This is an interesting topic to discuss because there are people who believe the Bible prophecies have already been fulfilled and the prophecies of the book of Revelation have also been fulfilled. As we study more it is good to point out and define what preterism is, protestant historicism and futurism.
What does preterism mean? Preterism is a belief that some or all prophecy in the Bible has already been fulfilled. Preterism comes from the Latin word “praeter” which means something is “past” or “beyond”. People who follow this type of belief are known as preterists.
Preterism’s school of thought teaches the events which happened in the 7th century, according to the prophecies in the Book of Daniel, are interpreted as events that are completed or fulfilled. One topic in particular is the Olivet Discourse found in Matthew 24. The antichrist, Emperor Nero, persecuted the Christians during that time, there was great tribulation and the complete destruction of the temple occurred in 70 AD. It is believed that many of the events written in the chapter were fulfilled during that particular era. It is believed this event was a type of judgment from Christ known as the Day of the Lord.
Protestant Historicism in Christian eschatology, is a method of interpreting biblical prophecies in which they associate symbols with historical people, nations or events. The primary interests of texts include the prophecies of Daniel fulfilled throughout history from the past to the future. It is sometimes referred to as the continuous historical view. Almost all protestant reformers from the Reformation and into the 19th century held historicists views.
Futurism in Christian eschatology interprets parts of the Book of Ezekiel, the Book of Daniel and the Book of Revelation as future events in a physical, literal and apocalyptic view. Futurist belief usually have a close association with premillennialism and dispensationalism. Basically, Premillennialism is a belief that Jesus will return before the 1000 year reign on earth. Dispensationalism is a belief that holds both the Old Testament and the New Testament is interpreted using literal grammatical-historical interpretation. Their view of progressive revelation is that the New Testament contains new information which can build on the Old Testament but does not change its meaning. They also believe Israel as a nation will embrace Jesus as their messiah toward the end of the Great Tribulation, right before his second return.
To sum all this up we as believers need to remember that the Bible is alive. It can tell you of events that have happened, are happening in the present time or will happen in the future. Jesus clearly revealed this to the Apostle John as he spoke to him.
Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand. Revelation 1:3 KJV
Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter; – Revelation 1:19 KJV
We must always remember the Holy Spirit reveals things to us. He can warn us of situations where we need to prepare ourselves naturally and through prayer. He is our guide and our help when we face challenges and through Him we have victory. Keep yourselves connected to Him daily and you will overcome and not be surprised.