Hi, KLamb85661 —
Thanks for your question.
There are several Protestant positions
on the Rapture.
First let me give you the Catholic
Christ has died, Christ has Risen,
Christ will come again. The Church
teaches that at the end of time:
- Jesus will return to judge the
living and the dead.
- Purgatory will cease to exist.
- Those still in Purgatory will
be released, along with the just
that are alive, and they shall
live with God forever.
- At this time, everyone who is
dead, will have a bodily resurrection
and those who are alive, will
have their bodies transformed
Again, the just will live with God,
the unjust will live eternally without God.
This will be a one stage event. It
will all happen on the last day.
Now the Protestant rapture theories
can be divided into three major camps:
- Pre-Tribulation rapture
First, the Church (the true believers)
along with those who died in Christ
(who get resurrected) will get
raptured, or snatched away to
be with Jesus. Then, there will
be a 7-year tribulation which
will feature the reign of the
The anti-Christ will fool the
world (those remaining) into thinking
he is God.
He will start out as a great political
leader who will bring about peace,
etc. Three and a half years into
his reign, he turns sour and begins
to wage war on Israel.
This will lead to the Battle
of Armageddon which takes place
at the end of the
During this battle, Jesus and
the Church return to:
- save the Jews who have now
- to wipe out the anti-Christ.
Then Jesus will reign on earth
for 1,000 years with the Church.
At the end of the 1,000 years,
Satan will be released again with
his minions to tempt those who
have been born in this millennium.
This will lead to the battle of
Gog and Magog after which Satan,
along with all those from the
millennium that have fallen, and
the unjust who have not been resurrected,
will get thrown into the lake
of fire forever.
- Mid Tribulation
All of the above with the
exception that these folks
believe that the rapture happens
in the middle of the tribulation,
just before the Anti-Christ goes
- Post Tribulation
Rapture (or the amillennial view)
Again, the same as the first
two, but the Church goes
through the entire Tribulation.
two positions are pure science fiction.
There is no support in Scripture
The last position is closest to the
Catholic position. The big difference
is that most of these folks believe
in the "millennium": the
earthly reign of Christ and in two
- The resurrection of the Just
before the 1,000 years, and
- the resurrection of the unjust
at the battle of Gog and Magog.
These are the most prevalent positions
on the Rapture.
Now the Church, as far as I know,
has largely condemned the idea of
a 1,000 year earthly reign.
It has certainly condemned the notion
of two resurrections from the dead.
Some of the early Church fathers
believed in a millennium, but again,
this had not been defined by the
Church as of today.
In a sense, we do believe in a Rapture.
Those who are still alive in Christ
at His return will be transformed
"in the twinkling of an eye
and caught up in the clouds with
the Lord", but that is the
The most ridiculous notion of the
pre-tribulation rapture is that the
Church (that is, Christians) will
avoid the persecution of the Anti-Christ.
This is nonsense. Jesus promised
us persecution. The Church grows
the most and shines the brightest
during times of persecution. Beyond
it is simply unbiblical.
In fairness, there are Protestants
that believe in a post Tribulation
rapture and are "amillennial",
meaning: no millennium.
That is, they believe
exactly what we believe!
The Scriptures explicitly teach that
Enoch and Elijah were taken up to
heaven body and soul.
(Genesis 5:24, 2 Kings 2:11) The
Scriptures also imply that Moses
also was taken up body and soul (Jude
1:9) and they further imply Mary's
Assumption in Revelation 12.
These examples all prefigure the
future Glory that await all those
who will some day be present body
and soul in Heaven.
Enoch represents all those who came
before God's covenant with Israel.
This would also include those who
are made righteous by grace but may
have never been a part of either
the Old or New Covenant, but rather
followed the Covenant made with Adam
to the best of their knowledge.
Moses and Elijah, are figures of
the Law and the Prophets, in other
words, the righteous sons of Israel.
Finally, Mary is the Icon of the
New Covenant, the Church. She was
the first human person to be bodily
assumed into Heaven under the New
Covenant. Just like Mary, those who
(by grace) and are alive at the Second
Coming, will be assumed into Heaven.
(1 Thessalonians 4)
I hope it answers your question.
Under His Mercy,
John C. DiMascio