Objections to Postmillennialism. There are some very serious objections to the Postmillennial theory.
a. The fundamental idea of the doctrine, that the whole world will gradually be won for Christ, that the life of all nations will in course of time be transformed by the gospel, that righteousness and peace will reign supreme, and that the blessings of the Spirit will be poured out in richer abundance than before, so that the Church will experience a season of unexampled prosperity just before the coming of the Lord,—is not in harmony with the picture of the end of the ages found in Scripture. The Bible teaches indeed that the gospel will spread throughout the world and will exercise a beneficent influence, but does not lead us to expect the conversion of the world, either in this or in a coming age. It stresses the fact that the time immediately preceding the end will be a time of great apostasy, of tribulation and persecution, a time when the faith of many will wax cold, and when they who are loyal to Christ will be subjected to bitter sufferings, and will in some cases even seal their confession with their blood, Matt. 24:6–14, 21, 22; Luke 18:8; 21:25–28; 2 Thess. 2:3–12; 2 Tim. 3:1–6; Rev. 13. Postmillennialists, of course, cannot very well ignore entirely what is said about the apostasy and the tribulation that will mark the end of history, but they minimize it and represent it as predicting an apostasy and a tribulation on a small scale, which will not affect the main course of the religious life. Their expectation of a glorious condition of the Church in the end, is based on passages which contain a figurative description, either of the gospel dispensation as a whole, or of the perfect bliss of the external Kingdom of Jesus Christ.
b. The related idea, that the present age will not end in a great cataclysmic change, but will pass almost imperceptibly into the coming age, is equally un-Scriptural. The Bible teaches us very explicitly that a catastrophe, a special intervention of God, will bring the rule of Satan on earth to an end, and will usher in the Kingdom that cannot be shaken, Matt. 24:29–31, 35–44; Heb. 12:26, 27; 2 Pet. 3:10–13. There will be a crisis, a change so great that it can be called “the regeneration,” Matt. 19:28. No more than believers are progressively sanctified in this life until they are practically ready to pass, without much more change, into heaven, will the world gradually be purified and thus made ready to enter upon the next stage. Just as believers must still undergo a great change at death, so must the world suffer a tremendous change when the end comes. There will be a new heaven and a new earth, Rev. 21:1.
Louis Berkhof | Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1942), 718
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