Some time ago I wrote a post called “The Rapture-Free Zone”. In that post I demonstrated, from Scripture, that the Protestant belief in a pre-tribulation, mid-tribulation, or post-tribulation Rapture is not consistent with Scripture. That post was by no means exhaustive. There are others ways to demonstrate the falsehood of the Rapture with Scripture.
I also must acknowledge that Protestants do refer to one ancient writing to defend their belief in the Rapture. We will deal with this later. Let us first deal with the further scriptural evidnce against the Rapture
There are several other scriptural refutations I might use to refute the Rapture, but I want to focus on only one here. No matter whether they believe in a pre-tribulation Rapture, mid-tribulation Rapture, or post-tribulation Rapture, there does seem to be general agreement among Protestants that the Rapture will occur sometime before the millenial reign of Christ on Earth. Now, of course, Catholics do not believe in a literal 1000 year reign of Christ on Earth. The Greek actually just means a lengthy period of time. It may just be a metaphor for Christ’s eternal reign. In any event, most Protestants seem to believe in a literal 1000 year reign of Christ on Earth, and that the Rapture will happen sometime before that.
It is also believed the elect who died before the Rapture will rise at that time. The problem here is that every Scripture verse which mentions the resurrection of the dead says it will happen on the last day. The most obvious example of this is John 6. Jesus says that those who eat His flesh and drink His blood will be raised on the last day. How can the blessed dead rise during the Rapture if the Rapture happens before the last day? One must assume the Rapture as Protestants believe in it is false.
The Rapture must occur on the last day. That is when all the dead will rise. Then the living will be caught in the air with Jesus and the risen saints and angels to accompany them to Earth. That is precisely what Scripture depicts.
Protestants try to defend their belief in the Rapture by pointing to a writing by Pseudo-Ephraim. In this writing there is a passage which seems to refer to the Rapture. This, Protestants say, proves Early Christians believed in the Rapture.
First of all, no one knows who wrote this manuscript. The writer is referred to as Pseudo-Ephraim because his writings are based on the writings of St. Ephraim. The problem is that St. Ephraim does not teach the Rapture.
The second problem presented by this is that this is one obscure writing that, unlikely, might refer to the Rapture. (As I pointed out, this claim is very doubtful.) If one obscure passage is enough to prove the truthfulness of any belief, then why do Protestants still dispute more clear beliefs that have many examples from the Church Fathers? They can argue that these passages are disputed, but they aren’t as disputed as the passage from Pseudo-Ephraim.
We have numerous examples from the Church Fathers that the Early Christians did believe in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist; original sin; the supremacy of the pope; and Sacred Tradition. To be consistent, Protestants must now accept these beliefs.
Peace in Christ,
David J. Pollard
American Catholic Solidarity