A Biblical And Theological Discussion Of Traditional Dispensational Premillennialism -- By: David Mappes

Journal: Journal of Ministry and Theology
Volume: JMAT 17:1 (Spring 2013)
Article: A Biblical And Theological Discussion Of Traditional Dispensational Premillennialism
Author: David Mappes


A Biblical And Theological Discussion Of Traditional Dispensational Premillennialism

David Mappes

Associate Professor of Systematic Theology and Bible Exposition
Baptist Bible Seminary
Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania

H. Wayne House

Distinguished Professor of Theology, Law, and Culture
Faith Evangelical Seminary
Tacoma, Washington1

Introduction

All orthodox Christians agree on the scriptural-prophetic facts of the personal, visible, sudden, and bodily return of Jesus Christ referred to as his second coming. Jesus Christ himself promised his return (Matt 24:27, 30, 37, 39, 42, 44; 25:31), which was announced by angelic beings (Acts 1:9-11) and proclaimed in the early church (Acts 3:19-21). The author of Hebrews guarantees Christ’s return which he writes, “so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await him” (Heb 9:28). Christians, however, disagree on the specific details surrounding his return, including the nature of the rapture and the nature of his earthly reign referred to as the millennium.

The word millennium is derived from a Latin term meaning one-thousand. The term appears six times in Revelation 20:1-7, referring to a one-thousand-year time period when Jesus Christ physically, spatially reigns on earth with glorified, resurrected as well as non-resurrected believers while Satan is bound and spatially removed from the earth. Premillennialism entails the view that Jesus will physically return prior to the millennium to establish his earthly reign after which eternity will begin with establishment of the new heavens and new earth. When Jesus returns to the earth, he establishes his millennial, earthly kingdom.

Classic (or historical) premillennialism and dispensational premillennialism are primarily distinguished by their hermeneutical system with respect to how OT promises to national Israel relate to the millennium. Progressive dispensationalists and traditional/classic dispensationalists are distinguished ...

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