The Catholic View of Eschatology -- By: Mal Couch
CTJ 7:21 (August 03) p. 169
The Catholic View of Eschatology
President & Professor of Theology & Languages
Tyndale Theological Seminary, Ft. Worth, TX
Below is the final article on Catholic Theology and Dogma. Almost all of the material quoted comes from books and articles approved by the Catholic Church. It is hoped that many Catholics will read these articles and arrive at a conviction of the unbiblical nature of Catholic Theology. It is also hoped that Evangelicals reading this material will understand why it’s impossible for Catholics and Evangelicals to join hands in spiritual endeavors.
Traditional Catholic Eschatology
As the early church became “catholic,” i.e., universal and unified in both the West and the East, its eschatology was by degree turning amillennial. The Church was seeing itself as the replacement of the kingdom for the Jews. The Church was now the kingdom! With the rejection of the gospel by Israel, God gave up the Jewish people. The nation of Israel will not be restored, nor will there by an earthly millennial kingdom where Christ reigns from Jerusalem over the world. The Handbook of Catholic Theology puts it this way:
The kingdom of God is understood as an interior, spiritual reality in this world, since the kingdom of God exists wherever justice, wisdom, truth, and the other virtues are present. According to Augustine, the church, as the historical form of the thousand-year reign, is the kingdom of Christ or the kingdom of heaven, but it is also still in conflict and waiting for its completion. The (true) members of the church are already in the kingdom of God; when the time of
CTJ 7:21 (August 03) p. 170
fulfillment comes, they will form the kingdom of God. (Handbook, 420–21)
(This seems to be a form of double-speak!) While the Church considers herself now as the kingdom (?), there is this double-speak by Catholic theologians that show great doses of confusion. Catholic priest and theologian Ott writes that the Gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed world-wide, meaning the message of salvation found only in the Catholic system.
Ott says, “When the fullness, that is the number ordained by God, of the Gentiles has entered the kingdom of God ‘all Israel’ will be converted and saved.” (Funda, 486) By Israel, he means the “church.” He explains, “The conversion of the Jewish people is frequently brought into a causal connection with the coming-again of [Elijah], but without sufficient foundation.” (Ibid.)
Just before Christ comes to begin a universal judgment, there will be an apostasy with schisms brought about by fa...
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