Knowing this, it is clear that postmillennium is a wrong view of end-time events. It is important to understand that the rapture and millennial kingdom are separate events. While they both involve Jesus, they do not both involve the church.
For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord.
What is the point? With that understood, the question we must answer is, when will Jesus rapture the church? The future occurrence of this event is a mystery with some boundaries to it. We do know, however, that the rapture will take place before the Great Tribulation. There are two reasons for this:. From the middle to the end of the book of Revelation, the church plays a very small role. Because some time between the end of Revelation 3 and the beginning of Revelation 4, the church is raptured.
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Premillennialists are waiting for Jesus to rapture His church. At the time of the rapture, the church will be taken up to meet Jesus in the air and the Great Tribulation will begin. After that, Jesus will return to the earth to rule for a thousand years. When these thousand years are over, the Lord Himself will judge the dead —15 and create a new heaven and a new earth Some of this may be confusing, so the following is a summary of the order of end-time events, according to premillennialism:.
If the timing of an end-time event is off, so is its nature — and vice versa. The distinction here is made only to aid in comprehension, not to draw upon any biblical or theological division between the two words. William E. They do not leave room for this event in their eschatological system.
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According to postmillennialism, the church could not bring in the millennial kingdom if it were raptured before the kingdom began. Other portions of Scripture must also be examined to see what is taught regarding eschatology. Boettner, The Millennium , p. Kenneth Gentry defines PM this way:.
After an extensive era of such conditions the Lord will return visibly, bodily, and in great glory, ending history with the general resurrection and the great judgment of all humankind. The personal status of the believer and the corporate standing of the Church in salvation is.
Fundamental Tenets of Postmillennial Eschatology. Thus the kingdom is truly present in this age and is visibly represented by the church of Jesus Christ. Several important features of the kingdom in PostM thought are:. The kingdom is not to be thought of as arriving instantaneously or wholly via some cataclysmic event at the end of the age an event such as the second coming of Christ.
Indeed, the very name POST millennialism indicates that Christ will return only after the kingdom has come in its fullness. The means by which the kingdom extends itself is the gospel of Jesus Christ.
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The continuing spread and influence of the gospel will increasingly, and in direct proportion thereto, introduce the kingdom. This gradual but constantly growing success of the gospel will be brought about by the power of the HS working through the Church.
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Warfield, a PostM, writes as follows:. We see Him come forth from heaven girt for war, followed by the armies of heaven. The thing symbolized is obviously the complete victory of the Son of God over all the hosts of wickedness. The conquest is wrought by the spoken wordin short, by the preaching of the gospel. What we have here, in effect, is a picture of the whole period between the first and second advents, seen from the point of view of heaven. It is the period of advancing victory of the Son of God over the world.
As emphatically as Paul, John teaches that the earthly history of the Church is not a history merely of conflict with evil, but of conquest over evil: and even more richly than Paul, John teaches that this conquest will be decisive and complete. The whole meaning of the vision of Revelation is that Jesus Christ comes forth not to war merely but to victory; and every detail of the picture is laid in with a view precisely to emphasizing the thoroughness of this victory.
The Gospel of Christ is, John being witness, completely to conquer the world. Postmillennialists differ: some say the millennium covers the entire inter-advent age i. In other words, some PostMs see the millennial kingdom as present throughout the whole of the current age whereas others reserve the word millennium for the latter day , publicly discernible, prosperity of the Christian Church. This ever-increasing success of the gospel will bring in its wake a reduction although not a total elimination of the influence and presence of sin.
Righteousness, peace, and prosperity will flourish.
Davis adds this important point:. The gospel will also sustain a positive influence in every sphere of society: the economic, political, and cultural life of mankind will be vastly improved. The prosperity is such as will be visibly and publicly acknowledged. Every domain of human activity will be renewed according to Christian principles and thus brought into service for the glory of Jesus Christ.
NOTE: the important point to remember is that all of the preceding pts. At the end of the present age, that is, after the kingdom has spread visibly and powerfully throughout the world but just before Christ returns, there will be a brief time of increased Satanic activity and apostasy.
This final rebellion will be crushed by the glorious return of Jesus Christ to the earth, at which time there will immediately follow the general resurrection, final judgment, and eternal state. NOTE: it should also be mentioned that many PostMs believe as do most Premillennialists that a mass conversion will occur among ethnic Israelites. Of course, unlike the Dispensational Premillennialists the PostM denies that this salvation of physical Israel has for its purpose a restoration of the nation in a future earthly millennium.
Biblical Texts cited in support of Postmillennialism.
Summary of Postmillennialism. The optimistic confidence that the world nations will become disciples of Christ, that the church will grow to fill the earth, and that Christianity will become the dominant principle rather than the exception to the rule distinguishes postmillennialism from the other viewpoints. All and only postmillennialists believe this, and only the refutation of that confidence can undermine this school of eschatological interpretation.
In the final analysis, what is characteristic of postmillennialism is not a uniform answer to any one particular exegetical question. This confidence will, from person to person, be biblically supported in various ways. The Difference between Postmillennialism and Amillennialism. Greg Bahnsen, a postmillennialist, is persuaded that the issue reduces to how one answers this question:.
This question separates amillennialists who answer no from postmillennialists who answer yes. Through the gracious power of the Holy Spirit, the vast majority of the human race will be brought to faith in Christ, resulting in worldwide obedience to his kingdom rule. The Advocates of Postmillennialism. Postmillennialism, according to its modern advocates, was far more widespread in centuries preceding our own.
Among those whom they say were postmillennialists include, in no particular order, the following: John Calvin? Alexander, A. Hodge, C. Hodge, Robert L. Dabney, William G. Shedd, Augustus H. Strong, Benjamin B. Warfield, J. Hengstenberg, John Murray? Varieties of Postmillennialism. Misconceptions of Postmillennialism. Why has PostM received such bad reviews? Why has it, at least in the twentieth-century, been so casually dismissed by most conservative evangelicals?