Category Archives: Optimism

POSTMILLENNIAL EXPECTATIONS IN CREATION FOUNDATIONS

sunrise-4PMW 2021-067 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Does the “Cultural Mandate” in Gen 1:26-28 help the postmillennial argument? Or is it “forced” evidence? One PMT reader expressed doubt that this has anything to do with the postmillennial hope. So I ask:

Does this passage speak to the postmillennial program? I believe it does. And powerfully so. Continue reading

PRIMER ON POSTMILLENNIALISM (5)

feetPMW 2021-065 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

I have been presenting the postmillennial understanding of the millennial hope in this five-part series. Hopefully this series will be useful as an introduction to postmillennialism for those unfamiliar with it or, as yet, unpersuaded by its argument.

In this article we will very briefly consider one of the key texts in Paul’s writing, from the vitally important fifteenth chapter of 1 Corinthians. Continue reading

PRIMER ON POSTMILLENNIALISM (3)

isaiah-preachingPMT 2021-063 Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

This is the third in a series of studies on the “millennium” from Rev. 20 and how postmillennialists understand it, especially over against amillennialists.

Prophecy and the Postmillennial Hope

The Old Testament is, of course, full of eschatological pronouncements. Israel was blessed with many writing prophets who have left us a record of their inspired insights into the future. I could profitably survey a number of the Messianic Psalms.

For instance, I could highlight Psalm 2, taking special note of the promise: “Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, / And the very ends of the earth as Your possession” (Psa 2:8). Did Jesus ask for the nations from the father? Yes, he did as we see in his Great Commission: “And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. ‘Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit’” (Matt 28:18–29). Continue reading

CREATION, EDEN, AND POSTMILLENNIALISM

EdenPMW 2021-059 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

The God of creation is a God of covenant. Scripture structures God’s relationship to and rule over both man and creation in covenantal terms.

Creation Covenant

Though the term “covenant” (Heb.: berith) does not appear in Genesis 1, the constitutive elements of a covenant are there. Jeremiah, however, uses the word “covenant” of creation. In Jeremiah 33:24-25 the creation covenant that secures the regularity of the days and seasons serves as a ground of hope in God’s covenantal faithfulness to his people in the world: “This is what the Lord says: If I have not established my covenant with day and night and the fixed laws of heaven and earth, then I will reject the descendants of Jacob and David my servant and will not choose one of his sons to rule over the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. For I will restore their fortunes and have compassion on them.’” Continue reading

POSTMILLENNIALISM’S “SIN PROBLEM” (1)

PMW 2021-043 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

One of the most frequent, forceful, and compelling objections against the postmillennial hope of world conversion is based on the problem of sin. Like me, many Christians are committed to Calvinistic doctrine regarding man’s total depravity. Total depravity teaches that man is a fallen sinner and depraved in every aspect of being. How can we have any hope for a better world governed by sinful men? Continue reading

MY FAVORITE POSTMILLENNIAL VERSES

Bible pointingPMW 2021-031 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

I became a postmillennialist after becoming dismayed with dispensationalism, while studying at Grace Theological seminary. But I did not leap from dispensational despair to postmillennial progress in a single bound. Nor was my move faster than a speeding bullet. Nor did I deem it necessary to wear a red cape to do this. (I’ll see how many of you watched Superman on TV in the 1950s.)

Eschatological journey

I was converted in a dispensational ministry: my dispensationalist uncle’s church in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Then I enrolled in Tennessee Temple College, a fundamentalist Baptist operated school, where I secured a B.A. in Biblical Studies. Now armed-and-dangerous with dispensational proof-texts, I set sail to Grace Theological Seminary in Winona Lake, Indiana. There I was being trained in a higher level, more scholarly version of dispensationalism. Continue reading

PERSECUTION AND POSTMILLENNIALISM

PMW 2021-030 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Critics of postmillennialism will often turn to negative sounding passages in the New Testament in order to discredit any postmillennialism optimism regarding the future.

For instance, Matthew 10:23 is a favorite in this regard:

“You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved.”

Since postmillennialism expects a future in which Christianity reigns supreme, and in which righteousness and peace will prevail throughout the world, texts such as this one must be explained. Postmillennialism cannot be true if Christians will always be hated and the only hope we have is our bare endurance.

But does this passage teach such? I do not believe that it does. We must read the verse in its context to grasp what our Lord is actually declaring.


three views millennium

Three Views on the Millennium and Beyond (ed. by Darrell Bock)

Presents three views on the millennium: progressive dispensationalist, amillennialist, and reconstructionist postmillennialist viewpoints. Includes separate responses to each view. Ken Gentry provides the postmillennial contribution.

See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com


In Matt 10 Jesus appoints his disciples as apostles, investing them with great authority (Matt 10:1–2). And at this stage of his ministry he limits their outreach to Israel alone: “These twelve Jesus sent out after instructing them: ‘Do not go in the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter any city of the Samaritans; but rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel’” (Matt 10:5–6). Of course, this is not the way it was always to be, for later at the end of his ministry he commissions his church to “make disciples of all the nations” (Matt 28:19).

Furthermore, immediately after his limiting their mission to Israel, he teaches them what they are to preach: “And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand’” (Matt 10:7). This also shows the early phase of his ministry. The kingdom has not yet come, though it is close at hand.

He then directs them to go from city-to-city in Israel to preach the gospel, heal the sick, cast out demons, and so forth (Matt 10:8–15). He notes that he is sending them “as sheep in the midst of wolves” (Matt 10:16). And in doing so he warns them: “But beware of men, for they will hand you over to the courts and scourge you in their synagogues; and you will even be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles” (Matt 10:17–18). This clearly speaks of their ministry to Israel, for it mentions the trouble they will experience from the synagogues.

He further warns that “brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death” (Matt 10:21). Then we read the verse that raised our question: “You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved” (Matt 10:22).

Then following this warning he promises: “But whenever they persecute you in one city, flee to the next; for truly I say to you, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel until the Son of Man comes” (Matt 10:23). We must ask: “Whenever who persecutes you?” Contextually, it is speaking expressly of Jewish opposition.

What Matt 10:22 is declaring then is that as his twelve disciples (who are all dead by now!) engage the mission to Israel, they must hang tough, they must endure through the raging of Israel against Christ and his followers. Not only so, but he promises he will come in judgment against Israel before they have finished going through all the cities of Israel. This refers to the AD 70 destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, the specific “end” in view.

A similar statement to Matt 10:22 is found in Matt 24:13: “But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.” And again, the context points to the time preceding the fall of Jerusalem, for he is answering a question about the coming destruction of the temple (Matt 24:2–3).

Thus, Matt 10:22 (and Matt 24:13) do not speak of relentless persecution to the end of history (are you persecuted to death?). Rather it is referring to Jewish persecution of the Christian faith that leads up to AD 70.


The Harrowing of Hell (by Jay Rogers)
This postmillennial book examines the power of the Gospel, not only to overcome all opposition, but to rise far above the powers of hell. The term “Harrowing of Hell” refers to idea that Christ descended into Hell, as stated in the Apostles’ Creed.

For more Christian educational materials: www.KennethGentry.com