For this weeks release of the Project 66 graphic I chose to go a bit out of order - or a lot out of order... There were many requests for this graphic depicting the differing views on the end times. The goal for this end times infographic was to summarize the major positions that Christianity has held over the years in regards to the timing of last things. The three major views are premillennialism, postmillennialism and amillennialism.
I've summarized the positions below the graphic. Hopefully that will help trying to decipher where you are at.
There are many differing views held within each of those individual camp so for simplicity only major points are illustrated. You can check the links to each for more information or search the terms and you'll no doubt find hundreds and thousands of websites claiming point and counterpoint why they are right and the other position wrong.
An interesting concept that the graphic portrays is that each view agrees on the beginning and end. Every view believes that the kingdom was promised in the Old Testament, presented by Jesus and will culminate in the eternal state.
If you have suggestions for future graphics let me know in the comments.
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Premillennialism is the belief that the Second Coming of Christ occurs before the millennium, which is a literal 1000 years.
Dispensational Premillennialists believe that believers will be caught up into heaven at the end of the church age before a time of great tribulation on the earth. They will then return with Christ to rule with Him for a literal 1000 years after which unbelievers are judged and the eternal kingdom is set up.
Historic Premillennialists believe that the rapture occurs at the end of the Tribulation and will immediately return with Christ to set up His kingdom.
Postmillennialismis the belief that the Second Coming of Christ occurs after the millennium.
Some that take this position believe the millennium is a literal 1000 years while others believe it is a figurative concept referring to the entire New Testament age.
Postmillennialism teaches that the forces of Satan will gradually be defeated by the expansion of the Kingdom of God throughout history up until the Second Coming of Christ.
The view that the tribulation has already taken place is the Preterist postion. The view that the entire church age is in tribulation is the historist view. These can also be applied to the amillennial postion.
Amillennialism is the belief that there is not a literal 1000 year reign of Christ on the earth but that His Second Coming occurs at the end of history.
The millennium is purely spiritual in nature and at the end of the church age, Christ will return in final judgment and establish a permanent physical reign.
In the classical view the tribulation and anti-christ are looked at as symbolic in the book of Revelation. Like Postmillennialism, the Preterist view believes that almost all end-times prophecy was fulfilled before the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.