3. Is The Return of Christ Premillennial?
Article contributed by www.walvoord.com
Prophecy a Biblical Study
Those who have studied prophecy as a whole will realize that the subject of the premillennial return of Christ is much too vast to complete in one chapter. It is possible, however, to give a summary of the essential facts of this tremendous doctrine.
Some today are saying that it does not make much difference what we believe about the coming of the Lord and that the emphasis on the premillennial return of Christ is a misguided effort. They urge that we concentrate on inspiring Christians to win others to know Christ as Savior, and to experience a deeper spiritual life; that we emphasize present spiritual issues and let the future take care of itself.
All thinking Christians will agree that it is possible to put too much time on any one phase of truth, including the prophetic word. A few may be guilty of studying prophecy without facing the challenge of living for Christ and bearing a real testimony for Him. The Word of God itself, however, gives us teaching on the proper place of prophetic study. While it places a great emphasis on the gospel and on living for Christ in the present, it also contains much about the future. Certainly God knew what He was doing when He guided the men who penned the Scriptures to write about prophecy. So in studying the subject of the coming of the Lord, we are simply doing that which the Scriptures do. The study of the premillennial return of Christ will help one to see the significance of many present world events, as well as something of the prospects that are before the Christian.
Not all students of Scripture agree on the exact place of the return of the Lord in the prophetic program. In general there are three different answers given, regarding the time of the coming of Christ. These are commonly described as the postmillennial, amillennial, and premillennial views. If the teaching involved in these terms is understood, it will enable one to understand some of the reasons why there is such confusion in much of the Biblical teaching of our day. Only one of these three ways is in agreement with the Scriptures. Anyone who wants to study the Bible and be instructed must face the issues and come to a conclusion about it.
Postmillennial Theory of The Lord’s Return
First of all, what do we mean by the postmillennial return of Christ? About three hundred years ago there was a man by the name of Daniel Whitby who was a Unitarian and something of a heretic. In fact, his writings on the Trinity were publicly burned by the Church of England. He introduced a relatively new idea in prophetic teaching, that the gospel would be preached throughout the world with such increasing success that eventually the whole world would be Christianized, and that everyone would come in one sense or another to the knowledge of Christ. He thought that by means of preaching the gospel a Christian civilization would be realized throughout the world which would reach the level of universal peace and righteousness predicted by the prophets. He anticipated this time of peace and righteousness and blessing under the gospel would go on for a thousand years or a millennium of time (the word millennium means a thousand years). At the conclusion of that period, it was Whitby’s belief that Christ would come back and hence His return would be postmillennial, or after the millennium.
This view became very popular in spite of the fact that it was introduced by a heretic. It was adopted by many orthodox people, and became the predominant concept about fifty years ago concerning Christ’s return. When World War I started, however, people began to ask whether the gospel ever would conquer the whole world, and whether the world after all was getting better and better.
Postmillennialism Now Discarded
From a practical standpoint, the beginning of World War II destroyed the hope that the world would get better and better and eventually become Christianized.
For the most part, postmillennialism is a discarded theory today. The postmillennial interpretation of the Bible is not according to either the Bible or history. There is no evidence that the world is moving toward a universal acclaim of the Lord Jesus Christ. For all practical purposes, this view may be dismissed.
The Amillennial View
This leaves the two remaining views to be considered—amillennialism and premillennialism. Just what is meant by amillennialism? The letter a is a prefix added to indicate negative meaning. Amillennialism is a term that is given to the non-millennial view and properly represents the concept of those who deny that there ever will be a millennium or a thousand-year reign of Christ on the earth. It has quite a history which cannot be considered here. It was popularized by a Roman Catholic father by the name of Augustine who lived in the fourth and fifth centuries. He believed that the only millennium there ever would be was the millennium in which he was living. This began the popular belief that the millennium is this present age, between the first and second comings of Christ. Augustine, however, saw so much sin, paganism, unbelief, and opposition to God that he had to admit that there was not any universal peace or righteousness on the earth in his day. It certainly was obvious to anyone that the millennial conditions pictured in the Bible were not being fulfilled in any realistic sense. So Augustine spiritualized the prophecies dealing with the millennium and in effect did away with a literal fulfillment of them. That is why this view is known as the amillennial or nonmillennial position. According to this method of interpreting prophecy, when Christ comes back He will not introduce a millennium but, instead, will usher in the eternal state at once. If this view were true, there would be no thousand-year reign of Christ on the earth after His second coming.
The Premillennial View
Opposed to this denial of the millennium is the premillennial view, which was the belief of the early church from the first century. This belief concerning the prophetic Scriptures has been commonly taught for many years in Bible conferences and held by many Bible teachers and Christian institutions. The premillennial position is, in a word, that Christ is coming back to the world before the establishment of the millennial kingdom. Many believe that Christ is coming back to take the church to heaven first. This will be followed by a time of great trouble in the world while the church is in heaven with the Lord. After this time of trouble, Christ will return to the earth with the church to establish His millennial kingdom. From the standpoint of the premillennial return, it means simply that when Christ comes back to establish His kingdom He will bring this world to a place of peace and righteousness by His power and presence. He will rule for a thousand years, and there will be the fulfillment of the promised kingdom on the earth of which Christ will be King. As absolute ruler, He will punish sin as He acts in perfect righteousness. There will be no open sin permitted and the whole world will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord. In other words, the idea of a premillennial return of Christ pictures Christ coming back first and after that the millennial age, the kingdom on earth, will follow, lasting for a thousand years.
Is the Millennial Age Present or Future?
These three millennial views are quite different, and only one of them can be right. If one dismisses the postmillennial idea that a millennium will come through preaching the gospel, it leaves the question of choosing between amillennialism and premillennialism—whether the present age fulfills the millennium, as the amillennial view holds, or whether the millennium will be fulfilled in the future after Christ returns, as premillenarians believe. A study of the Scripture will present the fact that this present age is not a fulfillment of the promised kingdom. We are not in the millennium today in any real sense of the word. Therefore, if we believe the Bible to be the Word of God and interpret it in its ordinary literal sense, we must look forward to a future time when Christ Himself will bring the kingdom to pass after He returns.
The Promise of a New Covenant for Israel
The Scriptures abound in promises that God gave to the nation Israel concerning the future kingdom. In Jeremiah 31:31-34 there is a prophecy of a new covenant that God will make with Israel. It will be in contrast to the covenant that He made through Moses to the children of Israel in Egypt. It is defined in these words:
“But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more” (Jer. 31:33-34).
This passage predicts that there will be a future period in Israel’s history when the knowledge of the Lord will be so universal that one will not have to be a missionary to his neighbor. It will not be necessary to distribute gospel tracts or to do any of the things that concern the extension of the gospel to the heathen. The Scripture prophesies that everyone will know the truth about the Lord in that day. They will know that He is the Son of God and the Messiah and the King of kings.
The Scriptures clearly predict that this will be true. Is it true today? It certainly is not true. One could canvass the situation in the very block in which he lives and find that there are many people who do not know anything about the Lord. There are those who do not know the difference between the Old and the New Testament. There is colossal ignorance concerning the Lord today. In that day, however, everyone will know the Lord for He will be the King of the whole earth.
The Promise of Israel’s Continuance as a Nation
The nation Israel is given additional promises in verses 35-37 which continue the passage just quoted:
“Thus saith the Lord, which givcth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The Lord of hosts is his name: if those ordinances depart from before me, saith the Lord, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever. Thus saith the Lord; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the Lord” (Jer. 31:35-37).
What does this passage teach? It teaches that Israel as a nation will continue as long as the sun and moon endure. God declares that it is just as impossible for the nation of Israel to be cast off forever as it is to measure the heavens or to search out the foundations of the earth. God has made this fact very clear. Every time one sees the sun or the moon, there is a reminder that God has a plan and a program for Israel. That plan and program are not being fulfilled in the present age. The plan does not have its fulfillment in the nation Israel today. It is true that Israel has a political state once again in Palestine, but the nation Israel is still scattered all over the world. The Scriptures predict that there is coming a time when God will deal with the nation Israel once again. This promise will be fulfilled in the coming millennial reign of Christ which will follow His return to the earth. The Scriptures, then, give very definitely some promises to Israel, which are not fulfilled now, but which will be fulfilled when Christ comes back and establishes His kingdom.
The Promised Land Israel’s Everlasting Possession
In the fifteenth chapter of Genesis there is a further word of God’s purpose for Israel. This promise was given to Abraham concerning Israel’s possession of the land. In Genesis 15:18-21 a description is given of the land God promised Israel through Abraham: “In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates.” The passage continues by describing the people who live in this tremendous area of land. A further word about this is found in the seventeenth chapter of Genesis. In Genesis 17:7-8 God promises Abraham:
“And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”
It is clear from these prophecies that God has made a very definite promise.
If one studies the geography that is back of the promise in Genesis 15, it will be found to comprehend the tremendous reach of land all the way from Egypt to the river Euphrates, which is hundreds of miles to the east. Special emphasis is given the phrase, the land of Canaan, in Genesis 17 where it is used in the wide sense of all the land of Palestine. Never in Israel’s balmiest days did Israel possess all this land. They came close to it in the time of Solomon when much of it was put under tribute. God promised not only that He would give this land to the people of Israel, but He promised that they would possess it forever. It is perfectly obvious that the children of Israel do not possess this land today. Until they do there cannot possibly be fulfillment of the Scripture that pertains to the millennial kingdom reign of Christ.
Today Jerusalem itself is divided into two sections. Israel owns one section of it and the other section of it does not belong to Israel. Their land is divided. This again is the fulfillment of prophecy which predicted that Jerusalem Would be trodden under the feet of Gentiles throughout this age. The Bible provides very definite prediction not only that Israel will continue forever as a nation, but that Israel will possess the land in its tremendous area as long as this earth continues. All of this has never been fulfilled in the past. It is not being fulfilled today. It awaits Christ’s premillennial return for its fulfillment.
Israel’s Promised Kingdom
The Scriptures also reveal much about the character of this kingdom. In 2 Samuel 7 God gave some remarkable promises to David. David had asked about building a temple, and God had told him that his son was going to build it. In connection with this prophecy, He gave the assurance that his seed and his throne and his kingdom would continue forever. In 2 Samuel 7:16 God said to David, “Thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.” It is quite obvious today that David is not ruling the people of Israel. There is no throne of David as far as any present fulfillment is concerned. In other words, the present age does not fulfill this promise given to David.
When Christ comes back, who is the Son of David and in the line of David as brought out clearly in the genealogy of the Gospel of Matthew, He Himself will fulfill this promise. He will reign on the throne of David over an earthly, political kingdom. He will reign not only over the house of Israel and over the land of Palestine, but we learn from other Scripture that it will extend to the entire world. But that is not true today. There is no throne of David in the earth from which Christ is reigning. If there is going to be any realistic fulfillment, it awaits the return of Christ in glory to reign over the world.
The Coming Messiah
That this prophecy concerns Christ is quite clear from Isaiah 9:6-7, a great Messianic passage which Christ will fulfill:
“Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”
In other words, the Old Testament very directly promised that the coming Messiah would be the One who would reign upon the throne of David and fulfill the promise of a kingdom that would never end.
The Character of the Kingdom
In passing, a few Scriptures should be considered that tell what the character of this kingdom reign will be. In Isaiah 11 there is a clear picture of the reign of Christ in the kingdom. Christ will come as a rod out of the stem of Jesse. In other words, He will be a descendant of David, who is in turn the son of Jesse. In verse 2 it is declared that the Spirit of the Lord will be upon Him. In verses 3-5 the character of His reign is given: “He shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: but with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall be slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.” A kingdom reign of absolute righteousness and justice is predicted.
In the present world, even in the best of countries, how much injustice and inequity there is! How many portions of the world have no real justice in our present day! When Christ comes back, there will be universal justice, the poor will be protected, the downtrodden will be cared for, and Christ Himself will reign with “a rod of iron” that speaks of absolute rule and authority, putting down every form of opposition.
Further, in this eleventh chapter of Isaiah there is a description of how the curse will be lifted. The wolf will “dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fading together; and a little child shall lead them.” As it has often been expressed, the only way a wolf and a lamb lie down together in our present age is when the lamb is inside the wolf. But in that future age they will lie down side by side. They are not going to be enemies any more; they will be delivered from all this. There will be peace even in the natural world.
In Isaiah 11:9 the passage continues: “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” What a contrast there is in this verse of Scripture! In our present age just a few here and there know the truth, and are really saved by faith in Christ. In that day the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. The knowledge of the Lord will be complete and abundant. Everyone will know about Christ for He will be his ruler. His glory will be manifest at the second coming in heaven. Everyone will know that Christ has returned because He is the author, the one responsible for the drastic change that will have taken place in the world order at that time.
There are many other Scriptures which could be considered. For instance, Psalm 72 pictures again how the kingdom will reach the whole world, how there will be peace and righteousness and joy, material prosperity, and all the other blessings that Christ will bring to the world for both Jew and Gentile believers of that day. Another great section is Isaiah 60-66. In the interest of brevity, however, the passages in the New Testament bearing on this subject will be considered next.
The Kingdom in the Gospels
It is commonly asserted that, while the Old Testament teaches that Christ will return to establish a kingdom on the earth, the New Testament contradicts this and teaches the opposite. It is contended that we must accept the New Testament’s interpretation of the Old Testament. This is defined by those who advance this concept as the idea of a spiritual kingdom in which Christ reigns from heaven, such as we have in the world today. This takes the place of a literal fulfillment of these Old Testament promises, they say.
What does the New Testament teach concerning a literal kingdom of Christ on earth? Does it teach that Israel’s hope is now forgotten, that there is not going to be any earthly kingdom, that the Son of David will not reign upon the throne of David?
In the first chapter of Luke the record is found concerning Mary and the announcement to her by the angel that she is to be the mother of the Messiah. This was a very dramatic pronouncement:
“Behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end” (Luke 1:31-33).
This prediction is precisely what was revealed in the Old Testament. If anything, this promise is clearer. Here it is obvious that the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Virgin Mary, will reign forever over the house of Israel. This Scripture would indicate that the New Testament confirms exactly what the Old Testament taught on this subject.
There is a further confirmation o£ it later. In Matthew 20:20-23 there is the record of what happened when the mother of James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Christ and asked that her two sons might sit upon His left hand and His right hand in His kingdom. In other words, this mother had the fond idea, when Christ reigned in the millennium, that her two sons would sit on either side of Him. Mary, the mother of James and John, was ambitious for her sons. Mothers usually think their children are wonderful and deserving of the best. Mary thought if two were to be selected, who could be more worthy than James and John? It is perfectly evident that she was looking forward to a literal fulfillment of the kingdom promises such as were given in the Old Testament. That was her understanding of it, just as it was generally of all the Jews in the first century. If there were going to be no kingdom on earth, this would be an opportune time for Christ to tell Mary so. But what does He tell her? He says to her: “To sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father” (Matt. 20:23). It is quite clear that while the kingdom is regarded as coming, the place of honor will be given to someone else.
In Luke 22:29-30, the night before the crucifixion of Christ, He said to His disciples: “I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; that ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” This dramatic statement was made, as pointed out, only the night before Christ was crucified, at the end of His earthly life. What is He teaching? He is still teaching that an earthly kingdom is coming and that the apostles will be judges of the twelve tribes of Israel in His kingdom. As one moves on through the Gospels, it is discovered that instead of contradiction we have confirmation that when Christ brings in His kingdom these things will be literally fulfilled.
Confirmation of the Kingdom in Acts
Further confirmation is found in the first chapter of Acts of the literal fulfillment of the kingdom promises. The death of Christ is already past. He has been raised from the dead and has been with His disciples some forty days. As the moment of His ascension into heaven drew near, the disciples were somewhat confused. They still did not understand much that we know with a completed New Testament. They did not comprehend that there would be a time interval between the first coming of Christ and His second coming, during which this present age should take its form and be fulfilled. They did not understand that the kingdom would follow the second coming instead of the first coming of Christ, but they still believed it was coming. And so they brought their question to Christ: “When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6). Please note that there was no question about the kingdom being restored. The question they raised was when was He going to restore the kingdom to Israel? If there were not going to be any fulfillment, Christ would certainly have cleared up the whole matter by saying: “The kingdom promises will not be fulfilled. I have a different program to offer you now.” But He did not say that. That was not what He had been teaching them. He had taught them that the kingdom was coming. In reply, in verse 7, “He said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.” In other words, He informs the disciples that He cannot tell them the time. It is nowhere stated in the Word of God how long this present age will be. For this reason, Christ could not tell them when the second coming would take place, and when the kingdom would follow. He told them, “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons.” In other words, He was not able to give the direct answer to their question. Accordingly, in the verses which follow, He directed their thoughts to their present task. Their commission was not to bring in the kingdom or to establish the era of righteousness on earth. They were left in the world to be witnesses in what we call the interadvent period, or the period between the first and second comings of Christ. In this period they were to go forth in the power of the Spirit and to be witnesses, beginning at Jerusalem, and Judaea and Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the world. That is our present task, too. Our responsibility is not bringing in the kingdom, but to be witnesses to the end of the earth. When Christ comes back, He will establish His kingdom and fulfill the promises.
There are many other New Testament passages which could be studied along this line; for instance, Romans 11, particularly beginning in verse 25 where there is the prediction of Israel’s blindness being lifted. Israel is in blindness or hardening today, but that blindness will be lifted, Christ will come back, and the Deliverer will come out of Zion. All Israel, that is, Israel as a nation, will be delivered from their persecutors and will be brought into the place where they can enter the millennium kingdom.
Confirmation of the Kingdom in Revelation 20
The twentieth chapter of Revelation brings to conclusion the New Testament teaching on the fulfillment of the kingdom promises. The Old Testament and the New Testament consistently reveal that when Christ comes back He will reign upon the earth, but only here is the length of that reign specified. Six times in Revelation 20 the length of His reign is declared to be a thousand years. Satan will be bound a thousand years. The rest of the dead will not live again until the thousand years are finished. The wicked dead will not be raised until the end of the millennium in contrast to the resurrected saints who will reign with the Lord for a thousand years.
This chapter also makes plain that when the conclusion of the millennium comes Satan will be loosed again for a season. The judgment of God falls upon Satan at that time and those who turned to him in that climactic hour will share his fate. The present earth and the present heaven will be destroyed and a new heaven and a new earth will be created. The saints will continue in the new earth and the new heaven. The church may have its primary place in the new heaven and the Old Testament saints and Israel particularly in the new earth, though the Scriptures are not explicit on this point.
Does the Bible Teach That the Present Age Is the Prophesied Millennium?
From this brief study, it is apparent that the Word of God does not teach that we are in the millennium now. Neither does it teach that the millennial reign of Christ will be brought about through preaching the gospel. Instead, it makes very evident the fact that the kingdom reign of Christ will come because of His return to this world when every eye will see Him. Everyone will be able to see His glory, and know His power. The knowledge of the Lord will reach over the whole world and His government will be from sea to sea. In the Scriptures there is the constant reminder that the hope for this world in all its chaotic condition today, and with all its hopelessness from a moral standpoint, is the coming of the Lord. Our expectation is that Christ will come back, and that He will deal with this world in judgment, destroying the wicked and establishing the righteous in His kingdom on the earth.
The Importance of the Premillennial Return of Christ
At the beginning of this study the question was raised: What difference does it make whether we believe in the premillennial return of Christ or not? Obviously, only one of the three millennial views that were presented can be right. Each of the views has a different interpretation of a large body of Scripture and a different concept of the present age. Determining which view is right is very important as we study the Word of God because it concerns so many Scriptures as well as so many practical reasons.
Only the premillennial viewpoint makes any real sense of the whole Word of God. The great prophecies given in Scripture concerning Israel, Gentiles, and righteousness and peace on the earth will never be understood unless they are linked with the teaching of the premillennial return of Christ. There are some very practical reasons, however, why this is important.
Only the premillennial return of Christ and the teachings associated with it provide a literal interpretation of Scripture. In other words, if one is free to explain away everything in Scripture by spiritualization if it does not agree with his particular theory, then it is not important what theory is followed. But if one is trying to interpret the Bible literally, trying to take it just the way it is written and to believe what it says, he will be led to a firm belief in the premillennial return of Christ.
There are other reasons why it is very important. The teaching of the Scripture which gives the premillennial return of Christ its proper emphasis is the only viewpoint which shows Israel in its right place. The amillennial view usually contends that there is no further prophecy to be fulfilled concerning Israel. And the postmillennial view sets forth much the same argument. In other words, it is only the premillennial doctrine that gives Israel its right to the fulfillment of its promises in the Word of God.
There are also additional reasons why the premillennial view is important. It was held by the early church. The early church fathers were confessedly those who held to the premillennial return of Christ. In fact, for the most part only heretics opposed premillennialism until Augustine, late in the fourth century and hundreds of years after the apostles. The early church believed Christ would come back to earth before the millennium. While the details of their doctrine are not always clear, the impartial view of most scholars who have studied what the early fathers have written is that they held the premillennial hope of Christ’s return and the millennium to follow.
There is yet another reason why premillennialsm is important. There is no greater bulwark against modern liberalism than the doctrine of the premillennial return of Christ. A post-millenarian can be almost anything as far as other beliefs are concerned. He can be a conservative, a modernist, or in between. The same is true of an amillenarian. He might be a liberal, a Roman Catholic, a Greek Catholic, or a conservative Protestant. An intelligent premillenarian, however, is usually straight on other doctrine. He believes the Bible to be the Word of God. He believes in the deity of Christ and is orthodox in other respects. Modernists are never premillenarians. One of the best ways of fortifying the laity against the inroads of modernism in our day is to teach them premillennial truth. If they hold this doctrine, they will not be tempted to go off into false doctrines. If they understand what the Word of God teaches, they will not be led to embrace various isms and cults. While some false cults have propagated a form of premillennialism, their teaching concerning premillennial doctrine is quite removed from the historic interpretation.
The premillennial return of Christ is not an insignificant matter, but is a very important doctrine. It is the key that unlocks the great treasures of the prophetic word; it sets everything in its right perspective, and gives an intelligent understanding of the reason we are in a chaotic state today. It reveals from the Word of God how He will bring righteousness to this wicked world.
Many who believe in the premillennial return of Christ also hold that He is coming for His church and that this coming for His church is an event which will precede even the premillennial return. This event also will occur before the beginning of the predicted time of the tribulation. That Christ could come today is our imminent hope. This is our message, our expectation, our answer to a world that is dark with gloom. We have the blessed hope of Christ’s return for the church and His later premillennial return to establish His kingdom on the earth.
The Coming Judgment
If these truths are faithfully taught as found in the Word of God, they serve to remind us that a day is coming when God will deal in judgment with this world. In that day the most important question any heart can face is the question of whether he has trusted this Person who alone can set this world right, who in His first coming died on the cross and provided salvation for all who would trust in Him, and in His second coming will establish righteousness and peace on the earth.
Are you trusting in this wonderful Savior? He is presented as the only hope for the world but, more important, He is the only hope for you. If we are trusting Him as our personal Savior, we know that when these great climactic events take place we will be on the Lord’s side. We will share His righteous reign over the earth as the bride of Christ, and our place will be a blessed estate for all eternity.