"All the nations you have made shall come and bow down before you, O Lord, and shall glorify your name" (Psalm 86:9, NRSV).
When God confirmed the Sinai Covenant with ancient Israel, He summarized how He wanted the people to respond: "And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of the Lord and His statutes which I command you today for your good?" (Deuteronomy 10:12-13).
That vital priority has never changed. Concerning the New Covenant mediated by Jesus Christ, God promised, "This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them" (Hebrews 10:16; quoting from Jeremiah 31:33). The ultimate intent of God's master plan is to change the hearts of all peoples so He can give them His gift of eternal life.
The New Covenant promises are already available to people from all nations through Jesus Christ. But only a "little flock" (Luke 12:32) is responding through real repentance at this time (for an explanation of how that "little flock" has survived until this day, be sure to request or download our free booklet The Church Jesus Built).
At Christ's return, when He assumes the office of King of Kings, a crucial aspect of His mission will be to lead all people on earth to repentance. His direct intervention in human affairs will begin at a time when mankind is engulfed in the worst conflict the world has ever known.
Jesus personally foretold this unprecedented period of human suffering: "For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again. If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened" (Matthew 24:21-22, NIV).
That distressful time will be relatively short. Then, "immediately after the tribulation of those days . . . the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory" (Matthew 24:29-30).
King of all the earth
At His return there will be "loud voices in heaven, saying, 'The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!'" (Revelation 11:15). He will start changing the behavior and attitudes of people in every nation.
Once they repent—by acknowledging their transgressions of God's law and turning to seek Him—they will receive the Spirit of God as promised in the New Covenant. This will enable them finally to begin obeying God from the heart.
However, bringing all nations to repentance won't happen overnight. It may take several years.
One of Jesus' first tasks will be to gather the modern descendants of ancient Israel back to the Holy Land. There He will transform them into a model nation for all other nations to copy. "It shall come to pass in that day that the Lord shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people . . . and will assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth" (Isaiah 11:11-12).
To that restored Israel He promises, "Then I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the Lord; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God, for they shall return to Me with their whole heart"(Jeremiah 24:7).
The fruit of peaceful, law-abiding people
This changed heart will produce lasting results. "They will build houses and dwell in them; they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit. No longer will they build houses and others live in them, or plant and others eat. For as the days of a tree, so will be the days of my people; my chosen ones will long enjoy the works of their hands.
"They will not toil in vain or bear children doomed to misfortune; for they will be a people blessed by the Lord, they and their descendants with them" (Isaiah 65:21-23, NIV).
Gradually, all of mankind will begin to enjoy the fruits of peace. Notice how the other nations, seeing these wonderful benefits, will begin to respond:
"And it will come about in the last days that . . . many nations will come and say, 'Come and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord and to the house of the God of Jacob, that He may teach us about His ways and that we may walk in His paths.' For from Zion will go forth the law, even the word of the Lord from Jerusalem . . . and never again will they train for war" (Micah 4:1-3, NASB).
At that time the fruit of God's laws being written in the hearts and minds of all peoples will become apparent. By demonstrating the benefits of obeying God's commandments from the heart—by the example of an entire nation— Jesus Christ will be able to spread peace to the whole earth.
"This is what the Lord Almighty says: 'Many peoples and the inhabitants of many cities will yet come, and the inhabitants of one city will go to another and say, "Let us go at once to entreat the Lord and seek the Lord Almighty. I myself am going." And many peoples and powerful nations will come to Jerusalem to seek the Lord Almighty and to entreat him'" (Zechariah 8:20-22, NIV).
What a different world that will be from today's world, where the law of God is mostly spurned. It will be united under the rule of Jesus Christ, who explained to one young man searching for eternal life, "If you want to enter life, obey the commandments" (Matthew 19:17, NIV). That message has never changed. It is the message of the New Covenant. God's law will then be written in the hearts of all those willing and wanting to receive God's gift of eternal life.
Make it personal
Knowing what God has in store for the future, why not take a long look at your relationship with Him and His Son Jesus Christ? Are you willing to let Him write His law in your heart?
When God opens one's mind to understand His ways, He holds that person responsible for what he or she knows and does. "Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin" (James 4:17).
Once we understand what sin is, God expects us to begin changing our lives. As the apostle Paul put it, "In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent" (Acts 17:30, NIV).
When examining ourselves, it is comforting to remember these verses: "For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly [in heartfelt prayer] to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews 4:15-16).
Those who sincerely seek the help of Jesus Christ have the promise that "the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:7).
With that assurance you can look forward to receiving another wonderful promise: "Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years" (Revelation 20:6).
You can be one of those called to assist Jesus Christ in writing the law of God in the hearts of all of mankind. All of this is possible if only you will become a part of those who, as James 1:22 puts it, are "doers of the word, and not hearers only."