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I. Post and Pre-millennialism Defined.

1. The position of Post-millennialism.

     Post-millennialists teach that the great purpose of the Divine incarnation was that the Lord Jesus through His death and resurrection should found and establish a spiritual Kingdom. They tell us that the Jews who expected their Messiah to set up a material and visible Kingdom on the earth were mistaken. They insist that the only Kingdom Christ has or will ever have is an unseen, spiritual and heavenly Kingdom, the subjects of which are the members of His Church, in whose hearts Christ now rules. They declare that the Redeemer is even now reigning, reigning as King over this earth and that he will continue thus to reign, unseen, until He has overcome all enmity and opposition and won His very enemies unto Himself. The instrument by which He is to achieve this glorious victory is the church, and the church, we are told, is here to civilize as well as evangelize the earth. Post-millennialists teach that while the Church is an institution and organization separate from the State yet is it interested in the welfare of the State and that it is the duty of Christ's followers to take part in politics and see to it that the best men securable are elected to office and that they must be encouraged to frame and enforce laws which make for civic and social righteousness.
     In present-day conditions post-millennarians see the fulfilling of their hopes and the promise of a speedy success crowning their efforts. They regard the multiplication of educational advantages, the discoveries and inventions of modern science, the improvements in hygienic and sanitary conditions, the growing demand for nation-wide prohibition, the increasing number of hospitals and agencies to relieve suffering, the modern trend toward interdenominationalism and religious unionism, as so many heralds of the near approach of the Millennium. They believe that the utilization and perfecting of such agencies will usher in the Golden Age, an age of world peace and prosperity, an age when all will know the Lord from the least to the greatest. It is not until the close of this Millennium that they look for Christ to return: then it is they expect Him to come back and "wind up" all things, judge the human race and settle the eternal destiny of every individual of it. Post-millenarians believe in a general resurrection and a general judgment at the end of time. Such a brief and in general is the position and belief held by post-millennialists. We turn now to

2. The position of Pre-millennialism.

     At every point the teaching of pre-millennarians is diametrically opposed to that of the post-millennialists. Pre-millenarians regard the Jewish expectation of a literal, visible, material Kingdom as being set up on the earth by their Messiah as a hope authorized by the Word of God because clearly revealed and expressly foretold by the Old Testament prophets. They believe this Messianic Kingdom is now in abeyance but will yet be established. They do not hold that Christ is now reigning as King, on the contrary, they look upon Him as at present exercising His high-priesthood, and they do not expect Him to enter into the office of His kingship until He returns to the earth and sits upon the throne of His father David.
     Pre-millennialists do not believe that it is the mission of the Church to civilize the world, but instead, they are deeply impressed that the great duty and business of the Church is to evangelize the nations. While recognizing that civilization is a bi-product of evangelism, yet they insist that their marching orders are contained in Christ's mandate - Go, preach the Gospel to every creature. Believing this, and realizing that a full obedience to their Lord's command will require all their strength, time and talents, they (or, at least, an increasing number of them) look upon politics, social-reform movements, humanitarian efforts, etc. as outside of their own jurisdiction, as something which is an integral part of that world from which their Master was cast out, the "friendship" of which is expressly declared to be "Enmity with God" (Jas. 4:4). While they rest with unshaken confidence upon the Divine promise that God's Word shall not return unto Him void but that it shall accomplish that which He pleases and prosper in the thing whereto He sends it, and while they go forth preaching the Gospel in the assurance that the Holy Spirit will use and bless it to the conversion of many of those that hear it, yet pre-millennialists can find on promise anywhere in the New Testament that the world as a whole shall improve during the time of Christ's absence from it; on the contrary, they read that "In the last days perilous times shall come" and that "Evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse" (2 Tim. 3:1, 13).
     Pre-millennialists do not believe there can be any Millennium until Christ returns to the earth, takes its government upon His shoulder, and reigns in power over it. They do not believe that there can be any real improvement in moral and spiritual conditions down here while Satan is free, and realizing the utter impotency of man to cope with his powerful Enemy they recognize that the only hope for this poor world is the Second Advent of Christ to earth and His removal of Satan from it. They believe that before this can happen Christ will first come for His Church and instead of interposing a thousand years between the present and this blessed event, they are looking for Him to return at any moment. Such in brief and in general is the belief and position of pre-millennialism.
     Now it is very evident that both of these positions cannot be sound and tenable, that one of them must be false and unscriptural. Post-millennialism and pre-millennialism cannot both be right, one of them is most certainly wrong. Which of them is in error? Again we would urge upon our readers the need of drawing near to God and praying Him for a teachable spirit and asking Him to enable them to approach the examination of this issue with an unprejudiced mind and an open heart.

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