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Jesus Christ and the Rapture ^

Posted on 05/18/2010 8:39:33 PM PDT by destinedforheaven

Someday soon Jesus Christ is going to return for His bride – the church. To clarify the church represents all believers who are otherwise called Christians. Imagine how dark this world is going to be when all the lights of the world leave. It’s a scary thought, so we need to focus on sharing the love of Jesus before time runs out. We are not given the exact date of God’s return, but many places are found in the Bible that give us signs indicating that it is imminent.

Directly after Jesus Christ returns for His church...

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Ministry/Outreach; Prayer; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: jesuschrist

1 posted on 05/18/2010 8:39:33 PM PDT by destinedforheaven
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To: destinedforheaven

Do you have a list of the signs, hopefully with dates?

2 posted on 05/18/2010 8:43:58 PM PDT by gunsequalfreedom
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To: destinedforheaven


3 posted on 05/18/2010 8:44:29 PM PDT by GSP.FAN (Some days, it's not even worth chewing through the restraints.)
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To: destinedforheaven

God bless you. Well said.

4 posted on 05/18/2010 8:45:14 PM PDT by skr (May God confound the enemy)
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To: destinedforheaven

I’m with you! As a child I heard preachers saying “the time is near”. But, man, how anyone can miss the signs of today is beyond explanation.

5 posted on 05/18/2010 8:48:21 PM PDT by Terry Mross
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To: destinedforheaven

>>Directly after Jesus Christ returns for His church...<<

Respectfully, I would like to point out that theologically and according to tradition and The Word, The RCC is Christ’s Church (and bride) and the RCC does not subscribe to the idea of the Rapture.

Do you deny the ordination of Peter (”upon this ‘Rock’ I shall build my church”) or do you suggest the RCC has erred?

Just curious...

6 posted on 05/18/2010 8:51:31 PM PDT by freedumb2003 (The frog who rides on a scorpion should not be surprised when he last hears "it is my nature.")
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To: destinedforheaven

Welcome to FRee republic, noob...

The rapture, the catching away...

In the twinkling of a eye...When we least expect Him....

Jesus will come and we’ll be gone...

in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 1 Corinthians 15:52,

After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 1 Thessalonians 4:17

He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. Revelation 22:20

7 posted on 05/18/2010 8:51:58 PM PDT by Tennessee Nana
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To: destinedforheaven

Keep looking up - ignore the predicted scoffers & mockers. Maranatha!

8 posted on 05/18/2010 8:54:32 PM PDT by anniegetyourgun
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To: freedumb2003

Scripture also says:

“For who is God save the LORD? or who is a rock save our God?”

The word for Peter in greek is Petros (pebble). Christ uses “Petra” meaning Himself. Christ is the chief cornerstone, the sure foundation of His church.

From the Thayers Lexiacon: the distinction between Petra, the massive living rock, and Petros, a detached but large fragment

And I would declare the RCC has erred many, many times, but that isn’t the topic of this thread.

9 posted on 05/18/2010 9:00:30 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
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To: Secret Agent Man

>>The word for Peter in greek is Petros (pebble). Christ uses “Petra” meaning Himself. Christ is the chief cornerstone, the sure foundation of His church.<<

Scripture is pretty clear that the renaming of Simon to Petros/Peter (which means “rock” or “cornerstone” as you accurately note) is an important milestone (no pun intended). It is hard to ignore the plain text but, as with all things Biblical, there are shades of interpretation.

10 posted on 05/18/2010 9:15:19 PM PDT by freedumb2003 (The frog who rides on a scorpion should not be surprised when he last hears "it is my nature.")
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To: freedumb2003
Respectfully, I will make a correction for accuracy

and according to tradition and The Word

The only "Word" that points out the RCC as "THE Church" is the word of men far after the New Testament was penned.

The "ordination" of Peter? I have heard that so many times in conjunction with that one somewhat out of context scripture. It is selective interpretation to say that Jesus was putting His finger on Peter and saying that He would build His Church on a man.

What comes just before Christ's words is what some call the "great profession" - When Jesus specifically asked his Disciples who the world thought he was, he got a variety of answers. But when asked "who do you think I am" - Peter's response is a great profession of faith: "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

And Jesus response - yes, HE was talking to Peter (petros), and on this rock (petras) - this faith.

Ephesians 2:20 tells us that the Apostles labored to build the foundations of the Church. Yet according to RCC tradition, Peter was the foundation.

The Bible is clear that the foundation, the Chief Cornerstone, is Christ Himself. The keys later mentioned so often attributed to Peter and the Popes that followed are handed to the church body as a whole to exercise.

"The Church" is built upon faith - faith in Jesus Christ.

11 posted on 05/18/2010 9:23:52 PM PDT by TheBattman (They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature...)
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To: TheBattman

So Matthew 16:18 (from The Word) is open for interpretation — that is fine, but it doesn’t make your particular interpretation any more or less “accurate” than anyone else’s.

But it is interesting.

12 posted on 05/18/2010 9:30:28 PM PDT by freedumb2003 (The frog who rides on a scorpion should not be surprised when he last hears "it is my nature.")
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To: TheBattman

Well and beautifully stated.

13 posted on 05/18/2010 9:32:11 PM PDT by MHGinTN (Obots, believing they cannot be deceived, it is impossible to convince them when they are deceived.)
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To: freedumb2003

I think we(RCC) do not define the same word “rapture” . But never the less what it means is there. We believe when Christ Comes We will be with Him. It does read “caught up”. I have been checking it out because The visions of Pedro Regis are talking along these lines. I know its private revelation but he is hitting on all predictions. He predicted Haiti ,Chile and the axis of the world off center. I have been following since last September 2009 . The Virgin Mary says we will be taken out of the worst.

14 posted on 05/18/2010 9:38:42 PM PDT by johngrace
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To: destinedforheaven

I’m ready for that great escalator ride into the Heavens!

15 posted on 05/18/2010 9:38:54 PM PDT by Doctor Don
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To: destinedforheaven


16 posted on 05/18/2010 9:54:50 PM PDT by eskimomosul (Please Jesus Come on.)
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To: destinedforheaven

A lot of info here about the origins of the doctrine of the rapture, and a much more biblical interpretation of it IMHO.

17 posted on 05/18/2010 10:28:14 PM PDT by GiveMeLibertyOrDeath
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To: freedumb2003
First rule of interpreting scripture (or ANY literature for that matter) - context. Taking a single verse, regardless of where you find it, without looking at the context is VERY dangerous. Another important concept in interpreting is language. One thing many people do not understand about New Testament Greek - the grammar rules are very different from modern English. Yet the translations deemed by many to be "the most accurate" - primarily because they are more "word-for-word" - can cause issues as well. Doesn't mean they are wrong - just that they complicate the matter. And one has to look at how the Bible as a whole (it never contradicts itself, despite what those who choose to try to say to the contrary) deals with the subject. How does Paul refer nearly every time to "church" (ekklēsia)? As a particular local institution. While this only partially is connected to the initial debate - it is another building block. What was the structure of "The Church" in the earliest days? Paul returned and reported back to those in Jerusalem - but the Bible doesn't in any way say that one particular church was over the others. There was a somewhat co-operative effort to send missionaries throughout the world (the Great Commission), but no church is isolated as a dominant or controlling church. An interesting piece of history - the term "Pope" started to be used in reference to the Bishop of Rome around the 4th Century. This coincided with vastly increased political power related to the Roman authorities (secular). There was quite a bit of dissent from some high-profile leaders within the Catholic Church, one very notable dissident was Cyprian of Carthage - who essentially paid with his life. Yet at some point later in Catholic history - that same-said "heretic" was canonized and is now tagged as a "Saint". There's another interesting word - Saint. Again, the New Testament's use of the term varies significantly from the RCC's use. The New Testament writers use the term to describe believers in general at a specific location. Just some interesting stuff. And boy, have we hijacked this thread!
18 posted on 05/18/2010 11:52:18 PM PDT by TheBattman (They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature...)
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To: TheBattman

I think the context is about the rapture in this discussion.

19 posted on 05/19/2010 12:34:30 AM PDT by johngrace
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To: destinedforheaven


20 posted on 05/19/2010 12:48:27 AM PDT by Semper Mark (Nemo me impune lacessit.)
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To: destinedforheaven
What about babies?

So much to do, so little time....

21 posted on 05/19/2010 5:05:12 AM PDT by eccentric (a.k.a. baldwidow)
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To: GiveMeLibertyOrDeath

As one said: the RCC does not subscribe to the idea of the Rapture.

The signs are in Revelation 6:12-17 where the sixth seal is opened and a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; and the stars of heaven fell unto the earth...and the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men...said to the mountains, Fall on use, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come...

At that point, before the wrath of God, the rapture occurs. I have studied this for 6 years and it is perfectly accurate as many scriptures point to these events in Revelation 6.

22 posted on 05/19/2010 5:47:09 AM PDT by bibletruth
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To: TheBattman

Regarding your post #18 - very well stated!

23 posted on 05/19/2010 10:08:39 AM PDT by conservativegramma
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To: johngrace; freedumb2003
The Virgin Mary says we will be taken out of the worst.

As well intentioned as this thinking may be it will lead you to the Great White Throne Judgment and the lake of fire.

24 posted on 05/19/2010 10:46:32 AM PDT by wmfights (If you want change support
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To: freedumb2003

Do the writings of the "church fathers" trump or impugn the Holy Word of G-d ?
Matthew. 16:18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this Rock I will build my church,

One method of Hermeneutical understanding of Matthew 16:18
is to do a word study of all the scriptures which were then known
as the Holy Word of G-d when Yah'shua spoke these words.

This will allow one to understand that all of the Holy Word of G-d
was inspired by YHvH; the whole counsel of G-d.

The only conclusion that one can come to unless you are
predisposed to believe in man's tradition over the Holy Word of G-d
is that Yah'shua was speaking of himself as the "Rock "

Genesis 49:24 But his bow remained steady, his strong arms stayed
[Or archers will attack...will shoot...will remain...will stay] supple,
because of the hand of the Mighty One of Jacob,
because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel,

Deuteronomy 32:3 I will proclaim the name of YHvH. Oh, praise the greatness of our God!

Deuteronomy 32:4 He is the Rock , his works are perfect, and all his ways are
just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.

Deuteronomy 32:15 ..... He abandoned the God who made him and rejected the Rock his Saviour.

Deuteronomy 32:30 How could one man chase a thousand, or two put ten
thousand to flight, unless their Rock had sold them, unless
YHvH had given them up?

Deuteronomy 32:31 For their rock is not like our Rock , as even our enemies concede

Deuteronomy 32:32 Their vine comes from the vine of Sodom and from the fields of Gomorrah.
Their grapes are filled with poison, and their clusters with bitterness.

1 Samuel 2:2 "There is no-one holy [Or no Holy One] like YHvH;
there is no-one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.

2 Samuel 22:2 He said: "YHvH is my Rock , my fortress and my deliverer;

2 Samuel 22:3 my God is my Rock , in whom I take refuge, my shield and the
horn [Horn here symbolises strength.] of my salvation.
He is my stronghold, my refuge and my saviour — from violent men you save me.

2 Samuel 22:32 For who is God besides YHvH? And who is the Rock except our God?

2 Samuel 22:47 "YHvH lives! Praise be to my Rock ! Exalted be God, the Rock , my Saviour!

2 Samuel 23:3 The God of Israel spoke, the Rock of Israel said to me:
'When one rules over men in righteousness, when he rules in the fear of God,

Psalm 18:31 For who is God besides YHvH? And who is the Rock except our God?

Psalm 18:46 YHvH lives! Praise be to my Rock ! Exalted be God my Saviour!

Psalm 19:14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Psalm 42:9 I say to God my Rock , "Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?"

Psalm 78:35 They remembered that God was their Rock , that God Most High was their Redeemer.

Psalm 89:26 He will call out to me, `You are my Father, my God, the Rock my Saviour.'

Psalm 92:15 ..... "YHvH is upright; he is my Rock , and there is no wickedness in him."

Psalm 95:1 Come, let us sing for joy to YHvH; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.

Psalm 144:1 Praise be to YHvH my Rock , who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle.

Habakkuk 1:12 Oh YHvH, are you not from everlasting? My God, my Holy
One, we will not die. Oh YHvH, you have appointed them to
execute judgment; O Rock , you have ordained them to punish.

Peter himself refers to Yah'shua as the "rock" in
1 Peter 2:1-10
NAsbU 1 Peter 2:
1 Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander,

2 like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation,

3 if you have tasted the kindness of YHvH.

4 And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God,

5 you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices
acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

6 For this is contained in Scripture: "BEHOLD, I LAY IN ZION A CHOICE STONE, A PRECIOUS CORNER stone,

7 This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve, "THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED,

8 and, "A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE"; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word,
and to this doom they were also appointed.

so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

10 for you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY,
but now you have RECEIVED MERCY.

It is patently clear from the Holy Word of G-d
that the NAME "Rock" is a NAME that describes YHvH,
the creator of the universe.

To assign YHvH's NAME to a mere mortal,
a created being, seeks to impugn and
deny the Holy Word of G-d.

shalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach

25 posted on 05/19/2010 10:58:32 AM PDT by Uri’el-2012 (Psalm 119:174 I long for Your salvation, YHvH, Your law is my delight.)
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To: wmfights

You say May or will? You making a God call on your own. I would leave that to God. Forgive him Father he knows not what he says. You have a bias.

26 posted on 05/19/2010 11:22:56 AM PDT by johngrace
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To: johngrace
You making a God call on your own.

It's Scripture.

Idolatry, worshiping anyone/anything other than God will condemn you.

You have a bias.

Yes I do. I am a born again Christian.

27 posted on 05/19/2010 11:48:35 AM PDT by wmfights (If you want change support
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To: wmfights

God knows the heart not you.

28 posted on 05/19/2010 12:16:41 PM PDT by johngrace
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To: johngrace
God knows the heart not you.

We reveal what's in our hearts by what we say and do.

When you find comfort in something that is supposedly said by Mary you are falling into the trap we've been warned of in Scripture.

Mark 13:22 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.

Scripture is very clear. There is only one example of God sending dead humans to bring a message and that was at the transfiguration and then one of the two that was sent has not died. In this instance it should be noted that they gave no message to the Apostles they only talked with Jesus.

As the end times approach we will see a great falling way, not only the Rapture, but also understanding sound doctrine. Believing floating images is an example of this.

29 posted on 05/19/2010 12:32:26 PM PDT by wmfights (If you want change support
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To: wmfights

Thats your take on the bible. Any body can qoute what they want. You certainly do. You figured it all out. Good for you. Thanks for helping out poor little old me. We can start the arm chair theology scholar quotes to and fro. Then what good do we do.

30 posted on 05/19/2010 12:43:13 PM PDT by johngrace
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To: johngrace
We can start the arm chair theology scholar quotes to and fro. Then what good do we do.

Maybe a Christian picks up their Bible, studies it and realizes the error they've fallen into. Running to Mary instead of Jesus is a big one.

Col. 2:8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men,...

31 posted on 05/19/2010 12:57:44 PM PDT by wmfights (If you want change support
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To: wmfights

Maybe a Christian picks up their Bible, studies it and realizes the error they’ve fallen into. Running to Mary instead of Jesus is a big one. -It’s not instead it’s interceding with Him in Him in the Unity of the Holy Spirit.

32 posted on 05/19/2010 1:01:30 PM PDT by johngrace
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To: wmfights

Remember the word Pray means implore and request to anyone not just God Webster definition. This might Help: Intercession and Invocation of the Saints: How is it Different From Magic?

Lutheran sociologist Peter Berger has stated that “Protestantism cut off the umbilical cord between heaven and earth.” How true. Of course, the issue is whether there should be such a cord in the first place. I contend that there clearly should be, and I will proceed to give biblical evidences for same (as is my wont).

A Protestant friend asked the question that always comes up in any discussion of the Catholic view on the communion of saints:

Why WOULD anyone content themselves with seeking the intercession of a manager, even at the highest level (where Mary undoubtedly is) when one can go to the CEO Himself?

One simple reason: because we are informed in the Bible that the prayers of certain people have more efficacy than those of others:

. . . The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects. Elijah was a man of like nature with ourselves and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth its fruit. (James 5:16-18; RSV)

One immediately thinks of other powerful intercessors such as Abraham and Moses. God sometimes did not destroy entire cities or peoples as a result of their pleas. Of course God cannot change and knew what He was going to do all along, but the point is that He involved His creatures in the process in a lesser, secondary fashion. They participated, just as Paul states that we “work out our own salvation” (Philippians 2:12).

The Apostle John writes: “if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have obtained the requests made of him” (1 Jn 5:14-15). Similar themes are common in Scripture. I need not document further. The principle is already established.

Following this line of thought, then, if Mary is indeed sinless (I am still within the Catholic paradigm, for the sake of argument), then it follows inexorably (right from Scripture) that her prayers would have the greatest power and efficacy, and not only because of her sinlessness but because of her status as the Theotokos and Spiritual Mother, for which God appointed her.
We pray for each other because we are to love one another, and prayer is an obvious aspect of love, for if we love someone, and know of a way that they can be aided, we pursue that avenue on their behalf. That’s what intercession is. God grants us that great privilege, and we do it because we love others and wish to show forth Christ’s love. Jesus told us to pray. That settles it.

Catholics don’t disagree with Protestants that prayer is supremely important, and is God’s will. The disagreement is over whether this applies to those who have died and gone to be with Jesus in the afterlife. Most Protestants believe that we shouldn’t ask for their intercession, usually stating that we should go right to God, but some recognize that they can’t take that principle too far, else all prayers for each other would be eliminated. So the standard Protestant position is to accept the prayers among those on earth, but not from those (saved saints) who have departed from the earth as a result of physical death.

It’s really quite simple. Either these folks are alive or they are not. Clearly, they are alive (more than we are). Jesus alludes to this fact when He speaks of “the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacb,” stating that “He is not God of the dead, but of the living” (Mt 22:32). Hebrews 12:1 mentions that we are surrounded by a “cloud of witnesses” — which commentators have compared to a picture of spectators in a sports arena observing. Further proof is unnecessary. All Christians who are not annihilationists or believers in “soul-sleep” (like, e.g., the 7th-Day Adventists or heretics like Jehovah;s Witnesses) believe that souls are conscious after death.

So, no doubt many Protestants would reply that “okay, they are alive, but that doesn’t prove that they can pray for us or hear our prayers.” At that point, the Catholic appeals to a combination of direct scriptural proofs and pretty solid indirect ones. I wrote in my first book, A Biblical Defense of Catholicism:

The saints are not only still alive, but much more vibrantly and intensely alive than we are, thoroughly able to influence and assist us, as the book of Revelation clearly testifies. (They are not preoccupied with sitting on clouds and strumming harps, as our culture’s ridiculous caricatures would have it! They still think, feel, will, love, and remember — all of our attributes are theirs (and many more: see Matthew 22:30, Romans 8:29-30,38-39, 1 Corinthians 13:9-12, 15:42-43, Philippians 3:20-21, 1 John 3:2). The invocation of saints entails much more than merely mental inspiration, though that aspect is included as well . .

Concerning the Church Fathers’ views . . . renowned Protestant church historian Philip Schaff -– no friend at all of these practices — concludes forlornly: . . .

“In the numerous memorial discourses of the fathers, the martyrs
are loaded with eulogies, addressed as present, and besought for
their protection. The universal tone of those productions is offensive
to the Protestant taste, and can hardly be reconciled with
evangelical ideas of the exclusive and all-sufficient mediation of
Christ and of justification by pure grace without the merit of works.
But . . . the best church fathers, too, never separated the merits of the saints from the merits of Christ, but considered the former as flowing out of the latter.”

(History of the Christian Church, Grand Rapids, MI:
Eerdmans, 1976 [orig. 5th ed., 1889], vol. 3, chapter 7, section 84,
438; emphasis added).

The saints in heaven are clearly aware of earthly happenings. If they have such awareness, it isn’t that much of a leap to deduce that they can hear our requests for prayer. But is there any biblical evidence of that? I think there certainly is.

In Jeremiah 15:1, we read: Then the Lord said to me, “Though Moses and Samuel stood before me, yet my heart would not turn toward this people.” Here it appears that God receives the prayers of the dead saints as a matter of course. Moses and Samuel were both known as intercessors, and Jeremiah lived centuries after both men (cf. 2 Maccabees 15:13-14, which reveals that Jeremiah was praying for the Jews after his death).

In my chapter on Purgatory in A Biblical Defense of Catholicism, I also showed how the inverse can be shown in the Bible: our prayers for the dead, rather than asking their prayers for us. Paul prayed for a dead man:

2 Timothy 1:16-18 May the Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me; he was not ashamed of my chains, but when he arrived in Rome he searched for me eagerly and found me — may the Lord grant him to find mercy from the Lord on that Day — and you well know all the service he rendered at Ephesus.

My Protestant friend defined magic as “the use or invocation of spiritual powers, forces, or beings to effect changes in the material world.” I stated that this definition would also encompass prayers to God (”invocation” of a “spiritual power” to “effect changes in the material world” — healings, changes in monetary situations, material goods to be provided — food for the hungry, etc.).

King Saul and the Witch of Endor (1 Sam 28) are often brought up as an example of how not to go about relating to dead people. This is a good example, and I dealt with it in my first book. Saul’s motive was wrong, and the witchcraft and mediumship were wrong, yet many Protestant commentators (e.g., New Bible Commentary, Wycliffe Bible Commentary) believe that Samuel himself (i.e., not an impersonating or occultic spirit) actually chose to appear and rebuke Saul, thus proving once again that dead saints are involved in earthly affairs, just as in the Transfiguration, the Two Witnesses in Revelation, etc.

Asking saints in heaven or angels or the Blessed Virgin Mary to pray for us is not different in essence from asking each other (those of us on earth) to pray. Mary is a lot more righteous than we are, and more alive, and with God. Angels never did sin, so they are untainted with that stain. Therefore, we can ask them to pray for us, according to the clear dictum in James.

I don’t see that this is all that difficult to comprehend, or why it is so immediately objectionable to many non-Catholic Christians. Perhaps the confusion is the usual equation of such requests for intercession with seances and the like. That doesn’t follow. We are not relying on the power of some “medium” (many of whom are fake to begin with, as Houdini, the Amazing Randi, and others have shown), but on the power of God. The saints can see us, hear us, and pray for us, because they are with God, out of time, and accorded the remarkable abilities that those in such situations receive as a matter of course.

The invocation and intercession of the saints is an essentially different practice. Necromancy, divination and various occultic practices were strongly condemned in the Old Testament Law, yet the Jews prayed for the dead. They saw no contradiction because there was none. 2 Maccabees 12:39-45 presents prayers for the dead in most unquestionable terms. Of course, Protestants will reply that this is from the “Apocrypha,” which is another discussion, but whether it is Scripture or not (the early Church thought so), the passage still shows that this was the practice of the Jews and that they saw no conflict between that and the forbidden practices. Christianity develops Judaism. Many things in late Judaism, such as eschatology and angelology and notions of bodily resurrection, were continued and developed by the early Church. Praying for the dead was just one of many instances of that.

Prayer doesn’t interfere with the centrality of Christ at all, or else He wouldn’t have taught us to pray! So if the “prayer of a righteous man availeth much” then the Catholic goes right to Mary, since she is the most righteous human being, and is active in her love for mankind, not sitting on a cloud playing a harp.

It’s almost as if Protestantism adopts the silly cultural stereotypes of what heaven is supposedly like, as if it is the Norse Valhalla, rather than the intensely spiritual place (or state) that it is, with souls longing and burning in their desire for human beings to be saved and not damned. The saints who have died know what it is all about. They are in a place where they can devote themselves to prayer for us (because they are perfected in love), knowing full well what the stakes are. They no longer have to play all the games that we play in order to ignore the spiritual dimension and forget the world to come. And so we can and should certainly ask for their intercession: Mary most of all.

As for asking an angel to pray for us or help us, the Bible implies that men are of a higher order than angels (1 Cor 6:3, 1 Pet 1:12), at least in some sense. A guardian angel is a servant of man, not vice versa. So we need not feel that we are doing something improper in addressing them.
by Dave Armstrong-

33 posted on 05/19/2010 1:25:09 PM PDT by johngrace
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