The Rapture... Confused!


Apologies if this is in the wrong place, I looks like the forums have had a make over since I was last here!

I was watching a film called “Left Behind” the other day which was based on the rapture. I’ve never really understood the different beliefs referring to the pre, mid and post tribulation and then the three versions of the millennium? I had a look at a tract on Catholic answers but it was a bit complicated for me.

Could someone give me a basic overview of all he differing views?

Where does the Catholic Church stand on the Rapture?



Here’s a good talk on the rapture.

Scroll to the bottom of the page, it’s the one called “The Rapture and the Bible”.

Just sign up with your email and you can download all of his talks, which I highly recommend.

I haven’t listened to it in a while but John is a pretty down to earth apologist.

Let me know what you think.

God Bless


Here’s another good article explaining the source of "Rapture Theology and the correct interpretation of the passages in the Bible that discuss the return of Christ.


It’s a new-ish theology, less than 200 years old, and IIRC, it’s mostly found in American Protestantism.


I know for sure we conservative Lutherans (LCMS, WELS, LCMC) only believe that Christ is going to return for all of us like a thief in the night. None of us know the time or date. Only then will we be “raptured” (or taken up to Him). As another poster stated, the doctrine of the Rapture is fairly from the mid to late 1800’s. I’m looking forward to His return! Maranatha, Lord Jesus!

Blessings, Rita


Here’s a pretty good summary of Catholic belief on the Rapture.

With respect to an explanation of the Protestant pre and post millennial views, the problem is that most of the articles on Rapture are written by Protestant preachers pushing one view or the other, so if you just want a short unbiased overview of different conceptions, they don’t have that. The CAF tract, which I agree made my eyes glaze over too, is still about the best unbiased summary online. And much better organized than the Wiki article on rapture.


The theology behind the Left Behind books and films is what is called premillennial dispensationalism. It is held by fundamentalists and some but not all evangelicals.

The basic idea is that history is divided into different ages or dispensations. In each new age, God progressively reveals himself to humanity in new ways, and humanity is held responsible for that revelation–often failing in which God responds by inaugurating a new dispensation.

According to this scheme, humanity now lives in the Church Age or “the Age of Grace.” This period started on the Day of Pentecost and will continue until the rapture of the church. Some people identify this time period with the time between the the 69th and 70th week of Daniel 9:24.

After the rapture of born again believers, again according to this scheme, there will be 7 years of Tribulation on earth, 7 years of divine judgment.

Following these 7 years will be the next dispensation–the millennium. This will last for 1,000 years, and during this time Christ himself will rule on earth. The Jewish nation would be reestablished, with Christ as king. The saints who had died or were raptured and the righteous survivors of the Tribulation will dwell in this kingdom.

At the end of this dispensation, the final judgment of Revelation 20 will take place. The world will be destroyed by fire, and a new heaven and new earth created in which the righteous will live with God for eternity.


These links should help distinguish the differences - the diagram in them give a summary or pre, mid, and post tribulation theories. Catholics are considered “amillennialists”. While we don’t use the term “rapture” we believe Jesus will return for all at the end of time, the second coming but we don’t take the 1,000 year reign of Christ literally.

The idea of the rapture where Christ will return to bring his church out of the world prior to the second coming fits mainly into premillenialism.


That’s easy to answer.

Simply put, all of creation will come to an end at one immediate moment. Immediately. Yes, immediately. No thousand years of anything. No earthquakes or volcanoes or suns crashing through space. God will simply put an end to this world, and He has no need of parlor tricks or fireworks displays to make that happen. Immediately when this entire creation ends, God will conduct the Final Judgement.


Pick up a copy of “The Rapture Trap”. Good, quick book


The question we should ask is if the “rapture” is Scriptural? The Answer is NO!
It was an easier sell before all this terrorist stuff. I mean look at how people gobble it up. Say you believe in Jesus, you’re saved forever regardless and just about the time things get really bad POOF! you’re out of here. Yet Jesus tells us to endure to the end. Christians are being martyred all over, just not here yet. He will return; He will resurrect the dead in Christ; we will be taken up to meet Him in the air. But the idea that He will snatch up a bunch of people and all these folks left behind are scratching their heads, saying duh which way did they go, is a lie right out of the pit. But it does tickle the ears, promotes a feeling of peace and safety and wow does it ever sell books, CD’s, movies, and a false sense of security!


The Rapture teaching is based on their translation, which Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, and most Protestants do not share. Among rapturists themselves, the Pre-Trib is an escape before Tribulation, mid-Trib is a escape/reward for the faithful who survive half the Tribulation, and post-Trib is a few days in Heaven before being sent back for the Earthly Millennium that Rapture teaching says will follow the Tribulation.

I’ve spent over 15 years on the stuff. Site index for same. Thigpen’s Rapture Trap was one of the ones I considered for the Catholic view, but in the end I used David Currie and Carl Olson instead. They’re on the Meet the critics page.


So Christ is coming back more than once?


Rapturists don’t believe in One-and-only-Final-Judgment-Everybody-out-of-the-pool-at-once.

They believe that Christ will do an invisible fly-by or beam-me-up of the real, true believers. Then the Tribulation. Afterwards, the faithful in Heaven will join Jesus in His visible triumphal descent to Earth to judge anyone left alive on Earth.

Then they believe in 1,000 years of Millennial rule, with Christ sitting on King David’s throne. A final rebellion will be crushed. (LaHaye & Jenkins actually wrote about this era, which takes a certain bravery: Left Behind Kingdom Come. I’m not even aware of another author who tried this.)

Only after that final rebellion will all humans receive their forever-Judgment, their forever-bodies, and their forever-destination.

So yes, it’s a different interpretation.


According to some of these scenarios, mostly the pre-tribulation ones, yes. Again, this is not consistent with Catholic teaching.


I’ve read all 3 books (almost - could not get through Currie’s).

Thigpen’s and Olson’s books give a good overview, but Currie’s gets into the details.


May I now post a link to Blondie video :scream:


@LumberJack: not quite. I think the verses can be taken literally. Everyone who is happy to see Christ will forget they can’t fly and will soar to His side. (After all, we are getting our forever-bodies at about that time.)

The Rapture interpretation problem is that they say believers will fly on a day other than One-and-Only-Judgment-Day. In fact, if you’re eligible for the Rapture, the belief is that you would skip Judgment altogether. The fact that Jesus took you is verdict enough.

So there is a difference.


I THINK, the Catholic Church teaches the opposite of that which Protestants teach. Protestants teach that the elect will be raptured first. Then the world will end.

Whereas, the Catholic Church Teaches that the elect will be raptured last.

1 Thessalonians 4: Hope for the Christian Dead. 13 We do not want you to be unaware, brothers, about those who have fallen asleep, so that you may not grieve like the rest, who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose, so too will God, through Jesus, bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 15 Indeed, we tell you this, on the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will surely not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself, with a word of command, with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God, will come down from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore, console one another with these words.

Thus, many of the elect will pass away. And many of the elect will remain til the end. Both of those groups, those who died in Christ and those of the elect who remained to the end, will be raptured on the final blowing of the horn. And we shall meet in the clouds and be transformed.

I don’t know if that means that all the unbelievers will be dead and sent to eternal punishment by then, or what.


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