I’m not sure if this belongs in “eschatology” or not (except in Vos’ sense). But here goes. I’ll go ahead and put this in the same series as the other “Future of Jesus” entries.
There are a lot of disagreements about how the book of Revelation should be interpreted. My point is not to rehearse them. My point is that they don’t matter as far as the question of Jesus’ kingdom is concerned. Revelation as a letter comes from
Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth (Revelation 1.5).
Jesus is not becoming king at some point in the future. To be more pointed, he is not becoming the king of all nations on earth at some point in the future. He already is. The book of Revelation presupposes he already holds that office. It doesn’t predict it will happen because it already has.
This does indicate that maybe Revelation, at least at some points, is recapitulating the past rather than predicting the future. In Revelation 11, for example, we read, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.” This indicates that, in the vision of chapter 11 at least, the vision is providing an explanation of the past, how Jesus came to be “the ruler of the kings on earth.”
But even if some other explanation can be found, the fact remains that Revelation is a letter dictated to the Apostle John by someone who is already “the ruler of the kings on earth.” Period. End.
So, to be clear: every single human being on earth, whether Muslim, Secularist, Buddhist, Jew, or Christian, lives under a global Christocracy. And since the incarnation is real, this is also a global theocracy. Nothing needs to become anything to bring this about. It already happened. It is history. To bring this series full circle, it is the basis for the Great Commission.
So the future of Jesus is dependent on the past of Jesus: he has already been installed as the king of the universe. What next?
Does Jesus simply want these kings under his rule to be oblivious to his authority. Does he want to rule them with the kind of judgments and plagues we read about in Revelation, without any opportunity to actually acknowledge his lordship? Or does he want them to be discipled?
Again, we’re back at the beginning: Jesus wants them discipled.