You Can’t be Both Pre-Trib and Calvinist

If you are a Calvinist:

  • you believe that God has “elected” or “chosen” those who would be saved from before the foundation of the world.
  • you believe that those whom God has chosen have been predestined to respond to the gospel when God woos them.
  • you believe that salvation comes entirely without regard to human works or merit.
  • you believe that “elect” and “true followers of Jesus” are two ways of describing only one group.

If you are Pre-Trib:

  • you believe that the rapture event will remove from earth all who are followers of Jesus.
  • you believe that after the rapture event, the Tribulation will involve the salvation of some and their subsequent persecution.

The Contradiction

These two positions are in contradiction to each other because the Calvinist must believe that those saved before the rapture and those saved after the rapture are part of the same group God elected before the foundation of the world. The only difference between the two would be the timing of God’s effort at wooing them or the timing of their willing response to his call.

The former case would indicate that God had specifically not wooed some of his elect in time for them to join in the rapture of the rest of the saints (as if God were showing favoritism to one group of his followers)

The latter case indicates that participation in the rapture event, unlike salvation, depends upon the timing of a person’s response to the gospel which seems close to a works-based system.

To be both Calvinistic and Pre-Trib a person must believe that the rapture is an event for only some of the elect either by their own merit or by God’s favoritism among them. Both options are distasteful for the majority of Calvinists.

However, I’d like to hear what other people have to say on this. Your comments are welcome and encouraged!

Update (Aug 1, 2009)

I apologize for sending this post out before without the support of any specific biblical text. The contradiction as I see it from the Bible comes from the juxtaposition of these three biblical concepts:

  1. John 6:44, Romans 8:29-30, 2 Thessalonians 2:13, and 2 Timothy 1:9 teach that salvation only occurs in response to God’s activity of election, that this election happens by his choice, before the beginning of time, and “predestines” people for salvation. Therefore, by these verses, the Calvinist would conclude that God presently knows every human who will be saved because he has claimed them as his own, and they are rightfully called “the elect.”

  2. Matthew 24:31 and Mark 13:27 both indicate that when Christ returns, he will “gather his elect” from the whole earth. This seems to indicate that the gathering will include all who are “his elect.”

  3. Revelation 20:4 clearly teaches there were people who had the opportunity to worship the beast and receive his mark but refused both and remained faithful to Christ. Matthew 24:24 refers to those who resist false prophets and remain faithful to Christ and calls them “the elect.”

Therefore, here is the exact logical argument:

  • Whenever Christ’s “gathering” takes place, it appears to include all who are elect.
  • If election is determined before the foundation of the world, the gathering event must leave behind only the non-elect.
  • If election is necessary for salvation, the gathering event Jesus mentions would indicate that the door for salvation was now closed.
  • However, there are clearly believers alive (and martyred!) during the Tribulation period.
  • Therefore, the Matthew 24 event cannot happen before the Tribulation period—unless we are missing something.
  • Therefore, we are left with only three possible options:
    1. God’s election is not eternally determined. Those who are already “elect” at the time of the rapture will be taken, but others will become “elect” afterwards.
    2. Matthew 24 is not speaking of the rapture of the church, and it is God’s prerogative to take in a secret rapture some of his elect leaving others behind.
    3. The rapture of God’s elect happens after the Tribulation.

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39 thoughts on “You Can’t be Both Pre-Trib and Calvinist

  1. Well, I don’t consider myself pre-trib, but I don’t think your logic is infallible here.. Much of the way that God “woos” those he chooses to ‘woo’ is through trials and tribulations. If he allows more tribulation after removing his ambassadors (who have been lobbying for peace and justice for the last couple millinia), and He is the same yesterday today and forever, it makes sense that he would continue to call people.

    As with most complaints about Calvinism, I think people try to impose the human view of time on God, who is outside of time. Time is really quite irrelevant in the whole scheme of things from God’s perspective.

    As far as the favoritism, who are we to judge? Perhaps it is those who endure the tribulation that are being blessed? They will get to heaven and it will be just that much sweeter because their experience on earth was just that much more painful.

  2. Hi Josh. Thanks for the comment. I agree with you that my logic is not infallible, and I’m actually glad you pointed it out. The post is a gut reaction to something I’ve been thinking about and I’m eager to see what other comments might show up here because of it.

    On God being outside of time: That is a notion initially popularized by Augustine and I’ve begun to question whether it makes sense or not. Certainly, if “time” is a “thing” or an integral part of the created order, then God must be outside of “time.” However, I think a lot can be said for the notion that “process” and “sequence” are inherent in the character and mind of God and that earthly time is somehow an expression of a reality that is internal to God. From that perspective, God isn’t outside of time, but time is inherent in God just as we would say logic, wisdom, love, and justice are inherent in God.

    Anyway, I’m mostly interested in hearing how a Pre-Trib Calvinist thinks about God drawing an arbitrary rapture line dividing his own elect into the before and after camps.




  4. Interesting thoughts, Dad. I’m glad you brought them up. From my point of view, as you will be able to see in my blog post today, the pre-trib rapture doesn’t seem to line up with the clearest teaching in the Bible. When you add to that the apparent capriciousness of a God who elects some for salvation and further elects some for rapture and some for the tribulation, it again doesn’t seem to line up with the teaching of the Bible.

    We can understand humanity’s need for divine election for salvation because sin has made us completely without inclination to pursue God. We can understand that God would choose to have some people face martyrdom while others get to live in America because we understand the sinfulness of the world. But I found myself disturbed to a greater degree this week with the thought that in a major redemptive event such as the rapture and the return of Christ, God would apparently “leave behind” some of his elect.

    However, my concerns are based on more than some emotional sense of unease with me, and I should have mentioned this next point in the original article. If a person is elect from before the foundation of the world, would they not also be included when Christ “gathers his elect from the four winds” (Matthew 24:31)? Therefore, it seems to me that whenever that “gathering” takes place, it must include all who are elect. If election is before the foundation of the world, and if election is necessary for salvation, the gathering event Jesus mentions would indicate that the door for salvation was now closed. As there are clearly believers alive (and martyred!) during the Tribulation period, the Matthew 24 event cannot happen before the Tribulation period—unless God’s election is time-bound and not from before the foundation of the world.

    The only alternative to this contradiction as I see it is that Matthew 24 is not speaking of the “rapture” at all. If there is a rapture separate from the events of Matthew 24, then I suppose one could logically maintain both Calvinism and Pre-Tribulationism.

  5. Greetings, interesting article. There are a few people who would disagree with you, for starters take Johm MacArthur. He recently opened up his 40 year vault of messages free to the public. He has 100s of messages devoted to the 5 points of Calvinism, which he strongly supports. He also has many messages on a pre-trib rapture, which he also supports. Boice, Barnhouse, Lutzer, etc. are just a few of the well known preachers who are 5 point and pre-trib. S. Lewis Johnson, considered by some the greatest exposito of the 20th century, was also Calvinistic and believed in the rapture. So, there are a few men who have studied the scriptures far more than you and I who came to a different conclusion.

  6. Hi Bill,

    I agree that there are many people who have done more study than I, and I acknowledge that some of them would disagree with me. Of course, there are others who have studied the scriptures far more than I and also agree with me.

    The argument that John MacArthur believes such and such doesn’t hold any logical weight.

    Nevertheless, I appreciate your comment because it lets me clarify myself once again:

    As I said in my “update” above, there is room for a pre-trib rapture within the teaching of the Bible just so long as we allow for God to make a distinction between the elect and the saved. From the Calvinist perspective, a pre-trib rapture must include those who are elect and already saved while leaving behind those who are elect but not yet saved. Therefore, a pre-trib Calvinist must maintain a distinction between salvation and election.

    However, Matthew 24 makes no such distinction between the elect and the saved and therefore, cannot be speaking of a pre-trib rapture.


    • In Matthew 24 all the elect are raptured.
    • Revelation indicates the presence of faithful believers through the Tribulation.
    • If the rapture preceded the Tribulation, these believers were not elect and so we should abandon Calvinism.
    • If the rapture preceded the Tribulation, and some elect were left behind, we must disassociate Matthew 24 with that rapture.
    • If there is no rapture before the Tribulation, then there is no conflict between Calvinism’s understanding of election and Matthew 24.
    1. Hi Jeff. You stated there is room in the Bible for a Pre-Trib Rapture. But in fact there isn’t. It turns out to be a heretical view without any Biblical support. Understand, I am not just rashly coming to a conclusion. I will give you a link to one of many videos made demonstrating that Scripture precludes it. In addition, I have requested and sought biblical references to the Gathering of the Saints occurring prior to the Tribulation and there are none. Granted, one person argued Revelation 3:10 refers to it, but watch this teaching from the Greek to understand why it is not so.
      You will find that I equally condemn predestination and Calvinism as I do Pre-Tribulation Rapture. In fact, the word translated “predestination” is in error. It means “demarcating limits in front of”, as in demarcating an area (for example what the horizon does to our view). It is the opposite of determining a destination in advance. That is more related to a path and not at all related to an area, as the word prohoridzo carries in it. I would like you to watch this video on every occurrence of the word in the New Testament, after I have defined the word correctly.

  7. Jeff,
    Interesting post and replies. I would like to preface my remarks by saying that I too am sure my comments are not infallible. After all, if one had all the answers, one would not need God, one would be God.
    I like many others, are truly interested in the end time events and offer my comments for study. I to, am interested in any comments on this subject and encourage them. I suppose I should start with what I personally believe. Although I don’t consider myself a “Calvinist” I do consider myself a pre-tribulationist and I also believe in the doctrine of “election”.
    Revelation 20:4 clearly teaches that there will be tribulation martyrs and those who are executed “because of their testimony of Jesus”. Revelation 7 talks of v.1 “four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth”. Revelation 7 goes on to say v.3 “do not harm the earth, sea, or trees until we have sealed the bondservants of our God on their foreheads”. Those that were sealed are the 144,000. 12,000 from every tribe of Israel [v.4-8]. Revelation 7 then says [v.9] “a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes, peoples and tongues standing before the throne and the Lamb”. John is asked by one of the elders standing there also [v.13] “who are they and where have they come from”? in v.14 we learn that they are the ones who come out of the great tribulation. From these previous passages I gather that scripture teaches there will be those who are saved during the tribulation period and some of them will be the 144,000. These 144,000 will be a sovereign elect missionary corp of redeemed Jews who are instrumental in the salvation of many Jews and Gentiles during the tribulation period [vs. 9-17] They will be the firstfruits of the new redeemed Israel. Finally, Israel will be the witness nation she refused to be in the Old Testament [see Romans 11:25-27]. Rom 11:25-27 speaks of a partial hardening of Israel until the “fullness of the Gentiles has come in”.
    I believe the rapture is triggered by “the fullness of the Gentiles coming in”, meaning, when the last elect Gentile accepts Christ as savior. Then this partial hardening of Israel is lifted. Why, is it lifted? Because God made a covenant with Israel and God always keeps His promises.
    Matthew 24:31 also speaks of these same “four angels and four winds” mentioned in Revelation 7. In your post update [Aug 1, 2009] you state in that the Matthew 24 event cannot happen before the Tribulation period- unless we are missing something. It is my belief, the full gathering of the elect by the four angels who hold the four winds doesn’t happen until after the Tribulation period. Matthew 24:29 states “after the tribulation”. Verse 30 then says “the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky” and “they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds”. Verse 31 then speaks of the “four angels gathering of His elect”.
    It is my belief that Matthew 24:4-28 is referring to the tribulation period and vs. 29-31 are referring to His second coming, two very distinct happenings. I also believe the rapture is a distinct happening from His second coming. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 along with Jn 14:1-3 and 1 Co 15:52 form the biblical basis for the “Rapture”. The time of the rapture cannot be conclusively determined from this passage alone. However, when other texts such as Rev 3:10 and Jn 14:3 are compared and consulted to the texts about Christ’s coming in judgment [Mt 13:34-50; 24:29-44; Rev 19:11-21] at the end of the 7 year tribulation, it should be noted that there is a clear difference between the character of the ‘Rapture’ where there is no mention of any judgment, while other texts mention His coming in judgment. Thus, the Rapture is described as pre-tribulational [before the judgment of Christ]. Please note that the promise is not preservation through the trial but deliverance from it. The Bible never uses the word “church” in a passage relating to the tribulation.
    I believe the church, all dead in Christ and alive at the time of the Rapture will be caught up “in the twinkling of an eye”, before the Tribulation period. But then the hardness of Israel’s heart will be lifted and others by their testimony will also be saved during the Tribulation period. If Matthew 24:4-28 is referring to the time of the tribulation, Matthew 24:19 talks of those who are pregnant during that time. That means those left after the Rapture will be procreating. I believe it is those born after the Rapture that God “woos” by the testimony of the redeemed 144,000 Jews that make up the multitude referred to in Rev 7:9. While the tribulation period will be a time of judgment, it will also be a time of unprecedented redemption. Redemption of the “elect”, the Jews and the those who respond to their testimony by the “wooing” of God.
    In summary, this also fits in with the prophesy of Daniel 9:24-27. One of the purposes of the Tribulation period is God dealing with Israel and the Jews. Dan 9 also prophesies about the death of the Messiah and the coming Tribulation period. That’s another study in itself. I hope that what I have written is thought provoking and maybe helps answer more questions than it causes to arise. I look forward and anticipate your reply.

  8. In Calvinism “Elect” and “Saved” are the same group of people. There will be “Elect” and “Saved” during the Millennium. So Jeff is probably amillennial (i.e. no millennium) which is dogmatic Catholic view. All the Calvinists I have talked with although disagreeing on the exact timing of the arrival if the Bridegroom for His bride do believe that there will be a Millennium.
    The fact Israel’s Millennium is a type for Believers’ Glorification is based on the Abrahamic covenant & the Book of Galatians, the heart of my faith! Both Israel’s Millennium & Believers’ Glorification are unconditional and stem from the same covenant, namely Abrahamic covenant.
    Genesis 15:18 In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates.
    Here, God says He will give Israel land from Egypt to Iraq which has not been fulfilled in the past thus has to be in the Millennium.
    This Covenant is also the foundational to biblical Christianity!
    Galatians 3:18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.
    Galatians 3:24-29 24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. 26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

  9. Written as a Biblicist and not a Calvinist.

    I have been down these roads from both sides of the fence and would just make a comment or two. First let me say, it looks like you are doing a work for God, that is good.

    1. It will appear to you if you look closely at Matthew 24 that this is not at all speaking of the rapture. If so, it defies the first rules of exposition. “If the plain sense makes sense, we need no other sense.” note that Matt. 24 uses the example of Noah and the flood. If you examine this closely, you will remember that those taken in the flood were taken in judgement. this fits the entire Scripture surrounding Matt. 24.

    2. IF matthew 24 IS speaking of the rapture then that rapture is certainly Post tribulational. We can safely say that becausse of the Illustration of Noah and the flood. This is why the liberal crowd of Scofield’s day held our crowd in such derision.

    3. It would also behoove us to look at who this chapter was written to. To the Jews and it is plain. While the church is certainly in view in the latter chapters of the Gospels and beginning of acts, we can’t be answering the Jewish Disciples of the pre church era with church promises. They were looking for the promises to the Jews. The church was the “mystery’ revealed by Paul. To think otherwise does despite to the Scripture.

    I’ve been on the other side of this argument. I understand the thinking, it just doesn’t fit the scriptures. We have to make Scripture our basis of thinking. We can’t look for what we think and believe and see if we can find justification for our thinking. It just doesn’t work that way.

    I’m not picking on anyone here. I’m just one who has had to relearn truth when i tried to align myself with Scripture.
    When Jesus was asked by the disciples why others were doing it different than themselves HE said to “leave them alone”. If they are not against us, they must be with us. Makes good sense and I think we do hurt to God’s people when we choose to attack such a vast number of other people who believe somewhat different about whether and how depravity has done despite. I’m speaking of those who have responded to “Whosoever will may come”. God is not a schizophrenic.

    There Is no divisiveness in Scripture between, “Whosever will” and “Chosen in Him”. They are fully integrated here in our Scripture. The problem is US. “My ways are above your ways and past finding out”. What part of that can we not understand.

    In Christ love,

    saw your “captcha” thing. If you don’t want comments don’t suggest it. I’m willing. Just a preacher, not a computer nut.

  10. Thanks for your comments, John.

    Ironically, I preached from Matthew 24 this past week and came to the same conclusion you did in #1 that the most likely way of understanding the “one will be taken” passage is in light of the judgement of Noah’s day. The one “taken” seems to be parallel to the ones where were destroyed in Noah’s day.

    Anyway, I’m sorry about the captcha you saw. Next time you post a comment, you won’t see it if you use the same email address. I get a couple hundred spam comments a day, and I have to use some system to thin out the good from the bad!

    Grace and Peace.

  11. I am a pre-trib Calvinist. I don’t understand why you think God couldn’t rapture only those of his elect he had already saved. Matthew 24 does not say if all the elect or just some will be raptured. You imply that God doesn’t favor some of his elect over others but this doesn’t make sense; if God favors the elect over the non-elect, then why can’t he favor some of the elect over others. Also if God doesn’t favor some of the elect over others then why do some of the elect have to suffer so much in this life, while others are relatively comfortable.

  12. God’s election is sovereign. Those who are pretribulationally raptured are raptured also because of God’s sovereign will. Those who are not yet saved at the time of the rapture, but who will be saved during the Tribulation are left behind at the rapture because of God’s sovereign will. All the more reason to fall on your knees and worship Him asap. He is LORD, as those who will be raptured will find out, and those who will be left behind will also find out. All the more reason to accept Jesus christ’s free gift of salvation, NOW.

    Eat, chew and digest everyone of these following scriptures. Without making them part of your very being, you will be left behind to go through the Great Tribulation. Remember, in Revelation 8, no less than 3 interspacial bodies slam into the earth ….. think about it. Cease questioning the sovereignty of the LORD and bow the knee and heart to HIM…

    Isaiah 29:16
    Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter’s clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding? Isaiah 29:16

    Romans 9:19
    One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who is able to resist his will?”

    Romans 9:20
    But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?'”

    Psalm 103:14
    for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.

    Isaiah 10:15
    Does the ax raise itself above the person who swings it, or the saw boast against the one who uses it? As if a rod were to wield the person who lifts it up, or a club brandish the one who is not wood!

    Isaiah 45:9
    “Woe to those who quarrel with their Maker, those who are nothing but potsherds among the potsherds on the ground. Does the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you making?’ Does your work say, ‘The potter has no hands’?

    Isaiah 64:8
    Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.

    Job 13:15
    Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.

    Matthew 24:43
    But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into.

    Matthew 24:44
    So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.

    Mark 13:33
    Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come.

    Luke 21:36
    Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

  13. Hi Josh,

    Thanks for the comment, but I should point out that the passages you listed are passages about God’s sovereignty and do not address the teaching of the rapture of the church at all with the possible exception of Matthew 24 and Mark 13.

    I grant already that God is sovereign, and I further grant that he has authority to do whatever he wishes. If he wishes to favor some for early rapture and not others, that is his prerogative. However, the plain teaching of the Bible indicates to me that he does not show such favoritism.

    My reading of the text is that the “elect” are always one group treated as a whole and God does not distinguish between election (something He does for us) and salvation (something we earn by responding to him).

    So the entire issue settles again on how you answer these questions:

    • Because Scripture teaches us that election predates the creation of the world (Ephesians 1:3-14) and that election carries with it “every spiritual blessing” and a “guarantee” of our inheritance, should we not conclude that all who are elect shall partake of the blessing of the rapture?
    • Because Matthew 24:21-22 teaches that the Great Tribulation to come on the earth will be shortened for the sake of the elect, should we not conclude that the elect are on the earth during the Great Tribulation?
    • Do we have any justification in the text of the Bible to understand two different categories of the elect? That is, are all the saved also elect? Are all the elect also saved? Are there any elect who are not yet saved?

    The reason I put the Pre-Trib against the Calvinist in this article is to highlight this simple truth: Calvinists believe that God’s work of election predates creation, and that it is both necessary and sufficient for a person’s salvation… therefore, the true Calvinist must accept that if God so chooses, a person may be “saved” even if they die prior to praying the sinner’s prayer. That is, the Calvinist must believe that a person who is elect is saved from before they are even born.

    However, the Pre-Trib camp must believe that a person who is not saved today may become a person who is saved tomorrow. As an evangelical Christian, I personally understand the value of such teaching for evangelistic purposes, but it doesn’t line up with the Calvinist approach to election.

    Therefore, no matter how much the Pre-Trib person wants to talk about God’s sovereignty or their own Calvinism (i.e. MacArthur et als.) they can’t be truly Calvinist. The true Calvinist does not have God electing before the foundation of the world, but also categorizing each person as effectively “non-elect” until they personally respond to the gospel.

    If you believe there are Christians on the earth after the rapture of the church, you are not a real Calvinist.

  14. Hi Jeff, I have found this very interesting. I’m not here to comment really on the content as I am currently in and probably always will be in journey mode. I feel I have come a very long way.
    A little background, I am 33 years old and was born and raised in the United Pentecostal Church. Over the past 6-7 years I’ve been on my journey to really find Jesus and His church. I will say nothing negative toward any faith only to say that if it’s not solidly found in the Word of God then it must be false.
    Anyway the reason I’m even reading this is because I’ve found myself more and more lining up with “New Calvinism” i.e. Piper, Chandler, Driscoll, etc…and I wanted to see the Calvinist view of end times. Also I do not whole heartedly support the notion of predestination. I read everything I can get my hands on and seek God for direction. While reading these posts I just felt to reach out and try to make a connection with some believers for more input and direction in the Word.

  15. Thanks Robbie. I’m glad you found my site here. I totally want to encourage you to keep pursuing your efforts to ground your faith solidly in the Word of God above all else. If there’s anything I can do to help you on that journey, feel free to contact me again. You can reach me more directly through my facebook page if you wish.

    1. Dear Jeff,

      I recently read your great commentary why you can’t believe in Pretribulation Rapture and simultaneously be a Calvinist. I agree!
      All one has to do is read John Calvin’s commentary on 2 Thess 2:3
      and you will see that Immanence if impossible in his view.
      However, I would like to invite you to read my just penned article:
      Pre-wrath Rapture Principality Decalog and Addendum at:

      Thank you!

      In Christ,

  16. The pre-trib teaches works salvation by Faith+self-works for the Old Covenant and Grace through Faith+nothing salvation for the New Covenant under the doctrines of dispensationalism and particular the dispensation of grace and dual-covenant theory.

    Once the church departs the New Covenant pauses and the period of grace through Faith ends. This leaves those “left behind” to be reverted back to the Old Covenant in which they teach Faith+self-works as a means of ones salvation up until the end of the millinial kingdom cause only the church partake in grace through Faith and no one outside of the Grace period partake in salvation through Grace,Mercy,Faith and Christ alone, so they say and teach.

    They truly deny the Lord whom they claimed redeemed them as Jesus professes.

    Now with your rapture of all the elect, I have an issue with this because not all the elect partake in immortality involving the resurrection rapture.
    We have to be careful because although we see the dead elect being resurrected immortal and some of the elect that remain and are still alive at thier resurrection aswell partake in being transformed unto immortality to then be raptured to meet Jesus in the clouds. We still have the righteous sheep whom are gathered with the goats after Jesus is already seated on His throne in Matthew 25 to be approved to enter the Millinial Kingdom as Mortals to re-populate the earth. Some say it will be the 144k but we see them in Rev 14 before Gods throne in the 3rd Heaven before the return of Christ because they are amongst the 4 living Creatures and elders. Plus how can God re-populate the earth if only the 144 were to enter? They are all male virgin’s? Thier will be elect mortals whom will live the entire 1k reign and not see death because the 2nd resurrection is only for the unrighteous dead. And so it is my understanding that they will be changed unto immortality while alive just as those whom were raptured alive.

  17. You seem to be trying to change the minds of those who agree with the tulip. I think you’re wasting your time. I was called a Calvinist before I knew what that even meant. As long as Calvin teachers the plain truth of Scripture I don’t really care, but you appear to be making arguments from ignorance. For me the scriptures clearly teach that the Father chose His own before the foundation of the earth and all that the Father gives to the Son He will raise up. You claim to be Christian why don’t you understand these things. Pray to The Father for truth then get it from Scripture, not books on Calvin or anyone else unless they agree with Scripture. The whole Bible should be understood. Old Testament The Father is Husband of the Jews. The Church age is the time of the gentles. The tribulation is the time of Jacobs trouble. Not all who call themselves Israel belong to God,the same as not all who call themselves Christian. Don’t call God unfair, if He does what is necessary to mould you into the kind of vessel He has purposed for you to be. Paul had to suffer greatly for the sake of the gospel. Don’t get hung up on the word “elect”, the church age was for The Bride of Christ, Jew and gentile are one in Christ. I don’t think the tribulation saints are part of the bride because if they were they’re missing the marriage supper. What about those saved during the millennial reign. I don’t pretend to know everything but I know God is sovereign, not men, and God does whatever He pleases. He has no sin, He knows everything, He determined the end from the beginning, He doesn’t make any mistakes, He is subject to no one, His work is perfect and all his way are just. I don’t like your term ” woo” Salvation is a gift,determined by the give, it’s not an intellectual achievement. You must be born again. Born again is not conditional on the one who has received it. Read the gospels about the thief on the right, one minute hurling abuse the same as the other thief, the next moment a complete change of heart.( a rebirth of the spirit). You want some credit for your salvation, I would question the salvation of anyone with that attitude. It’s not my opinion you have to be afraid of. Communication between God and His Children is hard to understand especially for the lost, Jesus says, my sheep hear my voice and that we won’t follow another. Pray for the truth of God ‘s word, don’t be guilty of causing anyone to stumble. May The Lord be merciful to us all , God Bless…

  18. I’m sorry for your very personal views. I’m also sorry to let you know that a 5-point Calvinist should be a Pre-Tribulational Premillennialist. I’m one such rare creature. John MacArthur would explain to you as to why every Calvinist should be a Premillennialist. The Apostle Paul, if he were alive today, would also gladly explain to you, besides the Thessalonians, as to why every Calvinist should be a Pre-Tribulational Premillennialist.

    1. Yes, John MacArthur could explain to me why Calvinists should also be Pre-Tribulational. I just think there are holes in the logic.

      I don’t think Paul was Pre-Trib.

  19. I am a pan Panmillennialist, (it will all pan out, and then we will know for sure). Just a joke.
    Seriously though, I have one major issue with a pretribulation second coming where the elect are caught up. I have been preaching for 20 years that today is the day of your salvation. I even have a saying, “get right, or get left.” So, if there is a pretribulation rapture of the saints, what do I preach then? Repent, for to every man is appointed a time to die, and then the judgment, today is the day of your salvation, but if you don’t believe me, you can wait untill you see the saints caught up, then get right with the Lord.
    That to me just does not make sense. How can I call men to repentance with any urgency, save for the cause of death, if they can just wait for the rapture to make sure that what I have been warning them about for years has truly happened.
    It would be like saying, I will believe in Christ when I see a miracle. I have always taught that once that trumpet sounds, it is to late.
    I am being sincere here, and if I am missing something, i would appreciate correction.
    May God bless you.

  20. I will start my reply by stating I no longer know where I stand on this whole issue and am still learning but here is a couple of thoughts when reading your informative post. I am leaning towards a later rapture however.

    On point number 3.

    Couldn’t the rapture happen after the antichrist first appears but before the whole tribulation really kicks in. I mean there would have been people in Germany who didn’t like Hitler and/or could see where he was going and resisted him, or certainly didn’t vote for that party, long before the Nazis hit the big time and showed their true colours and started all the evil things they did and the war. In other words people would have time to be able to reject the antichrist before the rapture.

    As for the other points, yes Jesus already selects people for salvation since the beginning of time but perhaps the events of the tribulation is part of that salvation and what brings them to Christ. Many people have personal tribulations that makes them come, or come back to Christ. Jesus selects you but you also have to respond surely. That process and it’s timing in a person’s life is unique to the individual surely.

  21. It has been 46 years since the Lord showed me my self serving sin, and His marvelous solution through His Son’s death and resurrection. I still am astounded at His Love and provision. In the ongoing disagreement re: the “Rapture,” I am impressed and calmed in remembering that He knows the end from the beginning, which suggests to me that He chooses or “elects” those He FORESEES will respond to The Holy Spirit’s conviction of their sin by hearing,REPENTING, following. 2Peter 3:9, John3:16, Acts 2:38, John 10:28, Luke15:10. Charles
    Spurgeon had a practical suggestion re: these matters.. “Preach Christ or nothing: don’t dispute or discuss, except with your eye on the Cross”

  22. The Calvinist will say that there will be no believer at that time left behind.
    They dare enough to say that God predestined all humans before the creation,
    So they dare enough to say : Yes… some of the elect will taste the Tribulation, some not.

    So, they make a story something like this:
    Though all Church Age believers will be gone, millions of people left behind on earth will come to their senses during this time and will trust in Jesus as their Savior. Tragically, most of them will pay for their faith in Jesus by losing their lives.

    They jump from the story they made before the Tribulation to a different story during the Tribulation.
    Before Tribulation:
    The elect doesn’t have to pay the faith given by God’s grace

    During Tribulation :
    The elect does have to pay the faith given by God’s grace

  23. pls note that “elect” pertains both to israel and church as two separate group of people (Deut 7:7; Eph 1:4-13), with two definite program of God (Romans 11).
    Second, its true that the “elect” in Mat 24 pertains to the jews whom God will gather to fulfill His promise. These two sets of people The Nation Israel and The Church are both called “elect” with distinct program of God, thus, “elect” from Calvinist should be aligned to Dispensationalist view.

    1. I disagree with the dispensationalist view and I further disagree that “elect” should be taken to mean two different groups of people. I find no evidence in Scripture that God in the New Testament era maintains two separate groups of people called “elect.” The way I understand Paul’s writings is that the Church and the nation of Israel are two earthly structures that have contained “elect” people throughout their history. For Paul, the Church replaces the nation of Israel as the structure in which elect people operate. I know many people disagree with this point of view, but it is the simplest way to understand the writings of Paul and the words of the Prophets.

  24. I know this post is 11 years old, but it popped up in google. So people can still find it. I’m interested in whether or not you still hold these views after 11 years.

    My comment:
    In my mind, your logic doesn’t make sense when you take into account free will, God’s perfect timing, and scripture. What you’re doing is putting the rapture on an overly high pedestal as an event in our lives. Granted, I understand that it’s THE most important even in human history, but personally the day of our salvation is a much more important event. Heck, even individual death is close to as important or maybe equally important as the rapture.

    With that said, like Jeff stated over a decade ago, many come to Christ through trials and tribulations. This would be no different. Maybe there is a spectrum of “elect”. Maybe the bottom end of the spectrum are those that need the tribulation to give into what they know is true. I personally know many that know God we’ll, and yet do not meet the depiction of a Christian in the Bible. Most Christians today fall into this category.

    1 John 2:3-4, for one of manyexamples, tells us that if we don’t obey Jesus’ commands, we’re not actually saved.

    With knowledge like that, suddenly the idea that many who love God but haven’t fully committed might finally commit when the world goes to hell(almost literally), seems reasonable to me.

    This isn’t playing favoritism anymore than having elect to begin with. Some May need a bigger nudge than others.


  25. Rapture is human invention.
    If rapture is the 2º most important event after salvation, why Jesus never preached about it? Why not even one of the prophets spoke about it? The word Salvation appears 40 times in the New Testament and the word rapture not even once, why Calvin, Luther, Augustine, and many others never wrote about it? The book of St Thomas Aquinas has more than a 1,000 pages and there is no mention of the church rapture, the word rapture may be there but to explain Paul’s rapture, please answer me:

  26. My only comment is that the true church is not elected to be part of the rapture, but to belong to Christ. Most Christians would not experience it. I understand the Bible seems to show Jesus gathering his elect all at once. That can be good support for what you are saying, or it could simply be a general reference to Jesus ultimately rounding up his own.

  27. Do you, then, believe that the rapture will occur before the wrath of God, and after the Tribulation? My husband and I see that this is what scripture says. Is this what Reform churches believe? We are looking for a church that does not teach pre-trib….

    1. Hi Marcia, my point of view is that Christians will be on Earth all the way until Jesus returns in power and judgment, at which point, all believers living and dead will be “caught up” to meet the Lord in the air and then will join his entourage as he descends to Earth and begins to establish his Kingdom. I think that is the most straightforward way to take the relevant texts without going beyond what they actually say. I further believe that God will protect his people from his coming wrath as described in the book of Revelation before that final day. However, I don’t follow the hard and fast timeline taught by some that there will be a time of “Tribulation” followed by a time of “God’s Wrath” and that a “rapture” will happen between the two.

      Nevertheless, if you are looking for a church, I invite you to reach out to me directly so I can tell you more about the one I lead.

  28. I worked with a Brother that I dearly love and respect, that is a Calvanist and he believes in a pre trib rapture. I am not a Calvanist and believe in the pre trib rapture. The fact is, as born again believers, we search the scriptures, and come to different conclusions for a lot of different reasons, maybe we don’t have all the pieces together yet, or we don’t really earnestly and sincerely study prayerfully. The thing we need to realize is, a person is saved because he/she understands some fundamental truths, and has Trusted Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection with a penitent heart. Think about that person who is a new believer that is excited, and loves the Lord, but yet don’t understand yet, some of those things. We are to love one another. If you are saved and there will be a pre trib rapture, then your going weather you believe it or not, and the same thing is true for pre wrath, mid, and post tribulationist. What ever the actual reality is, is what it is. In our human imperfections we can be wrong or miss something, but the true believer wants the truth. After all, not everyone can be right on the issue, but everybody saved can love God, live for him, and be a witness for Christ. Lastly, just because someone believes in a pre trib rapture doesn’t mean they can’t be prepared for trials, tribulations of the world, persecutions, and death. Christians since the birth of the Church have been tortured, crucified, burned alive, and heavily persecuted. Many of those Christians even today believe as I do, in a pre trib rapture……God bless bro. Keep loving Jesus and his body… All men will know we are his disciples if we have love for one another. I hope God leads you and blesses you…

  29. Daniel 4:35
    And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou? Sorry but nothing beats JMcArthur expository preaching on this subject. “Beware, if you don’t want to become a Pre-tribulation convert do not read this content.” 🙂 Good day and God bless.

    1. Thanks Vielsa. You are mixing the concepts of pre-millennial and pre-tribulational. They are two separate doctrines. My article is about pre-tribulationalism, the article you linked is about pre-millennialism.

  30. Calvinists are notorious for *deleting the truth where it doesn’t fit John Calvn’s sovereignly wicked thoughts and ways. Of course they would be forced into thinking that God was wrong once again by saying that he has delivered believers from the *wrath to come upon the whole earth. Have your Calvinist friends define *sin, *justice, *judgment, and *equity and they cannot. But God defines them all perfectly…

    1. Thanks for the comment, but I don’t believe you understand the Calvinist perspective, the actual teaching of John Calvin, or the point of my post. I wasn’t trying to say Calvinists were evil, wicked, or deceptive. I was just trying to point out a logical inconsistency with their approach since many modern Pre-Trib teachers are also Calvinists (e.g. John MacArthur). Furthermore, I encourage you to reduce your judgmental attitude against the Calvinist perspective. Specifically, although it was a cute play on words to refer to John Calvin as “sovereignly wicked” it was also improper for you to say so.

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