Eschatology is the study of the last things—the end times. Christians have different views on this topic, but they’re all related to this word, millenium, which comes from Revelation 20:1: “Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand, the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the 1000 years were ended.”
So the 1000 years is the millennium. That’s what the term refers to.
The amillennial view, which is the view that I hold, is that the 1000 years described in Revelation 20:1 is a figurative number. It’s symbolic rather than a literal 1000 years. Right now, Jesus Christ is reigning as the gospel advances in the world. His kingdom has begun, right? It’s already here in one sense. But it’s not here in every sense. It still has to be consummated. That will happen at the Second Coming. So, the ammillennial view understands teaches that Christ comes after the present millennial reign.
The postmillennial view is a bit different. Postmillennialism says that Jesus will come back after reigning physically and visibly on Earth. That will be a time of peace and prosperity where the gospel advances throughout the world.
The premillennial view differs from both of these, and many Christians embrace it. In premillenialism, Jesus comes back prior to the millennial, or 1,000-year, reign. So he’s going to establish his kingdom on earth and reign literally here on earth for 1000 years.
So those are some of the differences. Again, Revelation 20 is the key text. I lean towards the amillennial view. If you’re looking for a book that would be helpful in learning more about that, check out A Case for Amillennialism: Understanding the End Times by Kim Riddlebarger.
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