Tim asked:

What’s the Catholic position on the end times? Protestants think they’re going to be raptured and leave in the middle of the tribulation.

Tim Staples replied:

"... as Catholics we don’t believe in the rapture and there are many problems with it. We believe in the second coming, Tim. That's when Jesus Christ comes the second time as first Thessalonians 4:16 says basically that is the end so shall we ever be with the Lord. If you look at first Corinthians 15:51 through 55 you see in the moment, in the twinkling of an eye when the Lord comes ... The bottom line is when the second coming occurs that’s the end ... There’s no death. In fact Saint Paul says death is swallowed up in victory. Whereas the rapture that I used to teach [Editor's note: Tim Staples was a former dispensationalist] ... that’s when death is just beginning, because there’s untold hundreds of millions that will die in the seven year tribulation, and then even in the thousand year millennial reign of Christ. People will live longer but they will die as well up until the final end at the end of the thousand year millennial regin. That’s just unbiblical. That’s not what the New Testament teaches. That’s a very new teaching that was introduced in the nineteenth century. No Christian believed it for the first nineteen hundred years of the Christian era.

... I noticed you mention why am I quoting Saint Paul, but when you look at Jesus and what he teaches on the end times ... when in fact if you go to Luke chapter 17 ... that talks about ... there will be two women grinding together one will be taken and the other will be left behind. It’s interesting that in Luke’s version of what Jesus said there in Luke chapter 1 verse 34 when Jesus says, and this is the famous left behind verse that was used by Tim LaHaye ... talking about the rapture. Jesus doesn’t agree with Tim LaHaye or Hal Lindsey and the rest because ... he says that ... the apostles say where will they be taken Lord? ... He said, where the body is there the vultures will be gathered together. So those being taken aren’t being taken to heaven they’re being taken to judgement. So actually Luke 17 and Matthew 24 aren’t talking about the rapture at all. They’re talking about the end when Jesus comes again."

Source material:

Thessalonians 4
16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first; 17 then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so we shall always be with the Lord.[f]

1 Corinthians 15
51 Lo! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53 For this perishable nature must put on the imperishable, and this mortal nature must put on immortality. 54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” 55 “O death, where is thy victory?O death, where is thy sting?”

Luke 17
34 I tell you, on that night there will be two in one bed; one will be taken and the other will be left. 35 There will be two women grinding at the same place; one will be taken and the other will be left. 36 [[v]Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other will be left.”] 37 And answering they *said to Him, “Where, Lord?” And He said to them, “Where the body is, there also the [w]vultures will be gathered.”


Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (RSVCE)
The Revised Standard Version of the Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1965, 1966 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968, 1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Catholic Answers, "Open Forum" (San Diego: Catholic Answers, 2014)

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Show air date: March 11, 2014

Name of show: Open Forum

Guest comments by: Tim Staples

Question appeared in show: 5:00

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