The problem with amillennialism.

squirrelyguy

Active member
It seems to me that under the amillennialistic scheme, the return of Christ is no more of a reason to fear than the day of one's death already is.

What happens when Christ comes back that is not already being experienced by the dead person who is unsaved? And if a person is alive and lost at Christ's return, then it has the same effect as if they were to drop dead (which we all could at any moment anyway).

On the other hand; let's suppose that amillennialism is false. Let's also suppose that the return of Christ terminates the opportunity for people to prepare themselves for the kingdom of God in a way that the day of one's death does not. That is to say (and I may be straying beyond the eschatology topic), that the day of one's death is not necessarily the final opportunity for a person to receive Christ. Dead people who do not go to heaven are given all of the available time before Christ's return to call out to Him for salvation and to repent of the sins they've committed in this life.

But when Christ returns, then the situation described in the parable of the wise and foolish virgins is set into motion. The virgins all slumbered and slept (even the wise ones), but when the call goes out that the bridegroom is coming, they all rise and trim their lamps (almost certainly a description of their resurrection from the dead). The foolish ones, in their resurrected bodies, find that they have no oil for their lamps; but they still have time to find oil before the bridegroom arrives and the door to the wedding is shut. They fail to do so, and they are shut out of the wedding once the bridegroom arrives.

My point is this: they rise from the dead when the bridegroom's coming is announced, and are given time to find the oil that they lack before He actually arrives. Under an amillennialistic scheme, how is this possible? Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding of amillennialism is that the final judgment spoken of in Revelation 20 (after the thousand years) is one and the same with each individual's judgment which takes place at the moment of their death. Thus, everyone's final judgment happens when they die, they begin living in their eternal state immediately, and the return of Christ is of no actual consequence to them.

My thinking on this might be a little sloppy, but that's why I'm posting here on CARM and asking for critique. Like most people, I don't claim to have a perfect understanding of eschatology.
 

Timtofly

Member
The main theme is that when Jesus calls a person from the dead they will be sent to either eternal life or eternal damnation. They quote John 5:24-29

24 Yes, indeed! I tell you that whoever hears what I am saying and trusts the One who sent me has eternal life — that is, he will not come up for judgment but has already crossed over from death to life!
25 Yes, indeed! I tell you that there is coming a time — in fact, it’s already here — when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who listen will come to life.
26 For just as the Father has life in himself, so he has given the Son life to have in himself.
27 Also he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man.
28 Don’t be surprised at this; because the time is coming when all who are in the grave will hear his voice
29 and come out — those who have done good to a resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to a resurrection of judgment.

The calling of Lazarus from the grave is the primary example of what Jesus said.

Amillennials say there cannot be 1000 years, because both the dead in Christ and the dead in sheol happens at the Second Coming. But these verses are not specific on the when. Other verses in Scripture, especially Paul's Second Coming verses in Corinthians and Thessalonians do not link the rapture of the church with the resurrection at the GWT as the same event.

They claim John in Revelation 11:18 is proof of this in the days of the 7th Trumpet.

The Goyim raged.
But now your rage has come,
the time for the dead to be judged,
the time for rewarding your servants the prophets
and your holy people,
those who stand in awe of your name,
both small and great.
It is also the time for destroying
those who destroy the earth.”

Yes it says the dead will be judged: the time for rewarding your servants the prophets
and your holy people,
those who stand in awe of your name,
both small and great. And yet nothing about the dead in sheol. It also says God will destroy those who destroy the earth. That is not about the dead in sheol, but the living who will soon turn this earth into a blood bath, right before the 6th Seal, in the 4th Seal. Yet that is still not the final end of those on earth who follow Satan. For 42 months leading up to the battle of Armageddon, Satan himself will have full authority. The battle of Armageddon will be the final destruction of Adam's flesh and blood. It is only then that Satan is bound for 1000 years. And only after the 1000 years will the dead in sheol be allowed to come out of their graves and be judged at the GWT.

Amillennials claim that Revelation 20 is happening now, and the GWT is the resurrection of those in Christ and those in sheol.


About your point that those in sheol come alive at the Second Coming. That is not backed up by Scripture any where. In fact those in sheol only come out to be judged at the GWT. Revelation 20:5

5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were over.)

Revelation 20:11-13

11 Next I saw a great white throne and the One sitting on it. Earth and heaven fled from his presence, and no place was found for them.
12 And I saw the dead, both great and small, standing in front of the throne. Books were opened; and another book was opened, the Book of Life; and the dead were judged from what was written in the books, according to what they had done.
13 The sea gave up the dead in it; and Death and Sh’ol gave up the dead in them; and they were judged, each according to what he had done.

These verses show that only after the 1000 years in-between the old heavens and earth and the new heavens and earth, will the GWT happen. It is only then those in sheol are called out and judged. This is the final calling of Jesus of souls from the grave. It did not happen all on the same day. It happened first with Lazarus 1990+ years ago, those in Christ have already heard the voice of Jesus. The GWT is the final call. This does not contradict John 5 at all.
 

Kade Rystalmane

Well-known member
It seems to me that under the amillennialistic scheme, the return of Christ is no more of a reason to fear than the day of one's death already is.
I'm not sure why this is a problem.
What happens when Christ comes back that is not already being experienced by the dead person who is unsaved? And if a person is alive and lost at Christ's return, then it has the same effect as if they were to drop dead (which we all could at any moment anyway).
Well, Hades-Torments isn't a great place, but my understanding is that its nothing compared to Gehenna.
On the other hand; let's suppose that amillennialism is false. Let's also suppose that the return of Christ terminates the opportunity for people to prepare themselves for the kingdom of God in a way that the day of one's death does not. That is to say (and I may be straying beyond the eschatology topic), that the day of one's death is not necessarily the final opportunity for a person to receive Christ. Dead people who do not go to heaven are given all of the available time before Christ's return to call out to Him for salvation and to repent of the sins they've committed in this life.
I'm just clarifying here. You are saying that those who are both physically and spiritually dead can still be saved before Christ's return to begin the Millennium in your paradigm? Could you give me some supporting scripture for this so I can understand you better?
But when Christ returns, then the situation described in the parable of the wise and foolish virgins is set into motion. The virgins all slumbered and slept (even the wise ones), but when the call goes out that the bridegroom is coming, they all rise and trim their lamps (almost certainly a description of their resurrection from the dead). The foolish ones, in their resurrected bodies, find that they have no oil for their lamps; but they still have time to find oil before the bridegroom arrives and the door to the wedding is shut. They fail to do so, and they are shut out of the wedding once the bridegroom arrives. ... My point is this: they rise from the dead when the bridegroom's coming is announced, and are given time to find the oil that they lack before He actually arrives.
Okay, so you are saying the slumbering of the virgins in Matthew 25 is a metaphor for death, but when the herald calls that the Bridegroom comes - that is, we see all the signs indicating the arrival of the last 7 years and the coming Millennium (I'm speaking within the millennialist paradigm here) - that this will generate a resurrection of the unjust and just back to Earth (the virgins wake up) and give people a third chance to prepare. Do I understand you correctly?
Under an amillennialistic scheme, how is this possible?
It's not possible and not part of the paradigm. I'm a historical preterist (a type of amillennialist in the literal context). There is nothing about a third chance at a relationship with God after death.
Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding of amillennialism is that the final judgment spoken of in Revelation 20 (after the thousand years) is one and the same with each individual's judgment which takes place at the moment of their death. Thus, everyone's final judgment happens when they die, they begin living in their eternal state immediately, and the return of Christ is of no actual consequence to them.
I'm not sure of other amillennial thoughts on Revelation as they vary, but I believe Revelation has nothing to do with the end of time. I believe it has to do with things that would shortly come to pass in John's day for the time was at hand and Jesus was coming quickly.

I do believe that there isn't a Judgment that takes place when you die. Hades is more like a holding cell after you get arrested and you are waiting for your court date. Maybe others see it like that or maybe not. Judgment is the end of time and sentencing is acquittal (Heaven) or guilty (Gehenna).
My thinking on this might be a little sloppy, but that's why I'm posting here on CARM and asking for critique. Like most people, I don't claim to have a perfect understanding of eschatology.
I hope my answers were useful to you. Never hurts to ask. :)

In Truth and Love.
 

squirrelyguy

Active member
I'm not sure why this is a problem.
There are a host of ways in which we could die unexpectedly at any moment; if those aren't enough to cause a person to live circumspectly, why would the possibility of Jesus coming back at any moment be of more concern? The issue is the elevated sense of concern that Scripture seems to give to Christ's return. One cannot help but have the impression that Christ's return is more to be feared than death. If the end result is the same whether an unbeliever dies today or Jesus comes back today, then His return isn't more to be feared; the consequence of both events is the same.
I'm just clarifying here. You are saying that those who are both physically and spiritually dead can still be saved before Christ's return to begin the Millennium in your paradigm? Could you give me some supporting scripture for this so I can understand you better?
Scripture is admittedly rather silent on this possibility. I'm arguing that Scripture leaves the possibility open since it doesn't explicitly rule it out. What seems clearer to me are passages that suggest hope of redemption for people who are raised at Christ's return, but found unworthy of the kingdom of God. I'll explain that one below.
Okay, so you are saying the slumbering of the virgins in Matthew 25 is a metaphor for death, but when the herald calls that the Bridegroom comes - that is, we see all the signs indicating the arrival of the last 7 years and the coming Millennium (I'm speaking within the millennialist paradigm here) - that this will generate a resurrection of the unjust and just back to Earth (the virgins wake up) and give people a third chance to prepare. Do I understand you correctly?
Yes; at least some of the unjust will be resurrected at Christ's return. My best guess is that they are carnal Christians who are unworthy to inherit the kingdom of God. See the parable of the unrighteous steward in Luke 16:1-13, where the steward confronts being disinherited by his master by building favor with those who will be able to welcome him into their own inheritance. See also Jesus' advice on who we should invite to our banquets in Luke 14:12-14. "When you give a dinner or a supper, do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor rich neighbors, lest they also invite you back, and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”
I do believe that there isn't a Judgment that takes place when you die. Hades is more like a holding cell after you get arrested and you are waiting for your court date. Maybe others see it like that or maybe not. Judgment is the end of time and sentencing is acquittal (Heaven) or guilty (Gehenna).
I agree; only I believe that some in Hades may be raised at Christ's return and thus have hope of ultimate salvation at the great white throne (which takes place after the millennium). But they will spend the years of Christ's reign as castaways and exiles on this earth, weeping and gnashing their teeth as they behold the kingdom of God from a distance. That is, unless they are welcomed into eternal homes by the masters' other debtors.
 

Kade Rystalmane

Well-known member
Thank you for sharing your thoughts. As I am not an amillennialist in the generic sense, I will bow out and let them answer for themselves.
 
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