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Arguments for Postmillennialism without Reference to Eschatological Passages

Apart from those eschatologists who are fully convinced of their own position, the remainder of us sees difficulties with precise interpretations of eschatological passages in Daniel, Matthew, Revelation, and elsewhere. If the hermeneutics of these passages are so clear, why do these major differences arise?

However, I come from a different perspective. I strongly lean towards postmillennialism because of God’s assignment of responsibilities to Christians. While all true evangelicals agree that The Great Commission calls us to evangelize all peoples on earth, they do not agree on eschatological positions. I would like to posit that God’s instructions alone offer a strong argument for postmillennialism.

1. What are Christians to do, once they have professed Christ and understood basic doctrine? The world missionary enterprise is about to be completed. Estimates are that within five years, all people groups on the earth will have been reached with the "gospel." In the United States, it has been estimated that a person will have opportunities to hear the "gospel" more than 200 times in his or her lifetime. In fact, other nations are sending missionaries to the United States.

I have watched Christians sit in church, Sunday School, and Bible studies for five decades. They have learned the "basics" long ago. (Most do not seem to have learned them sufficiently to articulate them.) Many have read through their Bibles more than once. They rarely "witness." They belong to "Bible-preaching" churches. Then, they die and go to heaven. Surely, God has a greater task than just sitting in church and going to one "learning" session after another!

I believe that task is The Creation Mandate which follows here.

2. God has instructed man to fulfill the Cultural Mandate, the Creation Mandate, and The Dominion Mandate. From Genesis 1:26-31, John Murray has posited that God "mandated" these instructions to the human race: (1) "the procreation of offspring, (2) the replenishing of the earth, (3) subduing the same, (4) dominion of the creatures, (5) labor, (6) the weekly Sabbath, and (7) marriage"  (John Murray, Principles of Conduct, page 27). 

By any reasonable considerations these mandates have not been fulfilled. (1) While there have been Malthusian alarmists, man’s ingenuity in farming and distribution are able to feed several times the numbers of people currently on the earth. So, mankind has not "multiplied and filled the earth." (2) With irresponsible farming methods, strip mining, overbuilding, and other ravages of nature, man has a monumental challenge to correct his own rape of nature, not to mention his reconstruction of "nature’s" ravages by hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis, and other disasters. (3) Man continues in his efforts to mine and farm the earth for the abundance that God has supplied upon and within the earth. (4) Man has made great progress in domesticating the animals, but still greater development is possible here. (5) Productive and satisfying labor is an ongoing challenge for man, especially against the curse of Adam’s Fall. (6) Few places on earth now honor the Sabbath. Even God’s people, modern Christians, fail to honor the Sabbath either in rest or worship. (7) Marriage is facing a serious challenge today.

Many evangelicals have objected to these instructions being called a "dominion mandate." They say that in these passages, "dominion" is only given to man over the animals, plants, and the earth. Christians are not to have dominion over other men. There are two serious fallacies to this argument. (A) The Great Commission is directed that "all nations" are to be made "disciples." As peoples of earth become righteous, they will dominate the earth with Biblical standards. No one who believes in The Great Commission is going to say that we should stop short of evangelizing everyone on earth! (B) But, in order to have righteous (Biblical) dominion over animals, plants, and the earth, Christians inescapably will have to have dominion in governments. Taking marriage as one example, state laws will have to establish Biblical marriage and eliminate all other forms of "cohabitation," heterosexual and homosexual. Such laws are exercising "dominion" over other men and women.

Reader, do not miss this final, important point. Conversion following regeneration precedes the ultimate fulfillment of The Creation Mandate. So, the laws to implement "dominion" are from the "bottom-up," not from a totalitarian "Christian" top-down state. It is a silly argument that Christians could ever implement a theocratic state against the vox populi. But when the "voice of the people" becomes sufficiently Biblical and widespread, God’s moral will and a full implementation on The Creation Mandate will be fulfilled on earth.

3.  Christians have given Western Civilization virtually every “good” that it knows.   Universal education, civil freedom on five continents, the end of slavery, hospitals, elevation of women, orphanages, universities, capitalism and free markets, modern science, and the end of human sacrifice have all been brought about by the direct influence of Christianity.  For more, see http://www.biblicalworldview21.org/History/History.asp.

“Good” appears in quotes here because every one of these achievements must be morally and legally guided by God’s Word, else they are just as easily evils.  For example, Hitler, Stalin, and Marx were all highly educated men.  But they used their education for great evil, not good.  Freedom in society must include responsibility or “rights” become entitlements, thus, shifting power within a society beyond what those rights grant.  Freedom can become slavery, if taxation takes so much of a man’s income that he has difficulty providing the basic needs for his family.

Why should this definitive progress cease?  It is clear historically that this progress is not a constant development.  While it “turned the world upside down” the first three centuries after Christ, it seemed to almost disappear during the Middle Ages.  But the great achievements (listed above and at the reference below) of the Reformation are undeniable.  Here in the 21st Century, it is not clear whether the Kingdom of God is advancing, declining, or stagnating.  Consider these two points, however, for continuing progress in the future.

(A)  History proves the progression of Christendom.  Why should it be expected to stop before Christ returns?  Should not Christians be working to “make it so?”

(B)  The vision of Daniel is clear that the Kingdom of God will be one of continual growth (Daniel 7:18, 27).  So, history illustrates the truth of these passages.

4.  The following is the Old Testament verse (Psalm 110:1) that is most often quoted in the New Testament: “The LORD said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.’”  (Matthew 22:44, Mark 12:36, Acts 2:34-35, I Corinthians 15:25, Hebrews 1:13, Hebrews 10:13)  Unless the reign of Jesus Christ occurs within the historical timeline of mankind which began in Genesis 1, His redemptive plan is at best incomplete, at worst a failure.  If Christ has to close history before He has established His reign over ALL mankind, the same conclusion is true. 

If as the premillenialists say that The Second Advent will break into history, then Jesus Christ may save his people, but He has been defeated in actual time and space to rule over all nations and “put all enemies under his feet!”  Without question, Jesus announced The First Advent of His Kingdom, “The Kingdom of God is at hand” (Matthew 4:17).  Unless He establishes that Kingdom on earth through the Great Commission, He will be a King only over Christians and His Church, but not a King over the nations.  He will not be “King of Kings and Lord of Lords” over all nations!

That Kingdom has begun, as we have seen above with the establishment of universal education, hospitals, the ending of slavery, etc.  What God has started, He will finish!


 

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