Defining Differences

The word millennium combines two Latin words: mille (one thousand) and annum (year).

Premillennialism: The prefix pre means “before.” Premillennialism is the view that Christ will return to earth before the Millennium or Kingdom of God. He will establish a literal, political Kingdom of God on earth, and He will rule worldwide as King together with the saints of God for one thousand years (Rev. 20:1–7).1 During this time Israel will be exalted above the nations and will receive all the promised blessings that have not yet been fulfilled. Premillennialism interprets Scripture using the plain, normal, literal, historical, and grammatical method.2

Amillennialism: The prefix a means “no.” Amillennialism contends there will be no literal, political Kingdom of God on this earth. The future Kingdom of God foretold in such passages as Daniel 2 and 7 is totally spiritual in nature and consists either of the church or Christ’s present rule from heaven over the hearts of believers or the future eternal state.3 The amillennial view sees no future for Israel and believes the church has replaced Israel and is the recipient of all God’s promises of blessing to Israel. Amillennialism interprets Scripture by spiritualizing the promises made to Israel as a nation and says they are fulfilled in the church.4

Postmillennialism: The prefix post means “after.” This view states that the last thousand years of the Church Age is the Millennium, after which Christ will return. Postmillennialism spiritualizes the prophetic portions of God’s Word but believes Revelation 20 will be fulfilled in an earthly kingdom of peace and abundance, brought in through the church’s efforts.5

Replacement Theology: Any view that replaces Israel with the church. Replacement Theology strips Israel of its future in God’s plan, spiritualizes the promises given to Israel, and makes the church the recipient of all the blessings God has promised to Israel.

ENDNOTES
  1. Renald E. Showers, There Really Is a Difference (Bellmawr, NJ: The Friends of Israel, 1990), 113.
  2. Charles Ryrie, “The Doctrine of Future Things,” in Ryrie Study Bible, expanded edition (Chicago: Moody Press, 1995), 2075.
  3. Showers, 114.
  4. Ryrie, 2075.
  5. Ibid.

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