I'm currently reading a book called Four Views on the Book of Revelation. Four different positions are shared by four different authors. All of them are evangelical Christians, and all are convinced they are right. Here are the four:
The PRETERIST VIEW: Revelation was written to describe the destruction of Jerusalem which was accomplished by Rome in 70AD. All the prophecies in Revelation have been fulfilled in full.
The IDEALIST VIEW: Revelation isn't about historical events (except the Last Judgment and Second Coming described in the last few chapters). Instead it is about the struggle between good and evil that is continually going on. It was written to give hope to believers in all ages.
The PROGRESSIVE DISPENSATIONAL VIEW: Revelation is about the destruction of Jerusalem (the Preterest View), but it is also about future events. The events described will have a double fulfillment.
The CLASSICAL DISPENSATIONAL VIEW: After Revelation 3, the rest of the book is describes literal events which will be fulfilled after the Church has been raptured from the earth. Revelation 4ff. is a detailed description of the Great Tribulation and the Second Coming of Christ to establish a literal thousand year kingdom on earth, and then an eternal kingdom with a new heaven and a new earth.
Its crazy. I would love to figure out which one of these views is the "right" one. But all of these theories have holes in them. And they all sound pretty good at the same time. The view that I thought I would like the least, but which felt the best when I was reading it, was the Idealist View. I'm not sure where I'll come out. I might just wait until it all begins to happen, and then decide which camp I'm in.