Welcome to the second part of our Eschatology series: A look at the end times. In part 1, we covered WHY you should care about Eschatology and why it’s worth spending our time on. Now we are going to deep dive into the first viewpoint: Premillennialism. The next episode will feature Amillennialism and the next part Postmillennialism. We will wrap up the series with a Q&A episode! Let’s dive in!
Listen to the Podcast:
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A note on this series: In no way are Jason and I an expert in this topic. But we’ve greatly enjoyed diving into eschatology this year and are excited to share what we’ve learned. We are covering the 3 main views of the end times, but even within those 3, there are countless smaller viewpoints of those. So what we are attempting to do here is a broad overview of each point. Please forgive us if we over generalize any areas or if we make a mistake on any of these. Please come dialogue with us on Instagram if you want to share anything!
Defining our Terms
Before we jump into the Premill viewpoint, let’s first define a few terms we will talk about when it comes to all three viewpoints.
- Second Coming of Jesus: To conquer sin and death and Satan once and for all. Verses: 1 Thess 5, Titus 2:13, Matthew 24:30, Revelation 1:7, Revelation 19:11.
- When will the second coming happen? It will be like a thief in the night. No one knows when it’ll happen. Verses: 1 Thess 5:2, Matthew 24:44.
- Antrichrist: Man of lawlessness. Verses: 2 Thess 2:3-4, Revelation 13:5-8.
- The Rapture: Gathering up of all believers; the Church. Verse: 1 Thess 4:17
- Millennium: the 1000 year reign of Christ (either figurative or literal 1000 years). Verse: Revelation: 20:2-3
- Final Judgement: Where Jesus will judge the living and the dead. Verses: Revelation 20:11-15.
Overview of the Premillennial Viewpoint:
This is the view that Christ’s second coming will happen before the Millennial Kingdom which will be the 1000 year reign of Christ on Earth, The two most common views within premil are pre-trib and post-trib. Though there are arguments for mid-trib as well.
Premills have a futurist view of the book of Revelation. This means that they believe the events outlined in Revelation to be future events (to us). Revelation chapters 4-22 are yet to be fulfilled.
Premills argue that theirs is the most literal reading of Revelation. Those who disagree argue that premills take passages of Revelation as literal when in fact they should be read and interpreted symbolically or figuratively.
Pre-trib Premils believe that Christ will rapture the Church BEFORE the 7 years of tribulation. Post-trib premils believe that the Church will live through the 7 years of Tribulation before Christ comes again.
The most popular view of the end times in America today is the dispensational premill view. This view first appeared in the 19th century which distinguished it from historic premill. This view argues for a secret rapture 7 years before Jesus returns. They also emphasize the fulfillment of the promises made to Jewish people during this Millenium.
Proponents of this view include: Wayne Grudem, John MacArthur, Erwin Lutzer, Charles L. Feinberg, John Walvoord, Charles Ryrie, and J. Dwight Pentecost, and it was popularized through Hal Lindsey’s 1970 bestseller, The Late, Great Planet Earth, and the Left Behind Series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins.
As oppose to their dispensational brothers, historic premill believe that the Church will go through the great Tribulation and the rapture will happen at the end of those 7 years. They also see no radical difference between the Church and Israel.
Proponents of this view include: John Gill, Charles Spurgeon, John Piper, Albert Mohler, Francis Schaeffer, Carl F. H. Henry, Harold Lindsell, D.A. Carson, Bryan Chapell, and Gordon Clark, and also early church fathers, including Papias, Justin Martyr, and Irenaeus.
- John MacArthur sermon series
- Things to Come by Pentecost, J. Dwight
- The Basis for Premillennial Faith by Ryrie, Charles
- Allie Stuckey Relatable podcast episode on End times
- The Last Things: An Eschatology for Laymen by Ladd, George Eldon
- A Case for Premillennialism: A New Consensus by Campbell, Donald K. and Townsend, Jeffrey L
- https://www.blueletterbible.org/faq/dispre.html (DP visual aid)
- https://www.blueletterbible.org/faq/hispre.html (HP visual aid)