We have defined Postmillennialism as that view of the last things which holds that the Kingdom of God is now being extended in the world through the preaching of the Gospel and the saving work ok the Holy Spirit in the hearts of individuals, that the world eventually is to be Christianized, and that the return of Christ is to occur at the close of a long period of righteousness and peace commonly called the 'Millennium.' It should be added that on postmillennial principles the second coming of Christ will be followed immediately by the general resurrection, the general judgment, and the introduction of heaven and hell in their fullness.
The Millennium to which the Postmillennialist looks forward is thus a golden age of spiritual prosperity during this present dispensation, that is, during the Church age, and is to be brought about through forces now active in the world. It is an indefinitely long period of time, perhaps much longer than a literal one thousand years. The changed character of individuals will be reflected in an uplifted social, economic, political and cultural life of mankind. The world at large will then enjoy a state of righteousness such as at the present time has been seen only in relatively small and isolated groups, as for example in some family circles, some local church groups and kindred organizations.
That's fundamentally at odds with a preterist timetable:
In this slim volume, Edward E. Stevens clearly and convincingly demonstrates that our Lord Jesus Christ predicted His Return within the lifetime of His first-century hearers. That fact presents Christians with a dilemma: If Jesus was wrong in His prediction (as theological liberals have been saying for many years), we have a much bigger problem than an academic theological issue regarding the doctrine of Eschatology - it means we can't rely on Jesus for salvation, either! If we can't trust Jesus in Matthew 24, we certainly can't trust Him in John 3:16! As a well-known theologian recently said, "If Jesus is a false prophet, my faith is in vain."
But Mr. Stevens shows that Jesus fulfilled His promise, explicitly and to the letter, in the "great tribulation" of A.D.70, in which God unleashed His covenant wrath against Israel, which had been threatened for centuries throughout the Old Testament Law and Prophets, and specifically applied to first-century Israel in the Gospels and Epistles of the New Testament.
I am particularly impressed by two arguments: First, Stevens provides a chart showing the harmony of Christ's two separate discourses recorded in Matthew 24 and Luke 17 - demonstrating that any proposed division of Matthew 24 into two different "comings" is illegitimate, nugatory, and gossamer. Scripture foretells a Second Coming (Heb.9:28) - not a third!
Second, Stevens presses Christ's declaration in Luke 21:22 to its limit: "Jesus said that all Old Testament prophecy would be fulfilled by the time Jerusalem was destroyed." The more I pondered the awesome implications of Jesus' words, the more I realized their truly revolutionary significance for eschatology. Without exception, every event foretold by the Biblical prophets was fulfilled within that generation, as Jesus had said (Matt. 16:27-28; 24:34).