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Originally published in "The Lord's Coming Herald & Wesleyan Bible Prophecy Advocate," September Edition 2007

Why Premillennialism Should Be Rejected

Premillennialism is the belief that the second coming of Jesus Christ results in the setting up of His messianic kingdom and His physical reign on earth for one-thousand years. This theory is presumably based on Revelation 20:1-7.

In our book How To Interpret End-time Bible Prophecy: A Wesleyan View, we deal in-depth with the many nuances that are involved in overturning the interpretational foundations of modern popular premillennialism. Since it is impossible to reproduce all of that material here in an article of this size, we refer interested readers to the above mentioned work, available now from the products menu of this website, for the full details.

From the Wesleyan perspective, even a causal reading of John Wesley's notes on Revelation chapter twenty proves that he was not a premillennialist. Historically, the Holiness movement, as well as most of the Protestant evangelical tradition at large, was not involved with premillennialism until the nineteenth century. Since then, premillennialism has been promoted most strongly in circles that are Keswickian in their overall theology. While old-school Wesleyan scholarship generally opposed this theory because of its close ties to antinomianism, contemporary Wesleyan scholarship, for the most part, remains ambivalent toward it.

The simple issue involved here is one of rational proof. When premillennialists are pressed to explain Revelation chapter twenty both carefully and honestly they fail to prove that this text actually teaches what they imagine it does. That is why advocates of the theory most often attempt to railroad it upon the unsuspecting public with little encouragement for anyone to do careful academic investigation of the truth-claims that are made. We are supposed to assume that premillennialism is the gospel truth just because some dispensational teacher in Bible college somewhere once crammed it down our throats. It appears, however, that intellectual prejudice is what has dictated policy in the scenario here, friends, and not the humbly godly desire of a sincere student of the Word of God to know the absolute truth.

If you are now a student at a Bible college that does not encourage open-minded investigation of the truth-claims made by dispensational premillennialism, friend, then you need to go somewhere else to get a "real" Bible education, because you are being cheated by a system of narrow-minded prejudice that is preventing you from understanding some things that are very important.

One of those very important things is the fact that Jesus has ALREADY established His messianic kingdom on earth at the time of His first advent. To fail to understand this is to fail to comprehend basic New Testament Christianity. What kind of a true Christian preacher is he or she who goes out from Bible college with the false message that Jesus does not yet have His messianic reign and kingdom? Friends, the present messianic reign and kingdom of Christ is what the New Testament story is all about! Yet, sadly, modern dispensational premillennialism distorts these, and other aspects of fundamental Christian doctrine, constantly.

Christian integrity demands that we critically reexamine the truth-claims of modern popular premillennialism both carefully and honestly. As a theory rooted in pre-Christian Judaic ideology, it is not officially a part of either the heritage, or the message, of the historic Wesleyan Holiness movement, and cannot be proven from the Bible. And, as the old Church of the Nazarene manual has so well stated: "What cannot be proven from Scripture is not to be enjoined as an article of faith." 

Related Article Links

Premillennialism: Orthodox Faith Of The Protestant Church?
Was John Wesley Really A Premillennialist?