“The LORD will be king over all the earth” (Zech. 14:9), but He will not be the only king. Rather, He will reign as King of kings and Lord of lords (Rev. 17:14; 19:16). Isaiah prophesies, “Look, a righteous king is coming! And honest princes will rule under him” (Isa. 32:1). Indeed, nations will retain a form of human government with God’s faithful servants appointed as kings over nations (Luke 19:12–19). Speaking of the New Jerusalem, Revelation says, “The nations will walk in its light, and the kings of the world will enter the city in all their glory. … And all the nations will bring their glory and honor into the city” (Rev. 21:24, 26).
Implicit in Revelation 21:26 is that nations will preserve their diversity. The glory and splendor of a nation rests in the distinction of its accomplishments, products, and culture. Today, the glory of Greece is its philosophy; the glory of China rests in its architectural wonders, and the glory of America is rooted in its liberties. It would seem that, in God’s eternal kingdom, each nation will continue to chart its own course for executing humanity’s dominion mandate. This will produce distinction in culture, products, and accomplishments, yet there will be no jealousy because all will be united in purpose.
Having submitted themselves to God, the nations will no longer be motivated by conflicting self-interests. As such, nations will experience lasting peace: “They will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will no longer fight against nation, nor train for war anymore” (Isa. 2:4b).
No longer will there be hostility between nations, nor will there be a need to divide the people’s collective efforts as a restraint against evil. Instead, we will live in true obedience to God (Rev. 21:3–4; 22:1–5). Therefore, God will once more unite our language so that we can better serve Him in one accord, just as we were originally designed. God declares, “At that time I will change the speech of the people to a pure speech, that all of them may call upon the name of the LORD and serve him with one accord” (Zeph. 3:9, ESV).
Having been conformed to the image of Christ in our thinking and our behavior, we as God’s people will finally be able to fulfill our original task of stewarding God’s creation as God’s faithful imagers. Some will even be honored with stewarding humanity as members of God’s redeemed human government. Regardless, each of us will possess a national identity and will have a meaningful role in ruling over God’s creation in community forever.
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