Week - 45 VIEWS ON THE MILLENNIUM Revelation 20
Updated: Dec 15, 2021
Authored by Jerry Marshall
The 1,000 years are often referred to as the Millennium (Latin for 1,000). There are three major views about the millennium, commonly called premillennialism, amillennialism, and postmillennialism.
Premillennialism says that the 1,000 years is a literal time period. Christ’s second coming will begin the millennium before the final removal of Satan. (The pre-, mid-, and post- Tribulation views are all “premillennial” in that they all agree that Christ will return at some point around the Tribulation, but before this thousand-year reign.)
Under this view are two types of understandings:
(1) Dispensational premillennialists say that at the end of the tribulation will come the battle of Armageddon, the imprisonment of Satan, and Jesus’ reign over Israel (19:19–20:6). During that thousand-year reign, the Old Testament promises for Israel will be fulfilled (such as Isaiah 2:4; 9:6-7; 11:6-9; 35:5-6; 42:1). Dispensationalists believe the Millennium will end with Satan leading a brief rebellion against Christ and then being thrown into the lake of fire. Then God will recreate the heavens and earth.
(2) Historic premillennialists believe that Christ’s Second Coming will occur after the Tribulation to bring believers into his millennial kingdom. He will defeat the Antichrist’s forces at Armageddon and kill the Antichrist, ending a first stage in Christ’s defeat of evil. The believers will accompany Christ as he establishes his millennial kingdom on earth. Satan will be chained during that time. Premillennialists believe that the establishment of Christ’s millennial reign on earth will cause the nation of Israel to turn to Jesus, thus fulfilling many of the Old Testament prophecies for Israel. Historic premillennialists contend that only believers will be raised from the dead to reign with Christ in the millennium. The remaining unbelieving dead will be raised to life when the millennium ends—they will be raised for judgment. At that point, God will bring into existence the new heaven and new earth.
Amillennialism understands the 1,000-year period to be symbolic of the time between Christ’s ascension and his Second Coming; thus, the Millennium is the reign of Christ in the hearts of believers and in his church and is another way of referring to the church age. This period will end with the second coming of Christ. Amillennialists do not believe in a literal period of Tribulation because they view the Tribulation as including various events during the history of the church.
To them, the events of the millennium described in Revelation 20:1-6 are actually occurring now! Amillennialists believe that as the last days approach, the forces of evil will climax with the Antichrist and the great tribulation he will bring (2 Thessalonians 2:1-3). They believe that the wicked will continue to gather strength, persecuting believers more and more. Only when Christ returns will wickedness be stopped once
1 Tyndale Handbook of Bible Charts and Maps, Tyndale publishing 2001 and for all. After judging both the living and dead, Christ will establish his everlasting reign of peace.
Postmillennialism looks for a period of peace on earth ushered in by the church. At the end of this time, Satan will be released, but Christ will return to defeat Satan and reign forever. Postmillennialists believe that Jesus will return to a world that has been “Christianized” by the work of the church. Thus, the millennium will be established by the church, and Christ will only return to the earth after the Millennium. They believe that the church is now gradually transforming society (Matthew 13:31-33). Postmillennialists believe that the tribulation symbolizes the constant conflict between good and evil which has existed throughout history.
Postmillennialists believe that the millennium will end when Satan is released from the bottomless pit. Then Christ will return to judge all people and establish a new heaven and new earth. Postmillennialists believe the church bears the responsibility for spreading the Good News to all the world.