Answering the rebuttals of a Catholic apologist, #43: “A Thousand-Year Reign”

Today, we continue with our series responding to “Meeting the Protestant Challenge: How to Answer 50 Biblical Objections to Catholic Beliefs” (2019), written by Karlo Broussard. With this next chapter, the Catholic apologist completes his “The Last Things” section as he attempts to counter the belief in “A Thousand-Year Reign” held by some Protestants.

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Many evangelical Christians believe in a literal, thousand-year, millennial reign of Jesus Christ upon the Earth following His second coming based upon the text of Revelation 20:

“…They will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.” – Revelation 20:6

Catholicism does not teach premillennialism, the literal, thousand-year reign of Christ. The RCC subscribes to the amillennial view, which teaches that there will not be a literal thousand-year reign. Broussard offers two arguments to defend the Catholic position:

(1) Broussard suggests that the “thousand years” referred to in Revelation 20 is strictly symbolic. He presents examples of Bible verses where the number 1000 is used symbolically such as in Psalm 50:10 and 1 Chronicles 16:15 and argues a symbolic interpretation is also intended for Revelation 20.

(2) Broussard argues that “the contextual details (of Rev. 20) suggest that the thousand years overlaps with the ministry of Jesus and the Church age” (p. 231). The details Broussard cites are those that describe Satan as being “bound.” Broussard argues that Satan was bound during Jesus’s earthly ministry and is bound now, during the Church age, so that he cannot hinder the preaching of the gospel as Christ builds His Church.

Let’s now respond to Broussard.

Evangelicals are divided over the three views connected with millenarianism:

Premillennialism – the belief that Jesus Christ will return and set up a literal 1000-year reign upon Earth.*

Postmillennialism – the belief that the preaching of the Gospel and the increasing conversion of souls over a period of time symbolized by the “1000-years” in Rev. 20 will usher in the return of Jesus Christ. This view was once overridingly popular among mainline Protestant denominations, but it’s not even a consideration for them any longer in this era of mainline Protestant apostasy.

Amillennialism – the belief that there will not be a literal 1000-year reign, but that Christ currently reigns on Earth through the church and His followers.

As a new Christian, I was discipled at a Gospel-preaching church that taught the pre-trib rapture and the pre-millennial return of Jesus Christ. I’m comfortable with those views, but I know many genuine Christians believe differently. I’m definitely not passionate when it comes to eschatology, so I generally keep my endtimes beliefs to myself. Some Christians do have strongly-held views on the endtimes. Debates on the topic, some quite heated, can be found all over the internet.

Here’s the most important takeaway from this chapter for me: Catholic apologist Broussard is quibbling over details of endtimes eschatology, while his church teaches a false gospel of salvation by sacramental grace and merit. It’s like being on an airliner flying eight miles above the ground and arguing with the stewardess about the cabin temperature while one of the plane’s engines is visibly aflame. Let’s keep our focus on the “first things.” Broussard defends his church’s amillennialist view, claiming that Satan is bound while the RCC advances its works-righteousness gospel. Does not compute. Satan is VERY pleased that the RCC teaches anti-Biblical, works-righteousness salvation. I would suggest, as did all of the Reformers, that Satan played/plays a part in the creation and perpetuation of the RC false church. But why does the Catholic apologist quibble about endtimes details when the RCC officially teaches that people of all religions – Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, etc., and even atheists – all of whom generally have NO CLUE regarding the difference between premillennialism and amillennialism – may also merit their salvation if they are “good” and sincerely “follow the light they are given”?

What is millenarianism?
https://www.gotquestions.org/millenarianism.html

*Premillennialism is further divided into Historic Premillennialism and Dispensational Premillennialism. See here.

Next up: “Doctrines of Demons”

29 thoughts on “Answering the rebuttals of a Catholic apologist, #43: “A Thousand-Year Reign”

  1. “How can a chain literally hold a nonphysical spirit?” (Broussard, p. 218 kindle). I literally said, “Oh my God!” out loud. Before meeting you his would have annoyed me, since meeting you, this is egregious to me because we are to “believe” that week after week the “Jesus wafer” is Christ. If God can transform Himself into the wafer why couldn’t “a chain literally hold a nonphysical spirit?” I don’t agree with either of these premises. I do take it literally but as a secondary issue like you mention, it’s not a hill I want to die on. Broussard’s logic astounds me more and more each week. Broussard wants the Triune God to fit into his man made religious box rather than submitting himself to God’s Word and letting His Word permeate his mind, heart and hands.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Tom. So I have fallen down the rabbit hole in “The Gospel According to Rome.” I cannot understand the practice of emergency baptism for unborn babies in distress. This website says even a nonCatholic can perform baptism on the unborn https://www.catholicdoors.com/faq/qu641.htm this article gives a lot of details https://catholicismhastheanswer.com/how-to-baptize-in-case-of-a-miscarriage/ would an RCC abortion dr find they could justify their occupation because they could baptize the baby before his/her removal? You don’t need to post this comment, I couldn’t find your email address. You can also email me at als0810@comcast.net this is the most heart breaking thing I have read yet. You can’t just be concerned that your baby is in distress you have to worry about baptism as well.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for your question about Catholic pedobaptism. It’s one of the strangest things about Catholicism. The RCC holds to two diametrically opposed views. On the one hand, they absolutely believe in baptismal regeneration. The church once taught that all unbaptized infants who died were consigned to a place in hell called Limbo, where there was no suffering, but no eternal joy either. Therefore, personnel at Catholic hospitals automatically baptized all babies in medical peril. They’ve since dropped the teaching on Limbo and now say they “hope” God will be merciful to unbaptized babies and take them to Heaven. Liberalism began impacting Catholic theologians in the 1940s and 50s and at the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) the church proclaimed all unbaptized people could also merit Heaven if they were “good” and sincere. They would be covered by “Baptismus flaminis,” the “baptism of desire” clause which originally stated that catechumens who were training for baptism, but died before it could be administered, received its effects. After Vatican II, this exemption/qualifier was extended to all those non-Catholic religionists who would have desired baptism had they known how important it was. So the RCC dichotomously holds to baptismal regeneration and a form of Universalism.
        In the post below, I delve into the history of how Catholicism widened its view on baptismal regeneration:

        https://excatholic4christ.wordpress.com/2019/10/04/leonard-feeney-opposed-catholicisms-drift-into-universalism/

        Liked by 1 person

      2. From the moment a baby is born they have to deal with the fact they have a sin nature, being raised in a church that told them their baptism is only the first step in a lifetimes worth of legalism and rituals to obtain salvation. Charity begins at home takes on a whole new meaning.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. RE: baptism first step
        Yeah, a Catholic infant is allegedly “born again” when he/she is baptized, but then it’s a constant revolving door – losing salvation by mortal sin, regaining salvation at confession, losing, regaining, etc., etc. A Catholic must hope they time it just right and be in the “state of grace” portion of the cycle the moment of their death.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Thanks, Mandy!
      RE: Satan chained
      I also had a definite problem with this one. I certainly believe Satan and his demons are stymied to a degree as a result of spiritual warfare involving the Holy Spirit and angels, BUT Scripture in multiple passages tells us that Satan is the ruler of this world and has temporary dominion here, which definitely contrasts with the description of Satan being bound in Rev. 20:1-3.
      These last two chapters were difficult for me because these eschatological topics are not, as you said, hills I want to die on. They take the focus off of the much more important differences involving justification and salvation.
      Oh yes, Broussard’s sophistry is astounding. Yesterday, I completed another Friday post scheduled for two weeks out and his argument is blatantly self-refuting. My jaw dropped at the irrationality.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Well handled. Part of his motive for putting focus on an area that has disagreement among protestants may simply be deflection and distraction. You rightly returned the focus to where it belonged. God bless.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Craig! I appreciate the encouragement in the Lord! Yes, it’s ridiculous to argue over the arrangement of the deck chairs on the Titanic when the ship’s bow is already submerged.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Keep those “Bible contradictions” rebuttals coming! I’ll probably take a looooong break from Catholic apologetics books after I finish with Broussard.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Interesting that Broussard says that Satan was bound and is bound during the church age so that he can not hinder the preaching of the gospel.
    Satan would seem bound to Broussard as the RCC false gospel is not being hindered by Satan at all.
    He should try preaching the true gospel and he will soon find out that Satan is not bound .

    Liked by 1 person

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