Distinctly different from both the amillennial and postmillennial views, Premillennialism teaches that Christ will return physically, visibly in power to reign over the earth for approximately a thousand years. From the point of view of the premillennialist then, the millennium is seen as still to come sometime in the future. Further, Premillennialism also teaches that the visions in the book of Revelation must be interpreted sequentially and that this sequence of events demands that the millennial reign of Christ be understood as a real and future event following Christ’s return.
Classic or Historic Premillennialism
According to Classic Premillennialism, also known as Historic Premillennialism, the church age will continue until some point in the future. As this age draws to a close, a period of great tribulation and suffering will occur finally ending with the return of Christ to establish his millennial kingdom. This is a physical return of Christ in his resurrected body where he will personally reign over the earth. Of note with this view is that Christ’s return is after the tribulation period. Those dead in Christ will be raised from the dead and their bodies will be reunited with their spirits. Next, believers living during the Second Coming will be caught up and return to the earth with Christ and the resurrected. Many, but not all, of the unbelievers living on the earth during this time will turn to Christ and be saved.
Another variation of Premillennialism, also known as Dispensational Premillennialism, holds to a literal interpretation of Scripture. Though similar to the Classic view, there is one very important difference. Using the following Scripture verse as primary support for their belief, this view believes that Christ will come before the Tribulation and secretly take believers out of the world: