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Views of the Millennial Kingdom and the Rapture

Views of the Millennial Kingdom and the Rapture

There are four major interpretations relating to the kingdom concept of the millennial or thousand-year reign of Christ. They are dispensational premillennial, historical premillennial, amillennial, and postmillennial.

1. Dispensational Premillenial View – This view teaches that a literal physical thousand-year reign of Christ will take place after a seven year tribulation and his return to earth to judge and bring peace. It teaches that the rapture will take place before the tribulation. This view was held by the early church fathers.

2. Historical Premillenial View – This view differs from the dispensational premillenial view in the interpretation of scripture as recorded in the book of Revelation. They believe that some or all of the judgments apply to the Roman persecution of the early Christians. However, they do believe in the thousand-year reign of Christ. Many with this view do not believe in a rapture of the Church.

2. Amillennial View – This view denies that there will be a physical kingdom on earth. The view holds that Christ will return (no rapture) in his second coming and immediate usher in the new heaven and new earth without a thousand-year period. This view holds that most of the prophecies in the old and new testaments have be fulfilled with events of the past or as fulfilled in a spiritual kingdom.

3. Postmillennial View – This view holds that the Church will eventually overcome evil and will usher in a period of utopia. This view began after Rome became a Christian nation and the state and church united. Some postmillennialist picture a thousand years where Christ rules supremely in the heart of the people. Many see this as an evolutionary process were people get better and better and there will be utopia on earth.

Note: When Israel became a nation again in 1948 many changed their view as to the millennial. Knowledge of Old Testament prophecy greatly influences views on the millennial.

Views on the Rapture

1. Pretribulation – The rapture will take place before the beginning of the seven year tribulation.

2. Posttribulation – The rapture will take place after the seven year tribulation and the Church will go through the rapture.

3. Midtribulation – The rapture will take place after the first 3 and one half years of the tribulation.

4. Partial Rapture – Only the faithful will be raptured before the tribulation and the others will be raptured at the end of the tribulation. This concept is based on salvation by works.