Impact of Eschatology on other doctrines

What is the impact of a person’s Eschatological Position on their positions on other areas of doctrine? Are we sometimes talking past each other because we hold to a view that puts The Church in a different Biblical Age. That is some think we are in The Millennium and others think The Millennium has not occurred yet.

I am currently in a discussion with a brother in Christ on the subject of Age of Innocence and Original Sin vs Ancestral Sin. (These subjects have been discussed on this site before.) In the middle of the discussion I realized that I hold to a Premillennial Position and my discussion partner holds to an Amillennial Position. More than that Augustine of Hippo held to a Post-Millennial Position when he developed the Doctrine of Original Sin. I then began to wonder if the difference in Eschatological positions has the consequence of The Reformed Movement having many different perspectives on Theology from those holding to more traditional theology.
Thus the question are We simply talking past each other because we feel that The Church is in a different age?

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@dan0647 I am very keen to interact with you on this point as I am currently studying The Book of Revelation. Before I share my thoughts can you tell me if I have this right?

Amillennial = We are now in the millenium
Post-Millenial = Jesus will return after the millenium or is it that the millenium has past?
Pre-Millenial = We are now in an age that is before the milenium

I think Post-Millenial is where I am most confused at the moment. I very much apprreciate you knowledge in this area :handshake:

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Postmillennialism says that Jesus will return after the Millennium of peace. I think human history has effectively demonstrated that this would mean “never”!

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The primary event of Eschatology is the discussion of when Jesus will return. Everyone agrees that Jesus has not returned yet. There are 2 major positions on Eschatology.

  1. Premillennialism: This hold that Jesus will return before the Millennium begins.
  2. Postmillennialism: This position holds that Jesus will return after The Millennium is over. There are those that believe The Millennium has not begun and those that believe it has begun.

There are many subsets to both positions. One position that exists as part of Postmillennialism is Amillennialism.

Amillennialism believes that the millennialism is not a literal 1000 years. The majority of those holding this position believe we are now in The Millennium. Generally those that take this position believe that The Tribulation has already occurred when The Church was severely persecuted in its early days of formation.

Consequently there are 2 major positions on Eschatology in The Church today.

  1. Premillennialism which believes that The Millennium has not yet begun. This group believes that we are still in The Age of The Church as it was founded on Pentecost and operated through the Book of Acts.
  2. Amillennialism which believes that The Millennium has begun. Historically there has been discussion on what The Church looks like during The Millennium and The Churches purpose.

One major difference between Premillennialists and Amillennialists is on the Purpose of The Church. Most Amillennialists hold that a major purpose of The Church is to bring The Kingdom of Christ into being. Premillennialists do not believe this as they believe that Jesus will establish The Kingdom of Christ when He returns before The Millennium. The Premillennialists tend to minimize evangelism as a role of The Church during The Millennium while The Amillennialists hold this a major focus.

My question is do the differences of opinion between the two groups result is disagreements about theology due to a lack of understanding of the view point of each group?

As an example: The Premillennialist believes that the 2 highest callings of The Church is Evangelism and Discipleship and this is brought about by the Power of The Holy Spirit. The Amillennialists generally believes this also BUT believes that The Church has a higher calling of bringing Christ’s Kingdom into being which in turn fulfills the calling of The Church to Evangelize and Disciple.

I believe it would help if both sides of the issue fully understood the perspective of the other side. This is particularly true when dealing with focus of the Local Church. It should be remembered that there is a general attempt to merge the various views coming out of both positions which is a lot like trying to mix oil and water. The result is an emulsification of views rather than a harmonious blending.
Dan

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I’m curious about where this idea came from, and I’m not sure I understand given the way it’s written and the rest of the content of the post. Are you saying Premillenialists minimize evangelism UNTIL it is the Millennium? Or DURING the Millenium it is minimized? Also, is this your opinion or do you have a source or something or someone that influenced this view?

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A clarifying question to this @dan0647. Christ is coming back for judgement though. What does it mean to say he returns to establish his kingdom. Sure, he will separate the goat and the sheep and then life will be as it was intended to be in the first place before the fall. Jesus came the first time to let us know but his word will be judging us when we come back. :man_shrugging:

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Thank you very much. I understand now :handshake:

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My father likes to joke that he is a Panmillennialist–it will all pan out in the end. He has a point. Sometimes we can be too focused on the rightness or wrongness of each other’s eschatology. I believe that, yes,

Whence come these misunderstandings? I believe that nurture heavily influences them. I attended a Premillennialist youth group and college. My teachers “taught” Amillenialist and Postmillenialist principles, but always with an unfavorable slant. I see a lot of each in the Bible as I walk through life, though. Jesus calls us to live as citizens of Heaven now. John wrote Revelation to churches that existed when he wrote. There is a lot going for Amilliannialism and Postmillennialism in our age. I seek to evangelize at every opportunity even though I am a Premillennialist. Heaven and Hell are waging war as I write this. So Premillennialism does not explain everything.

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@brianlalor
Sorry I’ve taken so long to get back to you. Busy day with doctors.
There are 2 basic positions Pre-Millennial and Post-Millennial.

Post-Millennialists hold the position that Jesus will return after the end of the Millennium described in Revelation 20. Amillennialists are a subset of this group. They hold the same thing, but they believe that we are now in The Millennium which they do not consider to be a literal 1000 years.

Pre-Millennialists Jesus will return before The Millennium begins. The are 2 basic positions of this position. There is the pre-tribulation rapture position and the post-tribulation rapture position. (Also there is a mid-tribulation position as well).

Both Pre-Millennialists and Amillennialists agree that Jesus has not returned yet.

I go further in another response
Dan

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Hopefully I clarified for @brianlalor the basic differences in the positions. Now lets look at a little more detail in the different view of The Millennium by Pre-Millennialists and Amillennialists.

The Pre-Millennialists generally hold that before The Millennium begins that Jesus will return (either pre-tribulation or post-tribulation) At that time several things will happen:

  1. Jesus returns to physically rule on earth for 1000 years.
  2. The Church Age is over as the majority of The Church has been raptured. All that remains are those who were not raptured. Of these there are those who will come to Christ and those who will not after the rapture.
  3. Those that were martyred for The Lord during the Tribulation now rise from the dead. This is the first resurrection. These persons will rule on the earth throughout The Millennium.
  4. Jesus binds Satan to remove Satan’s influence from all living in The Millennium until the end of The Millennium.
  5. One of the aspects of this is that there is direct rule by Jesus and the risen martyrs at this time. Those who do not come to Jesus by this time are given full opportunity to do so as they are no longer being lied to by Satan and the evidence that Jesus is both God and Lord is fully evident. Evangelism as we know it in the world today is not done.
  6. At the end of The Millennium Satan is released and his followers meet the followers of God in the Battle of Armageddon. Jesus wins and Satan then thrown into the pit of hell forever.
  7. The second resurrection occurs when all who have ever lived now rise from the dead. The entirety of humanity from the beginning face the final judgement.
  8. When all this is finished the New Earth and the New Heaven are formed along with The City of God described in Revelation 21 & 22.

The Amillennialists believe that the following events have occurred or are occurring.

  1. The Tribulation has already occurred. Most believe that it occurred during the great persecutions of the 1st Century.
  2. The Tribulation being over the Millennium has begun. Most think that this occurred during the 4th Century.
  3. Jesus is ruling all the earth from heaven. Satan has been limited in his powers but still has power to deceive.
  4. The Church is to win the world to Jesus through evangelism but also through the establishment of Church Authority over morality. (Many believe that The Church will eventually establish a theocracy on all the earth.)
  5. The Millennium is not a literal 1000 years but will last until The Church has accomplished the goal of bringing the world to Jesus. Generally the Amillennialist position holds that The Church Age continues through The Millennium.
  6. Jesus will return when this is accomplished and at that time the rapture will occur. Additionally there will be a rising from the dead of all humanity for the final Judgement
  7. The New Earth and The New Heaven will be formed along with the City of God as found in Revelation 21 & 22.

I am not an Amillennialist so please forgive me if there are some errors in the description, but I fairly sure I got the high points correct. I will say here that there are some very learned Bible Scholars and Theologians on both sides. They both explain their position and Biblical support for it very well (much better than I do) The point is that I also see these same great Christians having disagreements on what the goal of the Church should be.

So what is the pragmatic difference in the 2 positions. One is in the area of Evangelism. The Pre-Millennialist believes that we are not in The Millennium and the principal callings of the Church is to Evangelize the world and to Disciple Believers to prepare for the 2nd Coming of Jesus and The Millennium. The Amillennialist holds something similar in that the Church is to Evangelize and Disciple but this is to establish The Reign of Christ on Earth during The Millennium as a prelude to the 2nd Coming.

The consequence is that both sides use the same language and subscribe to the same day-to-day goals of Evangelism and Discipleship. BUT the purpose is different. My experience is that those holding to Amillennialism are focused on the Sovereignty of God and His Judgement of Man’s sin, while the Pre-Millennialist is focused on Atonement of Man and the healing of Man from his sin. As an example one famous radio personality holding to Amillennialism openly teaches that only a few will be saved in the current age perhaps less than 10%. While another who is Pre-Millennial openly teaches that God will bring about the salvation of many and that we will be surprised by who we meet in heaven. (personally I hold that it will be similar to the revelation about angels in Revelation, that is about 2/3 will be saved)

All this said if I could answer the question that I asked I would not have asked it. I am seeking a way to explain the diversity of views of so many who are well versed in Scripture.

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