John 14:3 Leaves no Room for a Millennial Kingdom

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Premillennialism teaches that there will be an earthly, millennial kingdom, where, upon His return, Christ will rule as King over the world. However, Jesus Himself reveals that there cannot be such a kingdom:

 

(John 14:1-4) – 1 “Do not let your hearts be distressed. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2 There are many dwelling places in my Father’s house. Otherwise, I would have told you, because I am going away to make ready a place for you. 3 And if I go and make ready a place for you, I will come again and take you to be with me, so that where I am you may be too. 4 And you know the way where I am going.” (NET)

(John 16:28) – 28 I came from the Father and entered into the world, but in turn, I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.”  (NET)

(John 17:24) – 24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, so that they can see my glory that you gave me because you loved me before the creation of the world. (NET)

 

(Also John 14:12; John 16:5,10,17; John 17:5,8,11,13)

 

Numerous times Jesus tells His disciples that He’s returning to His Father, from where He came. He’s obviously referring to Heaven. He tells them that while He’s gone, He will “make ready a place” for them. He also tells them that “I will come again and take you to be with me, so that where I am you may be too” and “so that they can see my glory.”

Note that it’s in Heaven where He is preparing a place for them, which includes all other believers, as well. Jesus reveals that when He returns, He will receive His own unto Himself, so that where He is, we will be also, which again, He reveals to be Heaven. This happens at the time of our resurrection.

What Jesus is referring to in all of these verses is our eternal state, which upon His return, we will be received by Him to dwell in His presence forever and ever — which is the Eternal Kingdom of the “new heaven and new earth” of Revelation 21 & 22, which is Heaven (read my commentary on those chapters in my Commentary on Revelation). It’s in Heaven that He’s preparing a place for us, and it’s in Heaven where we will spend eternity, which begins upon His return (via the resurrection), when Jesus will receive us unto Himself.

Nowhere in these passages do we see any reference to a millennial kingdom. They don’t even allow for one. We are not received into an earthly kingdom, but into a heavenly kingdom. Premillennialism teaches that upon the return of Christ, those who survive the tribulation period, will go into this 1000 year earthly kingdom. But how can that be when Jesus makes it clear that when He returns He will receive us into a heavenly kingdom? This would include so-called tribulation believers. How can Jesus receive tribulation believers into a Heavenly kingdom and into an earthly kingdom at the same time? It has to be one or the other. Jesus is not preparing a place for us in an earthly kingdom. That’s not where He is. He’s in Heaven, and that is where He is preparing a place for us.

What Jesus reveals in these passages, leaves no room for a millennial kingdom. Such an idea has to be forced into this whole discussion (by Jesus), based on assumptions and a positional bias. That’s not how we arrive at correct interpretations of Scripture.

I consider the teaching of an earthly, millennial kingdom, to be the biggest fallacy of end-time prophecy. It’s sincerely sad to me that so many Christians have their hearts set on a kingdom that I don’t believe exists. It’s not that anyone is trying to deceive anyone about it. It’s just an interpretation of Scripture that many sincere Bible teachers have. It’s a matter of hermeneutics. As one who held to the premillennial position most of my Christian life, I understand how they come to their conclusions. However, after so many years of study, I now believe that the premillennial position is based largely on assumptions, rather than sound exegesis. It’s also a position that is largely based on an Old Testament starting point. We each have our own journey regarding the study of end-time prophecy, but for me, I strongly disagree with the hermeneutics involved in the premillennial position — especially as it applies to Dispensational Premillennialism (as opposed to Historic Premillennialism). The premillennial position is severely at odds with the light of the New Testament, which I believe is the correct starting point, since the NT interprets the OT.

The reason I’m an Amillennialist is because I believe it’s the most straight-forward. It makes the most sense. It doesn’t rely on a lot of assumptions. It doesn’t force a position into the text of Scripture. It answers the most questions. Dispensational Premillennialism, is especially a very confusing and complicated system. So much of it simply doesn’t make any sense. By the way, I pick on the DP position so much, because that is the position that most Christians have, and was my own position most of my Christian life. Therefore, that’s the biggest obstacle to overcome in dealing with eschatology.

I think Christians like the idea of a 1000 year kingdom where Jesus rules the world. They see it as justice after 2000+ years of rejecting Christ. I see Christians on social media making comments to that effect. That’s understandable. I used to feel the same way. But now, my eyes are squarely on eternity, where I will dwell in a kingdom that is without sin, in the glorious presence of God — without having to make a thousand year stop along the way in a kingdom where sin will still exist and thrive (even with Jesus controlling the crime). Such a kingdom is not what I’m looking forward to. Such a kingdom is not my hope.

I encourage you to read my other studies under the “Kingdom of Christ” category. When you put it all together, the Amillennial position just makes sense. I recommend starting with this one: 

Kingdom of Christ Now – [1 Corinthians 15]

 

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