understanding the millennium [part two]: postmillennialism

Written by Mark Lafler

B.A., Global University; M.C.S., Regent College I am currently serving as a youth minister at our church in Sarasota, FL. I am married to Tera (15 Years +) and we have 3 beautiful daughters.

July 22, 2011

[serialposts]So what is postmillennialism?

The postmillennialist believes that Christ Jesus returns to complete the millennium.

Thus, the “post” in postmillennialism signifies that the second coming is after the millennium.

This position has seen a remarkable downturn in adherents in the 20th and 21st centuries and is considerably the least popular choice among the three major positions.

Proponents would suggest that at a certain time the church age will live in victory over Satan, experience a great time of peace, and see a great harvest of people enter the Kingdom of God.  The second advent of Christ Jesus will complete this peaceful millennium.

The position is thoroughly optimistic because of the emphasis that the world is getting better over time and because they emphasize that Christ’s power is present now in order to usher in this millennium.  This power is present  in the preaching of the gospel of which many will be drawn to Christ and convert to Christianity.  Thus, the millennium is ushered in by the ministry of the church through the present power of Christ and will be culminated by the second coming of Christ.

The postmillennialist interpretation of Revelation 20 is similar to that of premillennialialists.  Stan Grenz notes:

Postmillennialists generally agree with premillennialists, and against many amillennialists, that the events symbolized in Revelation 20 follow chronologically after those of chapter 19.  In contrast to premillennialists, however, postmillennialists argue that the rider on the white horse of chapter 19 is not to be interpreted as the Lord in his eschatological Second Coming.  Rather, the image is of the Lord victorious over his enemies through the preaching of the gospel within the church age (Millennial Maze, 72-73).

The interpretation style of the postmillennialist is generally an optimistic view that many (if not most) people will be saved during the thousand years.  This optimistic view-point may also be seen from their interpretations of the parables in Matthew 13, Isaiah 2:2-3, and 45:22-23.

This does not mean that the world will progress toward the millennium in linear fashion.  Instead, it will have “ups” and “downs.”  However, in the end there is a steady progress which is affected by the preaching of the gospel through Christ’s present power.

Therefore, the postmillennialist position places the time of the millennium before the second coming of Christ because of their interpretation of Revelation 19 and 20 and because of their optimistic outlook on the preaching of the gospel by the church through Christ’s present power.

2 Comments

  1. Andy Carlson

    Too much written information “clouds” my imagination….these historical implied time lines would best be described for me with a visual comparative historical line chart…..I take it the two positions are taking the same time period, and seeing from two different prospective what occurs in each position…seeing (time line) what that looks like would be great…..helpful…and clarifying..

    Reply
    • Mark Lafler

      Thanks Andy.  I don’t have one to show but if you look up the Christian Millennium in wikipedia there is a chart that might help.

      Thanks for the comment.

      Reply

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understanding the millennium [part two]: postmillennialism

by Mark Lafler time to read: 2 min
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