Before proceeding further with the interpretive keys to unlock the exciting, yet often neglected truth about Christ’s victorious kingdom, we first need to clear up some common misunderstandings and misconceptions concerning the position of postmillennialism.
Here we will briefly define “what postmillennialism is not.”
Postmillennialism is not …
1. (Postmillennialism is not) Evolutionary Optimism – or secular progress through man’s efforts.
It should always be remembered that this optimistic eschatology was articulated in the early centuries by Athanasius and Augustine and later emerged in full force with the Puritan movement. This was of course long before Charles Darwin proposed his Theory of Evolution.
2. (Postmillennialism is not) The Social Gospel – or any form of liberalism that would compromise or abandon the Gospel of salvation.
Ironically, the social gospel of the liberal churches in the 1800s is what caused conservatives to begin to abandon the emphasis on the Reformation of society in the first place. This full-orbed proclamation the Gospel that would make disciples of all nations in all spheres of society was soon replaced by a pietistic message of personal salvation only. However, as it will be shown, some of the most notable postmillennialists of the 19th century were conservative evangelicals such as Charles and A.A. Hodge, Robert L. Dabney and Benjamin Warfield.
3. (Postmillennialism is not) Universalism – or the doctrine that all will eventually be saved.
Although postmillennialism is optimistic, forecasting unprecedented growth of both the Kingdom of God and the total number of people truly converted to Christ, its proponents recognize that there will always be a reprobate element in the world. At no time in history prior to the Lord’s return will all sin be eliminated nor will all be saved. That being said, postmillennialists do look forward to a day when Christianity will be the world’s most dominant religion and the most influential moral and intellectual force in human society the world over.
4. (Postmillennialism is not) Manifest Destiny – or the idea that the United States is God’s chosen “redeemer nation” above all others.
Although America’s founding by Christians of all denominations was striking and unprecedented, and although the Great Awakenings of the past have marked the United States as having a great Christian heritage, we should never forget that just as God judged Israel for her disobedience and harlotry, and raised up the Gentile nations to provoke Israel to jealousy (Romans 10:19) – America has no special place in this sense. In fact, it is possible that God could bring an unprecedented revival in the United States or we could see colossal judgment. But if so, God will certainly raise up other nations, perhaps in the third world, to be the beacons of light that will fulfill the Great Commission.
5. (Postmillennialism is not) Kingdom Now Theology – or the doctrine that the church through its own initiative must work to “usher in the kingdom.”
It is Jesus’ finished work on the cross that brought the kingdom of God on earth 2000 years ago, it has nothing to do with man’s works. Although the church is destined to reign and rule with Christ as His Bride, the call to make disciples of the nations is a call to a patient gradualism. In other words, we should not expect a cataclysmic revival or a new generation of latter day Apostles to suddenly usher in the Second Coming of Jesus. Rather it is the role of the church to take the role of humble service. The kingdom of God is not an earthly kingdom to be brought into power by political domination. As Chris Ortiz aptly stated:
Dominion remains one of the most misconstrued terms in Christendom; and the confusion is found both within and without the ranks of the “dominionists.” Both paranoid secularists and power-hungry Protestants mishandle the concept of dominion to their own setback. The over-suspicious secularist is inspiring anxiety amongst his ill-informed constituency by grossly exaggerating the so-called theocratic threat. At the same time, the politically inebriated Protestant is blinded to the threat of statism due to his indoctrination in American exceptionalism and his misinterpretation of godly rule – a rule that has more to do with service than control (Chris Ortiz, Chalcedon Blog).
6. (Postmillennialism is not) The doctrine of Hymanaeism – or any heresy that would deny the bodily return of Christ as a real historical event.
This heresy is named for the first century heretic, Hymanaeus, who is named in Paul’s writings as one of those “who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past” (1 Tim. 2:17,18). Hymanaeus and Philetus made the error of denying the physical nature of resurrection and the bodily return of Jesus. Postmillennialists as orthodox Christians teach that Christ will come again to judge the earth after which time He will live and reign with the saints forever. We should never diminish the blessed hope in the second coming of our Lord. At the same time we recognize that this hope in already within us, as the scripture says, “Christ in us, the hope of glory.”
“God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:26-27).
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Who is the Real Jesus?
Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.
Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.
The Real Jesus explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views. Presented in ten parts — perfect for individual, family and classroom study — viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history — “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.
Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.
Ten parts, over two hours of instruction!
Running Time: 130 minutes
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“Here I stand … I can do no other!”
With these immortal words, an unknown German monk sparked a spiritual revolution that changed the world.
The dramatic classic film of Martin Luther’s life was released in theaters worldwide in the 1950s and was nominated for two Oscars. A magnificent depiction of Luther and the forces at work in the surrounding society that resulted in his historic reform efforts, this film traces Luther’s life from a guilt-burdened monk to his eventual break with the Roman Catholic Church.
Running time: 105 minutes
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Watch a clip from Martin Luther.
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High Quality Paperback — 219 pages
Foundations in Biblical Orthodoxy
Driving down a country road sometime, you might see a church with a sign proudly proclaiming: “No book but the Bible — No creed but Christ.” The problem with this statement is that the word creed (from the Latin: credo) simply means “belief.” All Christians have beliefs, regardless of whether they are written.
Yet a single book containing the actual texts of the most important creeds of the early Church will not often be found. Out of the multitude of works on the evangelical Christian book market today, those dealing with the creeds of the Church are scarce.
Why Creeds and Confessions? provides a foundation of biblical orthodoxy as a defense against the false and truly heretical doctrines advanced by the spirit of this age.
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Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?
Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!
Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.
Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)
Running Time: 145 minutes
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With “preaching to the lost” being such a basic foundation of Christianity, why do many in the church seem to be apathetic on this issue of preaching in highways and byways of towns and cities?
Is it biblical to stand in the public places of the world and proclaim the gospel, regardless if people want to hear it or not?
Does the Bible really call church pastors, leaders and evangelists to proclaim the gospel in the public square as part of obedience to the Great Commission, or is public preaching something that is outdated and not applicable for our day and age?
These any many other questions are answered in this documentary.
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