Category Archives: Pessimism

THE NARROW GATE AND THE POSTMILLENNIAL HOPE

narrow-gatePMT 2016-072 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Introduction

I am frequently asked how postmillennialism can stand since Jesus speaks of the narrow gate to salvation. This is certainly a reasonable question, because it is a biblical one.

Inquirers often challenge me: I just can’t imagine this present world becoming a Christian majority at any point, especially in light of Christ’s wide and narrow gates and many being called, but few chosen, etc. I don’t see that at all. Never has the world been a friend of God and I don’t see a future scene like that at all in Scripture.

This is an important question. Let’s consider how we can resolve the theoretical problem. Continue reading

POSTMILLENNIALISM AND PERSECUTION

StrengthPMT 2015-133 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Quite frequenty critics of postmillennialism will go to NT passages such as Matt 10:22 to discredit postmillennialism’s long-term optimism. That passage reads:

“You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved.”

Since postmillennialism expects a future in which Christianity reigns supreme, and in which righteousness and peace will prevail throughout the world, texts such as this one must be explained. Postmillennialism cannot be true if Christians will always be hated and the only hope we have is our bare endurance. Continue reading

POSTMILLENNIALISM AND SUFFERING

PMT 2015-106 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Postmillennialism is distinguished from the pessimistic eschatologies of amillennialism, premillennialism, and dispensationalism as being optimistic. In the long run, mind you. Nevertheless, the Bible seems to develop a suffering-church motif.

Oftentimes the (historically) pessimistic eschatologies employ the suffering-church motif against the optimistic hope of postmillennialism. But the postmillennial system can handle the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune and can take arms against the sea of troubles. Let us see how postmillennialism recognizes the fact of suffering and yet remains optimistic regarding the global prospects of the gospel.

Postmillennialists can affirm suffering-with-Christ as a basic element of our Christian experience even up to the end — if we carefully reflect on the biblical requirements of the suffering argument. Continue reading

AMILLENNIAL PESSIMISM

FearfulPMT 2015-090 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Amillennialists often complain that postmillennialists wrongly categorize them as “pessimistic.” They generally reject this evaluation for two reasons: (1) It is negative sounding in itself. And (2) it overlooks the fact that they believe that ultimately Christ and his people win the victory at the end of history. Still other amillennialists deny this designation because they call themselves “optimistic amillennialists.”

What do postmillennialists mean by categorizing amillennialism as “pessimistic”? Is the charge legitimate. I believe it is.

Obviously all evangelical eschatological perspectives are ultimately optimistic — even dispensationalists who make a very nice living from books on cultural decline, despair, and doom. After all, Christ does lead his people to victory in saving them from their sins in history, resurrecting them from the dead at the end of history, and establishing them in righteousness in eternity. Continue reading

MATTHEW 10:22 AND POSTMILLENNIALISM

Hated by allPMT 2015-089 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Oftentimes critics of postmillennialism will go to NT passages such as Matt 10:22 to discredit postmillennialism’s long-term optimism. That passage reads:

“You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved.”

Since postmillennialism expects a future in which Christianity reigns supreme, and in which righteousness and peace will prevail throughout the world, texts such as this one must be explained. Postmillennialism cannot be true if Christians will always be hated and the only hope we have is our bare endurance. Continue reading

OBAMA, SIN, AND POSTMILLENNIALISM

Obama antichristPMT 2015:017 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Most evangelical Christians recognize and lament the widescale cultural collapse America is witnessing. This seems to better fit the dispensationalist’s gloomy outlook on the future. How can one hold to the postmillennial hope while witnessing the demise of the Christian influence in America?

But this question has a deeper significance. A leading objection against the postmillennial hope of gospel conquest is the fact of man’s inborn total depravity. In this blog posting I will explain how postmillennialism may offer an optimistic outlook on history even though we live in a world of depraved sinners. Continue reading

WILL THE SON OF MAN FIND FAITH?

seekingPMT 2015-078 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

In Luke 18:8 Jesus makes a statement that seems to undermine any notion of the postmillennial hope. There we read:

“I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”

Dispensationalists employ this verse with great confidence against postmillennialism. And we can certainly see why. Consider the following comments by dispensationalists. Continue reading