AMILLENNIAL PESSIMISM

FearfulPMW 2021-033 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Amillennialists often complain that postmillennialists wrongly categorize them as “pessimistic.” They generally reject this evaluation for two reasons: (1) It is negative sounding in itself. And (2) it overlooks the fact that they believe that ultimately Christ and his people win the victory at the end of history. Still other amillennialists deny this designation because they call themselves “optimistic amillennialists.”

What do postmillennialists mean by categorizing amillennialism as “pessimistic”? Is the charge legitimate. I believe it is.

Obviously all evangelical eschatological perspectives are ultimately optimistic — even dispensationalists who make a very nice living from books on cultural decline, despair, and doom. After all, Christ does lead his people to victory in saving them from their sins in history, resurrecting them from the dead at the end of history, and establishing them in righteousness in eternity. These issues are not debated among evangelicals: Christianity is of glorious, eternal consequence. But neither are these observations relevant to the debate between the millennial views.


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


Historically amillennialism has tended to be pessimistic in terms of the question of widespread, long-lasting cultural success for the Christian faith in time and on earth. That is, regarding these matters we should note:

First, as a system of gospel proclamation amillennialism teaches that the gospel of Christ will not exercise any majority influence in the world before Christ’s return. They allow that Christianity may enjoy flashes of revival and spurts of growth (e.g., the Reformation and the Great Awakening). Yet, by its very nature the amillennial system cannot allow that Christianity will become the dominant feature of human society and culture. Otherwise, it would actually be postmillennialism.

Second, as a system of historical understanding amillennialism, in fact, holds that the Bible teaches there are prophetically determined, irresistible trends downward toward chaos in the outworking and development of history. It is true that some amillennialists such as Jay E. Adams understand the great tribulation in the Olivet Discourse as referring (correctly) to the Jewish War and the AD 70 destruction of the temple. Yet their overall eschatological system necessarily demands a prophetically-determined collapse of society in history, as we can see in the writings of Jay Adams. Otherwise, it would actually be postmillennialism.


Thine Is the KingdomThine Is the Kingdom
(ed. by Ken Gentry)

Contributors lay the scriptural foundation for a biblically-based, hope-filled postmillennial eschatology, while showing what it means to be postmillennial in the real world.

See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com


Third, as a system for the promotion of Christian discipleship amillennialism dissuades the Church from anticipating and laboring for wide-scale success in influencing the world for Christ during this age. It affirms the duty for churches to disciple converts, but it does not believe there will be enough converts to affect the direction of history. Otherwise, it would actually be postmillennialism. Regarding the question of so-called “optimistic amillennialists,” it seems to me that the verses an amillennialist would use to underscore his optimism are those that endorse a postmillennial perspective. Unless, of course, he is optimistic on grounds other than direct biblical revelation. Therefore, he should come out of the closet and be a postmillennialist.

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One thought on “AMILLENNIAL PESSIMISM

  1. Alvin Plummer April 28, 2021 at 1:14 pm

    Reblogged this on Acrosss the Stars and commented:

    A logical breakdown on why all forms of amillennialism are a variety of pessi-millennialism.

    “God will win at the end of history: but in time and on earth, Jesus Kingdom will not triumph, and His word will be generally ignored and without public authority. The Not-King, without an enforced Law-word, without Authority over most men, in most of history.”

    The amillennailists are wrong.
    Jesus is right.

    “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

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