The Millennium – Critique Of Grenz’ View Of Revelation 20:1-6 – Part 6

Theological Dead Ends

According to postmillennial interpretation of Revelation 19:11-21, the Rider on a white horse represents “the victory of Christ in the proclamation of the good news” (Stanley Grenz, The Millennial Maze: Sorting out Evangelical Options, page 73). The sword is interpreted by way of Hebrews 4:12 where the Word of God is described as sharper than any sword. This is a strong point, if no consideration is given to Old Testament prophecy about a coming earthly rule.  Furthermore, there is no statement in Revelation 19-20 that Christ ever comes to earth for the battles or for the thousand years.  It follows, then, according to postmillennialists, that if the martyrs reign with Christ they rule with him from heaven.

Soul sleep for the evil dead is a necessary consequence of this interpretation, or else there is little sense in “the rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.” But postmillennialists do not accept this implication. Instead, they refer to a revived cause for which martyrs died, or a rebirth of the dynamic courage of the martyrs, and an interpretation that at first made sense now turns fuzzy.

John Warwick Montgomery summarizes this postmillennial approach as interpreting Revelation less symbolically than amillennialists, but not assessing details as literal. According to Montgomery, however, the burden of proof is on the postmillennialist to show that the context of Revelation 20 indicates the details are not to be taken literally [John Warwick Montgomery, “Millennium,” in The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Revised, ed. Geoffrey W. Bromiley (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 1986), 3:360-361].

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