Is he then to keep on emptying his net
and mercilessly killing nations forever?
The LORD’s answer:
Hab. 2: 2-4
And the LORD answered me:
“Write the vision;
make it plain on tablets,
so he may run who reads it.
For still the vision awaits its appointed time;
it hastens to the end–it will not lie.
If it seems slow, wait for it;
it will surely come; it will not delay.“Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him,
but the righteous shall live by his faith.
Habakkuk understands that he is going to have to trust God to makes things right, even when it looks tough:
Though the fig tree should not blossom,
nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
and there be no herd in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the LORD;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
GOD, the Lord, is my strength;
he makes my feet like the deer’s;
he makes me tread on my high places.
This is why eschatology is so deeply connected to justification in Paul’s mind. He understands what “faith” is all about:
That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring–not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”–in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.” And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness.” But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.
So justification by faith means believing that God is going to make things right. As James says, “for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God,” but rather we hope for the coming cosmic renewal. In short, justification by faith entails a recapitulation, or to speak our language, dominionist postmillennialism.
This probably also offers a good reason to be a preterist.