A Simple Case for Postmillennialism

This is a guest post by Austin Hess. Austin is a student at Lancaster Bible College, in Lancaster PA, where he is working toward a BA in Pre-Seminary Studies. Austin enjoys reading the Puritans and Reformers, and hopes to progress to MDiv and PhD studies. He blogs at Studies in the Scriptures.


Which millennial view is correct? It is an extremely difficult topic to navigate and debate since apocalyptic literature is unique. However, in this post, I will attempt to lay out a simple, concise, and thoughtful case for the postmillennial view. To define postmillennialism:

The millennium is ushered in by the Church through faithful preaching of the Gospel and spiritual growth, then after a literal or figurative thousand years, there will be a brief rebellion. Christ will then return to create a new heaven and a new earth.

Context and Prophecies 

As with any biblical interpretation, we must keep context in view and this is no exception. Specifically, we must remember who the original audience was. In this case, it was the seven churches in Asia (Rev 1:4, 9). It was not to some other region, nor was it written to some church that would come. It was written to these specific people. With that in mind, let us look at the prophecies in Revelation. There are two views of the fulfillment of prophecy that comes with postmillennialism. They are know as partial preterism (ie most prophecies have been fulfilled by AD 70) and full preterism (ie all prophecies have been fulfilled by AD 70, which is not an orthodox view). In this case, I will be advocating  partial preterism. The prophecies that have not been fulfilled are the resurrection of the dead, Christ’s second coming, and the final judgement. Not to bore you with details, but if you read any historical, extra-biblical literature from that time, you will find that the prophecies (again, excluding the above mentioned) have actually been fulfilled. Such as Nero being the antichrist, the destruction of Jerusalem, false teachings, so and so forth.

Gospel’s Power versus Sin’s Power

There is also a point that must be brought up about the Gospel and sin. To cite a rather famous verse:

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (Rom 1:16, ESV, emphasis mine).

If we truly believe that when we preach the Gospel, as we have been commanded to (see Matt 28:16-20) that people will be saved, sin is not strong enough to over power the Holy Spirit and stand fast against God’s will. But, the premillennial (ie Christ’s return is temporally prior to the millennium) or amillennial (ie the millennium is symbolic for Christ’s spiritual reign during the Church Age) views do not portray actual belief in this because they both suppose that sin will overpower the Christian Church, thus the need for Christ’s return. This removes the power of the Gospel and the Holy Spirit. A postmillennial view is actually a view of hope! That there is power with the Holy Spirit and there is power in the Gospel! And we must not fall victim to what the media is portraying. Yes, there are a lot of bad things happening in this world, but what do we expect with sin? However, what the media is not portraying is what good is being done in the world. Good acts that the simple citizen is doing are going largely unreported. In fact, Christianity is on the rise. Even though China’s government is not looked favorably upon, there has actually been an observed explosion of professing Christians in the nation! The condition of the Western world is not the sole standard as to the condition of the whole world.

Conclusion

As stated, the postmillennial view is a view of hope. Christ is not in the corner being beaten up and taking punches just so in the end He can deal the final blow and win. He is sitting at the right hand of God and He is perfectly fine. We can be rest assured that Christ is reigning supreme over all things and will not be beaten anymore for He has dealt with sin once and for all on the cross. I hope this brief article has piqued your interest in the study of postmillennialism and has helped provide a simple defense of this perspective.

Until next time, Soli Deo Gloria!

6 thoughts on “A Simple Case for Postmillennialism

  1. I remained unconvinced by postmillenial views. I am convinced that the amilllennialism is the correct view. Kim Riddlebarger’s book, A Case for Amillennialism: Understanding The End Times is an excellent primer. Postmillennialism is wishful thinking. I think that after two major world wars fought by once Christian European countries would have cured us of this absurdity. As far as I am concerned Europe and the United States are under God’s especial judgment for having sold its Protestant inheritance for a mess of pottage! They have become secular states with a new atheism that is has reached the level of Moloch worship!

    1. Richard,

      I echo what Chris has said in his comment. I understand that you have a different viewpoint than I, and that’s okay. Tony Arsenal is an Amillennialist and has graciously let me post a different viewpoint of the Millennium on his website. But, to call a different viewpoint that isn’t heresy “absurdity” may be a little rash. Besides, this post wasn’t really set out to convince people right away. As the title says, this was a
      “simple” case – it was meant to pique some people’s interest and study the topic more.

      As I wrote in the post, the standard for how the rest of the world is doing is not defined by how the Western world is doing. And if you talk to any Postmillennialist, we don’t say there won’t be sin in the “Millennium.” Thus Satan’s final rebellion and the final need for Christ’s return to make all things new and vanquish him once and for all.

      Perhaps it may be wishful thinking, but I have been convinced of the Scriptures otherwise – as you are convinced of Amillenialism. I hope you have a nice day and if you have any more questions, I will try to get back to you.

  2. Richard,

    Our eschatological beliefs should not be dependant upon the changing events of history, but upon the unchanging promises of God, whatever millennial view one adheres to. Even if Western nations are now following a kind of false pseudo-Christian secular morality (which I agree that they are) that does not make this particular point of history the end of the story. We don’t know what God’s going to do next, and so whatever view we take, we leave it to His timing.

    Speaking as a postmillennialist, I agree with you that it could take an extremely long time to bring such wicked nations back round to obedience to the Gospel. But that’s not a problem, since I believe that we have all the time in the world. God is patient, and I believe that our present labouring in the Gospel will not fail to bear fruit in the long term, that all the families of the earth will indeed be blessed through Abraham.

    Chris

    1. Chris,

      The changing events of history though are also an indication of God’s judgment upon our so-called Western Civilization. I don’t doubt the power of God and of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring about whatever situation he wishes but I am not convinced it will be Western Europe or the United States. I believe it will be China and it will be Russia.
      I have one word to all those who believe in some sort of postmillennial salvation of Western Civilization, Abortion!
      I believe that God will gather in His elect and then He will return but with fire to judge the living and the dead. I guess I believe more in Luther’s theology of the Cross than in those who advocate a theology of Glory.

      Richard

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