Historic premillennialism is the designation (adopted by its adherents) now also known as post-tribulational premillennialism. The use of the term "historic" implies that this point of view is the historical view of premillennialists and that pre-tribulationism is a new theory. Post-tribulational premillennialism is the Christian eschatological that the second coming of Jesus Christ will occur prior to a thousand-year reign of the saints but subsequent to the great apostasy (and to any tribulation).
Premillennialism is an view alternative to both postmillennialism, which teaches that the second coming of Jesus will occur after a thousand-year period of righteousness, and to amillennialism, which teaches that the thousand-year period is not meant to be taken literally but is the current church/messianic age. The two major species of premillennialism are historic and dispensational premillennialism, the latter of which is associated with pre-tribulational and mid-tribulational views. See the summary of Christian eschatological differences.
A major difference between historic and dispensational premillennialism is the view of the church in relation to Israel. Historics do not see so sharp a distinction between Israel and the church as the dispensationalists do, but instead view believers of all ages as part of one group, now revealed as the body of Christ. Thus, historic premillennialists see no issue with the church going through the Great Tribulation, and they do not need a separate pre-tribulational rapture of some believers as the dispensational system requires.
Historic premillennialism was a popular view amongst Protestant Christians until the rise of dispensationalism in the 19th and 20th centuries. Proponents of historic premillennialism include Baptists John Gill, Charles Spurgeon, Benjamin Wills Newton (a contemporary and fierce theological rival of the father of dispensationalism John Nelson Darby), George Eldon Ladd, Albert Mohler, and Clarence Bass and Presbyterians Francis Schaeffer and Gordon Clark,.
- W. Gary Crampton (February 1999). "Review of A New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith by Robert L. Reymond". The Trinity Review (The Trinity Foundation). Retrieved 2008-03-11.
- Charles H. Spurgeon and Eschatology
- Direction: A Commentary on the Revelation of John
- Al Mohler at Dauphin Way Baptist Church, March 29, 2009
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