There seems to be a lot of clamor over the postmillennial position from evangelical believers and especially many Calvinists. I want to write a few basic beliefs of postmillennialists, comparing them with Scripture and seeing if the acrimony is called for or it is simply a symptom of our day and age. In short, postmillennialism simply teaches that the gospel of Jesus Christ will be victorious over the devices of Satan and his horde, conquering all enemies throughout history and placing them under the feet of Christ.
Let us see with a few Scripture references if this is the case.
The resurrected Lord commands his disciples to preach the gospel to all nations because he has been given all authority in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18-20) and has been made the head over all things (Ephesians 1:22). He is the ruler over the kings of the earth (Revelation 1:5) and is currently placing all his enemies under his feet (1 Corinthians 15:25) the last enemy being death itself (1 Corinthians 15:26). The Father has given Jesus the nations as his inheritance (Psalm 2:8), and thus all nations will bow to him and serve him (Psalm 72:11). As a result of his perfect sinless life and his suffering on the cross, every knee will bow to him and serve him (Philippians 2:10). His kingdom knows no end and he will reign forever and ever (Revelation 11:15). His kingdom is likened to the mustard seed which grows to be the biggest tree in the garden where birds (nations) are to find their rest (Matthew 13:31-32). Similarly his kingdom is the stone which crushed all the other kingdoms of men and is becoming a mountain filling the whole earth (Daniel 2:35).
Let the reader assess for himself whether the doctrine is Scriptural or not.
James Willson writes, “Prophecy speaks in the plainest terms, and manifestly expresses the divine approval of that which it foretells. “The kings of Tarshish and of the isles, shall bring presents: the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts,” Ps. 72:10. “Kings shall be thy nursing fathers and their queens thy nursing mothers,” Is. 49:23. The preceding verse fixes both the person referred to in this prophecy, and its application to New Testament times. The sixtieth chapter of Isaiah abounds with similar prophecies. The language of the sixteenth verse is very explicit, “thou shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles, and shalt suck the breasts of kings.” Under these figurative expressions it is intimated, that when the nations are brought to submit to the sceptre of Christ, their allegiance will be manifested by efforts to aid the church in promoting the great designs of the Redeemer’s mission. Happy, indeed, will such nations be, while “the nation and kingdom that will not serve Christ and the church shall perish.” -Christ’s Dominion Over The Nations, Chapter 3
John Calvin commenting on Psalm 2 writes, “…without a doubt he is speaking of the kingdom of our Lord Jesus. He admonishes all kings and authorities to be wise and to take heed to themselves. What is this wisdom? What is the lesson He gives them? To abdicate it all? Hardly! But to fear God and give homage to His Son…Furthermore, Isaiah prophesies that the kings will become the foster fathers of the Christian church and that queens will nurse it with their breasts (Isa. 49:23). I beg of you, how do you reconcile the fact that kings will be protectors of the Christian Church if their vocation is inconsistent with Christianity?” -Treatises Against the Anabaptists and Libertines, p. 79
The postmillennial and bright eschatological victorious hope of the gospel and the impact it has on our lives is at the very least admirable and at most it stands statuesque and resplendent! Unbelievers tremble, quake and flutter, believers rejoice, worship and obey!
Hypothetically (for now, yet Scripurally throughout the millennium) speaking, if there was a massive revival in all the world, and in this example limited to America, and if people are regenerated by God’s monergistic grace, through faith in Jesus Christ’s saving work, by the operation of the Holy Spirit, will this result in external visible change? Will their political positions change, or the lives of their families? How about business dealings or church membership? Will it, in short, affect their present earthly life? These are important questions just to think about…
Of course Christ’s kingdom is not of this world, but it does affect this world. His kingdom didn’t originate in this world neither does it find its power therein. His kingdom is transcendent in origin but imminent in consequence. It doesn’t use the sword in hand (like Islam) but the sword in mouth (i.e the gospel) to convert and disciple.
Gary North very applicably writes, “why shouldn’t personal self discipline, honest business dealings, insight into the true nature of man, thrift, future orientation, gifts from God, access to the Bible, regular preaching, regular tithing, six days of labor, respect [honor] for the Sabbath, covenantal marriages, and experience in bringing up large households result in economic growth, intellectual growth and covenantal responsibility and dominion? Get an answer soon”
There’s nothing really to add to that quote.