A-millennial eschatology teaches that good and evil grow together until Christ returns. Further a-millennialism teaches the victory Christ achieves will be a victory that is won by an apocalyptic in breaking in which the enemies of Christ are vanquished. A-millennialism teaches that up until the sudden and violent eschatological in breaking of Christ the opponents of Christ had been in the ascendancy in this world at the time of Christ’s return.
Now there is nothing in amillennialism that negates that God will periodically send seasons of Reformation and awakening, but all amillennialism insists that when the end comes it comes in the context of the Church being largely in defeat and retreat mode.
Now what is interesting is a complimentary doctrine that many amillennials advocate. Many amillennialists insist that there are two realms in which men operate. The first sphere is the sacred sphere, which is largely equivalent to the church realm. In this sphere Christ is Lord and rules through His Elders according to His word. The second sphere is often referred to as the ‘common realm’ and in this realm Christ is, in the words of one of their proponents to me, ‘Lord in a different way.’ In this realm Christ rules indirectly through Common Grace and Natural Law. Because this is true the Church as the Church has nothing to say to the common realm, relying instead on Christ’s indirect rule through Common grace and Natural law to provide governance for this realm. Now, amillennialists will insist that individual Christians can and should speak in this realm but they should do so by appealing to Natural law as their source of authority understanding that God’s word does not pertain to this common realm. We must understand that for these amillennialists this realm would be all other realms except the Church realm.
Now where we find the amillennial circle is on one hand they teach that the world gets worse and worse while on the other hand they teach a doctrine that insures that the world will go from bad to worse. In other words if we divide of a sacred realm from a common realm and insist that the Church cannot speak to the common realm (where by the way most of man’s living takes place) what we have insured by way of our theology is that the common realm will go from bad to worse. So the amillennial theology of a common and sacred realm serves as self-fulfilling prophecy that things will go from bad to worse. In short they find in Scriptures that the world will eventually go to hell in a hand basket and they develop a theology that if followed will insure that it will. Behold the amillennial circle.
Now, I think that at least one reason why amillennialists have this theology is their understandable fear of immanentizing the eschaton. The theory is that people who immanentize the eschaton have a nasty habit of forcing their eschatological ideology on everybody else. The ironic thing though is that the amillennialists while trying to avoid immanentizing the Christian eschaton end up immanentizing somebody else’s eschaton by their retreat. That is to say that by insisting that the common realm belongs to common grace and natural law what they end up doing is creating a vacuum in which the other adherents of other gods will try to immanentize their respective eschatons. So while at least some amillennialists want to avoid immanentizing the Christian eschaton what their retreat ends up doing is allowing the immanentizing of other non-Christian eschatons. We must remember that it is never a question whether or not if some eschaton will be immanentized but only a question of which eschaton will be immanentized. I vote for the Christian one.
Another reason I think that amillennialists have this eschatology is that they fear that if Christianity becomes to closely aligned to some ruling matrix found in their putative common realm then if the ruling matrix is found wanting then so will the Christian faith and the consequence will be disrepute brought upon the gospel as it is brought upon the ruling matrix. The problem here though is that the amillennialists theology, in my opinion, is already bringing disrepute upon the Gospel as people observe that the Gospel is good for getting souls saved but little good for spreading the effects of salvation into every corner of every realm. The Gospel is held in disrepute because it is seen as gnostic, personal and individual with few, if any implications for the concrete public square in which humans find themselves living. The Church must be silent in regards to the evils of totalitarianism for God’s word doesn’t speak on that. The Church must be silent on economic systems that have theft as their basis for God’s work doesn’t speak to that. The Church must be silent on educational issues in the public square for God’s word does not speak to that.
It’s easy to see how the world will get worse and worse if the Church has no voice to speak on these kinds of issues. Imagine how disappointed some people are going to if this theology reaches dominance in the Church and the world does go to hell in a hand basket because of it and Jesus doesn’t end up returning.