God is redeeming His creation. This includes not only individuals but also nations! Far from becoming obsolete at the return of Christ, nations will continue to play an important role in God’s redemption story throughout eternity.
God will judge not only individuals upon His return but also nations:
“I will gather the armies of the world into the valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will judge them … Come quickly, all you nations everywhere. Gather together in the valley. … Let the nations be called to arms. Let them march to the valley of Jehoshaphat. There I, the LORD, will sit to pronounce judgment on them all. … Thousands upon thousands are waiting in the valley of decision. There the day of the LORD will soon arrive” (Joel 3:2, 11a, 12, 14, NLT).
Likewise, Isaiah prophesied, “I will gather all nations and people together, and they will see my glory” (Isa. 66:18). At that time, “The wicked will go down to the grave. This is the fate of all the nations who ignore God” (Psa. 9:17, NLT).
Those nations that remain will serve the Lord: “People from many nations will come and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of Jacob’s God. There he will teach us his ways, and we will walk in his paths.’ … The LORD will mediate between nations and will settle international disputes” (Isa. 2:3a, 4a, NLT).
All of creation is eagerly awaiting this day when God’s stewards, restored in our relationship to Him, will finally govern creation in faithful obedience: “For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay” (Rom. 8:19–22, NLT).
What began as a response to the destructive influence of sin and as a judgment to hold evil at bay will be redeemed. Human government, and the nations of the world, will provide an organized structure as we fulfill our dominion mandate in a manner that Adam and Eve—or even Noah and his family—could never have fathomed. Ultimately, the nations will become God’s eternal means of propagating righteousness throughout His restored creation.
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