April 28th, 2013
[kil''-ee-az-um](Greek khilioi, “one thousand”)
Also, “millennialism.”The belief in a future return of Christ and a subsequent thousand-year reign on the Earth. This reign follows the present age and is followed by the judgment and the creation of a New Heaven and New Earth. This belief was held by most in the early centuries of the Church including Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Commodian, Lactantius, Methodius, Melito, and Apollinaris of Laodicea. However, most began to shift in their theology during the fourth century to an amillennial stance (the belief that we are in the millennium). This was primarily due to the influence of St. Augustine who thought the idea of a future earthly reign of Christ was carnal-minded. In the nineteenth century the term premillennialism began to describe chiliastic theology more precisely and eventually developed beyond the basic beliefs of the early Church. From the time of Augustine to the nineteenth century, chiliasm was generally condemned. Today it is held by the majority of pastors and lay people in Evangelicalism, but is still rejected by much (if not most) of Evangelical scholarship.