The Foolishness of Amillennialism
Updated: Aug 8
First, let's define amillennialism: It is a belief "that 'the millennium'—a spiritual kingdom characterized by Christ’s reign— actually began with Christ’s resurrection and will continue to expand in both the church and in heaven until Christ’s return. Because they do not expect a literal millennium on the earth, they are called amillennialists (literally, 'no-millennialists'). - T. Weber
Revelation 20:1-3 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
Amillennialism is kind of like atheism in that it takes a clear truth (there will be a 1,000 reign of Christ, and God exists, respectively), and then they base their theology or philosophy as being contrary to that clear truth. So right away this view should raise eyebrows, and it would need ample Biblical support to be a viable position. Such support is not found in Scripture.
Adherents of this eschatological view believe that Satan is currently bound right now in the Abyss, and he has no present influence on the world. No, I'm not making that up. They really believe that. Anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear can observe the powerful influence that old serpent currently has on individuals and our world.
Contrary to amillennialism, the Bible states that "evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived" (2 Tim. 3:13). Things will grow worse in the world as the final end times approach. *See this post for more on that.*
A worsening world heading towards the way things were in the "Days of Noah", is not compatible with the amillennialist view that Jesus is presently ruling and reigning on the earth.
In fact, the Bible states in 2 Corinthians 4:4 that Satan is the "god of this world" presently working to keep people from believing the gospel. 1 Peter 5:8 says that the devil walks around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.
Here's a quick article giving another perspective on this particular folly of amillennialism: https://www.alankurschner.com/2021/08/10/a-contradiction-in-amillennial-theology-on-the-binding-of-satan/
When your theology requires convoluted explanations to work around clear Bible verses teaching contrary to that theology, that's a pretty solid sign you're headed down a wrong path.
The following quote gives a very quick historical overview of the primary millennialist views:
"Although representatives of all three millennial perspectives may be found in almost every era of church history, premillennialism appears to have commanded a majority of proponents in the first four centuries, amillennialism dominated from the time of Augustine’s major writings in the fifth century onward, and postmillennialism found its greatest support in the modern missionary movements of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The nineteenth century also saw the development of a new form of premillennialism with the founding of the Plymouth Brethren denomination in Great Britain and Ireland by J. Nelson Darby. To distinguish this branch of premillennialism from its predecessor, scholars today speak of the newer development as dispensational premillennialism and the older form as historic or classic premillennialism." - Blomberg / Chung
So Augustine, who introduced such heresies as divine determinism (the predestination doctrine of his pagan roots), also introduced amillennialism which has its roots in Gnosticism. Like the ministry Compelling Truth states, "This point of view, and the scholars who originated it, is informed more by Greek philosophy than biblical truth. The popular view of Gnosticism taught that the physical was corrupted, and only the spiritual was capable of good. It was a short slide to then believe that the perfect Son of God could not rule over a physical kingdom, so His reign must be over the immaterial hearts and souls of mankind."
Furthermore, amillennialists do not see any Biblical significance with the nation of Israel being restored in 1948. It would quite a miracle if the nation of Israel was scattered in 70 a.d. and then regathered to that same location almost 1900 years later, by mere coincidence and chance. No, God certainly and obviously had a hand in that.
Tregelles (d. 1875) called Darby's dispensationalism the "height of speculative nonsense," yet he believed in a future restoration of the nation of Israel as taught by Scripture. Concerning eschatology, Tregelles wrote, "We might see attempts of the nations to set the Jews in the Holy Land - this ought to make us look carefully to Jerusalem."
You don't need to accept dispensationalism to recognize that God is not finished with Israel as a nation. I've personally read 3 books in the past couple years by authors that all died well before Israel's restoration in 1948 that predicted that restoration based on Bible prophecy. Church fathers noted this as well.
Edit (8/8/2023): currently reading yet another book that mentions this. Benjamin Wills Newton in 1853 wrote, "One part of the Old Testament Scripture which has been especially neglected is that which speaks of the now approaching hour when, hardened and impenitent, Israel shall be re-gathered to Jerusalem, there to receive the last terrible inflictions from the hand of their God."
Even Adam Clarke (d. 1832) with his occasionally ambiguous position on eschatology said this in commenting on Romans 11:27: "It may not be amiss to subjoin here a collection of those texts in the Old Testament that seem to point out a restoration of the Jewish commonwealth to a higher degree of excellence than it has yet attained. Genesis 17:7-8; Isaiah 2:2-5; Isaiah 19:24, Isaiah 19:25; Isaiah 25:6, etc.; Isaiah 27:6; Isaiah 30:18, Isaiah 30:19, Isaiah 30:26; Isaiah 60:1-22; Isaiah 65:17-25; Jeremiah 31:10-12; Jeremiah 46:27, Jeremiah 46:28; Ezekiel 20:34, Ezekiel 20:40, etc.; Ezekiel 28:25, Ezekiel 28:26; Ezekiel 34:20, etc.; Ezekiel 36:8-16; Ezekiel 37:21-28; Ezekiel 39:25, etc.; Joel 3:1, Joel 3:2, Joel 3:17, Joel 3:20, Joel 3:21; Amos 9:9-15; Obadiah 1:17, Obadiah 1:21; Micah 4:2-7; Micah 7:18-20; Zephaniah 3:19, Zephaniah 3:20."
I've listened to many hours of lectures from Steve Gregg, an amillennialist, and several hours of prominent amillennialist professor G. K. Beale. Some of what they say at first makes sense and is biblically supported such as many prophecies being fulfilled in Jesus. However, in an effort to force-fit all of Scripture into their theological paradigm, they soon begin to twist and distort many passages in the most convoluted mental gymnastics you've ever heard.
This is far from an exhaustive refutation of amillennialism, and there are varying views within this eschatology, but this brief article should suffice to show the foolishness of amillennialism, and that it is far better to simply accept what the Bible plainly says.
Christ is coming back, and He will rule and reign from Jerusalem with a rod of iron for 1,000 years.