The Millennial Position of Spurgeon -- By: Dennis M. Swanson
MSJ 7:2 (Fall 96) p. 183
The Millennial Position of Spurgeon
The notoriety of Charles Haddon Spurgeon has caused many since his time to claim him as a supporter of their individual views regarding the millennium. Spurgeon and his contemporaries were familiar with the four current millennial views—amillennialism, postmillennialism, historic premillennialism, and dispensational premillennialism—though the earlier nomenclature may have differed. Spurgeon did not preach or write extensively on prophetic themes, but in his sermons and writings he did say enough to produce a clear picture of his position. Despite claims to the contrary, his position was most closely identifiable with that of historic premillennialism in teaching the church would experience the tribulation, the millennial kingdom would be the culmination of God’s program for the church, a thousand years would separate the resurrection of the just from that of the unjust, and the Jews in the kingdom would be part of the one people of God with the church.
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In the last hundred years eschatology has probably been the subject of more writings than any other aspect of systematic theology. Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834–92) did not specialize in eschatology, but supporters of almost every eschatological position have appealed to him as an authority to support their views.
Given Spurgeon’s notoriety, the volume of his writings, and his theological acumen, those appeals are not surprising. A sampling of conclusions will illustrate this point. Lewis A. Drummond states,
MSJ 7:2 (Fall 96) p. 184
“Spurgeon confessed to be a pre-millennialist.”1 Peter Masters, current pastor of Spurgeon’s church, The Metropolitan Tabernacle in London, stated, “Spurgeon…would have stood much closer to amillennialism than to either of the other scenarios recognized today”2 Erroll Hulse firmly declared Spurgeon to be postmillennial.3
Spurgeon could not have held all these positions. However, in which, if any, did he fit? The issue is an important one, as Spurgeon continues to be one of the most popular Christian authors in print, even a century after his death. Men of different positions seek to marshal support for their prophetic interpretations by appealing to Spurgeon.
This article will probe Spurgeon’s view on the millennium by a careful examination of his writings in the light of his own times. Hopefully, it will help the uninformed understand Spurgeon and his millennial view more clearly...
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