Monday, June 19, 2006


WHAT IS POSTMILLENNIALISM?
By Rob Horne


INTRODUCTION
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Does the Bible teach that conditions in the world will become steadily worse as history unfolds and the time of Christ's return draws nearer? Are Christians destined to minority status, marginal influence in society, and inevitable defeat prior to the second coming? Or does the Bible teach that that there will be a remarkable period of peace, spiritual prosperity, and victorious expansion for the church prior to the return of Christ at the end of the age?

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These escahtological questions are not merely idle speculation about date-setting, but presuppose a philosophy of history and an understanding of the lordship of Christ that have practical and pervasive implications for the believers involvement in missionary outreach, evangelism, and social renewal.


Biblical escahtology is fundamentally not a matter of calendar, but of Christology. Developing an eschatological understanding is not a matter of assembling isolated texts in some artifical scheme, but rather one of gaining a comprehensive and integrated perspective of the sovereign God's purpose for human history.


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THE MAIN TENETS OF POSTMILLENNIALISM
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The main tenets of postmillennialism have been defined as follows:
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1. Through the preaching of the gospel Christian missions and evangelism will attain remarkable success, and the church will enjoy an unprecedented period of numerical expansion and spiritual vitality.
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2. This period of spiritual prosperity, the millennium, understood as a long period of time, is to be characterized by conditions of increasing peace and economic well-being in the world as a result of the growing influence of Christian truth.
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3. The millennium will also be characterized by the conversion of large numbers of ethnic Jews to the Christian faith (Romans 11:25-26).
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4. At the end of the millennial period there will be a brief period apostasy and sharp conflict between Christian and evil forces (Rev. 20:7-10).
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5. Finally, and simultaneously there will occur the visible return of Christ, the resurrection of the righteous and the wicked, the final judgment, and the revelation of the new heavens and the new earth.

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