In what ways does the Rapture in your view damage the church? I believe that we should await Christs coming of the church and hope for the best and nothing else.
Awaiting with hope is not good enough. As we learn from the readings during Advent, repentance and conversion are needed while we hopefully await the second coming.
Peace and all good!
Very good tract, thistle. Thank you.
I think every generation has thought it’s living in the end times…and here we still are.
I tend to agree with you about waiting and hoping for the best. All the bad news and what’s happening all over the world can be very depressing and I can only pray “Maranatha”. (Sorry, I realize I’m not answering your specific question on the church and rapture.)
At the same time, I’m pretty certain my personal end will come first, so this is what I concentrate on: praying to know the will of God in my life and carrying that out to the best of my ability. God bless you.
it is a false teaching based on a view of the Bible called dispensationalism. It is mostly taught in fundamentalist type churches. It came out of the 1840’s and the second great awakening. It was made popular by the scofield Bible and then Hal Lindsey and Left Behind series. I see that you are Protestant but I can recommend two good Catholic books which are “Will Catholics be Left Behind” and “The Rapture Trap”. Both books do list a number of great Protestant references in the back which may be helpful to you.
Why would it damage the Church?
Catholics don’t believe in the rapture, but if it was real, I don’t see how it would damage the Church. Do you mean, how does belief in the rapture damage the Church? I don’t nessesarily think it does, as it isn’t a Catholic belief. I mean, a false teaching can’t be doing any good, but I can’t think of a specific way it causes harm.
Agreed. It’s a false teaching, It has no impact on me at all.
The biggest thing with rapture theology is the idea that Christ comes and takes his people and leaves the earth to itself. Vacating the church from the earth prior to christ bringing a new earth and redeeming it all is contrary to scripture and bad theology.
When Christ returns he will in his words “make all things new”.
I think it depends on what kind of rapture we are talking about. The most commonly held view of the rapture that I know of is the doctrine of the pre-tribulational rapture which basically teaches that Jesus will return and take His Church to Heaven before the Great Tribulation which the Catholic Church teaches is something that the Church (and presumably everyone else, but I could be wrong on that) will go through. The Catechism refers to the Great Tribulation as the “final trial”:
675 Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the “mystery of iniquity” in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh.
The only damage I can see this doctrine doing to the church other than causing false doctrine to flourish would be that people would not be prepared for this trial that we will go through before Jesus returns. They will be expecting everything to be easy when in reality things are going to get a lot worse for the Church before Jesus returns.
It has no impact on me either since I no longer believe in a rapture.
Honestly, we have been living in the End Times ever since Jesus was crucified, died, rose from the dead, and ascended into Heaven. It is true that our individual ends will probably come before Jesus’s Second Coming, but we have to constantly be on watch. We must always be living as if Jesus will come again today, whether He simply comes for us individually or if He comes to judge the entirety of the world.
Catholics do not teach the Rapture, this is a recent Protestant development.
I’m guessing that the OP doesn’t mean “Catholic Church”, but rather, the “church” as in ‘all Christians’.
I mean, a false teaching can’t be doing any good, but I can’t think of a specific way it causes harm.
Well, I think I’d say that it hurts Christians inasmuch as it’s an inaccurate interpretation of Scripture – by believing in the Rapture, Christians are missing the real meanings of 1 Thessalonians 4 and Matthew 24. Any time a Christian misinterprets the Bible, it’s a ‘win’ for the devil, right?
I think I’d also say that it fosters an attitude of watching for ‘signs’ and ‘prophecies’, rather than focusing on Jesus and being ready for His return…
Yes and there is more. Rapture theology is a pessimisstic view of the world and future. It also causes Christians to retreat from society because the world is going to hell and God is going to take you out anyway. Likewise, it teaches a false view of suffereing and trials and implies that as a Christian, God does not want you to suffer, He is going to take you out and then all the non-Christians are going to get it afterwards. It is a false interpretation of scripture and has some very bad implications. Sadly though, this minority view of the future, prophecy and Jesus return is only held by a small minority of Protestant Christians but is made to look big due to popular books and even movies which spread this error to the masses.