Among my archived posts you’ll find me addressing both dispensational and historicist views. It may mean that I am eschatologically schizophrenic or I am ok with two different viewpoints being held in Christian churches.
Personally, I think if one begins by looking for a pre-trib understanding of prophecy, they’ll find it. If one begins by looking for an historicist understanding of prophecy, they’ll find that. I am of the opinion that the historicist view is more seamless and doesn’t raise more questions than answers as the dispensationalist view does, but I am comfortable conversing in either camp.
Ultimately, I have come to realize that most Christians don’t really care to know either viewpoint as much as a church pastor may, but they are happy to wait until the end comes and see how it all turns out. I’m ok with that because I know that “Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof” (Matthew 6:34). That means most struggle enough with just getting through the day and just don’t have the religious bandwidth for the deep study of every facet of prophetic events.
So in an effort to provide some educational insight on these end-time issues, I’ve written The Millennium: A Sequence of Event and The Post-Trib Rapture: A Sequence of Events and The Pre-Trib Rapture: A Sequence of Events and Common Ground in Pre-Trib vs Post-Trib. Here, I want to layout what is generally understood by the pre-trib rapture view of the end-times.
Timeline of Events
Church Age — We are in this dispensation now, which began in the days of Acts in the New Testament and extends to the rapture of the church. (Matthew 28:19-20)
The Rapture — This is the 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 event that catches up the saints in the air to meet Jesus. The dead saints are resurrected and the living saints are translated to Heaven. This is also the deliverance of the saints from the coming wrath of tribulation. (John 14:1-6; 1 Corinthians 15:51-53; 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)
Judgment Seat of Christ — This takes place for the saints after the rapture and is their reward (2 Corinthians 5:10)
Seven-Year Tribulation — Following the rapture is the tribulation period of 3 1/2 years of worldwide deception of the Antichrist’s ascension to be followed by 3 1/2 years of the Antichrist’s evil reign. In the middle of this seven-year period the Antichrist will defile the rebuilt temple in Jerusalem. During this time, God’s wrath will be unleashed upon the earth in the form of divine judgments of Revelation’s seals, trumpets, and bowls. (Daniel 9:27; Daniel 11:36-12:13; Matthew 24:3-28; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12; Revelation 6:1-19:10)
Second Coming — At the conclusion of the seven-year tribulation Jesus will return to earth with the raptured saints to destroy the forces and followers of the Antichrist in Armageddon. At this time Satan will be bound in a bottomless pit, the resurrection of any righteous dead will take place, Israel will be gathered to Christ, the righteous and the wicked will be separated. (Revelation 16:13-16; Matthew 24:29-31; Acts 1:6-11; Romans 11:25-27; Revelation 19:11-20:3)
Millennial Reign — Following the second coming is the 1000 year reign of Jesus Christ on earth. While Satan is bound, this millennial kingdom will reign over Israel and the globe in righteousness. At the end of this period Satan will be loosed before being permanently consigned to the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:1-10; Isaiah 65:19-25; Jeremiah 31:31-40; 1 Corinthians 6:2-3)
Great White Throne Judgment — After the millennium the wicked are raised to face the Great White Throne Judgment and be consigned to eternal punishment in the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:11-15)
New Heaven and New Earth — After the millennium is the ushering in of the new Heaven and the new earth, which God will create in an eternal state of glory and splendor as the forever home of the saved. (Romans 8:19-21; 1 Corinthians 15:25-28; Revelations 20:11-22:5)