The primary event of Eschatology is the discussion of when Jesus will return. Everyone agrees that Jesus has not returned yet. There are 2 major positions on Eschatology.
- Premillennialism: This hold that Jesus will return before the Millennium begins.
- Postmillennialism: This position holds that Jesus will return after The Millennium is over. There are those that believe The Millennium has not begun and those that believe it has begun.
There are many subsets to both positions. One position that exists as part of Postmillennialism is Amillennialism.
Amillennialism believes that the millennialism is not a literal 1000 years. The majority of those holding this position believe we are now in The Millennium. Generally those that take this position believe that The Tribulation has already occurred when The Church was severely persecuted in its early days of formation.
Consequently there are 2 major positions on Eschatology in The Church today.
- Premillennialism which believes that The Millennium has not yet begun. This group believes that we are still in The Age of The Church as it was founded on Pentecost and operated through the Book of Acts.
- Amillennialism which believes that The Millennium has begun. Historically there has been discussion on what The Church looks like during The Millennium and The Churches purpose.
One major difference between Premillennialists and Amillennialists is on the Purpose of The Church. Most Amillennialists hold that a major purpose of The Church is to bring The Kingdom of Christ into being. Premillennialists do not believe this as they believe that Jesus will establish The Kingdom of Christ when He returns before The Millennium. The Premillennialists tend to minimize evangelism as a role of The Church during The Millennium while The Amillennialists hold this a major focus.
My question is do the differences of opinion between the two groups result is disagreements about theology due to a lack of understanding of the view point of each group?
As an example: The Premillennialist believes that the 2 highest callings of The Church is Evangelism and Discipleship and this is brought about by the Power of The Holy Spirit. The Amillennialists generally believes this also BUT believes that The Church has a higher calling of bringing Christ’s Kingdom into being which in turn fulfills the calling of The Church to Evangelize and Disciple.
I believe it would help if both sides of the issue fully understood the perspective of the other side. This is particularly true when dealing with focus of the Local Church. It should be remembered that there is a general attempt to merge the various views coming out of both positions which is a lot like trying to mix oil and water. The result is an emulsification of views rather than a harmonious blending.