Here are the broad stokes that generally differentiate the other 2 of 4 "millennial-oriented" views of eschatology that I referred to in my second post on this subject. (Note: There are many more differences within these views on specific sub-points that are beyond the purpose of my blog.)
Post-millennialism beliefs - there are only two "ages" rather than three; this age and the eternal age that will fully manifest new heavens and the new earth; the 1,000 years referred to in Revelation 20 is understood as a symbolic time frame within this present age in which the Gospel will be received and lived out in all spheres of life by a vast majority of the people within the nations of the earth (a very optimistic view of the visible effects of the victory of Jesus over sin and human evil through His First Coming); at the end of this "golden age" of a very substantial manifestation of God's glory upon and Christ's reign over human lives on earth, Satan will be "unbound" and allowed to mount a doomed rebellion, Jesus will physically return to quash this final uprising of evil, raise all the dead from their graves (thereby banishing death forever), clothe all of His believers with glorified physical bodies; enact a final judgement of all who have ever lived in light of their beliefs and works; banish Satan, his angels and all who have rejected Christ into a state of eternal separation from His presence and all God's redeemed people; all glorified believers will live forever in a glorified physical realm that is indistinguishable from the realm of God's fullest glory...heaven and earth will be one...never to be invaded by sin and/or death again.
A-millennialism beliefs - for most centuries past, this view was not distinguished from postmillennialism, for it also recognizes only two "ages"; the "symbolic" 1,000 year period of Revelation 20 commenced as an "invisible" reign of Christ with His saints in heaven at His ascension to the Father's right hand; we have been living in "the millennium" since that time (so the "a" is actually a misnomer); although Christ had been and is already reigning as King of all kings of the earth, His rule is not universally recognized and received; Christ's "invisible" rule is and will be received to various degrees by people throughout the nations at various times in history; adherents are more or less optimistic about the depth and scope of the manifestation of Christ's rule in human lives and history; though Satan is "bound", in that the Gospel is free to spread and be received among peoples of all the nations, he is and will continue to be active to persecute believers, hinder the mission of Christ's people and carry on with his other nefarious works upon the earth; the manifestation of evil will actually intensify upon the earth as the Second Coming approaches; some adherents believe there will be a personal Antichrist who will appear in the drama of the very end and some believe a more generalized antichrist spirit will be at work, as it has always been, only in a heightened way; Jesus will return physically and suddenly, and without specific signs or fore-warnings, to enforce and fully manifest His reign on earth. This view coincides with the Post-millennialism view of what takes place after Jesus returns.
In future blogs in this series on eschatology, I will elaborate on other lesser known differences among true Christ-followers that do not revolve so much around the nature and duration of the "1,000 years" of Revelation 20. Rather, these views have to do with a broader...and even more foundational....matter of how different Bible teachers and groups understand and interpret the apocalyptic literature and prophecies of Scripture. If we will "go here", additional and helpful light will be shed upon how and why the 4 views that I have already outlined were formulated.
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