Session 24: Augustine’s Theology of the Future
In this session, I discuss Augustine’s understanding of the millennium, which was an early form of postmillennialism. Augustine lived from AD 354 to 430. His misinterpretation of Revelation 20 had a profound influence on Western civilization. In essence, Augustine believed the reign of Christ had already begun when the Roman emperors became Christian and established Christianity as the official religion of the state. He concluded that the Roman Christian rulers and church leaders were those sitting on thrones to reign with Christ over his messianic kingdom. His faulty understanding of the relationship between church and state led to a form of Christian theocracy that resulted in a tragic loss of religious freedom for hundreds of years.
Augustine taught that the first resurrection is of the regenerated spirit of the believer upon conversion; it is not of an actual body. He also taught that Satan is already bound, enabling God to rescue pagans from bondage to sin and spiritual death. Augustine believed that the millennium had already begun, with the emergence of Christ’s kingdom of believers on this earth. He concluded that the Roman Christian rulers and church leaders were those sitting on thrones to reign with Christ over his messianic kingdom.