Postmillennialism without Reference to Eschatological
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
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
“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.
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.
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?”
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.
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
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!