Dear Dr. Van Impe, My husband and I brought our sons up believing in the rapture, tribulation, and 1000 year millennial reign. Recently both of our sons began reading about postmillennialism and they now believe this to be truth. Our sons have far exceeded our knowledge of theology, and I don’t know how to refute this. Can you help me? Sincerely, Becky A.
Postmillennialism is the teaching that Christ’s second coming will not happen until after the “millennium,” a golden age or era of Christian prosperity and dominance. They believe that the world will become better and better until perfection is achieved, then Christ will come and take over. In other words, Christians will establish Christ’s kingdom on the earth and not Christ Himself.
The problem is, the world is not getting better and better – a cursory reading of today’s headlines will tell you that. And the Bible says that it will continue to get worse. Paul writes in II Timothy 3:1-7: “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” He continues in verse 13: “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.”
We also have the description of the Second Coming of Christ in Revelation 19:11 – 21: “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King Of Kings, And Lord Of Lords. And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great. And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.” That does not sound like Christ will be coming to a peaceful Utopia.
The web site Got Questions states this about postmillennialism:
“Those who hold to postmillennialism use a non-literal method of interpreting unfulfilled prophecy, assigning their own meanings to words. The problem with this is that when someone starts assigning meanings to words other than their normal meaning, a person can decide that a word, phrase, or sentence means anything he wants it to mean. All objectivity concerning the meaning of words is lost. When words lose their meaning, communication ceases. However, this is not how God has intended for language and communication to be. God communicates to us through His written word, with objective meanings to words, so that ideas and thoughts can be communicated.
A normal, literal interpretation of Scripture rejects postmillennialism and holds to a normal interpretation of all Scripture, including unfulfilled prophecy…Postmillennialism fails in that it interprets Bible prophecy subjectively and holds that the millennial kingdom will be established by the church, not by Christ Himself.”