Comparisons And Contrasts Between The Millennial Kingdom And The New Heavens And New Earth -- By: John M. Wiley
JODT 19:58 (Winter 2015) p. 271
Comparisons And Contrasts Between The Millennial Kingdom And The New Heavens And New Earth
* John M. Wiley, M.A., M.A. student, Adams State University; D.Min. student and advising professor, Tyndale Theological Seminary
Recently, there has been an unaccountable amount of conversations regarding topics of both heaven and hell due to the publication of many books, website articles, television programs, movies, and every other imaginable medium of communication.1 Even medical doctors and neurosurgeons are writing on the topic of the “afterlife.”2 Undoubtedly, there is much ambiguity, a prevalence of false teaching, and not a few incorrect presuppositions about the true, biblical teachings as to what awaits humanity. Even among evangelical theologians, there can be confusion. Consider, for example, the all too vague words about heaven from Millard Erickson, “While heaven is both a place and a state, it is primarily a state.”3 Even more peculiar is this statement from Donald Guthrie: “Paul does not think of heaven as a place, but thinks of it in terms of the presence of God.”4 Furthermore, to compound the present uncertainty as to who is correct on views of eschatology, there are many differing perspectives on topics such as the rapture, the great tribulation, the millennial kingdom, and the eternal state. While all of these topics just
JODT 19:58 (Winter 2015) p. 272
mentioned are important, for matters of this particular article, only the millennial kingdom and the eternal state will be observed.
Overview Of The Millennial Kingdom Beliefs
Many theologians deny that there is a thousand-year, earthly reign of Christ (amillennialism and postmillennialism), though others disagree (premillennialism). Therefore, if persuasive evidence exists for the latter view, then there must be a purpose for the earthly, kingdom reign. Moreover, if there is a purpose for that kingdom, then there must also be some distinctions from the eternal state.
Wayne Grudem described this first position concerning the millennium in the following manner.
This view is called ‘amillennial’ because it maintains that there is no future millennium yet to come. Since amillennialists believe that Revelation 20 is now being fulfilled in the church age, they hold
that the ‘millennium’ described there is currently happening. The
exact duration of the church age cannot be kn...
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