“Love the Lord with all your heart, and with all your soul,
and with all your MIND”--Matt
Question: Do Catholics believe in the Rapture?
The Rapture is the false belief that a period of time is close at hand in which Christians will be gathered together to secretly and silently vanish, meeting Christ "in the air' (i.e. be "raptured") before His . Those who are unbelievers will be left behind to suffer violently in a time of Tribulation. Christ will then return, a third time, years later (some say after seven years, some say after a thousand) in order to slay the anti-Christ. These verses in Scripture are used to support the Rapture:
- 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.
- 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.--1 Thess 4:16-17
- For as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.
- In (those) days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day that Noah entered the ark.
- They did not know until the flood came and carried them all away. So will it be (also) at the coming of the Son of Man.
- Two men will be out in the field; one will be taken, and one will be left.--Matt 24:37-40
- as well as a multitude of verses in Revelation.
(Note: this should be contrasted with the objection posed to Catholics that, like the Rapture, the was only proclaimed in 1854 , theologian, pope, saint or mention The Rapture. (see previous discussion on this here). These are 2 very different ideas: the IC was believed from the time of the Apostles--and mentioned by church fathers, theologians, saints, popes, etc throughout history, but only formally defined in 1854. The idea of the Rapture was virtually non-existent until the 19th century.)
That people are making "end time speculations" is not new. This, of course, has been going on for millenia. However, the concept that we will be caught up in the air or left behind is a new innovation. In the 1990's the wildly popular (and very anti-Catholic) series of books called the "Left Behind" series re-vitalized this concept, selling over 10 million books. It received more legitimacy when actor and Christian evangelist became a convert to this belief and starred in a series of movies proclaiming that Christians will be Raptured.
Catholicism rejects this interpretation of Scripture. There will be no Rapture as understood by Evangelicals and Fundamentalists. "Though it does not use the term rapture, the Church does acknowledge that there will be an event where the elect are gathered to be with Christ. The point of contention is the timing of this event: It occurs at the Second Coming, not several years before it. This is indicated by Paul’s reference to it taking place when Christ descends from heaven: the Second Coming. Scripture does not envision the Second Coming accomplishing the Rapture, followed by a "Third Coming" inaugurating the eternal order or the Millennium." source. In other words, the Church proclaims that Scripture tells us that Christians who are alive at the parousia (the end of the world) and who are living in the state of grace will witness the Second Coming and will live eternally with Jesus in His kingdom.
Incidentally, the good guys, not the bad guys! That is, during the flood, Noah and his family (the good guys) were left behind, not raptured. posits that those who are "left behind" are the un-saved. However, if one looks at the verse in Matthew cited above we see that, as in the days of Noah, the ones who were "left behind" were the
Finally, I'd like to point out this irony: Evangelical supporters of The Rapture object, in different discussions, to the Catholic Church's teaching on Mary's Assumption. I find this ironic, as is it not essentially a "Rapture" that is happening to Mary? Why do Evangelical Christians believe in The Rapture for every other Christian, except for Jesus' mother? Just sayin'.