What is dispensationalism?

Dispensationalism2Dispensationalism: an eschatological viewpoint according to which God has two distinct peoples (the Church and national, ethnic Israel) with two distinct plans and two distinct destinies. Dispensationalism is distinctive for its teaching that the Church will be “raptured” from the earth in the first phase of Christ’s second coming so that God can return to his work with national Israel, which was put on hold after Israel’s rejection of Messiah. God’s renewed working with Israel is thought by many dispensationalists to include a seven-year period of tribulation under the Antichrist in which two-thirds of the Jewish people will be killed, followed by the second phase of Christ’s second coming in which Christ and the martyred “tribulation saints” will rule for a thousand years from a rebuilt Temple with a reinstituted sacrificial system. Dispensationalism was first conceived by John Nelson Darby in the nineteenth century and popularized by prophecy pundits such as Hal Lindsey and Tim LaHaye in the twentieth century. 1

— Hank Hanegraaff

For further study, please see the following:

Does the Bible Make a Distinction Between Israel and the Church? (Hank Hanegraaff)
Apocalypse When? Why Most End-time Teaching Is Dead Wrong. (Hank Hanegraaff)
The Perils of Newspaper Eschatology (Elliot Miller)
Is Dispensationalism Indispensable?  (Steve Gregg)
One Shot, One Book, One God: Apologetics and the Unity of the Bible (Dean Davis)
Who’s Been Left Behind? (Steve Gregg)
Response to National Liberty Journal Article on The Apocalypse Code (Hank Hanegraaff)
When the Truth Gets Left Behind (Gene Edward Veith)


1. Hank Hanegraaff, The Apocalypse Code: Find out What the Bible Really Says about the End Times and Why it Matters Today (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2007), 272