On Sunday, we will come to the end of our series on Revelation that started last autumn. I wonder how you’ve found looking at the last book of the Bible? It can be confusing at times so we’ve tried to take big chunks to get the big picture and not get lost.
There are, of course, very different views on how to understand Revelation. We haven’t touched on them in our sermons, but it would be wrong to present our way of understanding it as the only way. So, this blog is to give you the opportunity to investigate for yourself what the Bible teaches and come to your own conclusions.
A lot hinges on how you understand Revelation 20:1-10. In particular, what does the thousand years mentioned in verse 3 refer to? Is this a literal thousand years? At what point in history will these thousand years come about? Depending on your answer to that question you are a Dispensational Premillennialist, an Historical Premillennialist, a Postmillennialist or an Amillennialisf. Hello? Are you still reading this? Good! I know these names can be rather off-putting but it’s worth just persevering because whichever view you take will determine not just how you view Revelation but also the world and history.
Take an example. You’ve probably heard of the Left Behind series of books that was made a film and is probably on Netflix somewhere and I think has been made in to a computer game. Well, that is based on Dispensational Premillennialism. It involves things like the Rapture, the Anti-Christ… in fact all the sorts of juicy things you wished we had preached on Sunday nights!
If you are interested, then this is a really good summary of the different views complete with diagrams. The view that we have taken in our approach to Revelation is Ammillenialism. I would argue it makes the best sense of the Biblical evidence, although I would do that humbly. Each view has something to commend it. Godly Christians throughout history have believed different things and we should be careful not to be dogmatic.
Christian maturity is shown when we learn to make the main thing the main thing. What is the main thing? The gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. By all means take a view on the Millennium, hold it firmly if you wish, but don’t make that the touchstone of Christian Orthodoxy, the good news is far too precious to do that. Oh, and a word of warning, be careful what you look at on the net, seriously, it’s terrifying!