The doctrine of millennialism is based on a more literal interpretation of Revelation 20. We reject this teaching of an earthly 1,000 year rule of the saints between a so-called secret coming (i.e. “the rapture”) and the visible second coming of Christ during the age of the church militant. This interpretation which expects a visible, earthly kingdom of Christ lasting for a literal millennium and teaches more than one resurrection before the final judgment, is also denied by us (John 5:28-29; Hebrews 12:27-28).
We reject any form of millennialism as an earthly thousand-year reign as setting the saints minds on earthly goals and not upon the eternal things above (Colossians 3:1-3). We believe that this was first a notion of the unbelieving Jews that held to the establishment of an earthly kingdom established in Jerusalem. But Christ has clearly said that His kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36). On the contrary, we believe that the kingdom of Christ is the Kingdom of faith, where He rules in the hearts of His believers (Luke 17:21). Christ exercises this reign among His people, through the preaching of the Gospel and the administration of the Sacraments.
We also reject the reformed Christian argument that there will be a conversion of the all the Jews contrary to what Paul clearly states in Romans 9:1-8; and, the defeat of Antichrist (see our beliefs on antichrist) that would account for two eschatological returns of Christ and for two resurrections (a misinterpretation of Rev. 20:4-6 re: “the first resurrection.”)
We therefore embrace the Scriptural teaching that there will be only one return of Christ seen by all nations on the last day; and there will be only one Judgment Day at the end of time as confessed by our churches that hold to the Augsburg Confession, Article XVII.