Problems with Premillennialism

In Kingdom Come Sam Storms offers a chapter entitled “Problems with Premillennialism.” He begins the chapter by noting things that a premillennialist, dispensational or not, must necessarily believe. As a premillennialist Storms says you must necessarily believe:

  • “that physical death will continue to exist beyond the time of Christ’s second coming. The reason for this is that all premillennialists must account for the rebellious and unbelieving nations in Revelation 20:7-10 who launch an assault against Christ and his people at the end of what they believe is the millennial age. Where did these people come from? They must be the unbelieving progeny born to those believers who entered the millennial age in physical, unglorified bodies. Not only they, that also the believing progeny born to those believers will be subject to physical death (notwithstanding the alleged prolonged life spans experienced by those who live during the millennial reign of Christ).”
  • “that the natural creation will continue, beyond the time of Christ’s second coming, to be subjected to the curse imposed by the fall of man. The reason for this is that all premillennialists must concede that unbelievers will continue to populate and infect the earth during the millennial reign of Christ. Notwithstanding the presence of Christ himself, as premillennialists argue, the earth will continue to be ravaged by war and sin and death, even if only at the millennium’s end (Rev. 20:7-10). As a premillennialist you must necessarily believe that the redemption of the natural creation and its being set free from bondage to corruption does not occur, at least in is consummate expression, until 1,000 years subsequent to Christ’s return.”
  • “that the new heaves and new earth will not be introduced until 1,000 years subsequent to the return of Christ. This is not in itself problematic, except for the fact that the New Testament appears to teach that the new heavens and new earth are inaugurated at the time of Christ’s second coming, not 1,000 years thereafter.”
  • “that unbelieving men and women will still have the opportunity to come to saving faith in Christ for at least 1,000 years subsequent to his return. The reason for this is that, according to premillennialism, countless millions of people will be born during the course of the millennial reign of Christ. Are premillennialists asking us to believe that upon their attaining to an age when they are capable of understanding and responding to the revelation of God and the personal, physical presence of the risen and glorified Christ Jesus himself, that none of them will be given the opportunity to respond in faith to the claims of the gospel?”
  • “that unbelievers will not be finally resurrected until at least 1,000 years subsequent to the return of Christ. All premillennialists affirm that the final resurrection of the unsaved occurs at the close of the millennial kingdom.”
  • “that unbelievers will not be finally judged and cast into eternal punishment until at least 1,000 years subsequent to the return of Christ.”

“So what’s wrong with believing these things, as the premillennialist? What’s wrong is that these many things that premillennialists must believe (because of the way they interpret Scripture), the New Testament explicitly denies. In other words, in my study of the second coming of Christ I discovered that, contrary to what premillennialism requires us to believe (see above), death is defeated and swallowed up in victory at the parousia, the natural creation is set from bondage to corruption at the parousia, the new heavens and the new earth are introduced immediately following the parousia, all opportunity to receive Christ as Savior terminates at the parousia, and both the final resurrection and eternal judgment of unbelievers will occur at the parousia. Simply put, the New Testament portrayals of the second coming of Christ forced me to conclude that a millennial age, subsequent to Christ’s return, of the sort proposed by premillennialism was impossible.” (136-137)

 Kingdom Come

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About Louis

I am a 1997 graduate of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.
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3 Responses to Problems with Premillennialism

  1. I’ve not read Storms but heard much about him. I’m intrigued by his critique here and curious how his eschatological views mesh (if at all) with N.T. Wright’s views,especially as they relate to the “parousia”. Of course, this is no small task to weed through Wright, but I find him convincing on many levels regarding the “appearance” of Christ (vis-a-vis the “coming” of Christ).

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    • Louis says:

      Paul,
      An astute observation. Storms uses a lot of material from Wright. I think in many respects they are on the same page with some differences.

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  2. Rev. Bryant J. Williams III says:

    Dear Louis,

    I have no problem with Premillenialism since it best fits the data. The Parousia is divided into two parts. Storm’s view does not take that into account for it “appears” that he believes that the church = Israel. That in itself is problematic (Romans 11:29). Furthermore, it appears that he dismisses Isaiah 65-66 which discusses the New Heaven and New Earth; Death and Renewal in the Millenium which has the removal of the curse from all creation except the serpent (65:25); Judgement and Hope for Jerusalem.

    Regarding Revelation 20 -21. It is obvious that after Satan is released after the 1,000 years, The Millenium, that he goes around and deceive the nations. Then he and all those deceived will be gathered and judged. It is only AFTER the Great White Throne Judgement that a New Heaven and New Earth are created (21:1).

    Finally, 1,000 years is mentioned 6x in 20:1-7 to indicate that this is not a symbolic 1,000 years as is used in II Peter 3:8 where “as; like” (hWS) is used to show a simile regarding the eternality of God’s view of time in comparison to man’s view of time. Thus, those alive during the Millenium are part of the FIRST Resurrection and the SECOND Death has no power over them. In fact, the SECOND Death is reserved for those of the Great White Throne Judgement.

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