It seemed like a good idea to post this question that came to me by email along with my answer. Here’s the question followed by my answer:
Q: “Why you are pre-mil rather than a-mil? What are a couple main points of contention?”
First, it’s a matter of hermeneutics. Like the issue of gender, there is lots of room to interpret Paul’s words in 1 Tim 2-3 as culturally relative, etc., but this kind of hermeneutical subjectivity is dangerous since there is then no reason to not apply the same rules to core doctrines. If Paul can turn his entire soteriology on whether Abraham was circumcized before or after he believed God (c.f. Rom 4); if complementarian eldership turns on just a couple of related passages like 1 Tim 3 and 1 Cor 11, then surely Rev 20 is decisive on the question of whether the millennium is going to be historical or spiritual? 6 times in Rev 20:2-7, once in each verse, an event is described along with specific chronological definition related to "the thousand years" (definite article in Greek). There is no ambiguity here as to whether John had in mind a specific period of time. "The thousand years" is 6 times repeated as the time period before which, during which, or after which specific events will take place. Nothing in the context indicates a non-historical fulfilment such as amillennialism argues. The amillennial interpretation arises out of a hermeneutical committment arrived at before one arrives at Rev 20. In other words, it is not exegetical.
Moreover, in Rom 8:19 and 21, Creation itself is anthropomorphically described as longing for an event that best fits a premillennial interpretation. When exactly will Creation witness "the revealing of the sons of God"? This sounds like the resurrection. If so, it makes good sense of the passage to understand the setting "free from its bondage to corruption" and its obtaining "the freedom of the glory of the children of God" as gradual events taking place during the thousand year reign of Christ and His saints on this Earth. Likewise with 1 Cor 15:24-28. There seems to be an analogy here between what Creation will experience and what each believer experiences. The believer is freed from bondage to corruption (Rom 6:17-18; Rom 8:21) and undergoes a process of sanctification (Rom 6:22; Rom 8:21, 1 Cor 15:24-28, Rev 20:6b) before finally being released into perfect glorification (Rev 20:4, etc.; Rev 21:1).
These exegetical considerations are convincing to me. Furthermore, the arguments for amillennialism usually presented seem rather to be arguments AGAINST dispensationalism or futurism. That tactic creates a false dichotomy (that since the pre-trib rapture argument lacks exegetical support THE ONLY ALTERNATIVE must be amillennialism!) failing to recognize that there are other exegetical solutions to interpreting the thousand years without falling into a pre-trib rapture sort of dispensationalism. Namely, premillennial historicism (and perhaps post-trib futurism as well though it is less satisfying to me).
Hope this helps!