What Can You Do Now?
YOU and your loved ones may soon witness the end of all serious problems facing mankind. The time is fast approaching for the King Jesus Christ and his angelic forces to destroy the present problem-racked system of things. Open to all is the opportunity of gaining the blessings that God’s kingdom by Christ will thereafter shower upon mankind.
There are, however, requirements for being among the loyal subjects of that kingdom. More is needed than mental acceptance of the fact that this government is God’s answer to mankind’s problems. Even now our conduct should not be adding to the problems we face due to human selfishness and corrupt systems. We cannot be like those of whom the apostle Paul wrote: “They publicly declare they know God, but they disown him by their works, because they are detestable and disobedient and not approved for good work of any sort.”—Titus 1:16.
Separation from False Religious Systems
This points up the need to make sure that our conduct is really approved by God and that we are no part of a religious system that ‘disowns him by its works.’ But some may say, ‘Do not all religions try to help people lead upright lives?’ True, the religions of the world do not as a regular practice directly teach people to be dishonest, immoral or hateful. Yet, why is it that the majority of people usually feel no more secure in doing business with a man having a religious affiliation than with one having no such affiliation?
Have you found that many religious people are just as corrupt as many persons not belonging to any religious organization, and at times even more so? Some may claim that the churches of Christendom and other religious systems are doing all they can but that the people are simply not paying any attention. Yet what do they do in the case of those refusing to live by right principles? Do not such ones usually remain in good standing as long as they give financial support? In Christendom, are steps taken to correct clergymen who openly excuse sexual immorality and perversion? Are they at least relieved of their responsibilities so that they will not influence others in the wrong way?
The Bible clearly shows how to handle those who refuse to maintain proper conduct despite all efforts to help them. Under inspiration, the apostle Paul wrote to Christians at Corinth: “In the letter that I wrote you I told you not to associate with immoral people. What I meant was that you should not associate with a man who calls himself a brother but is immoral, or greedy, or worships idols, or is a slanderer, or a drunkard, or a lawbreaker. Don’t even sit down to eat with such a person. After all, it is none of my business to judge outsiders. God will judge them. But should you not judge the members of your own fellowship? As the scripture says, ‘Take the evil man out of your group.’”—1 Cor. 5:9, 11-13, Today’s English Version.
Do the churches of Christendom with which you are acquainted clean out people who persist in following a wrong course? Do you feel that God could approve a religious system that failed in this regard? So would it be reasonable to stay with a religion that has adopted the attitude of the world and failed to help people to conform to God’s ways? Surely a person could not serve God and be part of a system that does not uphold his good principles. Then, too, would not sticking to such a system be an act of disloyalty to God and Christ, a failure to submit to their commands?
Identifying God’s True Servants Today
As has been pointed out in the previous article, God’s purpose is to gather persons into a unity under his Son Jesus Christ. (Eph. 1:9, 10) Does this not show that in these “last days” there must be a group of devoted Christians on earth who are enjoying such unity? In harmony with God’s will, they should be busy in helping others to be united under Christ by conforming to God’s Word.
Jesus Christ revealed how his true followers could readily be identified. Addressing his faithful disciples, he said: “I am giving you a new commandment, that you love one another; just as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love among yourselves.” (John 13:34, 35) Note that this kind of love is wholly unselfish, self-sacrificing.
Have you observed this kind of love in the religious organizations with which you are acquainted? Do they keep free from the very things causing today’s problems? Are they pointing to God’s kingdom as the answer to man’s problems, and does their way of life show this? Or, are they caught up in this system’s selfish, competitive spirit, and do they promote the world’s ways? Are these religions really a strong force for helping people to overcome tribal, national and racial prejudice? Do their members enjoy unity earth wide and avoid involvement with the world’s conflicts?
What about the group of Christians known as Jehovah’s witnesses? Do they share in the conflicts of the world? Do you hear of their participating in riots, revolutions or other uprisings? Have you not rather observed that they are no part of the world, refusing to engage in activities that foster nationalistic pride or tribal, national or racial prejudice? Growing numbers of people have come to appreciate that Jehovah’s witnesses are quite different from many claiming to be Christian.
Likely you have noted that Jehovah’s witnesses try to maintain exemplary conduct and show love for one another. But you may feel that they should be more concerned about the problems people are facing now—hunger, sickness, poverty and the like. You may feel that they should undertake extensive charity drives. Actually, there is a Biblical reason for your not hearing much about their charitable works. Jesus Christ told his followers: “When you practice charity, your left hand must not know what your right is doing, so that your charity will be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”—Matt. 6:3, 4, New Berkeley Version.
Hence Jehovah’s witnesses do not solicit money and other material things from people and then take credit for the good deeds such contributions make possible. As was true of Jesus Christ, their main concern is to give spiritual aid to all whom they possibly can. (Luke 4:18-21) When a crowd of his fellow countrymen were looking for him because of the bread he had miraculously provided for them, Jesus Christ said: “Work, not for the food that perishes, but for the food that remains for life everlasting.” (John 6:26, 27) While material giving may bring temporary relief, spiritual giving can aid people to enjoy the best way of life now and to put themselves in line for benefiting from the permanent solution to man’s problems that only God’s kingdom by Christ can provide.
Does this mean that Jehovah’s witnesses ignore others’ material needs? Not at all. They recognize that material giving is a feature of true worship. Says the Bible: “The form of worship that is clean and undefiled from the standpoint of our God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their tribulation, and to keep oneself without spot from the world.”—Jas. 1:27.
Many people have been able to see how Jehovah’s witnesses do that, coming to the aid of needy ones, particularly in times of disaster. The legal agencies used by Jehovah’s witnesses, the Watch Tower Society and its branches, are in direct contact with all their congregations throughout the earth and can, therefore, quickly organize relief measures. That is why, when earthquakes, hurricanes, floods and other disasters strike, Jehovah’s Christian witnesses are assured of immediate help from their brothers. At the same time relief measures undertaken in their behalf put them in position to assist other needy ones in their community.
The appreciative comments of a resident of Louisville, Kentucky, illustrate this. Relating what happened after a tornado ripped through the Crescent Hill area on Wednesday, April 3, 1974, he writes: “Outstanding were those Jehovah’s Witnesses who came with their crews of men equipped with chain saws and trucks early Thursday morning to assist many of the victims, including me. They literally cut their way through and cleared a path through three streets (Bayly, Birchwood and Kennedy) to help evacuate some of the victims and open up the streets for other cars and trucks. These men are skilled in the building business but left their jobs to offer their services free of charge. They worked with such organized precision that onlookers seemed astounded.’’
Take Action Now
Jehovah’s witnesses in your area would like to have you investigate whether they measure up to what God looks for in those whom he approves. They would gladly assist you to increase your Bible knowledge. If you are not now having a free Bible study in your home, we encourage you to have such a study at a time convenient for you and your family.
Others may ridicule you for accepting a Bible study in your own home. As you start to apply what you learn, you may experience the fulfillment of the following words from the Bible: “Because you do not continue running with them in this course to the same low sink of debauchery, they are puzzled and go on speaking abusively of you.” (1 Pet. 4:4) But, remember, such persons cannot solve even their own problems, let alone remove this present system and bring total liberation from human imperfections and their painful consequences. Far better it would be to face ridicule, even abuse, for the sake of God’s kingdom than to maintain the favor of men by sticking with an ungodly system that is doomed to failure.
Do not delay in taking steps to gain accurate Bible knowledge and to conform your life to it. “Taste,” says the Bible, “and see that Jehovah is good.” (Ps. 34:8) Find out for yourself how living in harmony with God’s Word leads to the best way of life even now. You, too, may be among those to see the end of the present ungodly system. Even grander it would be for you to witness how God’s kingdom will thereafter solve completely and for all time the many problems that have for centuries plagued the human race.