Well, sorry it has taken so long to do a follow-up post. Who knew life was this busy? The discussion in the posts to come will reside in the realm of the Second Coming of Christ. In a previous post I brought up the issues of popular media influencing our understanding of what the Bible actually teaches concerning Christ coming again.
The first millennial view that we will look at is what is commonly called Premillenialism. This view is usually associated with the futurist reading of Revelation (that can be another blog post, maybe). In this view Jesus will return before (pre) the thousand years (millennium). If you have forgotten, the passage under discussion when it comes to the millennial views is Revelation 20:1-6.The “thousand years” in the Revelation is taken to be a literal reading in this view.
When Christ returns he will wage battle with the beast and the false prophet (Revelation 16:14-16; 19:11-21. In this battle Christ will bind the devil thereby preventing the devil from deceiving the nations for a thousand years (Revelation 20:1-3).
During this time the saints, through resurrection and transformation (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18) in the “first” resurrection will reign with Christ for that thousand years. Sin will still be present in the world at this time, but it will be lessened.
Many who hold to this view, mainly dispensationalists (God has different dispensations in the history of redemption) believe that the restoration of Israel as a nation with material blessings and covenant fidelity will occur during this thousand year reign.
At the end of the thousand year reign there will be a global rebellion against Christ in which the Great Dragon, the devil, will be defeated finally. This is when the “second” resurrection occurs and the wicked will rise to be judged and experience the second death in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:6, 11-14). God will also recreate the current earth and secure His kingdom free from sin and its effects (Revelation 21-22).
There are derivations of this view, of course. Many are familiar with the teaching of the Rapture, we give many sardonic thanks to C.I. Scofield. This view, held by premillennial dispensationalists expects the thousand year reign of Christ, but it also expects that Jesus will “rapture” believers from the earth before the tribulation of seven years (3.5 years of lesser tribulation and 3.5 years of greater tribulation). This is the pre-tribulation view, there is also a mid-trib and a post-trib…lost yet?After the tribulation Christ will come back to earth and he will bring his saints with him. We call this “exegetical gymnastics”. If you would like a brief look on why the doctrine of the Rapture is unbiblical, click here.
There are many Christians who believe that the Premillennial view is correct, and this is fine. Good Christians can disagree. I disagree with the Premillennial view, and especially any view that holds to the Rapture, because these views attempt to take more from Scripture than is actually there. For example, in a book of symbolism, Premillennialists take the “thousand years” to be literal. These views impose two resurrections when the Bible teaches one resurrection for all people (John 5:28-29). These views divide the redemptive history of God into dispensations when the Bible teaches a unification in the Covenant of Grace, (Galatians 3:16, 29, 2 Corinthians 1:18-22).
For a well respected view on Premillennialsim I recommend, A Case For Historic Premillennialism: An Alternative to “Left Behind” Eschatology.
Next post: Postmillennialism.