The futurist view is the modern extension of the historicist view. It is wildly popular in the United States. While it makes for great works of fiction it is questionable if it is Christian at all.
The futurist divides the book of revelation into three sections.
- Chapter 1: The Past
- Chapters 2-3: The Present
- Chapters 4-22: The Future
In this view, John still sees visions and writing what he sees. The seven Churches are no longer regarded as seven actual Churches. Instead, they represent the history of the Church is broken into seven different stages. Laodicea, the dead Church, being the present apostate Church. The climatic “final battle” between good and evil is interpreted quite literally. The futurist holds that it will result in a world-wide nuclear war. It will be at this time that Christ returns to usher in a 1000 Kingdom for his faithful followers. This is followed by the creation of a new heaven and a new earth. This is the hope of the futurist, God’s impending total destruction of earth.
Leading up to this the futurist believes that God will rapture up his faithful to spare them the time of tribulation. These terms and ideas are based on gross misinterpretations of scripture. First, the idea of rapture comes from Paul’s First Letter to the Thessalonians.
“For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the archangel's call, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first; then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so we shall always be with the Lord.” (1 Thess. 4: 15-17 RSV-CE)
Once this rapture has occurred, the antichrist will reign for seven years. During that time the world will experience hardship, persecution, disease, war, famine, and death as described in Revelation. This all culminates in the final battle.
The futurist bases this interpretation on Revelation 1:19, “Now write what you see, what is and what is to take place hereafter.” It is argued that these events will come to pass. This is a literal interpretation and map of future events. Like the historicist view, the book was irrelevant to the original readers. Contrary to the Gospel teachers, it predicts the end. Thus, it is incompatible with Johannine Theology. Furthermore, the idea that an elect will be spared and that the Lamb is the destroyer are also contrary to New Testament Theology.
Cory, Catherine A. New Collegeville Bible Commentary: The Book of Revelation. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2006.
Hahn, Scott, Ph. D. "The Book of Revelation: The End." Sycamore, Illinois: St. Joseph Communications, 2003.
Harrison, Wilfred J. O.P. Sacra Pagina: Revelation. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2008.
Senior, Donald, Mary Ann Getty, Carroll Stuhlmueller, and John J. Collins, . The Catholic Study Bible. New American Bible (NAB). New York: Oxford University Press, 1990.
Wilson, Neil S., and Linda K. Taylor. Handbook of Bible Charts & Maps. Carol Stream, Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2001.
Zukeran, Patrick. Probe Ministries: Four Views of Revelation. April 20, 2009. https://www.probe.org/four-views-of-revelation/ (accessed June 27, 2015).
Revelation, Its The Final Countdown!
4/ 5Oleh JIM Woodmansee