PMW 2018-066 by PostmillennialWordlview readers
On Facebook I recently asked postmillennial friends to give a brief statement regarding how they came to postmillennialism. Here are several of their testimonies. God uses different means for reaching different people!
I read the Great Commission and considered its extent with regard to the mission of the church. We have our mission statement given by Jesus prior to him returning to the father’s side. We work to complete that mission and extending God’s kingdom on earth until we die in this life.
By Keith Mathison
The promises of the gospel offer hope of a brighter future for the families and nations of the earth. Mathison’s an optimistic eschatology supported by biblical, historical, and theological considerations.
See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com
I have been evangelical for more than twenty years and youth pastor for five years, during that time I was dispensationalist. As evangelical I worked with different denominations including Pentecostal and Baptist churches. All of these groups espoused a pre-millennial dispensationalist view of eschatology. However, things started changing after came to my hands reformed literature.
After reading profusely about Christian history on the end of times issue, I came to realize that many of the most important theologians and Christian leaders were not dispensationalist like Athanasius, Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Knox, Edwards, Whitefield and others. I found to my surprise that none of them ever spoke of “the rapture.” This is because they were either postmillennialists, amillennialists or historical premillennialists.
So, after I abandoned evangelicalism and became a Reformed Presbyterian Christian, my search for truth became increasingly strong and I went from a amillennial view to a post-millennial one. It was a complete process and one of the main texts, among other ones, was the one on 1 Cor. 15:20-28:
“But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For he “has put everything under his feet.” Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.”
Postmillennialism Made Easy (by Ken Gentry)
Basic introduction to postmillennialism. Presents the essence of the postmillennial argument and answers the leading objections. And all in a succinct, introductory fashion.
See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com
I came to postmillennialism by (1) listening to scholars I trusted, but much more so by (2) reading the Bible. Readers’ Digest version: Jesus didn’t come to lose; Jesus didn’t come to fight to a draw; Jesus came to win, and one day the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of God as the waters cover the sea (Habakkuk 2:14). And how is that? Deep and wide!
Jolee Miller White
Having grown up in the shadow of the original Calvary Chapel, I heard about the rapture and read on the wall of their offices “Jesus is coming soon” for decades. But in college, we sang at each graduation ceremony (music school; lots of music and all students participate in every graduation), a setting of that text from Habakkuk 2:14. It started me questioning. And when they painted over that “coming soon” sign I thought, about time after 40 years!
Heard someone talk about the “gates of hell” and the Kingdom of God. Growing up my church taught that the devil would never be able to get to the church. We would be nearly defeated, but in the end Jesus would bail us out. We just needed to hold on and hold out. This particular speaker said we had it wrong. It’s not the church in peril, but hell itself. He taught that Jesus said the kingdom of the devil would continue to fall before the advance of the Gospel. We are invited to join the conquering Christ in victory.
John Stephen Brown
Our LORD JESUS CHRIST used a Free Methodist man, who later became a Baptist, to introduce me to the LORD JESUS. Within 2 weeks the LORD called me to preach in a Jack Van Impe citywide crusade. Graduated from Tennessee Temple University with a BRE in pastoral studies. So the first 18 years of my journey on the path of righteousness was with the Independent Fundamental Baptists. Twenty-seven years ago God used a personal friend, John Weaver, a Baptist preacher from Fitzgerald, Georgia to consider reading Gary North’s book Backward, Christian Soldiers? Also Rousas John Rushdoony’s The Institutes of Biblical Law (vols. 1, 2, 3). Furthermore, Gary DeMar’s Last Days Madness; Gary North’s Rapture Fever; Dave McPherson’s books: The Great Rapture Hoax and The Incredible Cover-up; Dwight Wilson’s Armageddon Now!; and Ken Gentry’s books: The Beast of Revelation, Before Jerusalem Fell, and He Shall Have Dominion. By the way. I put away all of the dispensational footnoted Study Bibles and began using a wide margin Bible.
Back in the early 1970’s I was dispensational, but by the mid-70’s I came into the reformed faith by God’s grace, and flirted with post-millennialism, but gravitated to amillennialism. By the late ‘80’s, into the early ‘90’s I added partial preterism to my eschatological beliefs. So, although I remain amillennial, your books on partial preterism (Before Jerusalem Fell and The Beast of Revelation), have been a help to me in reinforcing my eschatological position.
I grew up dispensationalist and had begun to shift amil after listening to Riddlebarger and others. But one night I was listening to Jeff Durbin’s Mormonism videos on Youtube. I was just letting it run in the background, then eventually it begun playing his videos on The kingdom. I don’t remember what grabbed my attention, but it just made sense. After that I have searched the scriptures and listened to others and it just makes sense.
I am from Australia, I didn’t really hold any eschatolical position prior to postmillennialism. But I listened to a video series on Matthew 24 by Gary De Mar and all of a sudden I came to understand the Olivet Discourse. I then happened upon Bahnsen’s book on postmillennialism; I think it was called Victory in Jesus. Finally I bought Before Jerusalem Fell, and I was sold!
I held no strong eschatological position, but I eventually read Kim Riddlebarger’s The Case for Amillennialism,”and so afterwards considered myself Amil. I eventually listened to Dr. Greg Bahnsen’s “Why I Am A Postmillennialist” and saw for myself its consistency with Scripture and how the Postmill position had been misrepresented. Other books like Victory in Jesus and House Divided further convinced me of how unbiblical, pessimistic and defeatist were the alternatives were for the church and the proclamation of the Gospel.
Too many false predictions of the Return became embarrassing. The rendering of 666 into 616 as an alternative interpretation was early enough to make me look twice. I also noticed that the majority of the teachers conflate the “Ancient of Days” with Christ’s Return. The Ancient of Days cloud direction was UPWARD for the coronation. Christ’s Return cloud direction was DOWN TOWARDS THE EARTH. Dispensational teachers ironically know Book of Revelation is symbolic yet they resist symbolic interpretations. They don’t pay attention to the genre.
I read the Bible in context.
(Kim doesn’t beat around the bush. She gets right to the point of the fundamental argument for postmillennialism! Ken Gentry)
Brent J Hebert
I had spent 25 years in a Dispensational preaching church. I didn’t know anything of postmil, amil or any other eschatological system out there. I was convinced that there was only one system, Premil-Pretrib. However I listened to a sermon on “Who Confirmed the Covenant” based on Daniel 9:27. It was the beginning of the end of Dispensationalism for me. I wrestled with this peace treaty made by the antichrist and Israel at the beginning of the tribulation. There was only one problem, this is absolutely nowhere found in Scripture. Another troubling passage was the rider of the white horse in Revelation 6 being the antichrist and the crazy justification given by dispensational preachers whay this couldn’t be Christ Himself. In 2009, we left the IFB and joined a Free Presbyterian Church that taught Historic Postmillenialism. The Scriptures became very clear that the church is destined for victory and that Christ shall reign until he makes all his enemies his footstool. It gives the power and growth of the gospel to the work of the Holy Spirit, not limited to man’s endevours. The overspreading of Christianity will dominate over the course of history, not an immediate result. Postmil gives the church hope, although it will face times of persecutions and judgments because of its disobedience, God will ultimately get the victory.
I was a child when the Left Behind series was published . My church and self included were caught up in the books and studies. It wasn’t until my early twenties that I began watching/listening to R.C. Sproul. Through his book “The last days according to Jesus” and a brief summation from you in a book that gives the three main millenial positions I switched to believing postmil. (Also, actually reading scripture). There’s a lot of prayer and wrestling with the Spirit that came with it all. Thank God.
Phillip Kayser, my floor leader at Prairie Bible Institute, challenged my mind to seriously consider Calvinist thought (beyond mere instinct of faith). This was furthered through the ministry of Harrell Knox, Judge William C. Beers, Jerry Butler, and Reformation Covenant Church founder Dennis Tuuri. I was immersed in the scripture-wrought works of Calvin, Luther (Bondage of The Will), Rushdoony, Bahnsen, Van Til, Gentry, North, Jordan, & Chilton). Reconstructionist Conferences were a big part of my life, in the 80s and 90s. I had been sidetracked by dispensationalism; however, the sure reminder of the Holy Spirit’s winning sovereignty of my faith resonated through my ‘postmil’ findings in Revelation.
I was strongly rooted in my belief of the sovereignty of God even at a young age, but I was nonetheless influenced by the confusion of American Dispensationalist culture with it’s defeatist eschatology. By God’s good Providence, I was given a friend, who was a Postmillennialist, that was very patient with me even while I was most obstinate in my belief that he subscribed to a pernicious error that needed refuting. I could never grasp why there could be any hope of a glorious future of God’s people on earth prior to His second advent because of all the terrors described in Revelation.
Ironically, through my efforts to demonstrate from the Scriptures that Postmillennialism was wrong, I became a convert of the very thing I sought to refute. It was through the worldview shattering doctrine of partial-preterism (Rev. 1:1-3) that I was released from the shackles of fear and despair for Christ’s church, and given the freedom of glorious hope which is found in the promises of Christ (Mat. 28:16-20), in that His great Commission would be fulfilled in time because He is with us always and that He would sit to the right of the Father on His throne until all of His enemies were made His footstool (Acts 2:33-35), and only then would He come (1 Cor. 15:24-25).
Juan Jose Sanchez
I do not live in the United States. However, Mexico has had a huge influence from American theology, including eschatology. So, most Mexican churches have a dispensationaI theology. Thus, I grew up a dispensationalist. However, after having been presented with postmil by a Reformed friend, I realized how much more biblical sense it made. Also, I realized that a Christian could hold either view. Nevertheless, if it were reduced to a pragmatic choice (which is not the case), I would rather think that society will be conquered by the gospel and I can spread the Gospel and change the culture, than to think that everything will go worse and worse, and that there’s nothing that can be done to change the cultural trends.
The Lord rescued me from dispensationalism in 1977 when I became puzzled by OT kingdom passages that the New Testament said were “fulfilled.” I wondered how they could be fulfilled if we were not in the kingdom. I looked the NT passages up in my Dispensationalist commentaries, and their explanations of why the real fulfillment was still future were so lame that I took the time to look up every passage that had “fulfilled” in it. It blew me out of the water that the hermeneutics I was using was not the hermeneutics of Christ and the apostles. I knelt by my bed and repented of Scripture twisting and asked the Lord for guidance. Not knowing any alternatives to Premillennialism (I was told in Bible school that Amils and Postmils were liberals), I became a historical Premil. But that didn’t make sense either, so I became an Amil. But I felt the tension of the “Already/not yet” paradigm in Amillennialism. It was hard to wrap my head around that. I had never considered Postmillennialism because it seemed ludicrous on the surface that things were getting better and better. But one week I set out to read Greg Bahnsen’s “Theonomy in Christian Ethics” in order to refute it. Big mistake. I was converted to theonony 1/4 way through the book. Further into the book I read a footnote that simply listed all the Scriptures that spoke of nations embracing God’s law, and it was like there were a series of clicks as pieces of the puzzle fell into place and I became an instant Postmillenialist. If Calvinism was my second blessing, and presuppositionalism my third blessing, theonony and postmillennialism were the fourth and fifth blessings that revolutionized my life. Theonomy gave the structure. Postmillennialism gave the faith and trajectory to shoot for. Calvinism gave me the backbone. And Presuppositionalism gave me the weapons. By the way, some of your books were used to help me along the way. Thanks for your work brother. I’ve been following you since you wrote on the Lordship Salvation controversy in the 70s in Baptist Reformation Review. Yeah, Ken Gentry goes way back. Love you brother.
I was born late (45) into a Feministic DisPen Armenian Church, found STUDYLIGHT.ORG right away and my first bible study was Galatians. Could not square with thier side, I was reading Matthew Henry and M Luther. Then I started listening to D.A Carson and he did this series on use of OT in NT, very good series, but it got me looking.
I got into looking myself at Ps 110 and then Ps 2 and then re-reading all the NT looking at the OT quotes. What it brought to the party. It made me look over and over again. I finally gave up on DisPen after reading O. P. Roberson’s Christ of Covenant. I Left Dis Pen then Left PreMill but was confused on Amil/Post mill. I read the 4 views and like the idea that Christ wins.. It made more sense than the world falls … But i really solidified my view on your book on Post Mill. Then Kik’s book. Then it continues.
My story is similar to that of Brian Godawa’s. I became disenchanted with Premillenialism during the 90s through to early 20-teens, feeling there had to be a an eschatology that revealed the true doctrine in the Bible concerning the Last Days. I started claiming the promise given in Matt. 24 “Let the reader understand” and soon after, God sent a friend who was a young aspiring officer in the Air Force to explain partial preterism to me and gave me several resources. I quickly learned this new approach to interpretation and adopted it in place of. Dispensational teaching. Interest in Postmillenialism soon followed and I am trying to sharpen myself in that eschatology now.
Robert J. Macauley
I read The Apocalypse Code by Hank Hanegraaff – twice. Followed it up with Revelation Made Easy by Kenneth Gentry – twice. Began watching anything on “You Tube” I could find by Hank and Ken. Discovered N.T. Wright. Have never turned back. Dispensationalism never set right in my mind.
I would be interested in hearing from others by your putting a “comment” on this page. God bless!