Our church is part of the Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA) and one of our unique strengths as a denomination is that our statement of faith focuses on essential doctrines with the hope that such focus will preserve unity. One arguable exception is our emphasis on the necessity of believing in the “premillennial return of our Lord Jesus Christ.” The strongest foundation for this belief is described in Revelation 20:2 and Revelation 20:7-9, where we are told respectively, “He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years.” then “When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—and to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore.” The most straightforward way to read this passage is that these 1,000 years refer to a literal futuristic period of time, thus a “premillennial” interpretation. This means that all of the events of Christ’s return and judgement spelled out in the previous chapters of Revelation will occur prior (hence “pre”) to the above 1,000 year period (thus “millennia”l). The truth is, the difference between being premillennial and amillennial (the only common alternative today) flows from how one reads the book of Revelation. Though I think the premillennial view and a futuristic reading of Revelation makes the most sense, premillennial and amillennial folks should live as family. There certainly will be some differences in how we relate to our days, future times, and thus even how we view best practices in missions and discipleship. But our common views outweigh our differences. Why do I believe this? Primarily because of what Christ will do for both, irregardless of how he works out the details. This is what is true of those holding both millennial positions: “Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ.” (Revelation 20:6) For the true church, our common fate and oneness in Christ always outweighs our theological distinctives. This is to the praise and glory of the Christ who is the Lord over us all. That being said, I am proud to be a part of the EFCA, even with this unique distinctive included in our statement of faith.