PMW 2019-094 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
I was recently interviewed for a documentary on postmillennialism. Here are a few of the questions and a summary of my answers. Hopefully these succinct statements will prove helpful to you!
1) How would you define Postmillennialism
Postmillennialism is the view of biblical eschatology that understands that Christ established the prophesied Messianic kingdom when he came to the earth in the first century. He established his kingdom then commissioned his disciples to promote it through evangelism and discipleship. Since the gospel is the power of God unto salvation, we expect his kingdom to gradually grow as history unfolds in the long run. There will be many ups-and-downs (just as in our own personal sanctification). But eventually the vast majority of men and nations will become Christians and will promote a biblical worldview that will apply all the Bible to all of life. This era of the dominance of the Christian faith will last a long period of time, after which Christ will return to end history and establish the consummate state. Continue reading
PMW 2019-087 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
In my last blog article I began 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
PMW 2019-086 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
A most remarkable feature of prophetic interest is the Christian’s conviction that we are living “in the shadow of the second coming,” that we are in a “countdown to Armageddon.” We often find linked with a radical misunderstanding of the last days the doctrine of the imminent return of Christ, especially among dispensationalists and premillennialists — but also even with amillennialists.
I will deal with the question in two articles. In this one I will set up the matter; in the next one I will answer it. I will focus largely on the dispensational approach to the question. Interestingly, the doctrine of imminence is simultaneously one of dispensationalism’s most potent drawing cards while being also its most embarrassing error.
John F. Walvoord explains imminency for us: “The hope of the return of Christ to take the saints to heaven is presented in John 14 as an imminent hope. There is no teaching of any intervening event. The prospect of being taken to heaven at the coming of Christ is not qualified by description of any signs or prerequisite events.” Continue reading