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Sermon #8704

Post-millennialism and the Spiritual View

A Sermon on Postmillennialism



Sermon Description

In this sermon on postmillennialism and the spiritual view, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones continues his series on Great Biblical Doctrines by preaching on the other possible interpretations of Revelation and the end times. The postmillennial view, once popular in mainstream evangelical circles, holds that Christ will not return until after the millennium, which its supporters hold as a period during which the earth will experience a long period of immense blessing and knowledge of the Lord. However, as Dr. Lloyd-Jones points out, the difficulty with this view is that Scripture says the earth will go through an absolutely devastating time before the end. If the postmillennial view isn’t correct, what is? In place of this and the other perspectives discussed in this mini-series, Dr. Lloyd-Jones proposes what he calls the “Spiritual View.” He argues that this section in Revelation and the parallel passages in the gospels point to Satan having been bound and cast out at the time of Christ’s death on the cross. What about the 1,000 reign that Scripture references? Dr. Lloyd-Jones presents why he thinks that it is occurring now and why it is not going to be a future, literal 1,000 year period.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. There are three main views of interpreting Revelation 20: premillennial, postmillennial, and spiritual.
  2. The premillennial view says Jesus will return and reign physically on earth for 1,000 years. We considered and critiqued this view last week.
  3. The postmillennial view says there will be a golden age of Christianity before Jesus returns. Jesus will return after this 1,000 year period. This view was popular from 1720 to 1830 but is rare today.
  4. The postmillennial view believes Daniel 2 and other passages teach the gospel will spread worldwide. They believe "all Israel will be saved" in Romans 11 means all Jews will convert.
  5. However, passages like Luke 18:8 ("When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?") contradict a postmillennial golden age. The end seems to come suddenly, not gradually.
  6. The spiritual view sees Revelation 20 as symbolic, not literal. It parallels other sections ending in judgment. It focuses on Satan's defeat, not his emissaries'.
  7. John sees an angel bind Satan and throw him in the Abyss so he can't deceive the nations. Since Satan is spiritual, this is symbolic.
  8. Similar passages show Satan's binding and defeat: Matthew 12:29; Luke 10:18; John 12:31; Hebrews 2:14; 1 John 3:8; Revelation 12:7-9. These refer to Jesus' first coming.
  9. "The nations" refers to Gentiles. Before Christ, Satan deceived them. But after Christ, the gospel spread to them. So Satan could no longer deceive them as before.
  10. The "first resurrection" refers to regeneration, not bodily resurrection. Passages like John 11:25-26; Romans 6; Ephesians 2:5-6; Colossians 3:1 use "resurrection" this way.
  11. Those in the "first resurrection" escape the "second death" of the lake of fire. So this refers to believers, not a literal resurrection.
  12. The 1,000 year reign refers to the whole period between Christ's first and second comings. 1 Corinthians 15:25 says Christ will reign until defeating his enemies. Psalm 110 says he will reign at God's right hand until this happens.
  13. Christ already has all power and authority (Matthew 28:18). He is currently reigning, not waiting to reign in an earthly millennium. Believers who die reign with him now.
  14. The 1,000 years is symbolic, referring to this indefinite period of Christ's current reign. At the end is a short intense time of persecution, then final judgment.
  15. In summary, this view sees Revelation 20 as referring to Christ's defeat of Satan at His first coming and current heavenly reign, not an earthly millennial reign.

Great Biblical Doctrines

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.