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Premillennialism is the bomb

A majority of evangelical leaders believe that Jesus Christ will return to earth and then reign with his followers for 1,000 years, a new survey shows.

This end times theology is called premillennialism and 65 percent of surveyed evangelical leaders identify with it.As part of its monthly poll, the National Association of Evangelicals surveyed its board of directors, which include the CEOs of denominations and representatives of a broad array of evangelical organizations, on their eschatological beliefs.

“It’s in our human nature to want to prepare ourselves – physically, emotionally, spiritually – for what might be ahead,” said NAE President Leith Anderson.

The poll, released this week, found that 13 percent of those surveyed are amillennialists – believing that the non-literal millennial reign of Christ is happening now as Christ reigns at the right hand of the Father.

via The Christian Post.

65% Pre.  13% A.  I assume Post came in second.

What’s you’re view?  Not that it matters, but it would be interested to see how readers here line up.  I’ve was raised Pre, so I think I’ll stick with that.

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32 Responses to “ “Premillennialism is the bomb”

  1. Peter says:

    I’m pan-millenial.

    It will all pan out in the end.

    Seriously… I think WAY too much time is spent on this issue.

  2. Tim Graves says:

    I’m not sure how one can (mis)interpret the Bible to say anything other than premillenialism… ’tis a bit of a no-brainer.

    • Adam K. says:

      Tim,

      I respect those, such as yourself, who have searched the Scriptures and come to a premillenial understanding of the endtimes. What I do not respect is your blithe dismissal and disrespect towards those who have also honestly searched the Scriptures and come to a conclusion other than yours. Who has “misinterpreted” the Bible and espoused an amillennial theology? Saint Augustine, Louis Berkhof, Anthony Hoekema, William Hendriksen, John Murray, Vern Poythress, Geerhardus Vos, Greg Beale, J. I. Packer are some of the implied “brainless” who do not believe as you do.

      Disagree, but do not dismiss and disrespect.

      (And yes, I am amillennial)

      • Tim Graves says:

        Except the problem is that Revelation is clear on this: The Rapture occurs where all the saints meet Jesus in the air and are taken away, then the tribulation occurs, and after the tribulation, Jesus comes back to earth, chains up Satan, and rules for a thousand years, during which time life remains on earth and people live for centuries again. At the end of the thousand years, Satan is released again for the final battle at Megiddo, and then he is thrown into Hell. Then the final judgment, and the new heaven and new earth with the new Jerusalem.

        The scripture is quite clear and quite literal.

        • Tim Graves says:

          And by hell, I mean the Lake of Fire in this instance, as Hell is thrown into the Lake of Fire after this.

          • Adam K. says:

            And Tim, to clarify your statement: “Hell is thrown into the Lake of Fire after this” is theologically incorrect. Hell IS the Lake of Fire. It is “hades” that is thrown into the Lake of Fire in Revelation 20:13-14. The Greek word used is “hades” – literally derived from two Greek words, the negative particle “a” meaning “not” and a form of the verb “eido” meaning “to know, to behold, to see.” It is the place of the unseen, the departed, the underworld, or the grave. Hades is used a total of 11 times in the New Testament: Matthew 11:23; 16:18, Luke 10:15; 16:23, Acts 2:27; 2:31, 1 Corinthians 15:55, Revelation 1:18; 6:8; 20:13; 20:14. Hades corresponds to the Hebrew word sheol – defined by Strong’s Complete Dictionary of Bible Words as; “hades or the world of the dead (as if a subterranean retreat), including its accessories and inmates: – grave, pit.”

            In the Scripture, we see “death and Hades” give up the dead that are in them (i.e.: resurrection) and then each person is judged. Then hades and death (often paired together, e.g.: 1 Corinthians 15:55, Revelation 1:18; 6:8) are cast into the “the lake of fire…the second death.” This fire or “second death” is that which the Greek word “gehenna” or “Hell” refers.

            In the New Testament, hell (Gehenna) is used a total of 12 times: Matthew 5:22; 5:29; 5:30; 10:28; 18:9; 23:15; 23:33, Mark 9:43; 9:45; 9:47, Luke 12:5, James 3:6. Almost every word we have about hell comes from the lips of Jesus Himself.

            Literally, the Greek word Gehenna refers to “the valley of the son of Hinnom” – a perpetually burning garbage dump just outside of Jerusalem. Symbolically, Jesus uses the image of that burning garbage dump “Gehenna” (hell) to illuminate the reality of the “lake of fire, the second death” (Revelation 20:14).

            So it is “death and hades” that are destroyed, being cast into “hell” (Revelation 20:14), along with Satan and his angels and anyone whose “name was not found written in the book of life” (Revelation 20:10, 15).

        • Adam K. says:

          Tim,

          You say that Revelation is “quite clear and quite literal” on the end times.

          Psalm 19:6 and Eccl. 1:5 are quite clear and literal that the sun actually rises and sets – i.e.: the sun revolves around the earth (believed for hundreds of years to be the only Biblical position).

          Many Scriptures are quite clear and literal that the earth is flat – stretched out like a tent (Job 9:8, Ps. 104:2, Is. 40:22, Zec. 12:1) and having “four corners” (Eze. 7:2; Rev. 7:1, 20:8). If you’d like to learn more Google The Flat Earth Society.

          Many Scriptures (Eph. 6:5-9; Col. 3:22; Titus 2:9; 1 Pet. 2:18) are quite clear and literal that God condones and promotes slavery. In fact, in the Civil War era, southern Christians argued this was the “simple” and “plain” reading of these passages.

          First Corinthians 11:6 is quite clear and literal – women should be wearing head coverings. Does your wife? Do the other women in your life?

          We are clearly and plainly commanded FIVE times in Scripture to “Greet one another with a holy kiss.” Do you obey this clear and plain command Tim?

          Tim, despite all of these “quite clear and quite literal” passages of Scripture I doubt that you are a geocentric, flat earth society member, who supports slavery, advocates for headcoverings, and regularly puckers up when greeting other Christians. Why? Interpretation.

          We ALL interpret Scripture. You have read and interpreted the Scripture and come to premillennial understanding – I respect that. However, many others have read and interpreted the Scripture and come to an amillennial understanding. Both groups are serious students of the Word who love God and desire to “do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).

          Humility demands we confess that our human limitations, biases, culture, and sinful nature may cause us to misinterpret and misunderstand a text. I do not know with absolute certainty that an amillennial reading is the correct interpretation. In fact, it gives me pause that Godly scholars are so divided on the issue. Thus in humility I must respectfully listen to those with whom I disagree in order to test the veracity of my own understanding and interpretation.

          So I say again that the arrogance with which you blithely dismissed the earnest, honest, and God honoring efforts of so many others to understand the Scriptures on this matter – simply because they disagree with your conclusions – is what I find so disturbing.

        • Josh R says:

          Last I checked revelation doesn’t contain the word “Rapture”.

          • Pastor says:

            Ok but Tim lays out Biblical evidence and exact timeline and sequence of events that we are given in the book of Revelation.
            Adam show us a timeline that legtimatly varifies the possibility of something other than premillenialism, unless i missed it.

            As far as the word rapture not being found in the book of revelation, you are absolutly right it’s not only no where in Revelation but it’s no where in the entire Bible But I Thess. 4:17 Says “17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.” The word Rapture mean to be Caught Up.

            We are not arguing if these events are going to take place, but rather what order do they come. 1. Rapture of the church (The church is not mentioned in Revelation from Chapter 4 till Chapter 19) Why is that because we are at the marriage supper of the Lamb While that is taking place is the 7 year tribulation on the earth 2. The second coming of Christ Rev. 19 to destroy the alien army of the anti Christ and to chain up the devil and cast him and the anti- christ into the lake of fire. 3. We reign with Christ for a 1,000 years in the Earth. 4. After a 1,000 years the devil is released for a season to tempt to decieve the saints Rev. 20 For the Final time Rev. 20:10 the devil and the false prophet are cast into the lake of fire.
            5. The Great White throne Judgment Rev. 20:11

            How can you mis-interpret what is clearly laid out in black and white.

  3. Bryan says:

    The original article is at http://www.nae.net/news/539-premillennialism-reigns-in-evangelical-theology Only 4% were postmillennial. 17% identified themselves as “other” whatever that means. Personally, I land on premillennialism.

    • Todd Rhoades says:

      Thanks, Bryan for the link and correction. I guess the lazy ‘journalist’ in me took over this morning as I didn’t go back to the original source.

  4. Justin says:

    I grew up being taught premillennialism, but as I got older and studied the Bible for myself I found that amillennialism makes the most sense to me

  5. Bro Rick says:

    Raised dispensational pre-trib pre-mil, morphed to non-dogmental mid-trib pre-mil, rejoicing to know that my understanding does not affect my salvation, that God is working His purpose out in His own time and does not take my doctrinal stance as His guide – so I guess that makes me more of a Pan-millienalist after all. And while we have a lot more information than religious people of Jesus’ day, we should consider that even what they had, they had wrong. Are we smarter than they were? Not according to the evidence. “Let each one be convinced in his own mind” Rom 14:5 but also “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
    (Ephesians 4:31-32 ESV)

  6. Josh R says:

    I tend to trend to a somewhat amillennial view, but I haven’t ruled out the PostMill view either.

    I do think that the Church is a colony of the coming kingdom. Our citizenship is in heaven, but we are not here on vacation, we are here in advance of the coming kingdom. How much of the kingdom is now, and how much is ‘Not yet” is a matter of great debate, but I think we oughta strive for “now” as much as is within our control.

    I do think that the popular eschatology of our day lacks historical and traditional support, and is incredibly defeatist. It’s followers do not want to polish the sinking ship. The ship has been sinking for a long time, and thankfully we have a contrarian who comes along now and then to fix things up. Luther, Wilburforce, MLK Jr just to name a few.

  7. Mark says:

    Amillenial. Less charts. ;)

  8. Dckenney says:

    what are you if you believe that the thousand years is then immediately followed by infinity?

  9. David Jordan says:

    Just finished reading Kim Riddlebarger’s book “A Case for Amillennialism”. I have to say, after being raised pre-millennial, this book along with going back over the critical texts in Daniel, Revelation, etc. have really convinced me the amill. view lines up with the context of scripture more than the others. Still studying it.

  10. Michael C says:

    wow.. where to begin! I just want to present this little thought that has seriously bothered me in the past: The people who have the message that is the hope of the world can’t wait to get off the planet.

    Seems right to me!

  11. Adam K. says:

    OK, I have been swayed by this argument:

    “Roy Taylor, stated clerk of the Presbyterian Church in America, commented, ‘As far as predicting the approximate time of Christ’s Second Advent is concerned, I have resigned from the Planning Committee and have joined the Welcoming Committee.’”

    Source – http://www.christianpost.com/news/poll-what-evangelical-leaders-believe-about-the-end-times-49340/

  12. chad says:

    Raised classically premillenial dispensationalist (left behind). Over the last few years I have drifted to a different perspective for many reasons. Here are 2-

    a). Not Believing in a rapture.
    the word family for ἀπάντησιν from 1 Thess 4:17 has been gravely misunderstood. The verb does mean meet, but a wider contemporary usage is part of the tradition of meeting a king or conqueror outside of the city walls and then escorting him into the actual meeting place.

    b). 1st century imagery in Revelation.
    Some scholars have made a sincere attempt to rectify dramatic figural language by the interpretation that Revelation is a subversive text completely based in the 1st century and it should be read so. I disagree with them, but applaud how they exegete Revelation critically as an incarnational text existing in the 1st century. While contemporary writers sometimes try to tie each fantastical image to a modern day approximation (ie. locusts=helicopters in Rev 9), these interpretations fail to allow Revelation to be holy writ to the previous 20 centuries of Christians who have read the book.

    Revelation (and eschatology) is a complicated topic, but the most important thing to me is to understand the theological thread of resistance to evil that is a greater canonical theme that culminates in Revelation. G.K. Beale’s book “We Become What We Worship” traces this is a great way (and Beale wrote the definitive commentary on Revelation.

    In modern interpretations that center around premillenial thought, I have found the general attitude is a concern for individual. When the individual thinks about The End, the focus is on escape and personal fulfillment. When Revelation is read as the community of God (the preferred reading strategy in the early church), it is focused on eschatological fulfillment. Revelation 19-22 becomes the focus, the promised eternal dwelling with God.

    The doom and gloom of the premillenial movement, coupled with the loss of a liberal view of postpremillenialism (we can create the kingdom of God on earth through our own actions and piety) not only fractured our own Christian thought, but gave the secular world the framework that creates works like “The Road” and “2012″. Instead of feeding (and baptizing) the fallen story of despair rampant in the secular world, we should be talking about what God has promised us in the Eschaton. Christian Eschatology is about hope.

    How might a different reading (different from the last 150 yrs only) actually lead us into deeper mission,faith and assurance, instead of simply trying to escape the world we are in?

  13. Josh says:

    Amil. Like some others have already mentioned, there’s an ignored consistency in the pre-mil literal interpretation that I don’t agree with. The cockiness that is usually (not always) comes with the position is also something not to be desired. See the discussion above between Tim and Adam.

  14. Josh says:

    Correction: “inconsistency”

  15. Bob says:

    I always thought “What if God made it so that what ever your escatology was, that how it happened for you. Pre mid or post-toastie. Live and work today, the end will work its way out.

  16. Brian L. says:

    I honestly don’t care.

    When the disciples and others got obsessed with end-times stuff, Jesus said, “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

    In other words, “Let the Father deal with this. You’ve got a job to do. Worry about that and let the Father do His thing.”

    This is what I point out to people who get all bent out of shape about Jesus coming back soon. Yes, He may come back soon. Maybe by the time we wake up tomorrow. But that is up to God, not us, and no amount of trying to figure out God’s timetable will change (or determine) that.

  17. Rob says:

    For the sake of fairness, we should delineate between Dispensational Pre-Mil and Historic Pre-Mil. These are very different views and this blog thread has kind of lumped them together. Historic Pre-Mil. is the oldest recorded eschatological view where as Dispensational Pre-Mil is the newest dating back to the 1830′s and John N. Darby. The Historic Pre-Mil view had nothing to do with a “secret rapture”, like the newer Dispensational view. Like everyone else, I am far from figuring it out. Personally, I think I am 50/50 between Historic Pre-Mil and Amil. In my studies over the past five years, I have come to completely throw out the Dispensational view and Post-Mil for a number of reason. My personal study right now is on the different views of the millenium itself. Might I recommend the CounterPoints series for those interested in looking at the multiple views.

    That being said, I believe it is time for the evangelical church to take a much closer look at dispensationalism in general. After growing up in the Dispensational world of Left Behind and Hal Lindsey, I feel like the past few years of my personal study of eschatology has been a time of washing my brain of all the awful hermeneutical presuppositions associated with it. I have come to believe that Dispensational thought is not only awful theology but dangerous and maybe even borderline heretical. Dispensational thought tries to place the hope of Christians in an event, the rapture, not the person of our Lord Jesus Christ, who Paul writes is our blessed hope. And although no dispensationalist would probably admit this, functionally speaking dispensationalism places the Abrahamic Covenant above the New Covenant. Thus all the OT prophesies must have a future fulfillment in Jewish Millenium, as the church has been “raptured” to heaven. I ask my dispensational friends one question: Did our Lord Jesus FULFILL the Law and the Prophets, or did He just POSTPONE them?

    I would like to thank Chad for his thoughts and exegesis above. I completely agree and scripture is clear that there is no such thing as a “secret rapture.”

    Below are just a couple thoughts for all my Dispensational brothers and sisters who think they are looking forward to a rapture. This is only one of many hermeneutical issues with this line of thought, but it is probably the easiest to pick on so please enjoy:

    Read 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 below:
    16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.

    First off, would someone please tell me what is “secret” about this event. A loud command, an archangel, a trumpet call of God… It seems like God is trying to get everyone to notice something here. In this passage, Paul is writing in a form called Roman Imperial Rhetoric. It would have been immediately recognized by his first century audience. Paul is comparing the second coming of Christ to when Caesar returns to Rome. He is saying is that when Jesus returns, it will be far greater than Caesar, who by the way was considered to be the King of Kings and Son of God in Roman culture… Sound familiar? Think with me for a second about any old Roman Caesar movie you have ever seen. What does it look like when Caesar comes in to the city? A senator calls out: “behold, here comes great Caesar.” Some little guy blows a trumpet. There is a cool parade with horse and chariot. You get the idea. Well Paul is saying that when Jesus comes back, it won’t be a senator announcing it, it will be an archangel. It wont be some guy with a trumpet, but rather the trumpet call of God. And the term “caught up in the clouds” was a common term used when Romans would usher Caesar back in to his holy city. They literally believed that Caesar as the “son of God” was coming in off the clouds, and they went out of the city to meet him to bring him back in. Thus when Jesus comes back, all those that are in Christ, will meet our Lord and usher Him to earth.

    Now a quick look at the “Left Behind” passage in Matthew 24. Even quick reading of the “left behind” passage tells you that you want to be left behind.

    “37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.”

    Here we see Jesus making a 1 to 1 comparison with how his return will be like the time Noah. So the question I ask you: Who was taken in the time of Noah, and who was left behind? Hopefully a light bulb just went off. Every human being on earth was “taken” in the flood and only Noah and his family were “left”. The word taken here is a reference to being taken in violence or death. Like a soldier that is “taken” or killed on the battlefield.

    So again, there is no such thing as a secret rapture and you want to be left behind. I hope this has been some good food for thought for my Dispensational friends.

  18. Todd Rhoades says:

    Wow. You guys are really getting into this. And I thought this post would be a dud. :)

  19. Ronnie Ding says:

    Amil and Amen. Also very much rapture – not to escape but a Blessed Hope to do greater things for His glory and His kingdom!

  20. Ronnie Ding says:

    I am premil! too fast cos it rhymed with Amen!

  21. Mimi says:

    God tells us to keep looking for his return…My thought is PREPARE..Get your spiritual HOUSE IN ORDER…and also prepare physically…because dark days are ahead. You can prepare for disasters..not just to help yourself…but someone else (and in that reach out with the ministry of the Good News). God wants us to be “His Lights in the Darkness!” thats coming on the earth during these days of difficulty, pointing people to HIM! Honeslty, I have heard so many convincing arguments (with scripture) about all of them!! I just want to be prepared and doing his bidding and being close to Him when He returns!! Keep us close to YOU Lord!

  22. Personally, I prefer post millenialism after a crisis form.

  23. Steve L says:

    Tim G. Where is the word ‘Rapture’ found in Scripture. Also, Do you know anything about the last 2000 year of history? Here is a book for you to read that is out of print but you can pull it up on the internet. It was written in 1881 by a guy named B. W. Johnson. It is called “A Vision of the Ages”.

  24. David says:

    Ok. I’ll bite. I’m mostly an a-mil but I believe Peter has it right up top. It’s all gonna pan out. Why fight over how Christ will return and just accept the fact that He will return and we better be ready when He does.

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