|Source: The Banner of Truth|
"The postmillennialist believes that the millennium is an era (not necessarily a literal thousand years) during which Christ will reign over the earth, not from a literal and earthly throne, but through the gradual increase of the Gospel and its power to change lives. After this gradual Christianization of the world, Christ will return and immediately usher the church into their eternal state after judging the wicked. This is called postmillennialism because, by its view, Christ will return after the millennium." (Postmillennialism at Theopedia)Dear Friends,
Years ago I read the book The Puritan Hope by Iain H. Murray and find myself going back to it every few years for encouragement and a reminder of what I believe the Bible teaches regarding eschatology. Here is the book's description as posted at Banner of Truth:
Today the Church’s hope in respect to her mission of discipling all nations is in eclipse. The world gives Christianity no future and evangelicals themselves doubt whether the cause of Christ can ever attain to a greater triumph before his Second Advent. Must the prospects for succeeding generations be darker than those of today? Can we even expect any period of history to intervene before the Advent of Christ? How can readiness for Christ’s coming be consistent with the belief that revivals are yet to be given to the Church? Such questions are brought to the fore in this book and the author, employing both exposition of Scripture and much historical and biographical material, sets out the case for believing that it is not ‘orthodox’ to indulge in gloom over the prospect for Christianity in the world. (Link: https://banneroftruth.org/uk/store/history-biography/the-puritan-hope/)
I hope you'll examine The Puritan Hope and take a closer look at the eschatology of the Puritans. I also want to introduce you to this article by Nick Schoeneberger that's posted at Purely Presbyterian:
The Biblical Case For Puritan Postmillennialism
The following notes were taken while I listened to Rev. David Silversides’ sermon Postmillennialism and Revelation 20. Rev Silversides presents various views on the Millennium by examining each in terms of how well it addresses key aspects of Biblical prophecy with special attention given to the binding and loosing of Satan and the impact on the spread of the Gospel.
Rev. Silversides is a pastor in the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Ireland which is descended from the Scottish Covenanters. As most of the Covenanters also did, Rev. Silversides holds to what is known as the Historicist Postmillennial view of the Last Days. Rev. Silversides refers to it as the “orthodox Puritan form” of Postmillennialism because it was indeed held by many of the Puritans and is distinguished from 20th Century versions of Postmillennialism as you will discover.
I commend any reader who is interested in a full-orbed examination of Bible prophecies from the Historicist Postmillennial perspective to read the works of Dr. Francis Nigel Lee who has published numerous works (Revelation and Daniel are highly recommended) and has gracefully made them available online for free.
The Last Days (plural) is defined as the time from Christ’s first coming until his Second Coming.
God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
There are 7 visions of Revelation with increasing emphasis on what will take place at the VERY end (the last day) after which is the eternal state.
Continue reading here.
Theopedia has a list of theologians who teach postmillennialism which includes Dr. R.C Sproul. Here is the description of his teaching series The Last Days According to Jesus:
What did Jesus mean when He said to His disciples that some of them would not taste death until they saw the Son of Man coming in His kingdom? What is meant when the book of Revelation says that the things prophesied therein “must soon take place”? Comments such as these have raised many questions, causing some to conclude that Jesus was wrong about the time of His second coming. In this series, R.C. Sproul examines the time-texts associated with the Olivet Discourse and the book of Revelation, demonstrating that when properly understood, they are actually strong evidence for the truthfulness of Scripture.
The reformed theologiam Loraine Boettner also taught postmillennialism. Here is an excerpt from Postmillennialism: Statement of the Doctrine by Loraine Boettner posted at Grace Online Library:
We have defined Postmillennialism as that view of the last things which holds that the Kingdom of God is now being extended in the world through the preaching of the Gospel and the saving work ok the Holy Spirit in the hearts of individuals, that the world eventually is to be Christianized, and that the return of Christ is to occur at the close of a long period of righteousness and peace commonly called the ‘Millennium.’ It should be added that on postmillennial principles the second coming of Christ will be followed immediately by the general resurrection, the general judgment, and the introduction of heaven and hell in their fullness.
The Millennium to which the Postmillennialist looks forward is thus a golden age of spiritual prosperity during this present dispensation, that is, during the Church age, and is to be brought about through forces now active in the world. It is an indefinitely long period of time, perhaps much longer than a literal one thousand years. The changed character of individuals will be reflected in an uplifted social, economic, political and cultural life of mankind. The world at large will then enjoy a state of righteousness such as at the present time has been seen only in relatively small and isolated groups, as for example in some family circles, some local church groups and kindred organizations.
This does not mean that there ever will be a time on this earth when every person will be a Christian, or that all sin will be abolished. But it does mean that evil in all its many forms eventually will be reduced to negligible proportions, that Christian principles will be the rule, not the exception, and that Christ will return to a truly Christianized world.
Postmillennialism further holds that the universal proclamation of the Gospel and the ultimate conversion of the large majority of men in all nations during the present dispensation was the express command and meaning and promise of the Great Commission given by Christ Himself. when He said: ‘All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth. Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world’ (Matt. 28:18- 20).Continue reading here.
I think you'll find these resources interesting and enlightening. I've often heard it said that postmillennialism is an optimistic eschatological viewpoint, and I believe it; other views simply leave me wondering what's the point and just how mundane lives must be without this optimistic view of the Kingship of Jesus Christ and the triumph of His Bride, the Church.
May the good Lord bless the reader as they examine these resources in the light of Scripture. In Lord Jesus Name I pray, amen.
- Postmillennialism: Representative Theologians by Loraine Boettner (Grace Online Library)
- The Millennial Maze by Keith Mathison (Ligonier Minisries)
- Eschatology Index (Reformed.org)
- Eschatology Chart (Five Solas)
1. Why Premillennialism must be rejected.
Some fatal objections to this view.
2. Why Amillennialism must be rejected.
Satan's little season fatal to five main tenets of Amillennialism.
3. Why Rushdoony's Postmillennialism must be rejected.
4. Why orthodox, Puritan Postmillennialism is the truth.
1) Binding of Satan must be the progress of the gospel.
2) The thousand years must refer to period of great gospel advance.
3) The reigning with Christ refers to the glorious advance of the cause for which the martyrs died.
4) The first resurrection is the glorious reviving of the church on earth.
5) The second resurrection is the resurgence of ungodliness in Satan's little season.
5. Some confirmatory evidence.
1) Parallel Ez 37-48
2) Destruction of antichrist, 2 Thess 2:8; Isa 11:4.
3) Israel's ingathering, Rom 11
4) OT prophecy, Ps 22:27; 67:7;72:17-19; 86:9; 102:21;16; Mal 1:11.
Three facts of Biblical prophecy - only orthodox, Puritan Postmillennialism squares with all three.
Practical application of these things.
For a fuller exposition on Rev 20:1-10 see series 'Revelation'