What Is The Future Of The Nations?

Recently I dialogued with a famous New Testament Theologian from England. Our discussion centered on Israel and the Church. He was “replacement theology” oriented (thinking that the Church is now the ongoing meaning of Israel and that ethnic Israel no longer has any claim to the status of God’s elect people). We spent much time on many passages, but he was not convinced.

Toward the end of our dialogue, I spoke about my hope that when Israel as a nation turns to Yeshua, it will lead to the conversion of the nations of the world. Indeed, it will lead to His return and world redemption. He was astonished that I thought that there would be a mass conversion of the nations after the tribulation and the judgments of the wrath of God (Revelation 16).

For some reason, I was surprised that this was not obvious to him, although in retrospect, I myself was raised with church teachers who never taught this, but had a pessimistic view of the end of this age. However, text after text shows us that the biblical hope is for world redemption. I could fill pages and pages with texts from the Prophets and Psalms to show this. There is no way out of this conclusion. Here are a few such texts.

A Glorious Future

Isaiah 2 is most amazing. It predicts that all nations will come up to Jerusalem and that the Law will go forth from Zion. The nations will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nations will no longer learn war. The implications of this are enormous. Isaiah 11 repeats that same hope combined with the idea that the Messiah is the banner for the nations. Even nature, the animal kingdom, will be elevated to a new level of peace.

Isaiah 45 is sometimes looked at as teaching only that the unconverted are forced to bow the knee to Yeshua. However, the context makes this pessimistic view impossible. The text states, “Turn to Me and be saved, all you ends of the earth. By Myself I have sworn, My mouth has uttered in all integrity, a word that will not be revoked. Before Me, every knee will bow, by Me every tongue will swear. They will say of Me, ‘In the Lord alone are righteousness and strength.’” Philippians 2 repeats this promise and applies it to Yeshua.

“Nations will come to your light” (Isaiah 60:3). Isaiah 65, Amos 9, Micah 4 and multiple Psalms repeat the hope that the nations as corporate people, will come to the knowledge of God.

Yes, there will be great difficulties before that happens. However, let us keep in mind that the extension of the Kingdom in Yeshua to Israel and the nations will eventually reach this goal of world redemption.