The Last Days

Revelation 20 describes the millennium and return of Jesus Christ to earth.
Is the 1000 years literal or not?

Amillennialism (amil) says no.  It "is proverbial for a very long time" (1087).  Christ's victory is shown on earth, but more spiritually than culturally or physically.  It is also a time of persecution and suffering for the church.  The first resurrection of Rev. 20:5 is our physical death and the following intermediate state.

The post-mil view agrees with the above amil view, except that Christianity will grow in influence culturally.

The classic version of this view says Jesus will return before the millenium and reign on earth.
 The dispensational version of pre-mil says Jesus will return twice, once at the beginning of the 1000 years for an earthly reign, and then again at some point before, during or after the final tribulation (pre-, mid-, or post-trib).

For amil
Satan is bound now, during the millennium?  Yes.  This doesn't mean the absence of evil, but that he cannot stop the spread of the Gospel.

For post-mil
Yes, and the Gospel will succeed in its spread before Christ returns!
OT prophecies of the new heavens and new earth seem to be saying this will happen before Christ's return.  And we can't separate spiritual victory from cultural advance so easily, as the amil tries to do.
The church has certainly grown in expanse and influence since 150AD,, for example.

For pre-mil
God's reign on earth described in the OT prophets cannot be discounted so easily (Isa 65:18-20; Ps 72:8-14).  Revelation 20’s description of Satan’s binding and loosing seems future, not past, and the millennium seems future, not present.

This view asserts that many prophecies of Jesus’ coming were fulfilled in 70 A.D. at the conquest of Jerusalem.  R.C. Sproul’s “The Last Days According to Jesus” lays this out.  Jesus’ coming is said to be near, within a generation (Luke 21:31-32).  Language of the cosmic end of the world can be figurative meant to describe Jerusalem’s end.  This is partly true.  Matthew 24 and Mark 13 are talking in part of about 70 A.D.  But the resurrection of all, the final judgement, and several other consummation events are still future.  The early church fathers never mention 70 A.D. as a significant event of Christ’s “coming.”

Already and not yet
We are living in the last days now (Hebrews 1:1-2; Acts 2:17).  But we pray for the kingdom to come (Matt. 6:10).


God didn’t reveal all this so we could chart the order of events, but to motivate us to obedience.  2 Peter 3:11: “since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness.”  1 John 3:2-3: “it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”  We must be ready for His return (Matt. 24:44; 1 Thess. 5:1-10)!

No comments:

Post a Comment