Category Archives: Uncategorized

IS THE SECOND ADVENT “IMMINENT”? (2)

PMW 2022- by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

In my last article I opened a brief analysis of the doctrine of the imminent return of Christ. I began setting up the matter and also showing its problems for dispensationalism. In this article I will conclude the study.

Often dispensationalists try to distinguish between Christ’s return being imminent and its being soon. This strives to protect them against charges of date-setting. This does not protect them from the charge, however, because it is inconsistently held.
In a letter to me dated June 1, 1994, from Thomas D. Ice, Executive Director of the Pre-Trib Research Center, Ice writes: “We distinguish between imminent and soon in the sense that soon would require a near coming, while imminent would allow, but not require a soon coming.” Bundled in that very letter was his first newsletter entitled: “The Pre-Trib Research Center: A New Beginning.” The first sentence of the newsletter (once past the headings) was: “Our purpose is to awaken in the Body of Christ a new awareness of the soon coming of Jesus.” The system giveth and taketh away. In fact, in a book edited by Ice, Tim LaHaye speaks of “the soon coming of Christ.” Continue reading

THE STRENGTH OF PRETERISM IN REVELATION

PMW 2022-034 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

I am an exegetical preterist. By that I mean that I come to the text of Scripture and am led by the textual indicators in many biblical passages to adopt a preterist analysis of those passages. I am not a theological preterist. A theological preterist is one who comes to Scripture with the pre-commitment that all prophecy has been fulfilled and preterism controls all of biblical eschatology.

Many theological preterists (aka Hyper-preterists) began as partial preterists but in their excitement they took a bridge too far. This is like an enthusiastic Calvinist who becomes a Hyper-Calvinist. He refuses to do personal evangelism and invest in missions because God is absolutely sovereign and will see that all the elect are saved. The Hyper-Calvinist is certainly Calvinistic, but he has abused the Cavinistic system. Sadly, the Hyper-preterist has a heavy-duty HP hammer and every Bible verse he sees looks like a nail to be driven into his system. Thankfully more and more of those who shot beyond the bounds of historical preterism to become Hyper-preterists are beginning to make their way back to a full evangelical faith.

Unfortunately, like a squeaky wheel those who abuse a system tend to get much attention for the grating noise they make. And even more sadly, it is easy to write-off a system because of some proponents who have taken it too far.

But the orthodox preterist must answer serious objections to the preterist system. And in the book of Revelation there are many issues that can raise serious objections. One objection that I often hear is: Since Revelation is almost wholly fulfilled it is irrelevant to use today. There seems to be no point in our having it in the Bible.

The problem with this complaint is that we could do away with much of the Bible on that basis. For instance, Paul’s letter to the Corinthian church is very personal and deals with several local issues troubling that church 2000 years ago. Yet, what Christian would declare 1 and 2 Corinthians to be irrelevant to us today?

Properly considered, Revelation is somewhat like 1 Corinthians in that it deals with ancient issues, but in a way that establishes abiding principles for us today. I will have more to say on this in a later PostmillennialWorldview article. But for now, we need to press the point that: When Revelation was written, it was much needed in the era of the establishing of the new covenant church in the world.

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The Book of Revelation Made Easy

This book introduces the reader to the reasons for the preterist analysis of Revelation. Very helpful for those who are not acquainted with the strengths of preterism in Revelation.

This book is available at : http://www.KennethGentry.com

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Three of the leading strengths of preterism are due to its original relevance:

First, preterism’s relevance. Preterism retains and emphasizes the relevance of Revelation for John’s first-century audience (the seven churches in Asia Minor and apostolic Christianity more broadly, Rev. 2–3). The nascent faith was enduring a worsening period of persecution and oppression (1:9; 6:9–11; 14:13; 17:6) that would require Christians to strive to “overcome” (2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21).

John writes to a particular people at a particular time, and those people are urged to carefully “hear” (1:3) what Revelation presents. As Isbon Beckwith (319) well notes: “Like ‘every scripture inspired of God’ the Apocalypse was certainly meant to be to those to whom it first came ‘profitable for teaching’ (2 Tim. 3:16), and so the writer must have counted on its being understood in its chief lessons.” This differs radically from futurism which must argue that “the full meaning of the Apocalypse shall only be understood ‘when all has come to pass’ (Abraham Kuyper, p. v). John Walvoord (8) admits that “as history unfolds and as prophecy is fulfilled in the future, much will be understood that could be only dimly comprehended by the first readers of the book.”

Second, preterism recognizes John’s time-frame. Preterism takes seriously Revelation’s time-frame indicators: “the things which must shortly take place” (1:1, 22:6) in that “the time is near” (1:3; 22:10). These temporal qualifiers appear in the introduction and the conclusion of Revelation, so that any unprejudiced original reader should expect that what he will hear and what he should understand is a prophecy about fast-approaching events. Not only so but these temporal delimiters appear well before and immediately after the perplexing symbolic visions. Consequently, they appear in the more didactic and less dramatic sections.

Third, deals with a fundamental redemptive-historical issue. Preterism dramatically presents major redemptive-historical matters: the demise of Judaism and the temple system (after 2000 years of Jewish focus and 1500 years of tabernacle/temple worship) and the universalizing of the Christian faith as it permanently breaks free of its maternal bonds to temple-based Israel. We must understand that “the patriarchal family was only a stage in the development of the people of God, so national and territorial Israel in the Old Testament period was a stage toward the development of an international and global people of God. This is not just a ‘Christian idea’ but intrinsic to the Old Testament itself” (N. T. Wright 1994: 2). Wright notes the OT evidence, citing especially Zech. 2:11a: “And many nations will join themselves to the Lord in that day and will become My people.” See also: Gen. 12:3; Psa. 22:27; 47:8ff; 72:17; 86:9; 87:1ff; 102:13–22; Isa 11:1–9, 10, 12; 19:19–25; 25:1ff; 42:6; 44:5; 45:22ff; 49:6; Jer. 16:19; Amos 9:12; Hag. 2:6ff; Zech. 8:20—23; Mal. 1:11.

During its earliest years Christianity gravitates to the temple (e.g., Acts 2:46; 3:1; 5:20, 42; 21:26; 22:17; 24:11) and Jerusalem (e.g., Acts 1:4; 6:7; 8:1; 15:2; 19:21). Thus, this covenantal transition is a major, recurring theme in the NT. We see this especially in Hebrews which has this as its central, controlling point: John “depicts the replacement of the Old Covenant by Christianity in language reminiscent of the epistle to the Hebrews” (Martin Hopkins, 44). But we also witness numerous allusions to AD 70 in many texts in the Gospels (e.g., Matt. 8:11–12; 21:43; 22:1–7; 23:35–38; 24:1–34) as well as elsewhere (Acts 2:16–21, 37–40; 7:48–53; 1Thess. 2:14–16).

Fourth, preterism establishes an example for all ages of the church. By enduring such catastrophes as appearing in Revelation, the first-century church serves as an example of Christ’s providential protection of his people — giving hope for not only that day but all ages. If Christ can deliver the church in its infancy during its weakest stage of development from two ubiquitous enemies, then the future looks bright with hope.

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The Book of Revelation and the Postmillennial Hope (DVD lectures)

These three 50-minute lectures explain how Revelation does not contradict the postmillennial hope, as many assume.

This DVD set is available at : http://www.KennethGentry.com

LEV 10 AS DIVINE PROHIBITION?

PMW 2018-037 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

One of the recurring images of the postmillennial advance of the kingdom in Scripture is of the joy exhibited by use of wine. We see this in Isaiah 25:6; 55:1; Joel 2:19; 2:24; 3:18; Amos 9:13; and Zechariah 10:7.

Unfortunately, there are Christians who oppose any consumption of alcohol (even in moderation) and who therefore miss the beauty of this image. And they have several Scriptures they bring to the debate. One frequently cited passage in Leviticus 10:8–11:

The LORD then spoke to Aaron, saying, “Do not drink wine or strong drink, neither you nor your sons with you, when you come into the tent of meeting, so that you may not die — it is a perpetual statute throughout your generations — and so as to make a distinction between the holy and profane, and between the unclean and the clean, and so as to teach the sons of Israel all the statutes which the LORD has spoken to them through Moses.”

Continue reading

PROBLEMS WITH REVELATION’S EARLY DATE (1)

Objections, Preterism, Revelation July 16, 2021 Comments: 3

Emperor worship 5

PMW 2021-055 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Preteristic postmillennialists hold that Revelation was written prior to the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in AD 70. We argue this on historical and exegetical grounds. We do not argue for an early date for Revelation on purely theological grounds in order to defend our long-range hope against John’s enormous judgment scenes.. I have argued the case of the early date of Revelation in several places, most especially in my doctoral dissertation published as Before Jerusalem Fell. In this brief series of articles I will respond to four leading arguments against the early date.

The modern case for the late date of Revelation concentrates upon four basic arguments. These have been ably and succinctly summarized by noted evangelical scholar and late-date advocate Leon Morris in his commentary, The Revelation of St. John (2d. ed.: Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1987). I choose to investigate Morris’s approach for three basic reasons.

(1) He has rightfully earned an international reputation among both evangelical and liberal scholars. (2) He has a demonstrated competence in the field of New Testament studies, having even produced an excellent commentary on Revelation itself. (3) His presentation is succinct and focused, which lends itself to blog analysis. The order of my listing of these evidences will follow Morris’s, which is based on his scholarly estimation of their priority.



Beast of Revelation

The Beast of Revelation
by Ken Gentry

A popularly written antidote to dispensational sensationalism and newspaper exegesis. Convincing biblical and historical evidence showing that the Beast was the Roman Emperor Nero Caesar, the first civil persecutor of the Church. The second half of the book shows Revelation’s date of writing, proving its composition as prior to the Fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. A thought-provoking treatment of a fascinating and confusing topic.

For more study materials, go to: KennethGentry.com


Morris begins with what he calls “the principal reason for dating the book during” Domitian’s reign, which is: Revelation “contains a number of indications that emperor-worship was practised, and this is thought to have become widespread in Domitian’s day” (p. 35).Earlier than Morris, James Moffatt insisted that the role of emperor worship in Revelation was virtually conclusive: “When the motive of the Apocalypse is thus found in the pressure upon the Christian conscience exerted by Domitian’s emphasis on the imperial cultus, especially as that was felt in Asia Minor, any earlier date for the book becomes almost impossible.” [1]

This argument regarding emperor worship is also held by Robert H. Mounce, R. H. Charles, H. B. Swete, Donald B. Guthrie, W. G. Kümmel, M. Eugene Boring, William Barclay, and many others. References in Revelation which seem to reflect emperor worship are found in scattered places. See especially Revelation 13:4, 8, 12, 15; 14:9, 11; 16:2; 19:20; 20:4. The most noteworthy statements re found in Revelation 13, where worship of the “beast” is compelled.

Unfortunately, for this view emperor worship dates back to Julius Caesar in the last century before Christ. And it is endorsed by Nero, the emperor who commissions Vespasian to put down the Jewish rebellion (which results in the destruction of the temple). The emperor cult had a prominent role in the political and social life of the Roman empire well before Domitian, and even before Nero.

Although it is true that historical development continued to introduce new features and requirements into the practice, nevertheless after 30 B.C. “we can observe a swift spread of the emperor cult throughout the Roman Near East.” [2] As even late-date advocate James Moffatt wrote: “The blasphemous title of dims, assumed by the emperors since Octavian (Augustus = sebastos) as a semi-sacred title, implied superhuman claims which shocked the pious feelings of Jews and Christians alike. So did theos [god] and theou huios [son of god] which, as the inscriptions prove, were freely applied to the emperors, from Augustus onwards.” [3]


Before Jerusalem Fell Tyler

Before Jerusalem Fell Lecture (DVD)
DVD by Ken Gentry

A summary of the evidence for Revelation’s early date. Helpful, succinct introduction to Revelation’s pre-AD 70 composition.

See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com


The appearance of emperor worship in Revelation is held by many late-date theorists as the strongest evidence for a date during the last year of the reign of Domitian (A.D. 81-96). It is true that Domitian required people to address him as “Lord and God.” Certainly the emperor cult was prominent in his reign. Yet when we scrutinize the relevant historical evidence we discover abundant testimony to emperor worship at various stages of development well before both Domitian and Nero. Indeed, such clear statements exist of so many aspects of the emperor cult, it is surprising that this argument is used at all against the early date. One wonders why it is deemed “the principal reason” (Morris) that makes it “almost impossible” (Moffatt) for the early date view to stand is wholly incredible.

Notes

  1. James Moffatt, The Revelation of St. John the Divine, vol. 5 in W. Robertson Nicoll, ed., The Expositor’s Greek Testament (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, rep. 1980), 317.
  2. Doron Mendels, The Rise and Fall of Jewish Nationalism: Jewish and Christian Ethnicity in Ancient Palestine (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1992), 278.
  3. Moffatt, Revelation, 429. See also: Aune, Revelation 1-5, lxviii; Leonard L. Thompson, The Book of Revelation: Apocalypse and Empire (New York: Oxford, 1990), 104-190.

IS REVELATION PAST? (3)

PMW 2021-028 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

This is my third installment on the question of the evidence that Revelation was fulfilled in the first century. As surprising as this conclusion is for the modern evangelical, the proof is in Revelation itself. In this article I will consider the Historical Indicators for preterism.

I agree with the Puritan Talmudic scholar, John Lightfoot: Revelation appears to prophesy Christ’s judgment upon the Jews in A.D. 70. John’s opening statement of purpose (1:7), the seven letters (2:9; 3:9), and the body of Revelation (4-19; e.g., 7:1-8; 11:1-8) all reflect this truth.

Just after mentioning the nearness of the events (1:1, 3) and just before alluding to the dire circumstances of his original audience (1:9), verse 7 warns: “Behold he comes with the clouds, and will see him every eye and those who him pierced, and will wail over him all the tribes of the land. Yes, amen” (Alfred Marshall, The Interlinear Greek-English NT; cp. Robert Young, Literal Translation). Though this sounds like a Second Advent reference, the following evidence points to A.D. 70.

Coming with the Clouds

Cloud-coming language often speaks of historical divine judgments. For instance, Isaiah 19:1a warns: “An oracle concerning Egypt: See, the LORD rides on a swift cloud and is coming to Egypt” (cp. Ps 18:7-15; 104:3; Joel 2:1,2; Na 1:2ff.; Zep 1:14,15). This speaks of the Assyrian king Esarhaddon conquering Egypt in 671 B.C. As Young notes: “The scene does not necessarily suggest that the Lord comes from the Temple at Jerusalem nor from heaven, but merely that He comes as a judge” (Isaiah, 2:14), i.e., providentially, not personally.

Interestingly, John follows Jesus in merging Zechariah 12:10 and Daniel 7:13. Like John, Jesus mentions the “coming on the clouds” (cp. Mt 24:29-30) against Israel (Mt 23:36-24:2, 16). And like John, Jesus ties the events to the near future: “all these things shall come upon this generation” (Mt 24:34).

Those Who Crucified Christ

Christ’s judgment-coming is against: “they who pierced him.” Jesus blames the Jews for his death: “Christ began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed” (Mt 16:21; cp. Mt 20:18-19; 21:33-43; Mk 8:31; Lk 9:22). The apostles also lay the covenantal blame for his crucifixion upon Israel: “Then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified” (Ac 4:10a; cp. Jn 19:5-15; Ac 2:22, 23, 36; 3:14, 15; 4:8-10; 5:30; 10:39; 1Th 2:14-16). Revelation 1:7 must refer to the first century in that those who “pierced him” are now long since deceased.


Survey of the Book of Revelation

(DVDs by Ken Gentry) Twenty-four careful, down-to-earth lectures provide a basic introduction to and survey of the entire Book of Revelation. Professionally produced lectures of 30-35 minutes length.

See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com


The Tribes of the Land

This judgment brings mourning upon “all the tribes of the land” (1:7; Marshall’s Interlinear). These “tribes” (phyle) must be the tribes of Israel (cf. Mt 19:28; Lk 22:30). TDNT notes that the Septuagint “with few exceptions . . . has phyle, so that this becomes a fixed term for the tribal system of Israel” (9:246). Revelation clearly mentions those Jews who were saved out from “the tribes” of Israel (7:4-8; cp. 21:12); and John sets these over against other “tribes and peoples” beyond Israel (7:9; cp. 11:9).

What is more, John associates these “tribes” with “the land” (tes ges), the well-known Promised Land (cp. Lk 21:23). As Edersheim observes: “Palestine was to the Rabbis simply ‘the land,’ all other countries being summed up under the designation of outside the land.”1 Indeed, the OT mentions “the tribes” and “the land” together in numerous instances (e.g., Ge 49:16; Nu 26:55; Jos 14:1; 19:51; Eze 45:8; 48:29).

In the seven letters John specifically mentions the defection of the Jews from God. He even informs the churches that Christ will vindicate them by judging the Jews:

• “I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich), and the blasphemy by those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.(2:9)

• Behold, I will cause those of the synagogue of Satan, who say that they are Jews, and are not, but lie, behold, I will make them to come and bow down at your feet, and to know that I have loved you.” (3:9)2

Surely this humiliation of the Jews was in the lifetime of the recipients of Revelation — in A.D. 70 when the Jews were “cast out” (Mt 8:10-12) and the kingdom was given to the gentiles (Mt 21:40-43).

The Temple and Holy City

Revelation expressly mentions the coming destruction of the temple, and with language drawn from the Olivet Discourse.

“Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled” (Lk 21:24b).

“But exclude the outer court; do not measure it, because it has been given to the Gentiles. They will trample on the holy city for 42 months” (Rev 11:2).

Note that both of these passages inform us that the “holy city/Jerusalem” will be “trampled” by the “gentiles.” And both appear in prophecies confined to the short term (1:1, 3; 22:6, 10; Lk 21:31-32). Evidently, these texts are referring to the same events, with John deriving his cue from Christ’s discourse about A.D. 70 (Lk 21:6-7).


Blessed Is He Who Reads: A Primer on the Book of Revelation By Larry E. Ball

A basic survey of Revelation from an orthodox, evangelical, and Reformed preterist perspective. Ball understands John to be focusing on the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in AD 70. Insightful. Easy to read.

For more Christian studies see: www.KennethGentry.com


Interestingly, the time of the formal imperial engagement of the Jewish War until the destruction of the temple was forty-two months. According to Bruce, after the initial Jewish uprising in A.D. 66, Vespasian “arrived the following spring [A.D. 67] to take charge of operations. . . . Titus began the siege of Jerusalem in April, 70. The defenders held out desperately for five months, but by the end of August, the Temple area was occupied and the holy house burned down, and by the end of September all resistance in the city had come to an end.”3 From Spring A.D. 67 to September A.D. 70, covers a period right at forty-two months. This is a remarkable correspondence which fits relevantly with all the other data.

And now: three down, one more to go! My next article will conclude this series.

IS REVELATION PAST? (2)

PMW 2021-027 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

In my last article I introduced the first of four arguments for approaching Revelation from the preterist perspective. The first article focused on the temporal indicators that John places in Revelation. Lexically, it is clear that he expected the events to “soon” take place (Rev 1:1) because “the time is near” (Rev 1:3).

But after placing that argument as the foundation stone for the preterist house, we need to notice that there are other indications as well. In this installment I will consider Audience Indicators. Revelation did not fall down out of heaven as book of concepts. It was given in a real, historical context. It is what scholars call, “occasional literature.” That is, it was written regarding a certain occasion, which I believe to be the fall of Jerusalem and the temple in AD 70.

Technical studies on key issues in Revelation, including the seven-sealed scroll, the cast out temple, Jewish persecution of Christianity, the Babylonian Harlot, and more.

Navigating the Book of Revelation: Special Studies on Important Issues

Navigating the Book of Revelation (by Ken Gentry)

Technical studies on key issues in Revelation, including the seven-sealed scroll, the cast out temple, Jewish persecution of Christianity, the Babylonian Harlot, and more.

See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com



First, John writes to seven historical churches. Immediately after twice declaring the nearness of the events (1:1, 3) we read: “John to the seven churches that are in Asia” (1:4a). In 1:11 and 2:1–3:22 he specifically names the churches. John informs these first century churches of events ‘soon’ (1:1) to come to pass because “the time is near” (1:3). How could they have understood John to really mean that either 2,000 years would elapse before the events broke out or that they would drag on and repeat themselves for 2000 years?

Second, studies by William Ramsey and Colin Hermer show how intimately Revelation addresses those specific churches regarding their histories, settings, and struggles. The seven letters are occasional letters designed specifically for their concerns.

Third, within these letters we also find temporal qualifiers suggesting those churches would experience the shock waves from the events of Revelation (2:5; 2:16; 3:11; 22:12, 20). One of them was “about to” be tried by Satan (2:10; cp. 1:19 Gk.). To another Christ is “coming quickly” in judgment (2:16; cp. 1:1). To still another He promises: “I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world [oikumene]” (3:10; cp. 1:19 Gk.). Indeed, a church must “hold fast” for awhile in that Christ’s judgment-coming will trans transpire “quickly” (3:11; cp. 1:1).


Perilous Times: A Study in Eschatological Evil (by Ken Gentry)

Technical studies on Daniel’s Seventy Weeks, the great tribulation, Paul’s Man of Sin, and John’s Revelation.

See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com


Fourth, John wrote Revelation while these churches were enduring stressful times: “I, John, your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance which are in Jesus” (1:9a). Revelation promises quickly to vindicate the martyrs who cry: “How long?” (6:9). The were told “they should rest for a little while longer” (6:10-11; cp. Lk 18:7-8). In fact, later in Revelation, we learn “there shall be delay no longer” (10:6). Yet, on the non-preterist interpretation, their vindication was not after “a little while,” and the events await an enormous delay.

And there is more! But you will have to wait for the next article in this series.

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