Q: What is the Difference Between Premillennialism, Amillennialism, and Postmillennialism?
Selected from our Questions and Answers program
A: All of these are an interpretation relative to the Millennium. Scripture teaches that there is coming a kingdom to be established upon this earth, and that the Lord Jesus will reign over that kingdom for a thousand years. The premillennialists believe that He will come first and take His church out of the world. The world then enters the Great Tribulation Period, and then Christ returns to the earth to establish His kingdom here upon this earth. This was the view of the early church.
Postmillennialism believes that Christ is coming at the end of the Millennium. It is the belief that the church would be the one to bring in the kingdom, not Christ coming personally to establish His kingdom. Rather, the church by the preaching of the gospel would convert the world and bring the entire world into obedience to Christ. Then He would come to the world, and it would be sort of like a victory parade. Honestly, today it seems unbelievable that there was a period when men believed that. They seemed to pay no attention to the prophecies made in Scripture saying that there was coming a time of great trouble on the earth and there would be a rebellion against God and an apostasy was coming upon the earth. I would say postmillennialism is dead today. I do not believe you will find very many reputable theologians in the world today that hold that position.
That brings us to the third position: Amillennialism. An amillennialist is one who does not believe that there’s going to be a Millennium at all. They don’t believe there’s going to be any Millennium at all, and they spiritualize all of the passages of Scripture that have to do with this kingdom that is to be set up. They take the Book of Revelation and spiritualize every bit of it. Honestly, when it comes out it makes no sense whatsoever. Those strong passages of Scripture that have to do with the pouring out of the bowls of wrath are absolutely toned down and fitted in to some event that’s already taken place in history. There’s no attempt to make the Book of Revelation a logical or chronological book at all. And when you get to the twentieth chapter where the thousand years are mentioned, they’re great at saying, “Well, it’s only mentioned in one passage.” But the thousand years are mentioned six times in one chapter. How many times does God have to say a thing before it’s true? I’ve always felt that amillennialism is the weakest of all of them.
Premillennialism is the position that I hold, I defend it, I believe I can give a reason for the hope that is within me relative to the premillennial coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.