Friday, January 16, 2009

"Why I Am A Postmillennialist" by Dr. Greg L. Bahnsen

"Why I Am A Postmillennialist" by Dr. Greg L. Bahnsen

In a casual, not lecturing style Dr. Bahnsen presents in three downloadable audio files a simplified explanation from the Bible of why he believes the postmillennial system is the teaching of the Bible.

To download the three MP3 files ($1.99 each), click here.

Concerning millennial views, there are two questions to be asked and two attitudes for each question.

1. What does the Bible teach about the chronology of the history of Christ's kingdom, the flow of events? and 2. What does the Bible teach about the nature of Christ's kingdom in earthly history before Christ's return?

Question 1: What does the Bible teach about the chronology of the history of Christ's kingdom, the flow of events?

The first question we have to ask is:

In the future, does the Scripture allow for any great period of time between the return of Christ and the eternal state (i.e., premillennialism)? That is, does the Biblical chronology allow for a gap of 1,000 years to be inserted between the return of Christ and the bringing in of the New Heavens and the New Earth (i.e., the eternal state)?

If no such gap is allowed in Biblical chronology, then we must reject that particular view and all of the variants that go with it (rapture, timing of the tribulation [pre-, mid-, post-], identification of the Beast, the question of reinstituted animal sacrifices, etc.). We would then be left to answer the second question concerning the nature of Christ's kingdom.

In a simplified manner, what does the Bible teach on the question, then, of the chronology of the history of Christ's kingdom?

Acts 24:15

The Bible teaches us that a day is coming when there will be a general resurrection of men, both the just and the unjust.

John 5:28, 29

The Bible teaches that on a particular day and hour, Jesus will call everyone in the graves. It is at that point that men will be divided according to the resurrections: one to life, one to condemnation.

Thus, there is no room to insert 1,000 years between the resurrection to life which the just enjoy, and the resurrection to condemnation which the evil are going to experience.

Matthew 25:31,32,46

The Bible teaches, that a day is coming where Jesus will sit on His throne of glory and all the nations (no exceptions) will stand before Him. He will then make some go into the fold of the sheep (the righteous going into eternal life) and some into the fold of the goats (the evil going into eternal punishment).

Thus we see, with a general resurrection (all men being resurrected) and a general judgment (all men being judged) at one particular time, the Bible does not permit the insertion of a 1,000 year period between the return of Christ and the final judgment.

2 Thessalonians 1:7-10

There's a day coming where the following things will happen:
God's people, who are being afflicted, will no longer be afflicted but vengeance will come upon their afflictors, and they (God's people) will be glorified. The day is coming when those who do not believe will be judged with everlasting destruction, and those who do will be (1) relieved of their tribulation, and (2) glorified in their Savior. This is called the time of Christ's coming. It will be relief and judgment.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-17

Paul teaches here, that the coming of Jesus Christ (a public event, not a secret rapture), is with the resurrection of His saints.

So, 2 Thessalonians 1 teaches us that at His coming there will be relief for those who are afflicted (and they will be glorified in their Savior) and judgment upon those who disbelieve. In 1 Thessalonians 4 we learn that this will be the time that the saints are resurrected.

John 6:39,40,44

So, Jesus is coming to bring relief to His saints. And when He comes there will be a resurrection of all who have believed in Him. John tells us that according to Jesus, He will do this AT THE LAST DAY.

Is there any room for a 1,000 year period to be inserted? No, because when Jesus comes back, eternal destruction will come upon those who disbelieve. That will be the crack of doom for them.

1 Corinthians 15:22-28,52

Here we learn that the day of resurrection for the saints, which we have seen will be the last day of history according to Jesus, is going to take place and then the end will ensue. Paul says the day of resurrection will bring about the end, not 1,000 more years of drama. When Christ returns, His saints will be raised and He will deliver the kingdom to the Father, and that will be it.

Thus, the Bible does not teach the premillennial view, rather, the Bible teaches the postmillennial view as to the timing of events in history.


  1. Bill,
    Thanks for considering these suggestions.

    You have put ENORMOUS COPIOUS EXTENSIVE time on your three Dr. Greg L. Bahnsen posts which are 23 pages copied in my Word document (above is 13 pages) and you promise to elaborate more next time! Is this to save us the $6 for downloading Bahnsen?

    I am not sure I can hang in there with you, brother. Honestly I like blogs with dialogue that engage my discovery. The Matthew 24 and "Earl's Cut to the Chase" posts have generated the most comments.

    For me it would be helpful for you to “cut to the chase” comparing your ideas with Earl’s Jan 10th “cut to the chase”. In other words I would love a simple “Bill’s Cut to the Chase” post. My essential “cut to the chase” was posted 12/31 when we first started this blog. My thoughts were clearer then, and now I am more ambivalent.

    New Kid

  2. New Kid,

    I have abbreviated the summary.

    Cutting to the chase, I would say the Bible teaches that Christ comes after the millennial period, not before it. Check out the verse I listed and see what you think. If you are considering the premil position, tell me how you would handle these verses.

  3. Thanks, Bill. I will have to get back to you how I will handle those Scriptures and may indeed come more strongly into the Postmil-camp.

    I will use all of Scripture to handle postmil-, premil- and amil- view points. I am waiting to get my hands on historical premil- materials in order to see how that view handles Scripture.

    Meanwhile I have looked in the Westminster Confession of Faith and do not see the millennium addressed at all. It refers to the last day. How do you, Bill, integrate your strong views of Postmil- with the WCF or are they mutually exclusive?

    New Kid

  4. During the Millennium, saints of the most High (the church – 1 Cor.10:32) will judge the world (Dan.7:22, 1 Cor.6:2-3, Matt.19:27-28, Re.20:4).

    The Apostles will judge the twelve tribes of Israel (Matt.19:27-28).

    Jews and Gentiles (1 Cor.10:32) are raised AFTER the thousand years (Re.20:5), after they were judged according to their works (Re.20:12-13, Dan.12:2, Jn.5:28-29, Matt.16:27).

    Patricia © Bible Prophecy on the Web

  5. New Kid,

    The Westminster Confession of Faith teaches a general resurrection of all and a general judgment at the last day. This fits the amillennial and postmillennial systems. The premillennial position teaches two different resurrections. For this reason, at the last General Assembly of the Reformed Presbyterian Church General Assembly the following decision for orthodoxy for ministerial candidates was adopted: Amillenialism and Postmillenialism are the acceptable millennial views; any other millennial position to be considered must acknowledge only one general bodily resurrection from the dead.

  6. Thanks, Bill, for addressing WCF and end time positions and for getting the original 13 pages of the above post down to 2 1/2 pages that I pasted on my a Word document. This is doable reading. Simplifies for me--you are always the gentleman.

    Thanks, Patricia, for adding other Scripture.

    I keep grappling with my view of the end times while looking at Scripture. This afternoon I was able to order from Amazon Ladd's "The Meaning of the Millennium: Four Views"; Gentry's "Four Views on the Book of Revelation"; Bock's "Three Views on the Millennium and Beyond"; and Riddlebarger's "A Case for Amillennialism". Oh my goodness! I am in for study when the books come! Lord help me, what if I post a huge post myself!

  7. Did I miss something? I cannot find the answers to question 2...

  8. Dear Lore,
    Do you mean this question: "2. What does the Bible teach about the nature of Christ's kingdom in earthly history before Christ's return?" Bill shortened his answers to the above post. It used to be much longer.
    New Kid

  9. DataLore,

    When time permits, I will post the answer to question 2. For New Kid's sake, I will keep it very brief. Of course, you can purchase the MP3 download for $1.99 that I mentioned in the post, and hear Bahnsen's full length answer in his own voice. Thanks for reading and participating.


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