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What view of the tribulation do Calvinists generally tend to take?

I am aware of the Westminister Confession http://www.reformed.org/documents/wcf_with_proofs/ , but I don't see anything related to the tribulation there.

The reason that I ask for a "Calvinist view of Tribulation" is that I believe in pre-destination / TULIP.

I do not know if this belief supports / contradicts certain views of the tribulation, and would like to better understand this subject.

Thanks!

EDIT:

Here is a claim http://www.shepherdsconference.org/media/details/?mediaID=332 that Calvinist -> Premil. However, it's beyond my understanding.

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Your question is a little flawed at the outset. One's view on soteriology is not directly related to the same person's view on eschatology. It's like asking to which political party do biologists belong. –  San Jacinto Jul 30 '12 at 19:57
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2 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

As a Calvinists and someone who has mostly read books from the 1500 to 1700s I have never encountered any other view beside Christ's second coming as the end of the world.   In other words there is no talk about a rapture other than the final one at the end of the world. (I am not saying there is none to be found, just that among the main Calvanists leaders I have never encountered it). Sorry I have not listened to the audio you linked.

What I have noticed in reading old commentaries for around 30 years now, is that there is a general expectation that we will one day experience a great revival and this will be related to the Jews accepting Christ as their Savior. (Romans 11:25) Not all believe this but it is a strong trend, especially with someone like Jonathan Edwards.  Secondly, I have noticed a general common trend that when Christ does return there will be few Christians on the earth, and that after the revival, their will be a great Apostasy before he comes.  This is typically associated with Christ saying the world will be 'like the days of Noah' during the second coming. (Mathew 24:37)

What this final tribulation means, someone like Edwards is again a good reference and he sees it as the world surrounding the church and ready to persecute it but actually before any real harm is done Christ returns to save the church and judge the world.

In summary a common reformed idea is that a great revival will occur in Christianity most likely caused by the shock of the majority of Jewish people turning to Christianity.  This great time might continue for a long period, but then suddenly the church will fall away during some unknown generation.  This will trigger the world to unite against Christians in the most apocalyptic way, but before any real action is made, Christ returns to judge the living and the dead.

I have not provided proofs to my answer as it would begin to amass a very long post, I am only speaking from the point of being a Calvinists and having read many thousands of pages of Luther, Calvin, John Owen and Jonathan Edwards, which represent very key leaders of Calvinism through the period of 1500-1800. 

I am not sure if this is of any help to you, but that is all I can really say about end times tribulation from a traditional perspective. Matthew Henry seems to do a pretty good job in capturing typical views in his commentary on Revelation if you would like more detailed accounts on end times perspectives from standard historical Calvinists.

Note: I should add, once we leave the 'traditional Calvinists' around the late 1700 and early 1800s and arrive at modern day Churches, many who are Calvanistic in their view of salvation do not hold traditional views about a symbolic millennium. In stead many believe in a literal millennium and tribulation with a rapture before or after and whatever other possible combination. In this sense a Calvinistc view can be anything even though Calvin himself thought the idea of a literal millennium as 'too childish either to need or to be worth a refutation'.

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Since my understanding is primitive, is the view you explained amillenium (no literal thousand years)? –  user1694 Jul 30 '12 at 22:23
    
@user1311390 - Yes Calvin and the next few hundred years of Calvanists and many Calvanists today, are amillennialism, including myself. This means the thousand years was a symbolic period that we live in now. It was not meant to be understood literally. –  Mike Jul 31 '12 at 2:15
    
I believe John Piper + John MacArthur both believe in predestination + hold the premellinial view, the latter having written a book to defend the view. Can you recommend any book for the amellinial view? –  user1694 Jul 31 '12 at 4:34
    
@user1311390 - I would start studying revelation with what it meant to its first readers and then think about it in a forward looking view after. For its first meaning J. Nelson Kraybill: 'Apocalypse and Allegiance: Worship, Politics, and Devotion in the Book of Revelation' is good. For a general view that also is a little 'forward looking' I would start with Matthew Henry's Commentary on Revelation and 'History of Redemption' and 'Notes on Revelations' by Jonathan Edwards. Expect to find various differences of opinion regarding the future as it is meant to be sketchy until it occurs. –  Mike Jul 31 '12 at 7:34
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You may be interested in an obscure passage in Isaiah that speaks to the issue of how Christ protects his bride, the body of Christ. In Isaiah 26:19-21 ESV, we read: "(19)Your dead shall live; their bodies shall rise. You who dwell in the dust, awake and sing for joy! For your dew is a dew of light, and the earth will give birth to the dead. (20)Come my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until the fury has passed by. (21)For behold the Lord is coming out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their inquiry, and the earth will disclose the blood shed on it, and will no more cover its slain."

Verse 19 sounds a lot like 1 Thess. 4:16, huh?

Verse 20 starts with a call to "Come my people" (as in move from where you are to a place of safety - a place where you can hide until God's fury is past) I know of no place like that on earth when God's wrath is poured out. Note that the relocation comes immediately after the resurrection of the dead (a la 1 Thess. 4:16) and before the wrath of God is poured out. Revelation 4:1 also happens to have a similar call to "Come." God's people will not go through the tribulation. God does not judge the righteous with the unrighteous. Genesis 18:25.

Verse 21 describes God's wrath poured out upon the entire planet (the inhabitants of the earth) for their iniquity. The tribulation is God's judgment upon the whole world. No more funerals after this conflict. Sinners won't cover their slain ever again because the wrath of God has ushered in a new age during which the Lord reigns. He will take care of disposing of the bodies.

This passage tells me that the tribulation period is not a unique invention of the Book of Revelation. God's indignation will be poured out upon the whole world one day. But God's people will be safely in heaven, hidden from the wrath to come. I see pretribulation rapture in Isaiah 26: 19-21.

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Welcome to C.Se. When you get the chance, please check out our tour and specifically How we are different than other sites. This is a good and well-researched answer, but I do wonder if it actually represents Calvin's view, which is what the question is about. If you could show me that Calvinists hold this, then it is a wonderful answer. Otherwise, it is a comment. A great and well-researched comment, but a comment nonetheless, –  Affable Geek Nov 14 '13 at 14:00
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