An Overview Of Various Eschatological Positions

Premillennialism

Within Premillennialism there are three or four different positions. There is the Pre-tribulational rapture of the Church, the Mid-tribulational rapture, the Pre-wrath rapture, and the Post-tribulational rapture.
It seems that the default position for most Premillenialists is the Pre-tribulational rapture position. Most everyone knows something about that view. The church is raptured at the beginning of the tribulation which lasts for seven years. At the end of the seven years a literal thousand years reign is initiated by Christ where he sits on David’s throne and rules from Jerusalem.
The Mid-trib view is basically the view that after three and a half years of the tribulation, at the midway point, the rapture occurs, then after the remaining period of time a literal thousand year reign begins.
The Pre-wrath view says that the rapture occurs before the wrath of God is poured out, whenever that may be during the tribulation. After the tribulation a literal thousand year reign commences.
The Post-trib view (historic Premillenialism) says that after the seven year tribulation period the rapture takes place and a literal thousand year reign is inaugurated.

Postmillennialism

Since I have never been Postmil, I thought I would do better to quote a Postmillennialist on the view in the interest of fairness. “Postmillennialism is that view of the last things which holds that the Kingdom of God is now being extended in the world through the preaching of the Gospel and the saving work of the Holy Spirit, that the world eventually will be Christianized, and that the return of Christ will occur at the close of a long period of righteousness and peace commonly called the Millennium.
This view is, of course, to be distinguished from that optimistic but false view of human betterment and progress held by Modernists and Liberals which teaches that the Kingdom of God on earth will be achieved through a natural process by which mankind will be improved and social institutions will be reformed and brought to a higher level of culture and efficiency. This latter view presents a spurious or pseudo Postmillennialism, and regards the Kingdom of God as the product of natural laws in an evolutionary process, whereas orthodox Postmillennialism regards the Kingdom of God as the product of the supernatural working of the Holy Spirit in connection with the preaching of the Gospel.”- Lorraine Boettner, Postmillennialism. You can also view some of the ‘myths’ about Postmillennialism here.

Amillennialism

Amillennialism is the view that the millennial reign of Christ has both a present and a future reality. So Amillennialists are really misnamed in the sense that they do believe in a millennial reign, but that the millennium is to be interpreted allegorically as the period beginning at the first coming of Christ and following the second coming of Christ. In other words, the ‘millennial’ reign has both a present manifestation in the Church and a future realization at the second coming of Christ. Neither period is a literal thousand years.

In Revelation 20 the binding of Satan is seen as a work that Christ accomplished during His first coming. The little while that the devil must be released is the tribulation.
Revelation 20 is the battleground. But we must remember also that all sides interpret Revelation 20 in the same way they interpret the rest of the Book of Revelation. So if there is any argument from any side, we have all got to remember how we got to Revelation 20.
This is my view.

For a more detailed exposition of Amillenialism see Anthony Hoekema’s online works on ‘Amillenialism’ here.

There are also some good articles here. Click the sidebar icon titled ‘Eschatology’ and read Riddlebarger, Vos, and Hendriksen if you are interested.

Kim Riddlebarger provides some helpful links here.

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5 Comments

Filed under eschatology, Kim Riddlebarger, Theology

5 responses to “An Overview Of Various Eschatological Positions

  1. Alan Kurschner

    Jeremy,

    Thanks for your post. A summary of the premill views with a case for the Prewrath can be found here.

  2. Jason E. Robertson

    I love pithy posts!! Good job.

    As a preterist Amillenarian, my view of satan’s binding in Rev. 20 is seen as his inability to “deceive the nations” while the Church takes the gospel to “all nations” (Matt. 28:19). Therefore, I view the release of satan for a period will happen briefly before the Second Coming of Christ. This pattern is seen biblically in the escalated demonic activity surrounding the Exodus, surrounding the Incarnation, surrounding the Crucifixion and Pentecost.

  3. Peter D. Nelson

    Jeremy you quoted the right man for post-millennialism, speaking as the token “postie” of the group.

    Although I think I would have separated the pre-mill between historic and dispensational also.

  4. Jeremy Weaver

    Wow! The big guns are commenting on this one!

    Alan,
    Good resource.

    Jason,
    I think I agree with you.

    Peter,
    I find myself more and more trying to avoid the Dispensationalism, Progressive Dispensationalism, Covenant Theology, and New Covenant Theology categories since really and truly very few people actually fit into them.

    And I might write a post on something related to this in the near future.

  5. Jeremy, please email me about using this post as a “guest poster” at bluecollar.

    Mark

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