In this two-part series I will be providing a “Postmillennial Tract.” It is difficult to put the postmillennialism system on a bumper sticker, because no one would be able to figure why all the arrows are pointing in so many directions. However, I think I can reduce the essence of postmillennial position to a brief two-part tract of sorts. So here goes….
As Christians we must view the world and life from a Bible-based, Christian-oriented perspective, from within a Christian worldview. As the title of our magazine expresses it, we believe in Faith for All of Life, not just for the inter-personal, private part of it.
One’s personal worldview weighs, categorizes, organizes, interprets, and judges each fact or piece of data presented to the mind, determining its possibility, meaning, value, and significance for life. Our worldview is an interpretive grid for understanding and responding to life’s experiences and developing its expectations.
The Christian worldview is securely founded on two immoveable presuppositions (foundational principles): God and Scripture. Our infinite, eternal God who is the almighty Creator of the Universe, the loving Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the merciful Redeemer of God’s elect assuredly exists. And this glorious God has graciously revealed himself infallibly, objectively, and propositionally in his holy word, the Bible. These two principles must be clearly accepted as the twin focal lenses to any Christian effort to interpret the world and history.
Thine Is the Kingdom (ed. by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.)
Contributors lay the scriptural foundation for a biblically-based, hope-filled postmillennial eschatology, while showing what it means to be postmillennial in the real world.
See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com
The Christian worldview arising from these two presuppositions necessarily entails a two level reality: the eternal God and the created order (which involves all else, including angels, men, animals, and the universe). And of this two-level reality we hold to the Creator / creature distinction: God is not a part of creation; creation never becomes a part of God. God and creation are fundamentally and eternally distinct.
From this sort of worldview, the Christian must recognize the priority of God and his will in all things. He must build his hopes and expectations on the sure revelation of the Almighty Creator. Had we the time we could set forth numerous principles discoverable from revelation which serve as keystones of hope, I will mention but three that we must bear in mind. I would note up front that these do not in themselves establish our optimistic outlook. But they do make it possible and counter the general objections of pessimists who cannot accept any future hope in the unfolding of history before the Lord’s Return.
God’s Creational Purpose
In Genesis 1 we find the record of God’s creation of the universe in the space of six days (Gen. 1:1-31; Exo. 20:9-11). As a result of God’s purposeful creative power, all is originally “very good” (Gen. 1:31). Of course, we expect this in that God creates the world for his own glory: “For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen” (Rom. 11:36). “All things were created by him and for him” (Col. 1:16b).
Frequently, Scripture reaffirms God’s love of his created order and his ownership claim over all things: “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it” (Psa. 24:1; Cp. Exo. 9:29; 19:5; Lev. 25:23; Deut. 10:14; 1 Sam. 2:8; 1 Chron. 29:11, 14; Job 41:11; Psa. 50:12; 89:11; 115:16; 1 Cor. 10:26, 28). The postmillennialist holds that God’s love for his creation prompts his concern to bring it back to its original purpose of bringing positive glory to Him. Thus, the postmillennialist’s optimistic expectation is rooted in creational reality. This world did not magically explode into existence and randomly evolve to its present state. It was created by the rational God of Scripture for his own moral purpose and end.
God’s Sovereign Power
Our evangelistic task in God’s world should be emboldened by the certainty that God “works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will” (Eph. 1:11). We confidently believe that God controls history by means of his decree, whereby he determines “the end from the beginning” (Isa. 46:10). Consequently, postmillennialists assert that God’s Word, as he says, “shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it” (Isa. 55:11), irrespective of the opposition of men or of demons, despite natural phenomena or historical circumstances. Neither the worst tsunami nor the most vile terrorist group can overthrow God’s decree for the outcome of history.
The Christian, then, ought not use past short-term historical factors or present cultural circumstances to pre-judge the prospects for future gospel success. Rather, he should evaluate its possibilities solely on the basis of the revelation of God in Scripture — for the success of the gospel is “not by might, not by power, but by my Spirit” (Zech. 4:6). Thus, the postmillennialist’s ultimate confidence is in the sovereign God. Our optimism flows out of our worldview.
Postmillennial Lectures (DVDs by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.)
Formal seminary course developing and defending postmillennial eschatology.
See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com