Understanding “end times” in a 30-day study
B. Hodge, Biblical Authority Ministries, May 18, 2020
Let’s take a look at some serious questions surrounding the Revelation of Jesus Christ (Revelation 1:1). Please grab your Bible or open your Bible app and look up each verse, and be in prayer as you do this brief Scripture-interprets-Scripture study on the topics presented in the book of Revelation and other related passages. During this study, you will have read the entire book of Revelation and should understand the basic interpretive themes in the book.
The first couple of questions are some quick basics to get you started on the views of Revelation and eschatology (study of last things). You may even be able to do the first few days together and get a head start. By blueprint, some days are much longer studies than other days.
Once again it is imperative that you look up and read each verse set cited, this is vital. Let God give the answers. In some cases, a verse or verse set may be repeated, but this is done by design and is meaningful to the discussion at hand. On a few days, there will be extensive reading; again, this is done with a purpose and is crucial.
With this study, I’m assuming you are not “brand-new” to Christianity. This was written to readers who are somewhat familiar with the Bible and even acquainted with some “Christianeze”—words and phrases we often use in church like millennium, First and Second Coming, Trinity (one God, three persons of the Godhead), Consummation (final judgment and entrance into the New Heavens and New Earth in perfection), Olivet Discourse, Israel, Temple, Desolations, Judaism, Coming of the Lord, Tribulation, among others. Even so, grab a Bible or open you Bible app, and enjoy this short study.
In brief, what are the majors interpretive understandings by Christians surrounding much of the book of Revelation?
1. Historicism: some events of Revelation have been gradually taking place over the past 2,000 years.
2. Futurism: most of the prophecies of Revelation occur in the future end about 1,000 years before the consummation.
3. Idealism: prophecies are spiritual and not necessarily tied to historical events.
4. Preterism: prophecies in the book leading up to and partially including Revelation 20 have largely occurred or are still occurring (e.g., the figurative millennium) beginning soon after the writing of the book and encompassing those to whom the book was written and discussing a judgment primarily on the Jews, and in particular, Jerusalem for their rejection and crucifixion of the Lord.
It is wise to be careful about making generalizations here too. Consider that all agree that the first few chapters written to the seven churches are preteristic—it already occurred and related to history. All also agree that the last two chapters are futuristic—they have not occurred yet. So the key is being discerning on the portions in between.
 There is a position called “full preterism” or “hyperpreterism” that is not orthodox where the claim is that all the prophecies in the Book of Revelation have taken place and that we are in the new heavens and the new earth and the curse has been removed. This unorthodox position undermines the gospel in that it has death before sin and death would be part of this perfected creation, as would thorns and other aspects of the curse in Genesis 3. This position is not to be confused with partial or orthodox preterism, which is starkly different in theological terms, and has a long standing in the church as an orthodox position that still sees the future return of Jesus Christ in bodily form. See: B. Hodge, Biblically,Could Death Have Existed Before Sin?, Answers in Genesis, March 2, 2010, https://answersingenesis.org/death-before-sin/biblically-could-death-have-existed-before-sin/.