Sunday, September 25, 2011

A closer look at the positions on the Millennium

In yesterday's blog we began discussing the Bible's teaching on the Millennium.  We focused briefly on Pre-millennialism.  In today's blog we want to briefly discuss two other positions that have existed throughout the history of biblical Christianity. 

Why the Millennial views are important for the Christian to know
      How will the world end?  Is there a purpose to life?  Will history end more on a positive note or a negative one?  Can Christianity give true hope in the midst of changing times?  Questions like these are answered by studying Bible prophecy.  1 Peter 3:15 reminds us to give an account to the world for the hope that is in us.  I always tell people when studying prophecy, to consider all the passages that speak on the subject.  Our limitation in studying prophecy, unlike other Bible doctrines, is that much of what we study as not yet happened.  However that does not mean that we should not have something to say to a world in need of the Gospel.  1 John 3:2-3 tells us that the soon return of Christ purifies the saint of God and gives much hope in the here an now. 

With that said, lets continue our study of the positions on the Millennium by noting Amillennialism and Post-millennialism. 

A-millennialism - This position is the one held most commonly among Christians worldwide. It suggests that Christ began His reign at His ascension into Heaven and is ruling and reigning over a spiritual kingdom right now.  Being that it denies a literal 1,000 year reign of Christ, the term "A-millenialism" is used (a=no and millennium = 1,000 years).  History will continue in its downward spiral and at the end Christ will return, judging the world and satan, and bring about the new heavens and new earth.  Some have appealed to passages such as Matthew 13 for proof.  Amillenialism's strengths are its simplicity, its scriptural justification and that it is held by the vast majority of Christians worldwide.  However one has a hard time holding to this position in light of Revelation 20, which clearly states four times that Christ "will reign 1,000 years".  Also too, most Amillenialists (not all) do not see a future restoration of national Israel, a teaching that is taught in passages such as Romans 11.

Post-millennialism - This position has been in and out of popularity.  It proposes that Christianity will continue to increase until the whole world is taken over by the gospel.  Though not every individual will be saved, yet post-millennialists contend that every nation will eventually see many of their people saved.  It generally teaches that the church will in a sense evangelize until so many people are converted that Christ will then return at the end of the future golden age or "millennium" )post = "end" millennium= 1,000 years).  Post-millenialists take passages such as Psalm 2 and missionary passages such as Matthew 28:18-20 to refer to the triumph of the gospel over unbelief.  The perks to this position is the optimism it communicates and its robust view of missions.  Some of the greatest, conservative Bible teachers of church history have been Post-millenialists.  Unfortunately its greatest criticism have been the general trend of history is decline rather than improvement. 

That completes the overview of the Millennial views.  Tomorrow we will continue in our study of prophecy and end times (eschatology).  I pray that you, dear reader, are increasing in hope and faith in our soon coming King, Jesus Christ.   

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