8. What Effect Has Millennialism on the Christian's Hope?


The churches of Christ Greet You (Romans 16:16)

Millennialism perverts the Biblical doctrine of Christian hope;
for the teaching of a future period of glory, welfare, and dominion of the kingdom of Christ here on this present earth misdirects the blessed hope of the Christians to earthly and temporal things. Of such earthly blessings we have no divine promise; on the contrary, we are told by God in His Holy Word that we must not expect, and hope for earthly joys and pleasures, riches, power, and honor, in this life. As long as this earth remains, the kingdom of God will always be a kingdom under the cross. To every one who desires to follow Him Christ says: "If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me" (Luke 9:23). Therefore Paul says: "We must through much trib­ulation enter into the kingdom of God" (Acts 14:22), and: "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable" (1 Cor. 15:19); that is to say, if we, the church of Christ, expect a glorious time on this earth, we are the most miserable of all men because this hope will not be realized; such hope is in vain.


But the teaching of millennialism implants such a vain hope in the hearts of its adherents and thereby keeps their hearts from awaiting and preparing for the great Day of Judgment. The hope of the millennialists makes the heart secure so that they are likely to deceive them­selves by thinking that, when the Lord will appear to establish the millennium there will be sufficient time yet for true conversion to God. Such men fall into the error of the fool­ish virgins (Matt. 25:1‑13; cf. 1 Thess. 5:3). Let us not forget what the Lord says: "The king­dom of God cometh not with observation.... For as the lightning that lighteneth out of the one part under heaven shineth unto the other part under heaven, so shall also the Son of man be in His day" (Luke 17:20‑24). This "glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ" is "that blessed hope" to which God directs the hearts of His children (Titus 2:13; cf. Col. 3:1‑4; 2 Thess. 1:7‑10); and this hope will be realized on the glorious Day of the Lord.


All the Divine promises of future welfare and happiness (Rev. 21:1‑4); of rest, (Heb. 4:9‑11; Rev. 14:13); of reward (Matt. 5:3, 12); and of glorification (Psa. 17:15; 1 John 3:2; Phil. 3:20-21), speak of Heaven, but verily not of this present world. Millennialism is nothing but a delusion of Satan, perverting the clear sayings of God, diverting the heart of the Christians from their blessed hope and directing it to earthly glory, and making them blind to the signs of the times (cf. Matthew 16:2-3). The remaining carnal­ minded nature in the heart of a believer is too much inclined to listen to such delusion and to grasp and be content with temporal and earthly promises. LOVED ONES, "Let no man beguile you" (Col. 2:18). Our "lively hope" is not earthly blessings, but "an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven," but not to be found on this earth (1 Pet. 1:3-4).


Finally, let us not forget that millennialism had its origin in the Old Testament, among those Jews who misinterpreted the Divine promises of spiritual peace and glory of the Messianic kingdom by taking them for prom­ises of earthly blessings and expecting the kingdom of Christ, the promised Messiah, to be a kingdom of this world. Therefore, when Christ came in humility and poverty they re­jected Him; "there was no beauty that they should desire Him" (Isa. 53:2-3). There­fore the teachings of millennialism should be rejected as "Jewish fables" and a dangerous caricature of the true Christian hope which God has prom­ised us in His Holy Word.


May the gracious God guard us against all such delusions and keep us sober and watchful for the Great Day of our Lord Jesus Christ!

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