The Rapture


#1

Dear Father,

I was in a discussion with a protestant friend regarding what happens to the soul after one dies. Is one immediately judged by Christ then goes to heaven, hell, or purgatory? Or is everyone judged by Christ after the second coming when our bodies are resurrected? Also, if we are not judge upon death right away, and do not go to heaven, hell, or purgatory right away, what happens to our souls? I have included scripture and church father statements regarding this issue. Lastly- is soul another word for spirit? Does Jesus have a soul or a soul and a spirt? Thank you for your patience with this long entry.

In this parable, Christ declares that the righteous and the wicked will both be planted and grow alongside each other in God’s field (“the field is the world,” Matt. 13:38) until the end of the world, when they will be separated, judged, and either be thrown into the fire of hell or inherit God’s kingdom (Matt. 13:41–43). There is no biblical evidence that the world will eventually become totally (or even almost totally) Christian, but rather that there will always be a parallel development of the righteous and the wicked until the final judgment.

The resurrection of the body is an essential Christian doctrine, as the apostle Paul declares: “*f the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised. If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished” (1 Cor. 15:13–18).

The Fourth Lateran Council (1215), infallibly defined that at the second coming Jesus “will judge the living and the dead, to render to every person according to his works, both to the reprobate and to the elect. All of them will rise with their own bodies, which they now wear, so as to receive according to their deserts, whether these be good or bad [Rom. 2:6–11]” (constitution 1).

“Let none of you say that this flesh is not judged and does not rise again. Just think: In what state were you saved, and in what state did you recover your [spiritual] sight, if not in the flesh? In the same manner, as you were called in the flesh, so you shall come in the flesh. If Christ, the Lord who saved us, though he was originally spirit, became flesh and in this state called us, so also shall we receive our reward in the flesh. Let us, therefore, love one another, so that we may all come into the kingdom of God” (Second Clement 9:1–6 [A.D. 150]).

“After the present age is ended he will judge his worshipers. . . . All who have died since the beginning of time will be raised up again and shaped again and remanded to whichever destiny they deserve” (Apology 18:3 [A.D. 197]).*


#2

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.