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Q. Does Amillennialism Have Any Basis In Scripture?

Answer

Dear *****,

Thanks for your note and question. The first thing I should probably say is that I am not an amillennialist, though I have good friends who are. That said, there are a good number of very sound “Reformed/Covenant” believers who hold to an amillennialist position.

Here is my problem with this point of view. They have to go through a lengthy process of reasoning in order to conclude that while Revelation 20:2-3 speaks of a 1,000 year period during which Satan is bound, a broader understanding of Scripture proves this not to be the case. I’m not confident in a view that requires a very lengthy logical string of arguments and then concludes that what the Bible plainly says, it doesn’t really mean.

Many, if not all, amillennialists would say that the church replaces Israel, but I find too many texts that speak of Israel’s future as not yet fully realized (such as Romans 11).

As a rule, the Covenant/Amillennial view of prophecy tends to emphasize the unity of Scripture, and the unity of the Old Testament with the New. Dispensationalists tend to emphasize the differences. Neither side seems overly eager to admit that the arguments of their opponent has some validity. As I see it, there are both similarities and differences between the Old Testament and the New. We need not embrace one aspect and reject the other, but we should embrace all truth, regardless of whether that makes perfect sense to us (See how the Old Testament prophets struggled with seemingly contradictory aspects in their own writings in1 Peter 1:10-12. How could Messiah be a triumphant King and also a Suffering Servant? How could Messiah be both man, and God? Now we know.).

The pre-millennial, dispensational, pre-tribulational understanding of prophecy is not without its own difficulties.

When it came to our Lord’s first coming to earth, no one really got it right ahead of time, and simply checked off their list of things that had to happen. Why do we think we shall do better with the Second Coming? I’m a believer in Deuteronomy 29:29:

29 Secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those that are revealed belong to us and our descendants forever, so that we might obey all the words of this law. Deuteronomy 29:29

I desire to accept and obey what God’s Word plainly states and commands, and to hold my less dogmatic interpretive views more lightly.

Blessings,

Bob Deffinbaugh

Related Topics: Eschatology (Things to Come)