C HAPTER 20 Section
HISTORICAL PREMILLENNIALISM What is historical premillennialism? This view believes that Christians will remain on the earth during the great tribulation. The tribulation will purify the churches by rooting out false believers, and the second coming of Christ will precede the millennium. Covenantal historical premillennialists believe that the church has superseded Israel as God’s people. New covenantalists see God’s work with Israel as a temporary picture that pointed forward to what God had already planned to do through Jesus. Like dispensational premillennialists, historical premillennialists see the millennium— the thousand-year reign of Jesus—as a literal, future event. The earliest church fathers envisioned an earthly millennium. During these first centuries of Christian faith, the church’s theologians anticipated not only the physical reign of Jesus Christ following a time of testing but also the restoration of all creation to its original goodness in a millennial kingdom. Historical premillennialism began to fade as later church fathers—influenced by Greek philosophy that viewed the physical world as evil and by the aftermath of some Christians’ false expectations of a physical millennium—downplayed the idea of an earthly millennium.
What do historical premillennialists emphasize? Historical premillennialists try to balance symbolic and literal interpretations of Revelation, emphasizing both what the book meant to first-century readers and how it might apply to people’s lives today.
According to historical premillennialists y God’s promise to give Abraham all the land from the Nile River to the Euphrates River (Genesis 15:18) was made to the “offspring” of Abraham— one, particular offspring whose name is Jesus (Galatians 3:16). During the millennium, Jesus will reign from Jerusalem not only over the land promised to Abraham but also over the whole earth. In this way, Jesus will completely fulfill God’s promise that Abraham’s “offspring” would gain the land from the Nile to the Euphrates. y The true Israelites in every age have been those who trust in Jesus as the divine Messiah-King (Romans 9:6–8; Galatians 6:16). Before Jesus arrived on 344
Published on Jul 20, 2011
Selected Sample Pages from the NEW Rose Guide to End Times Prophecy by Dr. Timothy Paul Jones, Associate Professor, Southern Baptist Theolog...