Amillennialism

This is the last post in a brief series looking at millennial views in End-times theology. The other posts are End-Times Discussion, Premillennialism, and Postmillennialism.

Amillennialism is the predominant Reformed view, but not the only Reformed view, see Postmillennialism. Those who hold to the Amil position usually interpret Revelation with an idealist framework, rather than preterist, futurist, or historicism. In this view we are in agreement with the Postmil view that Christ will return at the end of the symbolic “thousand years,” see Revelation 20:1-6. This view maintains that there will not be a literal millennium, hence the prefix a–, in distinciton from the two previous views. The end will come in a moment, not in various stages because we are currently living in the end times, and have been since the resurrection of Christ and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

Amillennialists also hold to the position that those prophecies found in the New Testament about the End, and those prophesied in the Old Testament in such books like Daniel, are attributed to the present church as symbols for the current blessings we receive from God the Father and the current trials we endure from the children of the Devil.

Due to Christ’s death and resurrection Satan has been (is) bound and therefore the knowledge of the Gospel can proceed to the Gentile nations (everyone is not a Jew). The Gospel advances through the prayerful proclamation of God’s Word and the power of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of those who hear. This does not occur in a vacuum, of course. God’s appointed means for the spread of the Gospel involve opposition and suffering. Jesus suffered to bring the Gospel, and we will suffer to spread the Gospel.

With this in mind, the “first resurrection” is that of those who have died in the faith and are surrounding the throne of God, Revelation 20:4-7. The “thousand years” therefore, is the symbolic time between Christ’s first coming and binding of Satan and his return to destroy Satan. In this era between the two comings of Christ, the church will witness to his work and suffer for his name. This view does not promise relief from tribulation, like the Premils, nor does it offer the outlook that the world is increasingly improving, contrary to the Postmils. Rather, the Amils believe that the great dragon, Satan, is already defeated and he can in no way thwart the plan of God to gather His people from all nations.

The familiar phrase, “You may have won the battle, but I will win the war” does not apply to the Amil. We should say, “The war has been won.” There are indeed battles for the church, to be sure, but our security is in knowing that Christ has dealt the final blow and Satan is all but cast down. Revelation 19:17-21 and 20:9-10 are seen as two perspectives on the last great battle at the end of the “thousand years” when Christ will come to rescue his church and to destroy his enemies.  There will be one resurrection of the righteous and the unrighteous in which those who are judged in Christ will be ushered into glory (new heavens and new earth, 2 Peter 3:13) and those who are judged by Christ will suffer eternal condemnation (hell, Revelation 20:15).

This is the view I hold. It is the simplest view, I do not need a road map of End-time hoopla that forces the Bible to say things it doesn’t. It makes the most sense of the scope of prophecy. The Amil view does not promise more than what the Bible does as opposed to the Premil view that says the church will not experience tribulation, or the Postmil view that says the world is continually improving. The Amil view says that Satan is crushed, the church will prevail through tribulation, and when Christ comes back all will be judged, death will be defeated, and the saints will dwell with God on the new earth.

I should say, however, that each of the three views can be held within the realm of orthodox Christianity, and each view is held among Bible-believing Christians. I said it before and I will say it again, Good Christians can disagree.

Here are some recommended resources on Amillennialism:

Case For Amillennialism has been one of the pillar books for those who hold this view, along with a little more academic companion book The Bible and the Future. A lengthy, and therefore comprehensive look at Amillennialism is The Promise of the Future.
A new book which has recently been published and can be obtained for 50% off is Kingdom Come: The Amillennial Alternative, which will soon become the foundational book for Amils.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: