Do You Really Want Better Times?
YOU would doubtless like to see better times—with security, good health and good food in abundance. For this to come about it is fairly obvious that changes are called for, both on a world scale and in personal living.
However, each one of us has to decide whether he is willing to accept these changes, and to make the necessary changes in his own life.
Therefore, these questions are appropriate: Do you really want better times at all costs? Or do you want them only on your own terms?
Large-Scale Changes to Come
The world’s distress cannot be relieved unless the things standing in the way of better times are removed. Let us examine them and see whether we would be happy to see this done. Each change will profoundly touch the life of everyone on earth.
One of the greatest causes of hatred and strife has been false religion. Some of the worst wars of history have been religious wars. During World Wars I and II world religions played a major part in propagandizing the people. Clergymen on both sides blessed the troops, tanks, planes and guns sent to slaughter the other side. The clergy, particularly those of the so-called Christian churches, have meddled in politics, letting the spirituality of their religious flocks be totally neglected. Would you be willing to see these divisive religions go?
Nationalism has also divided the world. The governments of the world are bent on world domination. They have fought two world wars over this issue and now fear a devastating third one. They refuse to acknowledge the sovereignty of Jehovah God and the kingdom of his Son. The Bible says: “The kings of earth take their stand and high officials themselves have massed together as one against Jehovah and against his anointed one [Christ].” (Ps. 2:1-3) They do not advocate that kingdom, but press for continuation of man-rule, which has brought corruption and distress. God says that he will destroy them. How do you feel about this divine judgment?—Dan. 2:44.
Commercial greed has been another great oppressor of the people. Big business interests have been a major factor in influencing the religious organizations of the world, as well as the political systems. The commercial system is to come in for its share of mourning over the devastation of its field of activity.—Jas. 5:1-6; Rev. 18:11-19, 22, 23.
How will God accomplish the destruction of all parts of this system, and when? The Bible reveals that the political rulers will become ‘fed up’ with the meddling and interference of the religious leaders and will act against false religion, pictured in the book of Revelation as a “harlot.” We read there of the apostle John’s vision in which he saw a “wild beast” having “ten horns.” He is told that the “ten horns” represent earth’s “kings” or rulers. The angel presenting the vision told John:
“The ten horns that you saw, and the wild beast [symbolizing the world political organization (compare Daniel 8:20, 21)], these will hate the harlot and will make her devastated and naked, and will eat up her fleshy parts and will completely burn her with fire.”—Rev. 17:16.
Actually, God is responsible for this action. Says the next Bible verse: “For God put it into their hearts to carry out his thought.”—Rev. 17:17.
The Bible also points out that, following this destructive act, these political rulers, because of their being unwilling to give up their efforts for world domination, “will battle with the Lamb [Jesus Christ], but, because he is Lord of lords and King of kings, the Lamb will conquer them.”—Rev. 17:14.
Those living on earth who truly worship God will have no part in such a battle, either to destroy false religion or to fight the political powers. They will look to the “King of kings” to clean up the earth and bring in better things. The war that destroys everything on earth that opposes God’s Messianic kingdom is described at Revelation 19:11-21. How much time is available for persons involved in false religion or political activities to get out?
Evidence indicates that the destruction of false religion is practically ‘upon us,’ to be closely followed by the fall of the political-commercial-military system of things. As noted earlier, the apostle Paul wrote under inspiration: “Whenever it is that they are saying: ‘Peace and security!’ [which world rulers will soon say] then sudden destruction is to be instantly upon them just as the pang of distress upon a pregnant woman; and they will by no means escape.”—1 Thess. 5:3.
Do not be deceived by such a man-made “peace.” Now is the time to inform yourself of the truth and to be guided by reality.
Changes as to Affiliations and Associations
Do you really want to see hypocrisy, immorality and corruption end? Do you realize that ‘better times’ can never last unless people are taught genuinely right principles and to hold to them and show loving respect for the interests of others? If so, it is wise to examine your religion NOW to see if it really upholds God’s standards. See whether its clergymen condone the immorality of the world. What do they say about marriage? about premarital sex? about homosexuality? Do they mix in with the world’s politics? Do they advocate taking sides in political issues? Do they encourage association with this decadent world in its hopes, plans and schemes?
One of the Bible writers, James, a half brother of Jesus Christ, gives a strong warning about this. He says:
“Adulteresses, do you not know that the friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever, therefore, wants to be a friend of the world is constituting himself an enemy of God.”—Jas. 4:4.
Accordingly, if any attachment or association we may have is drawing us into a position of friendship with the world, we are in a most dangerous position. If it is making us party to condoning or collaborating with the immoral or corrupt things of the world, we must quickly get away from it—break off the affiliation—if we personally really want to see better times.—Rev. 18:4.
Changes in One’s Personal Way of Life
What, then, about other, personal changes—changes in one’s individual way of life? If the “new earth” is to be a righteous world, with peace and security, those living in it will have to live according to right principles. Are you willing to make any needed changes? Now, before that righteous “new earth” arrives, those who really desire it must obey the apostle Paul’s counsel:
“Deaden, therefore, your body members that are upon the earth as respects fornication, uncleanness, sexual appetite, hurtful desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of those things the wrath of God is coming. In those very things you, too, once walked when you used to live in them. But now really put them all away from you, wrath, anger, badness, abusive speech, and obscene talk out of your mouth. Do not be lying to one another. Strip off the old personality with its practices, and clothe yourselves with the new personality, which through accurate knowledge is being made new according to the image of the One who created it.”—Col. 3:5-10.
Yes, to deserve to live in perfect peace and health, a person “cannot hang onto those things that promote divisions, trouble, distress, hate and disease. One who really wants better times with all his heart will immediately take steps to get rid of those bad practices, even though it may be difficult and may even bring opposition from others.
So, while the better times of Christ’s thousand-year rule are sure, the qualifications for being worthy to enjoy that rule are such that they weed out all who do not really want better times. Therefore, this question is a vital one for each one to answer: ‘Do you really want better times?’ If you do, then act now while God holds open the opportunity. Jehovah’s witnesses will be happy to help you, free of charge, to get more information from the Bible about God’s requirements for you to meet today.
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The Bible represents false religion as a harlot that will soon be destroyed by the “ten horns” of the beastlike political system
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If you really want better times, you need to learn God’s requirements. Jehovah’s witnesses will gladly help you to learn these from your Bible free of charge