Postmillennialism we have already defined in an earlier issue as the view that “while (the millennium) may have begun already, its principle fulfillment is still future, and will be seen only when a period of unprecedented peace, blessing, and prosperity comes for the gospel and the church.” There are, however, different forms of postmillennialism.
There is, first of all, the older postmillennialism of many of the puritans and other modern writers, which expects a great future work of God among the Jews that will lead to the conversion of many if not the majority of them. Some, along the same lines, expect a great end-times revival in the church prior to the coming of Christ, when the gospel will once again bear fruit as it did in the time of the Apostles and at the time of the great Protestant Reformation of the 16th century.
There is also a more radical postmillennialism that has arisen in more recent times, that is a part of what is sometimes referred to as Christian Reconstructionism or “dominion theology.” This more radical postmillennialism expects not only a glorious future for the church, but that the whole of society and human life shall someday come under the domination of Christians, and that this “christianized” society will be the fulfillment of the Scripture promises concerning the kingdom of Christ.
This more recent form of postmillennialism expects that the principal realization of the kingdom of Christ will be in this present world, and that it will come about not only by the preaching of the gospel and the growth of the church, but by Christian “action” and involvement in the different areas of life. Most who are of this conviction would insist that it is essential that Christians be involved in and eventually “take over” the various areas of society and so claim them for Christ and, as they say, “crown Christ king in every area.”
The majority who holds these views are also preterites or preterists, who believe that the whole first part of Matthew 24 (vss. 1-35) and most of the book of Revelation are already past (preterite means “past”), i.e., that they were fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman armies in 70 A.D. Most of them insist that the Biblical prophecies concerning Antichrist and the great tribulation are already finished – their rosy view of the church and society’s future precludes any such belief in an end-times tribulation and revelation of Antichrist.
These same people are also almost always theonomists (“theonomy” means “God’s law”). They believe that the law of God, including the OT civil laws, will be the basis for this future Christianized society, this kingdom of Christ here on earth. Not the gospel, but the law will be the main force in this kingdom, for while all will not be converted, they will all be brought under the law of God and the “dominion” of the law.
While we do not agree with the older postmillennialism of the Puritans for reasons we will explain in a subsequent article, we have far more problems with this modern radical postmillennialism. We consider it to be an error as serious as that of Dispensationalism. But, this too we will deal with in the next article.
- Volume: 7
- Issue: 25
Rev. Ronald Hanko (Wife: Nancy)
Ordained: November 1979
Pastorates: Wyckoff, NJ - 1979; Trinity, Houston, TX - 1986; Missionary to N.Ireland - 1993; Lynden, WA - 2002Website: www.lyndenprc.org/sermons/
Address317 North Park St.
State or ProvinceWA