The post-millennial doctrine: true or false?

Question: what do you think about the post-millennial doctrine, the eschatological doctrine, which sees that Christ will come back to earth once it will be transformed by the Gospel? In short, history will get better, when The Kingdom of Jesus Christ increases more and more (like dough, slowly but surely) in the hearts of men, that changes everything around, including the culture of society.

doctrina postmilenistă
Artwork by Alex Levin.

Post-millennial doctrine has spread vigorously in the nineteenth century, when Christianity was growing especially in Europe, and it seemed that there was a foundation for “A thousand year’s Kingdom”. However, with World War I and then World War II, post-millennial doctrine began to lose followers, so that in 1952, Charles L. Feinberg said, “The present events make it impossible to further support a rather post-millennial position, it will not take a long time to be abandoned altogether.”(Charles L. Feinberg. Premillennialism or Amillennialism? Findlay, Ohio: Van Kampen Press, 1952, 62.) And in 1977, Millard Erickson said, “Today, post-millennial adepts are if not a fossil species, at least one endangered species.” (Erickson, Contemporary Options in Eschatology, 62.)

In my opinion, the today’s reality, more than ever, proves the error of this doctrine. European countries and the United States who were once known as Christian countries, are unrecognizable: I think Islam is favored in this part of the world more than Christianity.

But more important and more thorough is the fact that post-millennial doctrine has its foundation on a non-literary interpretation and has no Biblical support. This doctrine is contrary to the clear teaching of Scripture. Non-literary method of interpreting Scripture opens doors for any interpretation, and everyone can interpret Scriptures as they wish.

I do not intend to do a thorough analysis of this doctrine, but I will take one aspect of this doctrine to show that this teaching is contrary to the plain text of The Scripture.

According to the post-millennial doctrine, both believers and unbelievers will be resurrected at the second coming of Jesus that is the end of The Kingdom of 1000 Years. However, if we look at chapter 20 in Revelation (for post-millennial doctrine is based on non-literary interpretation of this chapter) we see that this chapter describes two resurrections:

1.The resurrection of the believers

Those who rise before the kingdom of a thousand years are called blessed and holy, for they shall be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him (Christ) a thousand years. So they shall rise before the kingdom of a thousand years.

And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years. (revelation 20:4-6)

2.The resurrection of unbelievers

Others, meaning unbelievers, will rise after the kingdom of a thousand years “but the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished”. And they will rise for the judgment after this earth and everything on it will perish.

But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. (Revelation 20:5)

 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:11-15)

I think this argument is enough to demonstrate that post-millennial doctrine has no Biblical support.

Read this article in Romanian.