Staff's ROD

Staff's ROD #24, View of the Millennium

Our 11th emphatic belief states our position "in a gospel millennium (or, A-millennial) view of the end-times". This is an historic position held by the church for millennia but has wavered in and out of favor depending on current world events. So what is it, and why do we hold it emphatically?

 

Millennium means a period of 1,000 years and refers to 6 verses in Revelations 20, correctly regarded as referring to the time of the end. People are pigeonholed in a prophetic position based on their perspective of this period.  John's apocalypse is consistent with God's other prophetic passages, mixing literal and spiritual; and thus 1,000 years refers to the entire NT period, when Christ will build My church. The Reformers (Calvin, Luther, Knox, Zwingli, etc.), Louis Berkhof, Matthew Henry, and J. Gresham Machen held this position.  So did Clement (c. 90), Barnabus (c. 100), Justin Martyr (c. 160), Irenaeus (c. 180), and Augustine (c. 413). Watch "About The Millennnium" at the Holding Fast series in Revelation, or read A.A. Hodge's chapter on eschatology for helpful a-mil expositions.

 

We don't believe something because a multitude does, but because it has Scriptural warrant.  Rev. 20:1-6 represents a scene in heaven, and makes no mention of the Jews, of an earthly and national kingdom, nor of the land of Palestine, as the place where Jesus will rule. Jesus introduced the concept of a first and second resurrection when He said the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live (the 1st resurrection, of a dead spirit in salvation) ... and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation (the 2nd resurrection, of the body). Furthermore, the kingdom of God is spiritual and universal.  Jesus said the kingdom of God is within you, and He told Pilate my kingdom is not of this world. Paul wrote that God hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son and that the Lord will preserve me unto His heavenly kingdom.  Jesus told Nicodemus except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.  All of that combined strongly indicates a kingdom not made of this current order.

 

Young people taught a pre-mil view comfortably stray from their religious upbringing, because when Christ returns, they miss a few rewards but get a second chance. Instead, it's judgment day with no second chance.