lamb’s Supper, by Dr. Scott Hahn.
amazon.com/gp/product/0385496591/sr=8-1/qid=1148926012/ref=pd_bbs_1/102-2381711-9848916?%5Fencoding=UTF8

Rapture: The End Times Fiction that Leaves Truth Behind, by David Curie
amazon.com/Rapture-End-Times-Error-Leaves-Behind/dp/1928832725/ref=sr_1_1/105-8298365-5498833?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1188139548&sr=1-1

Revelation Revealed, tapes/CD series by Michael Barber
saintjoe.com/more-info.php?product=245&Title=Revelation-Revealed

Coming Soon, a book on this same topic by Michael Barber
amazon.com/Coming-Soon-Unlocking-Revelation-Applying/dp/193101826X

Introduction To Prophecy, CD set by Steve Wood
familylifecenter.net/cart/product_detail.cfm?Id=613

Hope that helps. :slight_smile:

sigh<:cool:
Do you think that all tschnology will be lost?
Is this an event that will not make the headlines?
Don’t you think it’ll be all over the internet and television news.
LIVE?
in real time?

If God could create the whole universe ex nihilo, surely He could off an ‘easy’ stuff as such. :wink:

I dunno. Will it take place instantly or over a period of days or weeks? Will FOX News coverage be slanted?

The thing that everyone is missing, or IGNORING, is that Jesus promised that He would return QUICKLY - while some of His contemporaries were still living.

That promise remains unkept two thousand years later. You cannot say, oh, He was referring to the Transfiguration, or to His Resurrection, or to the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, or to His appearance to Paul on Damascus Road, or to any other event that might be claimed to be fulfillment of the promise of an imminent Second Coming, and then still be waiting for it today.

Why don’t we all just live our lives in God’s service and according to His commandments, and love our neighbors, and try to improve the world as it is now, and leave the coming of the next world in God’s hands? Hmmm?

  1. Have him open his Bible
  2. Have him show you verses in said Bible where the Rapture is taught
  3. Go out to Baskin Robbins (best part!)

I agree. Didn’t Pope Benedict XVI say something about ‘quit using Revelations as a ouja board to predict the future’ or something like that?

Why can’t these rapture fundamentalist nuts (when they’re so capable of memorizing so many ripped out verses to back up their offensive bigotry) keep this verse in their heads?

But of that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. - Matthew 24:36

Besides, I’d rather take 'ol Gandalf’s advice when he said, “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”

This Rapture nonsense is just plain silly, even from the perspective of a non-Catholic skeptic. People disappearing just like that? That’s quite dull and anti-climactic for such an apocalyptic event (given that the Book of Revelations makes use of such explosive and dynamic symbolic imagery). I mean I’ve seen and read better representations of apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic settings in the supernatural demon-busting genre of popular fiction than this paranoid, conspiracy theory Jack-Chick style paranoia.

ST GANDALF PRAY FOR US!!!
:rotfl:

Hey go easy on me, I had an LOTR book nearby when I posted that and then I remembered that line. :rolleyes:

I thought it suited the discussion. I mean come on, shouldn’t we be more focused on what we do now than try to make predictions of an unpredictable future? :o

But,of course we should.
I could be pedantic and quote all sorts of scripture to the effect that we should remian sober and vigilant and pray always so that we don’t enter into temptation and to pay attention so when the Master gets here our oil lamps will be full and He can see whether we were trustworthy or not,…blah,blah,blah…

But,at the same time its fun to blast unscriptural hypothosis’ which are based on a somewhat irrational and uninformed maverick sort if opinion.
:shrug:

The bridegroom coming to steal his bride at an hour she knows not is alot scriptural than anything you just posted.

Too bad you see this as "dull’. :shrug:

Typical workaround of not including Israel’s full restoration at Messiah’s(Jesus) 2nd coming. It is so easy to refute the rapture when Israel is left out of its own prophecy.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.