Postmillennialism - Majority Converted?

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Grant

Puritan Board Senior
I have heard from the pulpit the belief expressed that states (essentially) that when this world ends, the majority of humanity will be saved and the lost will be a minority (numerically speaking).

I do not believe this view to be biblical and the immediate verse that always comes to mind is “narrow is the gate” and “few enter”.

Is the view that the majority of humanity as a whole will be redeemed historical with regards to the puritans? Is it Dispensationalism ? Is it exclusive to Postmillennialism?

I have linked this to the postmil position because I know the particular pastor is postmil.
 
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TylerRay

Puritan Board Graduate
I've heard several Postmillennialists say the same thing. Usually it's mentioned in connection with the "innumerable multitude" of Revelation 7. If postmillennialism is true, and if the world's population is significantly increased during the golden age, then there may indeed be many more saved than damned in the end.
Is it Dispensationalism ?
How could it be dispensationalism? What's the implied connection?
 

Grant

Puritan Board Senior
How could it be dispensationalism? What's the implied connection?
None other than ignorance. In our area, even in Presbyterian denominations, dispensational thinking has had a big influence on end times.
 

Grant

Puritan Board Senior
I've heard several Postmillennialists say the same thing. Usually it's mentioned in connection with the "innumerable multitude" of Revelation 7. If postmillennialism is true, and if the world's population is significantly increased during the golden age, then there may indeed be many more saved than damned in the end.
Is it essential to the Postmil position?
 

dhh712

Puritan Board Freshman
Was trying to find my Puritan daily prayer book but I seem to have put it away (and am lying in bed recovering from my second covid shot). Probably won't be able to contribute too much, but I seem to recall a writing from Richard Baxter that exhorts us to ponder on how few will be saved. I think he may have quoted that verse about striving to enter the narrow gate.

I'm not well-versed in post- mill or dispensationalism, but it seems that those who say that don't believe in hell actually believe, if they do actually believe in an afterlife, more along these lines where most will be saved and just your "really bad" people will be punished.

Looking forward to the answers.
 

Grant

Puritan Board Senior
Was trying to find my Puritan daily prayer book but I seem to have put it away (and am lying in bed recovering from my second covid shot). Probably won't be able to contribute too much, but I seem to recall a writing from Richard Baxter that exhorts us to ponder on how few will be saved. I think he may have quoted that verse about striving to enter the narrow gate.

I'm not well-versed in post- mill or dispensationalism, but it seems that those who say that don't believe in hell actually believe, if they do actually believe in an afterlife, more along these lines where most will be saved and just your "really bad" people will be punished.

Looking forward to the answers.
I’m not sure about Baxter but I know that Watson hints at this same thought in his sermon on Deuteronomy 17:19. He states that few names (relatively) are written in the Book of Life.
 

Edm

Puritan Board Freshman
Just off the top of my head....the gate has been there a long time. The verse doesn’t say that on the last day, few will enter it. If in the last days 90% of people are saved, that is still few in terms of human existence.
 

Taylor

Puritan Board Senior
Logically speaking, the fact that the gate is narrow and there are few who find it doesn’t preclude a majority Christian world populace toward the end. If the world be mostly Christian when Christ returns, we can’t forget that countless billions (even trillions?) have died without him in the millennia preceding, leaving this final remnant, even if the majority at that particular time, still a great minority in the history of the world.
 

Grant

Puritan Board Senior
Logically speaking, the fact that the gate is narrow and there are few who find it doesn’t preclude a majority Christian world populace toward the end. If the world be mostly Christian when Christ returns, we can’t forget that countless billions (even trillions?) have died without him in the millennia preceding, leaving this final remnant, even if the majority at that particular time, still a great minority in the history of the world.
:ditto:
 

Romans922

Puritan Board Professor
Hi Romans 11 says the Gentiles will come in, and this to the jealousy of the Jews in which a fulness of Jews will come in followed by even more Gentiles.

I don't know the number, but it will be a lot of Jews and Gentiles, but it is not now. Hi, I'm Postmillenial. I would say it is a great number. I wouldn't say it is or isn't a majority of all peoples from all times, I would say it is a majority of the people at the end as many nations will covenant with Jesus and thus many peoples will come unto Him and bow the knee.

Psa 72:1 A Psalm for Solomon. Give the king thy judgments, O God, and thy righteousness unto the king's son.
Psa 72:2 He shall judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with judgment.
Psa 72:3 The mountains shall bring peace to the people, and the little hills, by righteousness.
Psa 72:4 He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor.
Psa 72:5 They shall fear thee as long as the sun and moon endure, throughout all generations.
Psa 72:6 He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass: as showers that water the earth.
Psa 72:7 In his days shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth.
Psa 72:8 He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth.
Psa 72:9 They that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him; and his enemies shall lick the dust.
Psa 72:10 The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents: the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts.
Psa 72:11 Yea, all kings shall fall down before him: all nations shall serve him.
Psa 72:12 For he shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and him that hath no helper.
Psa 72:13 He shall spare the poor and needy, and shall save the souls of the needy.
Psa 72:14 He shall redeem their soul from deceit and violence: and precious shall their blood be in his sight.
Psa 72:15 And he shall live, and to him shall be given of the gold of Sheba: prayer also shall be made for him continually; and daily shall he be praised.
Psa 72:16 There shall be an handful of corn in the earth upon the top of the mountains; the fruit thereof shall shake like Lebanon: and they of the city shall flourish like grass of the earth.
Psa 72:17 His name shall endure for ever: his name shall be continued as long as the sun: and men shall be blessed in him: all nations shall call him blessed.
Psa 72:18 Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things.
Psa 72:19 And blessed be his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen.
Psa 72:20 The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended.
 

Stephen L Smith

Administrator
Staff member
I'm not sure you can make a connection between Postmillennialism and a majority of people being saved at the end, but certainly Postmillennialism does believe in a spiritual golden age at the end of time.

I like reading books on revival to encourage my heart. Throughout the history of the church one can see times of terrible spiritual declension and times of great revival. In the Old Testament church for example, Judges was a time of spiritual declension and Nehemiah a time of revival.

You might be interested in these resources:
  • Pentecost today by Iain Murray. One of the best books I have read on revival. Also the sister book Revival and Revivalism
  • The Puritan Hope by Iain Murray.
  • Jonathan Edwards on Revival (paperback book)
  • Martyn Lloyd-Jones classic sermons on revival
 

Grant

Puritan Board Senior
I'm not sure you can make a connection between Postmillennialism and a majority of people being saved at the end, but certainly Postmillennialism does believe in a spiritual golden age at the end of time.

I like reading books on revival to encourage my heart. Throughout the history of the church one can see times of terrible spiritual declension and times of great revival. In the Old Testament church for example, Judges was a time of spiritual declension and Nehemiah a time of revival.

You might be interested in these resources:
  • Pentecost today by Iain Murray. One of the best books I have read on revival. Also the sister book Revival and Revivalism
  • The Puritan Hope by Iain Murray.
  • Jonathan Edwards on Revival (paperback book)
  • Martyn Lloyd-Jones classic sermons on revival
Thanks for the resources. My next eschatology read will be Brakel’s Revelation Commentary. I am currently Amil, but will go into the work with an open mind as Brakel was a Historicist Postmil. However this work will have to wait until I finish up Vol. 3 & 4 of The Christian’s Reasonable Service.
 
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Ed Walsh

Puritan Board Senior
I do not believe this view to be biblical and the immediate verse that always comes to mind is “narrow is the gate” and “few enter”.

Whether you buy Warfield's thesis or not, you should read it.
It's a little long to paste into a post, so I attached a PDF of his paper. It has been my experience that few download attached files. Maybe this will be an exception. Everyone with interest in the future should read this. (11 pages)

ARE THEY FEW
THAT BE SAVED?

BY
BENJAMIN B. WARFIELD, D. D., LL. D., LITT. D.
Professor in Princeton Theological Seminary​

He says, in essence, that [although] there are only about three places in the New Testament relied on for this negative conclusion, [my additions] that the entire momentum of the Bible, Old, and New Testaments, is towards the progressive success of the Gospel through the (future) faithfulness of the Church and the foolishness of preaching.

Most of the following words are mine. Warfield did not develop his thesis beyond discounting the negative verses mentioned above.

Let's be careful that we do not adopt the view of the ten spies in Numbers 13&14. As a result of their negative view of the future and the discouragement it caused to spread through the entire adult population, these three things happened. (Numbers 14)
  1. God brought judgment on the unbelief (disobedience) of 600,000 men of war. All the adults 20 years old and over were condemned to die in the wilderness. Only the two adults (Joshuah and Calib) believed God's promises were spared and allowed to enter the promised land.
  2. In the midsts of this judgment, God said, As I live, saith the Lord, the whole world will be full of my glory.
  3. But turning to the ten spies (teachers) that gave the bad report, God killed them on the spot.
The ratio of those that believe Matt. 28:18-20 has usually been, at least in the modern Church, 10 to 2 in favor of the spies' view. And that's being optimistic. Read the whole Bible from Genesis to Revelation and see if what I say isn't true. There are hundreds, perhaps a thousand times more evidence for a victorious Church than a defeated Christ. But modern Christians usually just spiritualize these passages into what is, in effect, Christ's Great Commission's failure. Go back at least to Gen 3:15.

EDIT: And I do not consider myself a Postmillianialist, in that I see no teaching that there is some future date when the millennium starts. I am with the Amills that we are now in the millennium.
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John 1:29 (KJV 1900)
The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

John 3:16,17 (KJV & ESV)
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.


1 John 4:14 (ESV)
14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.

John 4:42 (ESV)
They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.”
[Note: Said by the Samaritans to the woman at the well.]

John 12:47 (KJV 1900)
And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.

John 17:21,23
21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
[Will this prayer of Christ ever be answered? Please, do not tell me that it has been completely fulfilled already.]


1 John 2:2 (ESV)
He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.

1 John 4:14
And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.
 

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