UNDERSTANDING POSTMILLENNIALISM

PMW 2021-025 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Postmillennialism is perhaps the easiest eschatological position to misunderstand in our era and therefore inadvertently to misrepresent. Consequently, we must remind our brothers in the debate of postmillennialism’s actual claims. In a Westminster Theological Journal article I wrote a few years ago, I caution non-postmillennialists regarding three faulty assumptions that they must avoid when responding to our eschatological system. And though few competent theologians would intentionally apply these conditions to postmillennialism, I fear that these sometimes lurk unrecognized in the subconscious.

First, postmillennialism neither teaches nor implies universalism. Postmillennialists do not argue that at some point in temporal history each and every individual then living will be saved. Consequently, even at the very height of the postmillennial advance, unbelievers will remain among us, though in a minority status—some as false converts to the faith, others as openly unrepentant resisters. Jesus clearly teaches this in his Parable of the Tares among the Wheat (Matt 13:30), just before declaring the enormous victory of the faith in all the world (Matt 13:31-33). This is a part of the “mysteries of the kingdom” (Matt 13:11): the glorious kingdom of God does not overwhelm the world catastrophically (but grows gradually like a mustard plant and penetrates little-by-little as does leaven) and it will not conquer the world absolutely (but grows to a majoritarian dominance like wheat in the field).


The Truth about Postmillennialism
By Ken Gentry

A group Bible study guide for explaining the optimistic prophetic hope for this world to be accomplished before Christ’s Second Coming. Establishes the postmillennial system in both the Old and New Testaments. Touches on key eschatological issues, such as creation, covenant, interpretive methodolgy, the great tribulation, the Book of Revelation, the Jewish Temple, and more. It presents and answers the leading objections to postmillennialism.Twelve chapters are ideal for one quarter of Sunday School.

See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com


Second, postmillennialism neither teaches nor implies perfectionism. Postmillennialists do not argue that at some point in temporal history Christians then living will be perfected. Despite the worldwide victory of the Christian faith, Christians will remain sinners—sanctified sinners, of course, but redeemed vessels of mercy suffering the complications of indwelling sin. Just as no current evangelical church is perfect, neither will an evangelical world be perfect. But if the majority of the human race were conducting themselves as the average church-going, born-again Christian of today, the world would certainly be a different and much better place—despite this lack of perfection.

Third, postmillennialism neither teaches nor implies satisfactionism. Postmillennialists do not argue that Christ’s people should prefer temporal, earthly conquest through gospel dominion over eternal, heavenly victory in consummational glory. Any believer with even a modicum of spiritual sanctification and biblical understanding must recognize the surpassing glory that awaits him in the resurrected estate. Then—and only then—will we see God face-to-face, experience the transformation of our bodies from mortality to immortality, enjoy freedom from temptation and sin, live forever in blessed circumstances, and be reunited with our saved loved ones. The glory of Christian dominion in the earth pales in comparison to the glory of resurrection majesty in the new earth.

In addition to these three clarifications, postmillennialists endure dissenters reminding us of present world conditions as evidence against our expectations. Consequently, we must insist that our eschatological system be properly defined: nowhere in the definition of postmillennialism do we declare that by the year 2016 we will witness the glorious blessings of worldwide gospel conquest. Until the moment the Lord returns postmillennialism cannot be disproved by evidences from cultural decline and social chaos in the world. Who knows how long God will take to effect the glorious transformation? Just as Christians should not doubt the second coming of Christ because it has not occurred yet (2 Pet 3:4), neither should evangelicals discount the cultural dominion of Christ because it is not full now. All our system requires is that the world be Christianized before the Lord returns—and we do not know when that will be (Matt 24:36; Acts 1:7).


Postmillennialism Made Easy

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


3 thoughts on “UNDERSTANDING POSTMILLENNIALISM

  1. Jason Elliott March 26, 2021 at 6:03 am

    Dr. Gentry, how does 1 Corinthians 15:25-26 fit with there still being enemies of God at Christ’s coming in Matthew 13:38-43 and after Satan’s little season in Revelation 20? Is this to say that there will be unregenerate people living in a Christianized world who will be destroyed at Christ’s second coming BEFORE the general resurrection? How does this harmonize with Christ’s appearing being contemporaneous with the general resurrection? I’m trying to get a handle on the literal interpretation of death being the last enemy to be destroyed. Perhaps I’m reading too much into it, or I’m misidentifying what “the enemies of God” are. Thanks for your work in this area!

  2. Tim Hanley March 26, 2021 at 6:09 am

    Thank you for all these posts as they have been super helpful and very clarifying. Tim

    On Fri, Mar 26, 2021, 5:17 AM Postmillennial Worldview wrote:

    > Kenneth Gentry posted: “PMW 2021-025 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr. > Postmillennialism is perhaps the easiest eschatological position to > misunderstand in our era and therefore inadvertently to misrepresent. > Consequently, we must remind our brothers in the debate of > postmillennialism’” >

  3. Kenneth Gentry April 12, 2021 at 9:09 am

    The consummation is not a point-in-time event, but unfolds over a brief period of time.

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