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Wordwise Insight, Issue #109
September 14, 2013


BIBLE INSIGHTS (and Reader Q & A): Will there still be different nations in eternity?

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Nations in Eternity

(Will there be nations in eternity?)

QUESTION: What is God's plan for Israel after the Tribulation?

ANSWER: It’s a great question, and I’m going to take the liberty of expanding it a little to ask: What is God’s plan for the world’s nations (including Israel), in the future?

We need to take a look at how the nations relate especially to two periods, in the plan and program of God: both the thousand-year Millennium following the Tribulation, and the unending eternal state to follow that.

While there is a great deal of Scripture that relates to the Millennium (sometimes called the Kingdom Age), relatively little is said about what things will be like in eternity. We have some clues and brief comments, but for the rest we’ll have to wait and see.

Premillennial Bible expositors and scholars, whom I greatly respect, differ on whether the nations will still exist as separate entities in eternity. The disagreement often centres on the interpretation of Revelation chapters 21 and 22, especially 21:9 to 22:7. The passage includes this descriptive statement:

“The nations of those who are saved shall walk in its [New Jerusalem’s] light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honour into it....They shall bring the glory and the honour of the nations into it” (vs. 24, 26).

Here are the two main views taken by premillennialists:

1) That after describing the beginning of eternity (in 21:1-8), the passage reverts to a discussion of the Millennium. Therefore, in the above verses, we’re seeing the nations and their rulers paying tribute to God during that thousand years.

2) That the passage in question continues on from the creation of the new heavens and new earth (21:1) and it all (including 21:24, 26) describes the eternal state. And that, therefore, it is clear there will indeed be nations in eternity.

I tend to favour this latter view, but not dogmatically. I’m open to more light on the subject.

When the Lord Jesus returns...

(To read the remainder of the article, click on Nations in Eternity.


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I have developed a blog that is called Wordwise Hymns. As the title suggests, it is about hymns, and church music in general.

But as many of you will know, a blog is especially designed to facilitate a conversation on its particular subject. Readers can easily post comments about what they see, and I'm able to reply. I hope you will take part in the discussion!

Through 2010, almanac entries dealt with what happened in hymn history on each day of the year. Beginning in 2011, I hope to analyze hymns from a biblical standpoint, linking to the material that has come before.

My hope is that the blog will add to the value of the website and this newsletter, and promote some profitable exchanges on the subject of sacred music.

What happened on this day in hymnology? To find out, click Wordwise Hymns.

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