Brighton Church of Christ
Dangers In Millennial Theories And Speculations
The "one hope" of the gospel is "the hope of eternal life.”
Postmillennial theories say Christ will return after 1,000 years of a perfect world. Premillennial speculations claim he will return before the start of 1,000 years of a perfect world. The "one hope" of the gospel is "the hope of eternal life” – being with God forever (Eph. 4:4; Tit. 1:2; 3:7). The gospel says nothing about the world becoming perfect, but says it will be wholly "burned up" on "the day of the Lord'" (2 Pet. 3. 9ff). Christ will – repeat – will return (millennialists think we deny his return because we deny he will return for a physical, material, earthly reign). The church or kingdom of Christ is a present reality; he will return to deliver "up the kingdom to God" (1 Cor. 15:24).
One might hold some millennial theory as a private opinion, not treating it as part of the gospel proclamation to be preached in all the world. But more often, real dangers result from entanglement in such speculations.
1. The present realities promised to us and for us by Old Testament prophets are denied. The prophets are not studied to deepen joy and appreciation for present blessings in Christ, but are studied with wonder, confusion, and contrived speculation on when or how the promises may be fulfilled. The Scriptures are twisted and warped.
2. World events take on unwarranted importance. Every war, treaty, or international event quickens the pulse because this "may be it." Especially anytime someone sneezes in Palestine, there is "amazement" and "excitement." This becomes an obsession which alternately thrills and disappoints.
3. Compromise with denominationalism occurs. Brethren become enamored with denominational speakers, papers, books, and organizations with millennial concepts. "Light" is sought from denominationalists.