I am a postmillennialist. This means that I have hope in the progress of the gospel, the salvation of the nations, and the advance of righteous culture. But in recent years I have been challenged by many Christians (even a few postmillennialists!) with the anguished question:
“How can you be a postmillennialist in an Obama world?”
My answer? I cannot. The radical revolution that gave us President Obama and the clear and horrific expression of the politics of the left are inexorably opposed to Christianity, its truth claims, and expectations. I have never seen as radical a shift in politics and culture as I have under the Obama Administration.
But the answer I provide above is only given in response to the specific terms of the question as presented. No one can be a hope-filled Christian in “an Obama world.” Obama’s platform, policies, and purposes are the very antithesis of the hope of the gospel. But I am a postmillennialist, nonetheless. Why?
I am a postmillennialist because I do not live in an “Obama world.” I live in God’s world. Obama is an aberration, a tragic exit ramp from hope. But the Bible reveals to us an on-ramp back to hope, for it clearly states that “the earth is the LORD’s”!
Deut 10:14: “Behold, to the LORD your God belong heaven and the highest heavens, the earth and all that is in it.”
Psa 24:1: “The earth is the LORD’S, and all it contains, The world, and those who dwell in it.”
Psa 50:12: “The world is Mine, and all it contains.”
1 Cor 10:16: “The earth is the lord’s, and all it contains.”
Postmillennialists grieve over the signs of the collapse of America. But we must take heart, recognizing two important truths:
1. Postmillennialism does not claim that by the year 2014 the gospel will have won the victory throughout the world. Though not a theologian, Yogi Berra put it well: “It ain’t over til its over.” We must keep our eyes “above the sun,” as Solomon encourages us in Ecclesiastes. We must “seek first the kingdom of God, and all these things will be added to you” (Matt 6:33).
If we fall for dispensationalism’s newspaper exegesis, we may sell more books, but we will never re-ignite hope. Like righteous Simeon in the temple, we must “look for the consolation of Israel” (Luke 2:25). And though he lived in Israel under the oppression of Imperial Rome, he maintained his hope. And he was rewarded for his diliegence: he saw the baby Jesus, the very essence of hope. Our plea must be: “we wish to see Jesus” (Jn 12:21), not Obama’s Press Secretary or CNN’s talking heads.
2. Postmillennialism does not hold that Christianity needs America. God can raise up a nation of prayer-warriors and missionaries outside of America. God does not need America; America needs God. There is evidence of the revival of Christianity in various surprising places in the world. We must pray that these will be real sources of the outbreaking of the gospel.
We should remember that Jesus’ commission in Acts 1:8 states: “you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” He does not say: “you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even toAmerica, and if that doesn’t work, too bad.”
American — and world Christians! — need to be actively praying for revival and engaging the cultural collapse we are witnessing. Though the Law of Entropy governs the decay of the natural world, the Law of Evangelism governs the progress of the spiritual world.
In case this does not encourage you, you might like to buy a Kindle-version copy of my book God Gave Wine.
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