This blog continues the focus on the different methods of interpreting the Apocalypse. The 4th one is the futurist view.
The futurist believes that chapter 4-22 deal with events that happen in the future at the eschaton (last). There are two forms of this belief. 1. dispensationalism and 2. classical premillennialism.
This centers on the stages of which Israel are finally saved. In this view, the Gentile church is nothing more than a “parenthesis in this plan”. The church will be “raptured” and a seven-year tribulation period will start where the antichrist makes himself known in the middle of the seven years. At the end, Jesus will return which will usher in a “real” millennium and then the beginning of eternity. Dispensationalist see the symbols in Revelation as literal.
This view reflects the church as a whole and not just Israel, thus, no dispensations of how Israel will be saved. Christ only returns at the end of the tribulation period and the whole church as well as Israel will go through it. The symbols in Revelation are just that to Classical premillennialist; symbols.
The weakness on both of these are these: 1. The first century churches would have not benefited from this. 2. The lack of understanding first century background can just make the events “speculation”. “If all we have are events without symbolic/theological significance, much of the power of the book can be lost”. Osborne*** (Pg. 21).
***Revelation (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament) Grant R. Osborne