World Events Involve You
LOOK closely at the news headlines accompanying this article. The conditions that they reflect are probably not new to you, but the global extent of some of these problems and the critical proportions that they have reached may come as a surprise. In one way or another these crises are a source of personal concern for everyone living on earth.
However, because some persons are not directly and immediately affected by these world events, they may feel that some have been exaggerated and made to appear worse than they really are. But are the problems represented by these headlines really exaggerated?
How Big Are the Problems?
Before answering, we ought to take into consideration that not merely one news reporter, but knowledgeable people in many parts of the earth are saying essentially the same thing. The testimony of so many men who are prominent in their various fields gives strong indication that the problems are real, not merely imagined, does it not?
But just as convincing as someone else’s testimony is one’s own experience in life. Has your life to some extent been changed as a result of these critical situations? If such is the case, this no doubt affects how you view what is being said about the same matters on a worldwide scale.
Millions of persons know, firsthand, that when a headline says “World Starvation Is Feared” it is not just scare talk. Hunger has already become a way of life for them. Tens of thousands have recently died in Africa and Asia from famine conditions. Those whose business it is to deal with the food problem say that there is the possibility of greater disaster in the coming months. The extent to which food shortages will eventually afflict mankind or even one section of the earth, of course, remains to be seen.
Yet there is no reason for those who may live in areas currently unaffected by famine to doubt that serious shortages could occur. Ever-increasing food prices have already convinced them that something is wrong. Food supplies are limited; that is one reason why prices are driven upward.
So, too, with the energy crisis. It started with events that took place perhaps thousands of miles from where most of those affected live. Some persons doubted that a fuel shortage was real; it seemed far off, distant to them. But when they went to buy gasoline for their car or heating oil for their home, unlimited supplies were no longer available. Yes, they personally came to feel the reality of the energy crisis, just as did hundreds of millions of others.
The energy crisis, in turn, has contributed to many other shortages, some of which no doubt presently affect you. Men who are able to view the fuel situation and related problems on an international level say, as one headline here reports: “We Are Running Out of Everything.” If that is true, then the headlines warning of the danger of economic collapse do not seem farfetched, do they? These other events make the possibility quite real.
In the light of all of this, the headline that says “The World Living in Fear” is not hard to understand. Fear is a controlling factor in decisions made by individuals, institutions and nations. They fear that when favor is shown in one direction, animosity will come from another. As serious problems multiply, understandably they fear what the future holds.
There is another major situation that affects almost everyone in some way. This is the morality problem.
The Moral Crisis and You
The moral situation is evident in a variety of ways. Outstandingly, violent crime is on the upswing; an Australian newspaper says: “It’s Not Safe Anywhere.” Acts of terrorism, rape and murder have become commonplace in large cities of the world. A large percentage of these crimes are related to drugs; addicts steal to have money to support their drug habit. The safety of everyone is affected.
Sexual immorality skyrockets. Adultery and fornication are glorified on the movie screen and in the theater. Homosexuality is now out in the open. These things cause concern to parents, and may affect even the stability of their own marital relationship. Not surprisingly, the family is said to be “An Institution in Crisis.”
Do these developments affect you? ‘Those things may be problems in the big cities of America, but not where I live in a suburb,’ some may say, or, ‘not in my European village,’ or, ‘not on my South Pacific island.’ But is that entirely the case?
Murder, rape and mugging may not yet be everyday occurrences in such areas. But who can overlook more subtle lawlessness, like “white-collar” stealing and customer shoplifting? These practices abound, not just in big American cities, but elsewhere.
Yet, more importantly, are not the attitudes leading to such crimes—yes, leading even to murder—abundantly evident everywhere? Consider: Are most people, wherever they live, genuinely concerned with their neighbor’s well-being? Or is there apathy about what happens to others? Is there a desire for “easy money”? Is there even outright hatred of others? You know the answers to such questions.
Further, persons in some smaller or out-of-the-way communities may make many outward pretensions about being moral and upright individuals. But if you live there too, then you know many of these same people personally. And you know what they really are. Do they shun fornication, adultery and sexual perversion? Are not their claims to be moral and upright, therefore, often hypocritical?
Basically, regardless of where people live, most of them are essentially the same. The seeds of immorality, distrust and hatred are everywhere. Thinking people see this fact of life and realize that the morals problem is real.
The world’s religions are involved. The facts show that church members as well as others practice these things. Obviously such religion is not really teaching its members true godliness and morality. No wonder, therefore, that reports from all over the world agree with the headline reading.” “Clergy’s Stature Crumbling.” Think about your own area: Do people readily accept a religious leader’s words as undeniably truthful, as they once did? Do the majority of people even bother to go to religious services to hear him speak? More and more people notice a growing lack of respect for the clergy in their own area.
Of course, it is not just the clergy’s influence that is waning, but that of prominent men in general. Governmental and political institutions that have held the confidence of men for generations are now regularly accused of corruption and gross mismanagement. Fewer persons seem to trust governments or their representatives.
Have you not noticed this attitude among people? Is it not the topic of frequent conversations by your fellow workmen, neighbors and relatives? Yes, people all around you no doubt express this lack of confidence. It is as reported by the New York Times: “Public Trust in Institutions Found to Decline.”
The Meaning of World Events Involves You
Take all these events together, and what do they mean? Most people reach a conclusion like that found at the bottom of our page of news headlines: ‘Civilization Is on Its Last Legs.’ For most people the international picture that the facts paint is a bleak one. Is any other proper conclusion even possible?
Yes. Outstandingly, today’s world events give you basis for firmly believing the Bible. How can that be said?
Many of the major problems facing mankind today, and which most persons feel in some way, were spelled out in the Bible hundreds of years ago. For instance, Jesus Christ gave a sign, recorded in Luke chapter 21, in which he foretold a certain series of events that would mark the conclusion of the system of things. Why not get out your own Bible and read that chapter. At the same time read 2 Timothy 3:1-5. Compare for yourself what those scriptures say with what is actually happening in the world right now.
Do you see what those scriptures are saying? They point to the time in which we live as the “last days,” the time when “deliverance is getting near.” What is written there is coming true in our day.
The same Word of God also tells us that God will wipe away this present worldwide wicked system. A paradise earth ruled over by God’s kingdom, a stable, lasting government, will follow. The current world events, which so often have involved you in an unfavorable way, will be gone. No more will there be shortages of the essentials of life; earth will yield abundantly. More importantly, the people then living will be those who can be trusted, men who truly love God and one another. (Ps. 67:6; Matt. 24:21, 22; Rev. 21:1-4) Would you like to live at that time?
If you would, the first action to take is to learn what the Bible says is required of you. Jehovah’s witnesses will be happy to discuss these matters with you and your family.
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RECENT NEWS REPORTS
World Starvation Is Feared
THE EVENING BULLETIN, November 22, 1973
INTERNATIONAL FOOD RATIONING WARNING
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, SUN, November 20, 1973
Food Shortage Similar to Fuel Crisis Forecast
LOS ANGELES TIMES, December 10, 1973
The Times Diary
We are running out of everything
THE TIMES (London), December 3, 1973
Selfish Leaders, Selfish Nations
The World Living in Fear
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, December 26, 1973
Financial Doomsday Near Author Sure; Blames Credit
PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, July 1, 1973
The American family: An institution in crisis
LONG ISLAND PRESS, October 7, 1973
Homosexual Freedom Celebrated
A Sunny, Gay Parade in S.F.
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, June 25, 1973
It’s not safe anywhere
MELBOURNE AGE (Australia), September 8, 1973
White-collar crime: A growing menace
OCCUPATIONAL HAZARDS, October 1973
WHAT’S HAPPENED TO MORALITY IN AMERICA
U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT, March 26, 1973
Murder Increases Dramatically in Area
THE EXPRESS (Easton), December 15, 1973
Infanticide in Japan: Sign of the Time?
THE NEW YORK TIMES, December 8, 1973
Illicit Drug Trade on the Rise Again
NEW YORK POST, October 23, 1973
Child Alcoholism Problem Grows; AA Units Helping 10-Year-Olds
LOS ANGELES TIMES, December 7, 1973
Public Trust in Istitutions Found to Decline
THE NEW YORK TIMES, December 3, 1973
Clergy’s Stature Crumbling
STAR-NEWS (Pasadena), May 21, 1972
Our civilization on its last legs, says U.K.critic
THE TORONTO STAR, November 4, 1972