The fourth and final view of the Book of Revelation is commonly referred to as Historical Premillennialism and there are some significant differences between this eschatological doctrine and Dispensational Premillennialism (Dispensationalists). For the purposes of this short article, I will only address the two main dissimilarities. As I mentioned in my last article, Dispensationalists believe that “Jesus will return to Earth before (pre) the Millennium and remove (Rapture) the Church (His people) before a 7-year Tribulation” (Jones, 2010) and we are currently in the Dispensation of Grace on God’s timeline and the next event that follows is the Rapture. Historical Premillennialists not only believe that the Church will remain during the Tribulation but they also dismiss the Pre-Tribulation Rapture and the 7 Dispensations, as well as the modern Nation of Israel.
Furthermore, Historical Premillennialists believe that God has always had only one plan and one people and that His work with the Nation of Israel was only preliminary for His revelation of Himself through Jesus and His work with the Church (Jones, 2010). In fact, Blomberg & Chung (2009) stated that
“When Christianity became the official religion of Rome in the fourth century, many things began to change, including acceptance of Historic Premillennialism and …one of the most influential of modern Historical Premillennialist works is that of George Eldon Ladd, who was an evangelical New Testament scholar and professor of New Testament exegesis and theology at Fuller Theological Seminary and recognized for his enormous appreciation of the redemptive-historic significance of the first coming of the Christ. It was through his work that Historical Premillennialism gained scholarly respect and popularity among evangelical and Reformed theologians.”
Read more of Craig Blomberg and Sung Wook Chung’s “Case for Historical Premillennialism” at: http://www.gotquestions.org/historic-premillennialism.html
Once again, we find an End Times viewpoint that does not take Scripture literally and presupposes hasty conclusions about the most significant events in the Book of Revelation. The fact that the Church (as the Bride of Christ) will be dragged through the Tribulation certainly does not reconcile well with Revelation 3:10 and 1 Thessalonians 4: 16-18. While I believe that a Christian’s greatest growth occurs in the valley of trials and suffering, I also believe that God is not through with the Nation of Israel and will deal with her when He removes the Church at the Pre-Tribulational Rapture.
Nevertheless, only those who believe in Jesus Christ as his or her personal Lord and Savior will experience eternal bliss in Heaven! I pray that you will turn your life over to Him today without delay. In the meantime, stay tuned as I will be announcing my new series next month… See you then!!