Premillennialism

This view holds that Christ will return to begin a period of time known as the Millennial Kingdom as described in Revelation 20.

While other views are still considered orthodox and biblically based, this view is regarded as the most literal interpretation.  (Opponents argue that apocalyptic literature can’t and shouldn’t be taken literally.)  This view holds to a literal reign of Christ on David’s throne.  Resurrected saints will reign with Christ during this time.

Many consider this time to be a literal thousand years although one may hold to this view without believing in a literal millennium but rather just an extended period of time.

During this time Satan is bound and holds no sway over humanity.  At the end of the time though, he will be released and conquered once and for all and thrown into the lake of fire.

The world will witness unprecedented peace as Isaiah 65:20 is realized.  “Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years; he who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere youth; he who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed.”

During this time, the promises to Israel will finally and completely be fulfilled.  This is the only millennial view that is in line with dispensationalism as it is the only view that still sees God continue to work with the nation of Israel.

See amillennialism and postmillennialism for different views concerning the Millennial Kingdom.

For further discussion see the article on the Millennial Kingdom.

Postmillennialism

This view holds that Christ will return at the end of the Millennial Kingdom.  Through the spread of the gospel, the world will continue to get better and better until the church “conquers the world” so to speak.  At the culmination of this, Jesus will return to judge the world, sending the wicked to Hell and the righteous to their reward.

During this time, sin will not cease, but it will be minimized because of the influence of the church.  Christ will not physically reign but rather he will spiritually reign through the church because of its vast influence over all facets of life.  (Christ would not need to reign if the church ruled by following His principles.)

The world will witness unprecedented peace as Isaiah 65:20 is realized.  “Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years; he who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere youth; he who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed.”

The thousand year period does not have to be a literal thousand years.  It may be figurative to simply mean a long period of time.

Like the amillennial view, this view sees the promises to Israel as being fulfilled spiritually with the church.  God is finished with Israel because of their rejection.  See Covenant Theology for more on this.

It is worth noting that this view enjoyed heightened popularity during the Industrial Revolution in America and England when people saw the world getting better and better and the gospel reaching further and further into the world.  In the 1900’s many left this view because two World Wars ruined their optimism for a better world.

See also premillennialism for different views concerning the Millennial Kingdom.

For further discussion see the article on the Millennial Kingdom.

Millennial Kingdom

The period of time following the return of Christ described in Revelation 20:1-10.  The name is derived from the reference to a thousand years.  There are numerous views surrounding what occurs during this time and when it actually happens.  Likewise, some believe this time period to be a literal thousand years while others see it as a symbolic time period denoting an indefinite long period of time.

During this period of time, Satan is bound and resurrected saints reign with Christ.  Once again, depending on the view one adopts, these events could be literal or figurative.  The amillennial view sees this as occurring today as Christ reigns within the hearts of believers.  Other views see this as still future.

See also premillennialism and postmillennialism for different views concerning the Millennial Kingdom.

For further discussion see the article on the Millennial Kingdom.

Amillennialism

Amillennialists do not believe in a Millennial Kingdom.  Followers of this view hold that Christ currently reigns in the hearts of Christians and that there is no need for a physical reign.  The future reign with Christ described in Revelation 20 is considered to be ruling with Christ in heaven and not on earth.

Because there are promises to Israel that are to take place in the Millennial Kingdom, this view holds that the promises to Israel have been transferred to the church.  God is done with Israel as they have rejected their Messiah.  See Covenant Theology for more information.

See also premillennialism, and postmillennialism for different views concerning the Millennial Kingdom.  For further discussion see the article on the Millennial Kingdom.