The term “amillennial,” or “non-millennial,” sometimes produces misunderstanding. It might lead some to suppose that those who hold this view reject what is said in Revelation 20 about “the thousand years.” Of course, this is not so. That passage is very precious to amillennialists; they delight in what it has to say about “the thousand years,” and they insist that the passage has been misunderstood by “pre-mils” and by some “post-mils.”
It is also sometimes assumed that this view is of recent origin. Its fundamental ideas, however, are found in Augustine (A.D. 354–430). Indeed, Prof. D. H. Kromminga, who was himself a “pre-mil,” contended that the Epistle of Barnabas (one of the earliest Christian writings outside the Bible) shows “a very early amillennial type of eschatology” (Millennium in the Church, p. 40), but this conclusion is disputed. Certain it is, that the “a-mil” view is quite in harmony with the statements of the Apostles’ Creed, the great ecumenical creeds, and confessions of the Reformation.
A Change Of View
For some 12 years after his conversion, the present writer was inclined to the “pre-mil” view. He received a jolt, however, from an American expositor who affirmed that the early part of the Acts of the Apostles was a “national offer” to the Jews, while only in the latter part was there the gospel of the grace of God. A further jolt came when he met with the suggestion that there was a new age to come when men would be saved on some other basis than the grace of God. These statements—which are no doubt typical of only a section of “pre-mils”—led the writer to devote himself to a study of the whole subject afresh. Two sections of Scripture had inclined him to the “pre-mil” view:—(1) certain Old Testament ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 60+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more