The Strengths of Premillennialism


Posted by Matt Postiff July 16, 2009 on Matt Postiff's Blog under Dispensationalism  Eschatology 

Sam Storms provides an outline of the premillennial view here, though he is refuting it at each point because he is an amillennialist. But I thought a point-by-point response would be helpful for someone reading out there in web-land, so here goes. The listed items are his evaluation of what a premillennialist must believe. My comments follow each one.

  • You must necessarily believe that physical death will continue to exist beyond the time of Christ's second coming.

    Correct. Isaiah 65:20 indicates that death will occur. Storms is not correct, though, in suggesting that a PM must necessarily believe in death for believers during that time. They may or may not die, depending on whether the Lord is pleased to heal their diseases or if they are born toward the latter part of the millennium. Death certainly does occur after the second coming when Christ judges the lost upon His return.

  • You must necessarily believe that the natural creation will continue, beyond the time of Christ's second coming, to be subjected to the curse imposed by the fall of man.

    Correct. Revelation 20:8 indicates that deception will happen, so the curse is still present.

  • You must necessarily believe that the New Heavens and New Earth will not be introduced until 1,000 years subsequent to the return of Christ.

    Right. Revelation 20:11 and 21:1 seem to form a sequence, and 20:11 occurs after the devil was thrown into the lake of fire, which 20:7 says occurred after the 1000 years were finished. The straightforward reading of the text leads to Storms' conclusion.

  • You must necessarily believe that unbelieving men and women will still have the opportunity to come to saving faith in Christ for at least 1,000 years subsequent to his return.

    No problem here. See Isaiah 11:9-10. I don't understand why Storms writes, "Are Premillennialists asking us to believe that upon their attaining to an age when they are capable of understanding and responding to the revelation of God and the personal, physical presence of Christ Jesus himself, that none of them will be given the opportunity to respond in faith to the claims of the gospel?" That is, I don't understand his statement unless he is setting up a straw-man version of the PM argument. No PM that I know of ever said there would be no chance for unbelievers in the millennium. So, no, PMs are NOT asking you to believe that ridiculous statement. One key point about the millennium is precisely that many people WILL be saved! By the way, many came to Christ when he was on the earth the first time too.

  • You must necessarily believe that unbelievers will not be finally resurrected until at least 1,000 years subsequent to the return of Christ.

    You guessed it. This is right on. Revelation 20:5 says "The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended" (ESV). Again, a straightforward reading of the text seems to say just what Storms objects to.

  • You must necessarily believe that unbelievers will not be finally judged and cast into eternal punishment until at least 1,000 years subsequent to the return of Christ.

    Ditto above.

    Since Revelation 20 speaks about and is structured around the one thousand year period and mentions it six times, it seems quite a stretch to say there is NO one thousand year period. Sure, one might debate when Christ's coming is relative to that period of time, but to say that period does not exist is a too much of a stretch to take.

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