THERE ARE TWO GREAT DIVISIONS OF THOUGHT regarding people’s view of prophecy: the Futurist and the Historicist. Both teach that Christ will return to earth, but the division arises over the manner of His coming and its timing in relation to “the Tribulation.”
Now some may say, what difference does it make HOW Christ returns, so long as we all believe that Christ will indeed come? Is it really an important issue? How will our viewpoint of prophecy affect our thoughts and actions in preparation for the return of Christ?
First of all, it should be established that our eternal destiny and salvation does not stand or fall upon our belief in either viewpoint. However, our doctrines will determine our courses of action and our basic attitudes and outlook on the world in general. Thus, the issue is important to that degree.
The Historical view holds that the tribulation in the book of Revelation is almost completely fulfilled, except for the final downfall of “Mystery Babylon.” The Futurist view teaches that almost all of Revelation’s events have a future fulfilment.