Second, is the fact that postmillennialism has been mistakenly identified with the notion of evolutionary optimism and other secular notions of historical progress. But the kingdom of God in evangelical postmillennialism is not the product of natural laws of improvement in an ever-upward evolutionary progression, but rather the fruit of the supernatural energy and operation of the Holy Spirit, primarily through the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Third, postmillennialism has been mistakenly identified with theological liberalism and the so-called “social gospel”. Thus the kingdom it espoused came to be perceived as some sort of secular utopia that replaced the return of Jesus as the true hope of the church.
Fourth, there is the false charge that postmillennialism teaches salvific universalism. Whereas postmillennialists do indeed look forward to a day in which vast numbers shall turn to faith in Jesus Christ, at no time do they expect that all will be converted or that sin will be entirely eliminated prior to the eternal state. Evangelical postmillennialists believe no less fervently than premillennialists and amillennialists in the doctrine of hell and the irreversible damnation of those who die without Christ.
Fifth, postmillennialists have been accused of being naïve and unrealistic. Appeal is often made to extra-biblical events and historically catastrophic occurrences such as World War I, World War II, the nuclear arms buildup, and the ever-disintegrating moral fabric of Western society, and in our day, especially, the rise of radical Islam and international terrorism. To the minds of many, such facts discredit postmillennialism and confirm the more pessimistic philosophy of history espoused by premillennialism. A number of postmillennialists have labeled this approach to prophecy (and rightly so) as “newspaper exegesis” in which current events (i.e., the Wall Street Journal, Fox News, and USA Today) are studied to determine the future rather than the Bible itself. Needless to say, the decisive factor is not discernible trends in our world or the condition of mankind in general but rather whether or not the Bible, God’s inspired Word, foresees the worldwide triumph of the gospel.
Sixth, and finally, postmillennialists have been mistakenly represented as believing that once the tide turns for good, so to speak, all that remains is a progressive increase of righteousness and peace and the utter absence of evil in the world. But all evangelical postmillennialists believe that there yet remains one final outbreak of evil of undetermined length preceding the second coming of Christ. Satan will be released from the restrictions placed upon him (Rev. 20:1-3) and will foment a global rebellion against Christ and his Church (Rev. 20:7-10). There will likely be a final attempt to persecute and oppress the church on the part of those who participate in this last-gasp effort of the Enemy, but it will be to no avail. Christ will prevail.
This article was written by Sam Storms and originally appeared on his blog. Find it here.
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