How does the Amillennial view see the literal, earthly return of Christ to be fulfilled in Luke 1:26-33?
This question was posed by Dr. David Reagan to his Christmas special panel of guest Bible prophecy teachers: Don McGee of Crown and Sickle Ministries, Dennis Pollock of Spirit of Grace Ministries, and Don Perkins of According to Prophecy Ministries.
"Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph of the descendants of David. And the virgin's name was Mary. And coming in, he said to her, hail, favored one, the Lord is with you. But she was greatly troubled at this statement and kept pondering what kind of salutation this might be. And the angel said to her, Do not be afraid, Mary for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb, and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great, and He will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and His kingdom will have no end." - Luke 1:26-33
Dr. Reagan: Well, let me make a point about Amillennialism. I grew up in an Amillennial teaching church, and the only sermon we ever heard about Bible prophecy was one that said, "There is not one verse in the Bible that even implies that Jesus will ever put His foot on this earth again." I heard that over and over and over. "He is never coming back to this earth. He'll just appear. We'll go up to meet Him. The earth will cease to exist. We'll be in a nether-nether land, floating around on a cloud playing a harp." Something like that, but, "there's not one verse that implies He'll ever put His foot on this earth again." What about that?
Don McGee: What did they do with Zechariah 14? That chapter would be kind of difficult to deal with. It says the Messiah is coming back to this earth. Not only does it say He's coming back to this earth, but it specifically says He's coming back to the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. The mount will break open. It will split in a great earthquake.
Dr. Reagan: Zechariah 14:9 says, "on that day He will become..." What?
Dennis Pollock/Don McGee: "King over the whole earth."
Don Perkins: I believe it's a physical prophecy. Again, He must fulfill that prophecy, every jot and tittle of the Word He must complete. The Jews thought at the time after Jesus' resurrection when He ministered to the disciples, they thought He was coming to restore the kingdom at that moment. But, He said to them like, "Just wait a little while longer, I've got some things we're going to do." He knew that there was a time when He would come back and physically reign sovereignly as King.
Dr. Reagan: Well, another problem with the Amillennial viewpoint is it claims that the Millennium began at the Cross and that it's going to end when Jesus Christ returns. That's been two thousand years and yet the Bible says it's going to last a thousand years. Amillennialists say, "Well, the thousand years is figuratively, it's symbolic, it doesn't really mean a thousand years." What do you think about that?
Dennis Pollock: The thing that amazes me is not that the liberal theologians believe that, because they symbolize almost everything. They even say Jesus' resurrection was symbolic. He didn't even literally, physically rise. So, that doesn't surprise me. But, there are churches that hold pretty much to the face value of the Bible when it comes to everything else... except prophecy. When it comes to prophecy, they start symbolizing like crazy and spiritualizing. They take that thousand years and say, "It can't mean that." Obviously it couldn't if they're going to hold on to that doctrine. But, I just don't understand how someone can take every other aspect of the Bible at face value, but then take this one section and just spiritualize it.
Dr. Reagan: You make a very good point there. It's understandable for liberals to spiritualize, but for conservatives? I grew up in a very conservative church that taught me the Bible means exactly what it says from beginning to end, unless it's talking about the Second Coming of Jesus, then it never means what it says. Now how can you justify that?
Dennis Pollock: You can't.
In the last segment of this "Forgotten Promises of Christmas" series, we'll go right to the Bible and see just how many times it declares Jesus' kingdom on earth will last a thousand years.