For many American evangelicals, faithfulness to the Bible means believing in a view of end times (eschatology) that teaches that says something like this:
- The book of the Revelation is to be read literally (including chapter 20)
- The formation of the nation of Israel following World War II was the fulfillment of prophecy
- Christians are the spiritual people of God and Jews are the earthly people of God
- Jesus will return, in a sense, to rapture secretly his people from the earth
- There will be a seven-year period of tribulation during which those who were not raptured will have opportunity to believe
- Jesus will return visibly to establish an earthly millennial kingdom during which the temple in Jerusalem will be rebuilt, the Levitical
- The sacrificial system will be re-instituted in memory of the death of Jesus
- The judgment
There is an alternative. It is not “spiritualizing.” It is not liberal. It is not the product of the 19th century. It is a way of interpreting Scripture that has been held since the earliest days of the church. According to C. E. Hill, some of our Lord’s own family members held this view. That view is called amillennialism. It holds that the book of the Revelation is most symbolic and meant to be interpreted that way, that the Bible is focused on Christ, not the establishment of an earthly kingdom among the national people, and that the millennium of Revelation 20 is a symbolic way of talking about the period between the ascension of Christ and his bodily return.
Recently talked with Tony and Angela on the New Geneva podcast about Reformed Amillennialism. Here is part 1.