Psalm 98

Sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things; his right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him. The LORD has made his salvation known and revealed his righteousness to the nations. He has remembered his love and his faithfulness to the house of Israel; all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music; make music to the LORD with the harp, with the harp and the sound of singing, with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn— shout for joy before the LORD, the King.

Let the sea resound, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it. Let the rivers clap their hands, Let the mountains sing together for joy; let them sing before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples with equity.

Many Bible commentators, when writing about the End of the Age, stop at the Lord’s return at the end of the Great Tribulation. This psalm is obviously written about the time beginning immediately afterward. Here’s how things will go according to the Lord’s own account.

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. (Matt. 24:31-34,41)

Those who were left on Earth after the Rapture and have survived the subsequent seven years of judgments will know exactly what’s coming. He’s arrived to establish phase two of His Kingdom, the time Christians know as the Millennium, a thousand years of peace. Finally Isaiah’s prophecy, echoed in the message of the angelic choir over Bethlehem, will be coming true.

Israel will once again be Earth’s favored nation, allowed to live in peace in the land promised to Abraham so long ago, never again to be uprooted. And as has happened so often in the past when God’s people are in their land and at peace with Him, the creation itself will blossom and flourish with such energy and exuberance that it will actually break forth in unrestrained praise. The sky will be at its bluest, the grass at its greenest, the weather always perfect. And peace on earth, good will toward men will be the song in everyone’s heart.

The streets will be filled with the happy sound of children playing. Young men and women will dream confidently of a future filled with promise, and the elderly will bask in the contentment of a life well lived. The sound of weeping and crying will be heard no more. Peace will reign on Planet Earth, and in the sky above the New Jerusalem, home of the redeemed, will bear testimony that the ends of the Earth have seen the salvation of our God.

Sounds good, doesn’t it? Why can’t we have that now? Because there are three major obstacles to this utopian ideal that currently prevent it. First and foremost is Satan, the enemy of peace, whose personal war with God has infected and nearly destroyed all of mankind. He’ll be defeated, bound in chains for the duration of the 1000 year Kingdom.

The second is the debilitating effect of man’s divided will. At the Kingdom’s establishment every surviving non-believer will be removed from the Earth. Finally, there will be only one will on Earth, God’s will. Our centuries long prayer, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven” will have been answered.

And third, our King, who has been gone these last 2000 years will have returned to personally establish and rule over His Kingdom on Earth. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this. (Isaiah 9:7)

If you long for peace on Earth, and who doesn’t, then pray for the Lord’s return. It’s our best hope, our only hope. Come Lord Jesus.