Christianity Knowledge Base

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The Millennial kingdom refers to the thousand-year reign of Christ specifically mentioned in Revelation 20:1-6. This is usually seen as the same Messianic Kingdom anticipated by the Old Testament prophets. The major views regarding this millennial kingdom follow:

  • Dispensational premillennialists propose that Christ's return will precede the millennium but will be in two stages: First, to rapture his saints, leaving all others behind, and then after seven years of tribulation, to publicly institute his visible millennial reign. Dispensationalism also has a uniquely Jewish view of the millennium in which God will literally fulfill his OT promises to ethnic Israel, promises not given to Gentile believers.
  • Historic premillennialists, following some of the early church fathers, teach that the return of Christ will precede a literal thousand years of peace in which Christ would reign upon earth.
  • Postmillennialists generally see the millennial kingdom as a "golden age" ushered in by the church through the triumph of the gospel, not only in bringing individuals to salvation, but also in dominating culture. In this view, Christ's return is at the culmination (conclusion) of this millennial age, hence the name post-millennial.
  • Amillennialists believe that the "thousand years" of Revelation 20 is a figurative number indicating the whole period between Jesus' resurrection and his return (i.e. the current Church age). In this view Christ now reigns and rules from heaven in and through the church bringing people into the kingdom of God through the preaching of the gospel.