I’ve spent a few months quietly examining my commitment to historic premillennialism. And I want to ask the question: is postmillennialism rationally viable? That is a different question from whether it is true, but one, I suppose, that must be asked. But before we get there we need to examine what a Reformed eschatology must contain. The following should be a minimum sine qua non.
Summarized from Richard Muller’s Dictionary of Latin and Greek Theological Terms.
I suppose as good a starting point as any would be the dius novissimus, the last day, theadventus Christi. Here the Reformed Scholastics (excepting men like William Twisse) would also place the resurrection and Last Judgment. As a historic premillennialist myself, I would have a few questions, but moving on…
While speculation of the last times is fruitless, the Bible does urge the wise steward to be ready, which implies some awareness of the times. Thus, the Reformed Scholastics would speak of thesigna dei novissimi, signs of the last day. These signs can be further delineated:
- signa remota: opening of the first six of the seven seals of Revelation 6:1-17: wars, famine, conflicts, pestilence, earthquakes.
- signa propinqua: signs nearer the end; the Great Apostasy; worldliness in the church. Covenanted church members forsaking the church as the center of the kingdom.
- signa propinquiora: political unrest; regathering the nation of Israel; increased lawlessness.
- signa proxima: political disruption from the full manifestation of the Beast (Revelation 13-17); fulfillment of mission to the gentiles.
Antichristus: arises from within the church and is against the church.
- he will sit in templo Dei
- he will rule as head of the church
- he will exalt himself above the True God
- He will cause many to fall away from the church.
- He will have “lying wonders.”