“Postmillennialism” comes from a term that means, literally, “after the thousand years”. Thus, it is essentially a way of interpreting Revelation 20, which six times mentions a period of a thousand years, during which Satan is bound and believers reign with Christ. Postmillennialists believe that Christ will return after a future golden age of prosperity on the earth, during which time the gospel will have been fruitful in all the world, bringing peace and security to all. Postmillennialists look to the many prophecies in the Old Testament which speak of a coming time of great blessing and prosperity (e.g. Psalm 22:25-31; Psalm 72; Isaiah 2:1-5), and see those passages as demanding a future period of gospel success that will be vastly greater and fundamentally different from what Church history has displayed so far, of the Kingdom spreading in the midst of much affliction and persecution. In the Postmillennial interpretation, Revelation 20 is a passage which describes this future period of blessing that the Old Testament prophets look ahead to.
While some Postmillennialists believe that the future golden age of the earth will be literally and precisely one thousand years in duration, many of them see the “thousand years” as a more poetic way of speaking, and only believe that there will be a lengthy time of peace and well-being on the earth in the future, but not necessarily exactly one thousand years.
We will continue our 3-part series with part 3, “What is Premillennialism?” early next week. Click for part 1, “What is Amillennialism?”
Have more questions? Monergism is a great resource, check it out.