Category Archives: Optimism

“PERILOUS TIMES” IN POSTMILLENNIALISM?

PMW 2021-013 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

In 2 Timothy 3:1 we find a passage that seems to undercut the postmillennial optimism for the historical long run. There Paul writes: “realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come.”

Amillennialist Kim Riddlebarger sees this passage as a problem for those who hold the prospect of a victorious church: “Throughout the last days, some will distort the gospel to tickle itching ears and gather followers to themselves.” He continues in response to postmillennialism: “Paul warned us that this lamentable state of affairs is an inevitability for Christ’s church.” Continue reading

THE CONQUERING CHRIST AND THE MILLENNIUM

PMW 2021-009 by Milton S. Terry

Milton Terry (1840–1914) has many valuable insights into the Book of Revelation, some of which highlight his postmillennialism. In this and the next few articles, I will be highlighting some of these. Interestingly, though he rightly notes Revelation’s focus on first-century events, he also recognizes a few brief glances into the distant future (as do I!).

I will be citing the Revelation commentary section of his Biblical Apocalyptics as providing interesting and important insights for postmillennialists. Once it is introduced, all of the following material will be a direct citation from his book, although I have broken it into smaller paragraphs. Older writers (from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries) apparently saw no need for a paragraph ever to end! And writers even older than Terry, such as John Gill (1697–1771), saw no need for a sentence to end — especially since they enjoyed the use of the semi-colon. Fortunately, they did not follow first century practice of not even having spacing between words so that a word itself would never end! Continue reading

TOWARD A BIBLICAL OPTIMISM

PMW 2021-005 by Timothy M. Kucij

At the time of our marriage, many years ago, my wife and I made some promises to ourselves, each other, and to God. One of these promises was that we would read the Scriptures daily in a devotional setting. As we focused on the general tenure of Scripture it became evident that here was an optimistic book. Christ is pictured throughout as the conquering Savior with a promise of the ultimate triumph of His people and His kingdom on earth in this age.

Most of the outstanding characters of the Bible reflected this optimism, even in the darkest of times. In Noah’s day the earth was filled with violence and wickedness. Noah was commissioned by God to build an ark to save the human race and certain animals from impending disaster. It must be remembered that he was surrounded by a mass of godless unbelievers who would come and see his work, attracted by curiosity, and no doubt remain to scoff at him. Still his faith remained. He preached a positive message of victory from disaster. Continue reading

SATAN’S FIRST CENTURY BINDING (2)

Satan falling 2PMW 2020-076 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

In my previous article I began a two-part study on the binding of Satan as an important feature of the postmillennial hope. This article concludes the thoughts begun there.

The dramatic imagery that John employs in Revelation 20:1–3 teaches that Satan has been “bound” so that he “should not deceive the nations any longer.” This allows all those who are spiritually resurrected believers to “reign with him” in his kingdom. Despite popular misunderstanding of this passage, this vision speaks of realities already established in Christ’s first coming, as we can tell from several reasons. Continue reading

SATAN’S FIRST CENTURY BINDING (1)

Satan falling 1PMW 2020-075 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

The Christian worldview recognizes the reality of the spirit world. We certainly believe in God “who is a spirit” (John 4:24) and in the Third Person of the Trinity, the “Holy Spirit” (Matt. 28:19). Even we ourselves are compounds of spirit and body (Gen. 2:7; James 2:26), so that when we die “the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it” (Eccl. 12:7; cp. Matt. 10:28).

We also know of angels who are spirit-beings created by God to do his will: “Of the angels he saith, Who makes his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire” (Heb. 1:7). Some of these angels are holy, elect angels always serving God in righteousness (Luke 9:26; 1 Tim. 5:21). Others are fallen angels who resist God, determining to do evil against us (Luke 8:2; 1 Tim. 4:1). They have as their ruler, Satan the chief of the fallen angels (Matt. 25:41; Mark 2:22). Continue reading

THE FOUR ALLs OF THE GREAT COMMISSION

PMW 2020-045 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

In any study of the Christian worldview there are two passages that cannot escape one’s research: Genesis 1:26-30, called the Cultural Mandate, and Matthew 28:18-20, the Evangelistic Mandate, better known as the Great Commission. We will focus on the second, emphasizing the four appearances of the word “all” in these verses. Understanding each of these four aspects will help us better undertake the task of evangelism in the business world. And this will help establish the postmillennial argument.

All Authority
It is extremely important to remember that the Great Commission is given after the resurrection. Prior to the resurrection, a frequent refrain of Christ was: “I can do nothing of Myself” (John 5:19; 8:28; 12:49; etc). But now after the resurrection, Christ says, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18). This grant of “all authority in heaven and on earth” is given by the Father, who according to similar terminology in Matthew 11:25, Acts 17:24, and elsewhere, is called “Lord of heaven and earth.” Continue reading

THE POPULARITY OF NEGATIVITY

PMW 2020-036 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

I have just received an email from a postmillennial reader who does not live in America. He has two questions that probably are on the minds of other postmillennialists. So I thought I would briefly respond to his questions and post my answers for other readers to consider. (I will slightly tweak his comments to remove personal information).

My reader writes

“Where I live it seemed to me that the interest in end times faded a bit over the last couple of years. However more and more videos and links are now reaching my digital shores and it seems caused by the newest crises to hit the world — the doom and gloom prophesied re Coronavirus.

The Coronavirus provides ample fertile ground for faded premils to get their motor started one more time, but also providing a gateway for younger people to adopt what seems to them an easy escapist argument. I am sensing some animosity from some people because of this basic optimism and my Christian dominion approach. This is at odds with the current pessimistic view prevalent among friends.

I have therefore dusted the old books and started reading your Perilous Times again. As I am reading I was wondering why the premill and amill views are the more popular approach to a view of end times.

In relation to the above have you ever considered whether an incorrect understanding of the foundational teaching of original sin could add to the pessimistic approach to end times?

Example: why do we deserve a better future as humans when we are unworthy in the eyes of an exclusive judgmental God?

The example is not my view but could be stuck in a psychological part of the thinking process of many people causing them to believe that they (and humanity) must suffer for their sins.”

Continue reading