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Expert Answer Forum

by Catherine Frakas 31 Jan 2002

Re: Rapture QUESTION from Angela Amaya Neywick March 14, 2000 I will try to be more specific. Yes, alot of them do proclaim to lead a Christ-like lifestyle. But the ones I've encountered believe that they have no sin on their soul, that Jesus has already done that for them, so in essence they don't have to do anything in reparation for their sins they have commited against God. Then there's the issue of the Rapture taking place, from what I've been told by Protestants and fallen-away Catholics, that they will be lifted up into the air before the Great Tribulation, to avoid it. That they won't expereince any pain while this is taken place. They will be already in heaven or in a place of waiting, kinda like limbo, with no detour to Purgatory. This is what I hear, this is what some of them believe. I get e-amils all the time warning me to get ready for the rapture, but from my understanding of the scripture reading in regards to the ones dressed in white being lifted up, are the ones who make it through the Great Tribulation. I cannot think of the scripture readings at this time.
Here is an example of one of the e-mails I have recieved:
PLEASE READ THIS - URGENT; i had just woke up from a nap and my roommate was nowhere to be found. i didn't think much of it until 4 or 5 hours later. i tried calling all of my friends and those who were there were looking for other friends they couldn't find. i looked outside and saw some of the guys that are usually smoking, cussing, and generally up to no good with pale faces like they had seen a ghost. i figured they had too much to drink or something. then the phone rang. it was my dad, he said that mom hadn't come home from work and my brother hadn't come home from school. that's when it hit me. my heart splashed into my stomach as i reached for the phone to call my pastor. no one was home. i tried call a few other of my christian friends and started to cry. i had been left behind. the rapture occurred while i was sleeping and i wasn't prepared. i cried out to God, it was all i could think to do. i woke up in a cold sweat as i realized it was only a dream. but tomorrow it might not be. this illustration was used at fca.
123 1-the rapture 2-the tribulation 3-the great white judgment the space between 1 and 2-the rebuilding of the temple
everything that has been prophesied has happened. the next thing is the rapture. the rebuilding of the temple comes after the rapture. there is a monument on the place where the cornerstone of the temple is to be built. as soon as that monument is destroyed, they are allowed to begin building. when the scud missiles hit israel in the gulf war and everyone put on their gas masks and hid, the rabbis put on their gas masks and watched the monument to see if it would be hit. it wasn't. they are making all of the preparations to furnish the temple the way it is spelled out to be. this proves that they are ready. the conflict going on with sadaam, if it breaks out into war, we better be prepared to go home with Jesus. the rapture is close, make sure you are prepared. now don't sit there and delete this, send it to your friends. God is the best thing that you could ever give anyone. on judgment day we will see everyone and i don't want to see people i know point to me and say with tear-filled eyes, why didn't you tell me? **************************************************************
Help! Let me know if you need more detail.
To me it feels like they are promoting confusion, instead of peace. Looking forward to your reply.
Thanks! God bless you! Mrs. Angela Amaya Neywick
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, O.L.S.M. on March 20, 2000 Dear Mrs. Neywick:
The issue you are dealing with is called the Pre-Tribulation Rapture Theory. It is one of a couple of Rapture theories developed by Protestant Dispensationalists in the 19th Century.
Their interpretation of the end times did not exist before the 19th Century. It is a fabrication invented by fundamentalist during the time of the great Modernism heresies of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. These fundamentalists desired to get back to the fundamentals of the faith. The term fundamentalists was coin by a reporter if I remember correctly.
As part of this movement, the study of the Bible by these people brought them to see various dispensations. The Dispensation we live in now is called the Church Age. Each Dispensation lasts 2000 years -- thus the end of the Church Age at or around the year 2000. [or should it be 2033 :-)]
The sequence of events they see in Scripture was outlined in your email example.
Bottom line is that all this is bull feathers.
What you can do about it is to familiarize yourself with the Catholic Church's interpretation of the end times and begin to counter their interpretations with the authoritative interpretations of the Church. I would suggest that you get ahold of Scott Hahn's series on Revelations as one source of information about the Catholic view on this.
All you can do is present the Catholic view and pray for them.
It is not your job to convince them of the Catholic view. It is your job only to present the message. Let the Holy Spirit do the convincing.
Continue to pray for them without ending. And also remember that the Holy Spirit will NOT violate free will. Thus some people will never be convinced of the Truth.
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