Historical Premillennialism is the belief that Christians will remain on the earth during the great tribulation. This belief states that the church will be purified by rooting out false believers. They believe the the second coming of Jesus Christ will precede the millennium. Part of the belief of Premillennialism is that the church has replaced the nation of Israel as Gods covenant people. This also holds to the belief of a thousand-year Millennium as a literal event.
According to Premillennialists God’s promises of land and blessings to Abraham and his offspring were conditional promises based on their obedience. Israel’s consistent disobedience violated God’s covenant with them. God has maintained a covenant of grace throughout the Old and New Testaments with all who trusted in him. These believers embodied today in the church are the true Israel (Romans 9:6-8)
They believe that most references to “Israel” in Revelation refer symbolically to the church.
There are scriptures that Premillennialists will use to support their view. Here are a few of them.
The revealing of the Antichrist precedes Christs return (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4)
The tribulation will root out false members from the churches (Revelation 2:22-23)
The saints are on earth during the tribulation (Revelation 13:7)
Gods promises to Abraham and his offspring were conditional (Genesis 22:18) (2 Chronicles 33:8) (Isaiah 1:19-20) (Jeremiah 7:6-7).
The New Testament uses “Israel” and “the twelve tribes” to refer to Christians. (Matthew 19:28-29) (Romans 9:6-8).
Here is a list of some theologians who held to the premellennial view.
- Justin Martyr
- David Dockery
- John Warwick
- George R. Beasley-Murray
- Robert Gundry
- George E. Ladd