The Non-Preterist Historicalism of John Calvin and the Westminster Standards

"The false prophets…who are refuted by Paul," comments Calvin,11 "were bidding men feel assured of His speedy advent" even during apostolic times. However, Paul then retorts: "The 'day of Christ' will not come, until [after] the world has fallen into apostasy and the rule of Antichrist has held sway in the Church…. The word 'apostasy'…cannot be confined to a few individuals…. Paul, then, is predicting a general defection on the part of the Visible Church….

"We may at once conclude how useful this prediction of Paul's is. For it might have seemed that a building [the Christian Church] which…lay for so long in ruins, could not have been the work of God — had Paul not warned them long before, that this would take place…. Paul, however, is not speaking of one individual — but of a kingdom that was to be seized by Satan for the purpose of setting up a seat of abomination in the midst of God’s temple. This we see accomplished in Popery…. The sect of Mohammed [570f A.D.] was like a raging overflow which in its violence tore away about half of the Church. It remained for Antichrist to infect the part which was left."