Appendix: What Say the Scriptures?
The view of many of the reformers (Calvin, Luther, Malancthon) the Church of England, and the Ausburg Confession are largely postmillennial. Origen, also Eusebius, and Athanasias were also postmillennialists. The Campbellites were postmillennialists, as were Jonathan Edwards, Matthew Henry, A.A. Hodge, B.B. Warfield, and many of the Puritans.
But who can hold to such a belief today? One may say that “The world is growing better and better,” but who will believe it in a century that has witnessed the horrors of Nazi Germany; the atrocities of Stalin’s Soviet Union; the slaughters’ of Mao’s China; the killings of Pol Pot’s Cambodia; the cruelties that have taken the lives of hundreds of thousands of Africans; acts of lawlessness and terrorism between child and child, or child and parent—not to mention the disintegration of the family and the plmmeting of social standards, our own nation sinmking to the depths of approving homosexuality. Who today can honestly say the world is growing better?
The postmillennialists expect to see fulfilled before Christ returns the same texts which the premillennialists apply to the Millennial reign of Christ. They cite Isaiah 2:2-4 and Micah 4:1-5, and comment: “We are taught that the Church is to be prominent like a house on the top of a mountain, and that its guidance will be sought willingly in all phases of human life. The statement that ‘all people will flow unto it’ must mean that people all over the world are Christianized. Nations will no longer spend their energies and substance in destructive wars. To sit every man under his own vine and fig tree is a symbol of contented peaceful home life.”
But are men going to learn this on their own? What nation today is laying aside its armaments and pursuing only peaceful living?
Later in Isaiah 2 is a passage which speaks of the land being full of idols which the people cast to the “moles and bats” when the Lord arises “to shake terribly the earth” (Isa. 2:8, 19-21). This does not sound as though the nations of earth will give up their evil practices of their own volition!
The postmillennialists also cite Isaiah 11:1-10 as evidence for their position: “There shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:…with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove the equity for the meek of the earth:…the wolf also shall dwell with the lamb: and…they shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.&rdquo
Isaiah 2:4 describes a time when men shall“beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks.” If all nations are to do this, when will the tredn begin? Have they not been doing the reverse for all of recorded history? What will cause the change? Are nations currently preparing for peace?
No, the postmillennialists do not have Scripture to support their position. The Bible teaches plainly that nothing less than the judgments of God will compel men to obedience. And even then, many will stubbonly refuse and will have to die in disobedience (see Isa. 26:9-10; Zech. 13:8-9; Mal.3:1-3; 4:1-2). God is not going to wait endlessly, while men blunder in sin and ignorance; He is going to ACT!