The American Vision: A Biblical Worldview Ministry

In Light of the Present Crisis, Someone Asked, ‘Are You Still a Postmillennialist’?

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As usual, some Christians are equating current events with signs of the end times. Some of what I’ve seen and read is downright crazy. Here’s one example that has been making the rounds:

Someone sent me this:

The prophetic signs of the return of Christ are all around. Here is the latest in case you missed it. The name of the SpaceX/NASA Space Shuttle that was successfully launched yesterday into outer space has been given the name: DRAGON. 

Here are just a few of the references to Dragon in the Bible. 

“Then another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great dragon…” (Rev. 12:3). “So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was hurled to the earth, and his angels were hurled out with him” (Rev. 12:9).

Are all these coincidences? I don’t think so. 

A Bible prophecy organization is pushing the idea that prophecy is being fulfilled because ten-nations have joined forces over 5G. It used to be that this ten-nation idea was based solely on the revival of the Roman Empire.

The ‘D10’ club of democratic partners, which would include G7 countries — UK, US, Italy, Germany, France, Japan and Canada — plus Australia, South Korea and India would aim to create alternative suppliers of 5G equipment and other technologies to avoid relying on China.

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The book of Revelation in the New Testament and the Book of Daniel in the Old Testament detail a final alliance of nations that will consist of 10 kings or 10 nations, some of which many prophecy experts believe will include portions of what used to be the Roman Empire. It is out of this 10-kingdom alliance that the Antichrist comes to power and begins his reign that is elaborated upon in detail in the book of Revelation. (Prophecy News Watch)

Notice the shift: “will include portions of what used to be the Roman Empire.” It’s always been about the Roman Empire until there were more than ten nations. ““Ten nations, no more, no less, are to become allied and known as the Roman empire because Rome will be the centre, the capital, and it will be in Rome that the Emperor will reign.” [1]

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As of 2019, 28 nations are in the European Union. This does not include Israel and the nations of northern Africa since they made up the original Roman Empire.

The book of Revelation is not describing our time. The events described in the last book of the Bible were “soon” to take place because the time was “near” (1:1, 3; 22:10).

Millions of Christians are hamstrung by these so-called prophecy experts that keep us on the edge of our end-time seats. Hal Lindsey made similar predictions 50 years ago in his book The Late Great Planet Earth. It was all supposed to end in the 1980s in what he described as “the Terminal Generation.” During this time, forces aligned against the things of Jesus have steadily moved forward while Christians continued to wait for a rapture rescue.

Prior to the rise of dispensationalism, there was a realistic optimism even when persecution was all around them. They followed Paul’s comforting words: “But they will not make further progress; for their folly will be obvious to all… Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Tim. 3:9, 12). Paul wrote this to Timothy nearly 2000 years ago. Christians didn’t give in to the evils of the day by claiming they would be rescued by something called a “rapture.”

What we are seeing today is the end result, the manifestation of worldviews rejecting the Lordship of Jesus Christ (Psalm 2). We’ve seen it before. It’s nothing new. The question is, How will Christians respond?

There is no reference to an escape hatch for the Church but only the promised claim that God will sustain and maintain His Church even when persecuted, and that includes Christians being burned at the stake for attempting to do something as logical as translate the Bible into English.

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Biblical postmillennialists believe in the progress of the gospel and its effect on culture over the course of history when Christians apply the Bible to every area of life. Unfortunately, most Christians aren’t doing this. They don’t believe it can be done or should be done.

The following is a 1987 interview with John F. Walvoord by Kenneth Kantzer for Christianity Today:

Interviewer: For all of you who are not postmils, is it worth your efforts to improve the physical, social, and political situation on earth?

John F. Walvoord: The answer is yes and no. We know that our efforts to make society Christianized is [sic] futile because the Bible doesn’t teach it. On the other hand, the Bible certainly doesn’t teach that we should be indifferent to injustice and famine and to all sorts of things that are wrong in our current civilization. Even though we know our efforts aren’t going to bring a utopia, we should do what we can to have honest government and moral laws. It’s very difficult from Scripture to advocate massive social improvement efforts, because certainly Paul didn’t start any, and neither did Peter. They assumed that civilization as a whole is hopeless and subject to God’s judgment. [2]

There still exists in some parts of fundamentalism a dualistic worldview where one must give up reformation for individual transformation and a swift exodus out of this world. There is no biblical reason to give up anything. The Christian’s ministry is first individual transformation (preaching the gospel and a changed heart) and only then reformation (self-, family, church, economic, political, and world discipleship, Christian civilization). It’s conversion then discipleship; justification then sanctification. You can’t have the second without the first, and the second is the natural outgrowth of the first.

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Instead, we get this type of thinking:

  • John Nelson Darby, the founder of dispensational premillennialism and the pre-tribulational “rapture” of the church doctrine, the basis of the Left Behind series, taught that “the imminent return of Christ ‘totally forbids all working for earthly objects distant in time.’” [3] This would have included the study of mathematics, medicine, art, music, and the sciences unless there were “immediate spiritual results.” [4]
  • “What a way to live! With optimism, with anticipation, with excitement. We should be living like persons who don’t expect to be around much longer.” [5]
  • “I don’t like clichés but I’ve heard it said, ‘God didn’t send me to clean the fish bowl, he sent me to fish.’ In a way there’s a truth to that.” [6]
  • “The church is not in the business of taking anything away from Satan but the souls of men. The world is a sinking Titanic ripe for judgment, not Garden of Eden perfection.”
  • “This world is not going to get any easier to live in. Almost unbelievably hard times lie ahead. Indeed, Jesus said that these coming days will be uniquely terrible. Nothing in all the previous history of the world can compare with what lies in store for mankind.” [7]
  • “‘Reclaiming’ the culture is a pointless, futile exercise. I am convinced we are living in a post-Christian society — a civilization that exists under God’s judgment.” [8]
  • “The [dispensational] premillennial position sees no obligation to make distinctly Christian laws.” [9]

Can you imagine what would have happened to the early church if this type of thinking had been promoted after the murders of Stephen at the hand of Saul/Paul (Acts 7:54-60), James the brother of John at the hand of Herod (Acts 12:1-3), the martyred saints in Revelation (Rev. 6:9-11; see 1:9; 2:10; 7:13-14)? Saul was converted on the Damascus Road and Herod was “struck by an angel,” “eaten by worms and breathed his last breath” (12:20-24), and Nero committed suicide in AD 68, and the remnants of the Greek and Roman Empires are tourist attractions today.

The Pilgrims and Puritans were mostly postmillennial. Postmillennialists did not look at cultural conditions as signs of the end of the world. For the most part, the Pilgrims ventured to a new land to build a “city on a hill,” not to hunker down to wait until Jesus returned. They were a persecuted minority that fled England for Holland and later to the New World.

And what do most Christians do? Send their children to schools that reject the faith they claim to believe.

  1. Oswald J. Smith, Is the Antichrist at Hand? (Harrisburg, PA: The Christian Alliance Publishing Co., 1927), 18.[]
  2. Kenneth Kantzer, Christianity Today (February 6, 1987), 5–I, 6–I.[]
  3. Francis William Newman, Phases of Faith; or, Passages From the History of My Creed (London: George Woodfall and Son, 1850), 35.[]
  4. Newman, Phases of Faith, 37.[]
  5. Lindsey, The Late Great Planet Earth, 145.[]
  6. An Interview with Hal Lindsey, “The Great Cosmic Countdown: Hal Lindsey on the Future,” Eternity (January 1977), 21.[]
  7. Charles C. Ryrie, The Living End (Old Tappan, NJ: Revell, 1976), 21.[]
  8. John F. MacArthur, The Vanishing Conscience: Drawing the Line in a No-Fault, Guilt-Free World (Dallas: Word, 1994), 12.[]
  9. Norman L. Geisler, “A Premillennial View of Law and Government,” Moody Monthly (October 1985), 129.[]
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