by Father William G. Most
In 1Thessalonians 4, there are a Few Lines which are Widely Misunderstood. They are thought to Speak of
Rapture. I have even seen a Bumper Sticker on a Car: "In Case of Rapture, this Car will be
Unmanned". The Poor Man thought Jesus might come-down at any
Moment, and Snatch him into the Sky! Then his car would go Wild, probably Killing
someone. But no Worry, he told himself. Only the Bad
Guys will be left.
The Trouble begins in 1Thessalonians 4:13. We gather that the Thessalonians had been Expecting the Return
of Jesus at any Moment. Some were thinking:
Would it not be too bad if I should die before that - then others would get to see Him before I would!
Resurrection of the Flesh/Body - by Signorelli from the Chapel of San Brizio, Duomo, Orvieto . . .
Note the similarity of the Flag carried by the Archangels above, and the Flag below-right carried by
the Resurrected Jesus depicted by Pinturicchio in his Fresco from the Palazzi Pontifici, Vatican
Saint Paul wanted to Answer this Concern of the Thessalonians. He said in effect, do not get
Worried. Here is how it will be:
Jesus will come down from Heaven with a
Command, with the Call of an Archangel, and a Trumpet and the
Dead will Rise First.
Then we, the Living, will be Taken in the Clouds to meet
Jesus in the air.
Rapture Believers also compare this Passage with the Account of the Last Judgment. The
Judge is Seated, and on the Left are the Wicked,
on the Right, the Good People. But this takes place on the Earth. They say the
Rapture takes place in the Air - so there must be Two
(2) Separate Events.
Those who think that way, seem not to know about Literary Genre - the various Patterns of Writing used in
Ancient Time. We need to know what they are, for each Genre has, as it were, its own Rules for how to
Now the Passage in 1Thessalonians has Strong Apocalyptic Color:
A Cry from the Sky,
A Call of an Archangel,
The Trumpet of God.
This is basically Apocalyptic, a Strange Hebrew Genre which presents Highly
Colored Images, Revelations, Secrets. The Original Readers knew this was Overly Strong, and knew they needed to Cut-it Down to get at the
Solid Content. The Last Judgment Scene is clearly Apocalyptic too - all Persons of all Ages of the World are to Come-before
the Judge. There would be no place on the Globe with even Standing Room for such a Throng
(Nota Bene: Population Reference Bureau in Washington estimates this Number at
106 Billion). So it is Apocalyptic. It conveys the fact that
God will Reveal to all, how Just and
Right all His Judgments were throughout all History. Probably,
He will do this by way of an Interior Locution (a
MysticalWord/Message received Interiorly by a person), which with One
Touch, as it were, can Convey a Huge Amount of Information.
We are left with only One (1) Event, Last Judgement.
So there will be no Cars Flying-off Unmanned!
The above Short Dissertation by Father Most presents just the Tip of the Iceberg regarding Rapture. The Audio
Links Below provide much more Pertinent Detail in MP3 Audio Formats by EWTN.
A Conversation between Marcus Grodi of EWTN and former Protestant Minister Dr Paul Thigpen,
as he discusses his book "The Rapture Trap" from Ascension Press
A Conversation between Doug Keck of EWTN and Author David B. Currie, as he discusses his
book "Rapture, the End-Times Error that leaves the Bible behind".
From the EWTN Series, "Millennium: End or Beginning?" by Father Alfred McBride.
A Conversation between Marcus Grodi of EWTN and Father Patrick Rohen about
"These Men who have Popularized the Rapture".