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The Divided Church Part 2
October 09, 2008
In the last issue we talked about 4 views of Bible Prophecy that divides the church. The issue of the Millennium is another aspect of Bible Prophecy that divides the church.
The word "Milennium" means "thousand year". The passages that points to this in scripture is found in the book of Revelation Chapter 20.
" 2 He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a THOUSAND YEARS; 3 and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the THOUSAND YEARS were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while. 4 And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a THOUSAND YEARS. 5 But the rest of the dead did not live again until the THOUSAND YEARS were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a THOUSAND YEARS. 7 Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison"
There are three views of this thousand year period within the church. They are: premillennialism, postmillennialism, and amillennialism.
Premillennialism - This is the view that Jesus Christ will return to planet Earth just before the thousand year period spoken of in Revelation begins. It is based on a literal understanding of God's word. This event begins at the end of the coming 7-year tribulation period.
This view has Jesus reigning as the king of planet Earth for 1,000 years with His throne being in Jerusalem which is the geographical center of this planet. Satan will be bound in the abyss for this period of time. The coming antichrist and false prophet will be cast into the lake of fire just before this time period begins.
At the end of this period, Satan will be let loose and there will be one final rebellion by man against God which will end with the earth being renovated by fire into a new earth along with a new heaven.
Postmillennialism - This is the view that the Church, through the preaching of the gospel, will effect mass social changes in the world that will eventually lead to a a thousand years of peace and prosperity then Christ will return.
This view doesn't seem to make much sense when you look at the conditions of the world today.
Jesus said in Luke 18:8 " Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?"
Nevertheless, this one of the reasons the prosperity gospel is so prominent. This group has a very optimistic view of the future.
Amillennialism - They do not believe in a literal thousand year reign as outlined in Revelation. Instead they believe this is figurative and that this period is an indefinite period of time. They believe a spiritual millennium occurs between the first and second coming of Christ. In other words, the kingdom is present now with Christ ruling from heaven. They believe that the forces of good (Christ's kingdom) and the forces of darkness (Satan's kingdom) will grow simultaneously until a climactic battle occurs.
Saint Augustine is the one who originated this idea.
Personally, I believe in the premillennial view as it is the one that best harmonizes with all of the scriptures.
Copyright 2008 by Gary Goodworth
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