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A POSTMILLENIAL TRACT: 2

Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr. —  Leave a comment
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This article is the conclusion to the “Postmillennial Tract” begun in our last blog. Let us now consider the postmillennial hope in light of:

God’s Blessed Provision

In addition, the Lord of lords amply equips his church for the task of world evangelistic success. This is where our worldview must prevail: the church is not simply a collection of fallen sinners wandering about; it is the kingdom of Christ on earth. Christ easily shifts between the “church” and the “kingdom” when he speaks to Peter: “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Matt. 16:18-19).

Among the abundant divine provisions for the church are the following:

First, we have the very presence of the Risen Christ with us ( John 6:56; 14:16-20, 23; 15:4-5; 17:23, 26; Rom. 8:10; Gal. 2:20; 4:19; Eph. 3:17; Col. 1:27; 1 John 4:4). He is the One who commands us to “go and make disciples of all nations,” while promising to be with us to the end (Matt. 28:19-20). “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil. 1:6).


Eschatological Themes: Postmillennialism and Preterism (7 CDs)
These lectures cover themes important for understanding
the relationship of preterism and postmillennialism.
See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com


Second, we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit from on high ( John 7:39; 14:16-18; Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 3:16; 2 Cor. 6:16). Thus, we believe that “the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4b). Among his many ministries he causes the new birth, empowers believers for righteous living, and blesses their gospel proclamation in bringing sinners to salvation ( John 3:3-8; 1 Cor. 6:11; Tit. 3:5; 1 Pet. 1:11-12, 22.).

Third, the Father delights in saving sinners ( Eze. 18:23; 33:11; Luke 15:10; 2 Cor. 5:19; 1 Tim. 1:15; 2:5). In fact, the Father “did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him” (John 3:17).

Fourth, we have the gospel which is the very “power of God unto salvation” ( 2 Cor. 6:7; Eph. 6:17; 1 Thess. 2:13; Heb. 4:12.). We also wield the powerful word of God as our spiritual weapon: “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Cor. 10:4-5; CP. John 14:13, 14; 15:7, 16; 16:23, 24, 26; 1 John 3:22; 5:14, 15.).

Fifth, to undergird and empower us to gospel victory, we have full access to God in prayer (Matt. 7:7-11; 21:22; Eph. 2:18; Phil. 4:6; Heb. 4:16; 10:19-22; 1 John 3:22; 5:14-15) through Jesus’s name ( John 14:13, 14; 15:7, 16; 16:23, 24, 26; 1 John 3:22; 5:14, 15). Christ even directs us to pray to the Father: “Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10).

Sixth, though we have supernatural opposition in Satan, he is a defeated foe as a result of the first advent of Christ. “Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death — that is, the devil” (Heb. 2:14; Matt. 12:28-29; Luke 10:18; John 12:31; 16:11; 17:15; Acts 26:18; Rom. 16:20; Col. 2:15; 1 John 3:8; 4:3-4; 5:18). Consequently, we can so resist him that he will flee from us (Jms. 4:7; 1 Pet. 5:9); we can crush him under our feet (Rom. 16:20). Indeed, our God-given mission is to turn men “from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God” (Acts 26:18). Thus, the church’s ample equipment is given by a gracious Savior.

Conclusion

Therefore, since God creates the world for his glory, governs it by his almighty power, and equips his people to overcome the Enemy, the postmillennialist asks: “If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Rom. 8:31). Our confidence is in the service of the Lord Jesus Christ, “the ruler of the kings of the earth” (Rev. 1:5). He sits at God’s “right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church” (Eph. 1:20-22). We have confidence that the resurrection of Christ is more powerful than the fall of Adam.

Of course, all of this does not prove God wills to win the world through gospel victory. But it should dispel any premature, casual dismissals of postmillennialism as a viable evangelical option, thereby paving the way for re-considering the case for our evangelistic hope. The question now becomes: Is the postmillennial hope rooted in God’s inspired and inerrant Word?


Great Commission and the Christian Worldview (9 CDs)
by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
In these nine lectures Gentry demonstrates the
world altering consequences of the Great Commission.
See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com

 

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Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

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Ken is a Presbyterian pastor and the author or co-author of over thirty books, most on eschatology. He has been married since 1971, and has three children and several grandchildren. He is a graduate of Tennessee Temple University (B.A., 1973), Reformed Theological Seminary (M.Div., 1977), and Whitefield Theological Seminary (Th.M., 1986; Th.D., 1988). He currently pastors Living Hope Presbyterian Church (affiliated with the RPCGA) in Greer, SC. Much of his writing is in the field of eschatology, including his 600 page book, He Shall Have Dominion: A Postmillennial Eschatology and his 400 page, Before Jerusalem Fell: Dating the Book of Revelation (his Th.D. dissertation). He contributed chapters to two Zondervan CounterPoints books on eschatological issues: Three Views on the Millennium and Beyond (edited by Darrell L. Bock) and Four Views on the Book of Revelation (edited by C. Marvin Pate). He also debated Thomas D. Ice in Kregel's The Great Tribulation: Past or Future? His books have been published by American Vision, Baker, Zondervan, Kregel, P & R, Greenhaven Press, Nordskog, Wipf & Stock, and several other publishers. He has published scores of articles in such publications as Tabletalk, Westminster Theological Journal, Evangelical Theological Society Journal, Banner of Truth, Christianity Today, Antithesis, Contra Mundum, and others. He has spoken at over 100 conferences in America, the Caribbean, and Australia. He is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society and a Church Council Committee member of Coalition on Revival.

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