The question of what millennial view you hold to stems from the interpretation of Revelation 20.
20:1 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. 2 And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, 3 and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while.
4 Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.
Whether you are a Premillennialist, Amillennialist or a Postmillennialist, Revelation 20 is a very significant passage to consider. The position we embrace here at Providence is the Postmillennial position of eschatology. By this I mean that the Bible presents the gospel as victorious in redemptive history. All the different positions agree that in the New Heavens and New Earth we will be victorious for all eternity, but the question postmillennialism answers is: Will we be victorious on earth, in the here and now? Is the gospel powerful enough to bring the nations to embrace Messiah as Lord? Postmillennial Eschatology says YES! In light of Revelation 20, what we are saying is that Christ’s Second Coming will occur “Post or After” the “Thousand Years.”
This study will serve as an introduction. It is not a thorough examination. I have listed some resources for you in case you would like to pursue this subject at length.
What is the Purpose of this Study: The purpose of this study is to understand what Postmillennialism teaches, how it affects our view of life, our view of our children’s education and our view of worship.
Here is a faulty definition of Postmillennialism:
There used to be a group called ‘postmillennialists.’ They believed that the Christians would root out the evil in the world, abolish godless rulers, and convert the world through ever increasing evangelism until they brought about the Kingdom of God on earth through their own efforts. Then after 1000 years of the institutional church reigning on earth with peace, equality, and righteousness, Christ would return and time would end. These people rejected much of the Scripture as being literal and believed in the inherent goodness of man. World War I greatly disheartened this group and World War II virtually wiped out this viewpoint. No self-respecting scholar who looks at the world conditions and the accelerating decline of Christian influence today is a ‘postmillennialist. – The Late Great Planet Earth, Hal Lindsey.
Of course, after 30 years of predicting Jesus was going to come back and being wrong many, many times, we know that Hal Lindsey is a no self-respecting scholar.
Let me begin with three statements about what postmillennialism is not and then we will delve into the historical data.
a) PT does not believe that we will root out all the evil in the world. There will always be evil in this present world until Christ comes again in His Second Coming.
b) PT does not believe that we will bring about the Kingdom of God on earth through our own efforts and we do not believe in the inherent goodness of man. In fact, every Postmillennialist I know believes in the Total Depravity of Man. We believe that any victory that occurs in this world comes from the hands of God.
c) PT does not reject the literal reading of the Bible. We believe that each book contains its own genre. If a book is an apocalyptic book, we examine it in light of its apocalypticism. If a book is a poetic book, we examine it poetically and so on.