It is tragic that most of the major denominations - Roman Catholic and Protestant - embrace an eschatology ("study of last things") that is amillennial: a view that does not envision a literal rule of Christ on the Throne of David on the Planet Earth.
While there are many different, yet defendable, views regarding many aspects of end-time prophecies, this basic divergence - denying a literal Millennium - is particularly dangerous in that it would appear to be an attack on the very character of God! It does violence to His numerous and explicit promises and commitments that pervade both the Old and New Testaments.
The Old Testament is replete with commitments for a literal Messiah ultimately ruling the world through
There are at least 318 references in 216 chapters of the New Testament and 23 of its 27 books give prominence to the event. The early church looked longingly for His promised return as their "Blessed Hope" to rid their desperate world of its evil rulers. How and where did this skepticism known as "Amillennialism" begin?
Pious, popular, and persuasive, Origen stands out as one of the great figures of the 3rd century church. Even at the age of 18, he stood out spectacularly well as a teacher in
Augustine, the Bishop of Hippo (A.D. 354-430), was one of the most influential leaders of the Western church, living during the turbulent days of the disintegration of the
Although his writings effectively defeated a number of heresies emerging in those turbulent times, the allegorizing influences of Origen left an amillennial eschatology in their wake. As the Church had increasingly become an instrument of the state, it wasn't politically expedient to look toward a literal return of Christ to rid the world of its evil rulers! The allegorical reposturing of those passages was more "politically correct."
The Reformation Shortfall
A thousand years later, under the influences of Martin Luther and others, the Reformation brought an intensive return to the authority of the Scriptures which, in turn, resulted in the subsequent reform in soteriology (the study of salvation) with its emphasis on salvation by faith alone. Many were willingly burned at the stake for their commitment to a Biblical perspective. However, one of the unfortunate shortcomings of the Reformation was that it failed to also re-examine the eschatology of the
Reality of the Millennium
For anyone who takes the Bible seriously, the numerous explicit commitments of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that the Messiah would literally rule from