There is no such thing as the Rapture

The Rapture is claimed future event in which the best Christians will be taken out of the world, so as not to have to suffer through the End Times. This claim is not compatible with Roman Catholic theology and teaching. Instead, the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that the Church on earth must suffer through the End Times, imitating the Passion and Crucifixion of Christ. For Christ Jesus did not suffer so that we could avoid suffering, but so that we might be saved (and so that our suffering would have meaning by connection with His salvific suffering).

The most common form of this claimed event of the Rapture is the “pre-tribulation rapture”, wherein the rapture occurs before the “tribulation”, which is another term for the sufferings of the End Times. This idea originated from a misinterpretation, by some Protestant groups, of a passage in a Letter of Saint Paul (in the New Testament).

[1 Thess]
{4:15} For we say this to you, in the Word of the Lord: that we who are alive, who remain until the return of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.
{4:16} For the Lord himself, with a command and with the voice of an Archangel and with a trumpet of God, shall descend from heaven. And the dead, who are in Christ, shall rise up first.
{4:17} Next, we who are alive, who are remaining, shall be taken up quickly together with them into the clouds to meet Christ in the air. And in this way, we shall be with the Lord always.
{4:18} Therefore, console one another with these words.

The phrase “taken up quickly” from verse 4:17 reads as “rapiemur” in the Latin. So the word “rapture” is from the Latin word meaning to take something away quickly. But the passage does not describe the sufferings of the End Times after this event of being “taken up quickly”. In the Catholic interpretation, the verse refers to the Return of Jesus for the general Resurrection and Judgment, which occurs after the End Times. Notice that verse 4:16 says that Jesus returns and that next the dead shall rise up; this refers to the Resurrection.

The verse also discusses what will happen, in that event in the distant future, to those Christians who are still alive at the time of Christ’s return. Saint Paul says that they are taken up into the clouds, to meet the returning Christ in the air. Perhaps they die, only to immediately rise again in the general Resurrection. Or else they are given the benefits of the Resurrection, without having to first die and rise. Those are the only two options for faithful and holy Christians in the distant future who will be alive when Christ returns.

But that event is in the very distant future. There is no “rapture” that will take the best Christians out of the world before the sufferings of the End Times. Such an idea is rather self-exalting, since it means that some Christians consider themselves to be better than other Christians. And it is rather denigrating of other religions, since only some Christians are taken up, and all the other believers and non-believers are left behind to suffer. But, as I said, the idea is false and is not compatible with Catholic teaching.

When did Jesus ever say to His followers that they would not have to suffer? Instead, He taught that they would suffer:

{10:38} And whoever does not take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.
{10:39} Whoever finds his life, will lose it. And whoever will have lost his life because of me, shall find it.

{24:7} For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be pestilences, and famines, and earthquakes in places.
{24:8} But all these things are just the beginning of the sorrows.
{24:9} Then they will hand you over to tribulation, and they will kill you. And you will be hated by all nations for the sake of my name.

{24:20} But pray that your flight may not be in winter, or on the Sabbath.
{24:21} For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until the present, and such as will not be.
{24:22} And unless those days had been shortened, no flesh would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, those days shall be shortened.

All Christians are called to take up their crosses, and accept the sufferings of their lives.

Then, from the teaching in the chapter of Matthew on the End Times, it is clear that God does not take the best Christians out of the world, so that they will not suffer. Instead, “they will hand you over to tribulation”. Jesus says this to His Apostles and disciples, but He does not tell even Peter or John that they will not suffer. Jesus does not say to pray that you will be taken up before the sufferings, but instead says pray that “your flight may not be in winter, or on the Sabbath.”

Then Jesus refers to “the elect”, which cannot exclude the claimed best Christians mentioned in relation to the supposed “rapture”. And for the sake of these elect, who are in the world during the tribulation, the days of suffering for the whole world “shall be shortened”. The sufferings of the End Times are greater than ever before in human history, and the elect must suffer along with everyone else.

There is no event called the Rapture which takes the best Christians out of the world, so as to avoid the sufferings of the End times. Everyone else is not left behind to suffer. We all suffer together. Those who love God and neighbor will be saved. Those who commit terrible sins without repentance will not be saved.

Ronald L. Conte Jr.

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3 Responses to There is no such thing as the Rapture

  1. Sunimal Fernando says:

    You are rapture or special grace to good people.
    1 Corinthians 15:51-53
    Instant body change to soul or different body imperishable and immortality (I can’t understand clearly, I expect your view).

    My thoughts about Tribulation:
    we are living in the first part of tribulation now.(from 2020 March to 2023 September)
    Second part with anti Christ for next 3 1/2 years.
    Reasons :
    1. St. Malachi pope list , last is pope Fransis
    2. Revelation 13:16 , Technology to implement 666 chip into people’s hand or head is ready and already tested with more than 5000 people in Sweden.
    3. Ukraine war : Gog and Magog war began
    4. What Pedro Regis said last message
    (Abomination of desolation? Said by Daniel 11:31)
    5.Time will be shortened by God said Jesus at end times
    6. Mother Mary’s 3rd secret of Fatima
    7. Garbandal warning said by mother Mary, near why? Conchita ‘s age ?
    Why it will not happen in 2437 or near according to your endtime calculation.
    8. Isaiah 24 : Already began
    9. 2 Timothy 3: Characteristics of last generation already fulfilled
    10. China, North Korea, Iran, Russia behaviour and USA weak strength
    11. Many more natural disasters in the world now
    12. Food shortage near future due to viruses to paddy, vegetable, fruit
    Think, how do we live without food?

    Do you want more suffering to people for next 4 or 5 generations until year 2437 or time will be shortened by God?

    • Ron Conte says:

      I don’t agree that the End Times is so short, nor do I think that the Antichrist and the greater tribulation (second part of the tribulation) is for our generation.

      Yes, people today should store food and prepare for a food crisis.

  2. Ben says:

    Ron, it is clear about the so called Rapture of the protestants. But how about the other stars and planets? Will we ever have a real contact or travel in our mortal lifetime, in human history before the Second Coming of Jesus and the Resurrection? Because if you contemplate the hundreds of billions, not millions, stars in our galaxy alone, and hundreds of billions other galaxies already discovered (not a mathematical exercise but actual positions in the sky, usually grouped in mega clusters of thousands of galaxies), you realize the omnipotence of God and His creativity surpass the wildest imaginations. We don’t know what is all that He created. Are we destined to see, or all that vast creation will be accessible for us only after our death and ultimately after the Resurrection of the bodies?

    I hate to say it, but the idea of a “mega demonic delusion” of existence of life in other stars systems brings to me very negative feelings to those who promote it, when they employ all their religious knowledge and skills to demonize everything like that. Because they don’t know how it is in reality, as much as I don’t know. Our guesses are as good as theirs (and I mean concrete Catholic bloggers online including very influential daily news). That wild demonization will bring nothing good. If they have information, and I stress IF, of an evil alien group that is about attack us, why don’t they present their information, and I will be the first one to line up behind them? But if they don’t, if all their elaborations are only mind exercise, only theory as how THEY understand the Scripture, and I stress THEY, not the pope, not the cardinals…Then, I am sorry but their own conclusions are actually a delusion Worse than the possibility of existence of negative aliens besides good ones. What they do, is they take the verse of Genesis 6 of the Nephilim, and name everything possibly existing in any galaxies as Nephilim and end times deception. Quite stupid, frankly. A kid today will have a better understanding of all that, thinking without prejudices they show.

    IMHO, we either are destined by God to have such a contact in our history time before the Second Coming of Jesus, or not at all. if the answer is No, it is clear we will walk the history until the last day when we will see Jesus coming in the clouds, and then He will tell us everything else. But if the answer is Yes, and that answer is given by God from the beginning, not by us poor humans, then we will likely meet extraterrestrial beings both good and bad, and maybe we will baptize many of them too, as the pope said once. Maybe that is our mission too. And I stress that I don’t know. Maybe it is Not.

    Rapture won’t leave the clothes of the protestants on the benches in the parks, as painted. But if there are hundreds more years to the Second Coming of Our Lord, and not let say only 20 years, then the other option is at least possible.

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