Why I Am A Premillennialist – Sam Horn
Neal Cushman: Well, we’re continuing our doctrinal series, “The Return of the King,” and we kind of have a role reversal here today. I feel kind of weird on this side of the microphone, but you were the speaker for this excellent message on the millennium. I think as believers we, you know, think about heaven a lot, but we don’t often think about this earthly existence that we will have and just what that looks like and how important that is in Scripture. I wonder if you could just kind of rehash that for us? What is this all about?
Sam Horn: Well, thank you. You know, I would say the millennium concept related to eschatology is one of the central components of our faith. From the earliest times of the Christian Church, believers have been comforted, they’ve been strengthened, they’ve been helped by the assurance and the confident expectation of Christ’s return. And actually, the entire New Testament orients itself toward the fact that Jesus is coming back. And when he comes back he is going to have a kingdom, and we are going to have a part of that kingdom.
I would suggest that that concept of Jesus coming to establish the kingdom is based on the fact that God made certain promises. And he made promises throughout the Scripture. Let me just give you a couple of the promises that I think really tie
God made some promises to Abraham about having an everlasting land, and his descendants will live in that land. You have that in Genesis 12, and in Genesis 15, and again in Genesis 17. God made promises to David, and one of the promises he made to David was that one of his sons would rule over an eternal Kingdom. And that verse—Isaiah 9:6-7— is an incredible verse because it talks about that descendant of David who is going to come and have an everlasting kingdom. The government will be upon his shoulders. And at the very end of that verse, Isaiah says the zeal of the Lord of hosts will do that. And the word “Lord of hosts” there refers to the Lord, the God of armies. And the word “zeal” actually carries the idea of wrath. Well, when you get to Revelation, and you start reading chapter 6, and you go all the way to chapter 19, you find divine wrath falling down on the earth and 21 different judgments. And at the end of that time, John sees something. What he sees is the appearance of
Cushman: So everything kind of comes to a point of culmination.
Horn: It comes to a point of culmination, and what’s really awesome is that in addition to promises made to David and to Jesus, God made promises to us. He said we would have a part in that role; we would reign with him. So that’s one of the reasons I’m excited and committed to the idea of a millennial kingdom—a thousand-year reign where Jesus will come and rule over the earth and his saints will rule with him.
Cushman: Now, you explained in your message that not everyone takes that view of a literal period of time, where Jesus rules and reigns on the earth. So could you give us a case for that and lay that out for us.
Horn: So, some of the views that are out there. You have a post-millennial view, which pretty much would argue that what is being described in the book of Revelation is actually happening right now in the church age. Fundamental to that view is the idea that Israel has been replaced by the church, and that toward the end of the church age, whether it’s a literal thousand years or a long period of time, the Spirit of God will energize the church through the gospel to evangelize the world. And when the world is evangelized, when the nation’s have become Christ’s and the conditions of peace that are described in certain Old Testament texts
The Amillennialist view would basically say there really isn’t a millennium—that’s a symbolic idea for the church age. And we don’t really see the church age as evangelizing the world; we see the saints living in the world as living victoriously. They’re living in the midst of a hostile culture, but they’re going to live victoriously. At some point, Jesus is going to come, and it is going to end the end of this earth. We’ll start the new heavens and the new earth at that point.
The view I hold—premillennialism—basically says that this thousand-year kingdom will be a literal kingdom on earth. One of the reasons I think that is because as you read the normal unfolding of the storyline, particularly in Ezekiel and Isaiah and Jeremiah and the prophets, and you marry them to the promises that Jesus has made to Adam, to Abraham, to Israel, to David, to his own son, to Messiah, and to us, then you read Revelation and just let the narrative unfold, it’s really clear that John was looking at a kingdom that was located on this earth. A binding of Satan—now, some people say Satan was bound at the cross, but the New Testament writers actually described him as roaring and prowling about, seeking whom he may devour. And actually, Paul describes Satan as very active, controlling this present evil age. So it doesn’t seem to me that the information squares with the New Testament writers. So I come to Revelation 20, and I see an earthly kingdom lasting a thousand years, in which Satan is bound and saints are resurrected and sit on thrones and rule along with Messiah just like the Scriptures unfold. That’s why I’m a premillennial.
Cushman: Well, I love that hope that we have and the blessing to know that God is faithful to his word. He’s going to fulfill all of these things. I want to encourage you to go to the