Rejoice! World Unity Is Within Reach!
PEACE and unity go together. If you have one, you have the other. World unity would ensure world peace, a peace as abundant and lasting as the unity upon which it was based.
But both are dependent upon something else. Upon what? Psalm 119:165 answers: “Abundant peace belongs to those loving your [God’s] law, and for them there is no stumbling block.”
Loving God’s law, not just simply knowing it, is what is necessary to overcome the stumbling blocks on the road to peace and world unity. That love is the key that opens the door to world unity.
Pointing up this fact are the words of Roman Catholic Franz Cardinal König of Austria. Speaking about the possibilities of achieving a united Europe, he said: “The symptoms of spiritual sickness in today’s western man can be summed up briefly: the inability to love. . . . We all know that we Europeans are going through a crisis. We have the feeling that this crisis of the western world proceeds from a spiritual uprootal. . . . In the mad scramble for material prosperity man is being brought to ruin both physically and spiritually. . . . To the extent that man becomes spiritually sick, the problems of the coming Europe will be unsolvable.” [Italics ours.]
No Love for God
World unity is not just a matter of politics. It involves spirituality; it involves religion, Bible-based religion. Getting to know God’s law means studying the Bible carefully. Learning to love God’s law entails more: meditating on its wisdom and on the personal benefits of obedience. A person who thus learns to love God’s law will express it by loving his neighbor, but primarily by loving God.
Governments, as well as the humanitarian organs of the U.N., may express a certain love for neighbor, but where is their love for God when they set themselves in opposition to his kingdom? Have they done this? Yes.
Bible chronology and the fulfillment of Bible prophecy indicate that in the year 1914 the words of Revelation 11:15 were fulfilled: “The kingdom of the world did become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ.”
What does this mean? It means that after giving man thousands of years of time to rule the world without interruption, God through his Son Jesus Christ has now stepped in to bring about the world unity man has shown himself incapable of producing. But instead of looking to God’s kingdom, the nations have banded together—united, as it were, in the U.N. or other organizations—in opposition to this kingdom.
Psalm 2:2-6 foretold this: “The kings of earth take their stand and high officials themselves have massed together as one against Jehovah and against his anointed one . . . Jehovah himself . . . will speak to them . . . saying: ‘I, even I, have installed my king upon Zion, my holy mountain.’”
“Dash Them to Pieces”
Jesus foretold that a worldwide preaching work (Matt. 24:14) would be carried on after God’s kingdom began to rule. This would allow earth’s inhabitants an individual opportunity to decide whether to support Jehovah’s sovereignty or that of the nations.
After this opportunity had been presented to the extent that God desired, Christ would turn his attention to the nations and do to them as Psalm 2:9 says: “You will break them with an iron scepter, as though a potter’s vessel you will dash them to pieces.”—See also Daniel 2:44.
Should this impress us as being strange or cruel on God’s part? Human governments often take strong measures when they consider their existence or the welfare of their citizens threatened. Should the Creator of the universe have any less right to take action when he sees the very existence of mankind threatened by disunited nations through nuclear warfare?
United Religiously Under One Government
La Nouvelle Gazette, a Belgian newspaper, headlined an article: “To Avoid a Nuclear War Within 25 Years, American Experts Have Found Only One Solution: That of Jehovah’s Witnesses!” It went on to explain: “The only remedy would be a major relinquishment of sovereignty by each country . . . in favor of a world government.” It said this was exactly “the proposition upheld by Jehovah’s Witnesses.”
But what is this “proposition” that even caused an Australian newspaper to state that “Jehovah’s Witnesses is the only world peace movement to succeed”? Have they really found the key to peace, to world unity?
Jehovah’s Witnesses have chosen to unite themselves under one government, God’s government. This calls for a stand of strict neutrality toward the affairs of the over 200 nations in which they presently live, a stand generally so well known that it hardly needs any documentation here.
Although God’s kingdom is a heavenly government, it is a reality. It has earthly agencies or organs that contribute to peace and unity: training programs, schools, judicial systems and counseling arrangements. Thousands have been helped to give up drugs, smoking, excessive drinking, promiscuous sex, and have learned to be honest, conscientious workers. Has this contributed to their health, their general welfare, their peace of mind and their happiness? Judge for yourself.
These agencies have also helped thousands of persons to become literate. Whereas the literacy rate among Jehovah’s Witnesses in Nigeria is about 77 percent, The Times, a Nigerian newspaper, recently spoke of “a literacy rate [throughout the country] of only 20 per cent.” In an interview with Jehovah’s Witnesses, a former secretary of education in Santo André, SP, Brazil, declared: “It is rare to find persons or groups such as Jehovah’s Witnesses who are so interested in the education of their neighbours with the purpose of incorporating thousands of persons into a society from which they were excluded previously due to illiteracy. You can count on our backing and gratitude. If such efforts were made by other groups there would be less illiteracy in Brazil.”
God’s government is interested in educating its subjects so that they can gain accurate knowledge of its laws. It has also provided for judicial arrangements to see to it that these laws are enforced. But since its subjects are convinced that these laws are just and right and designed to make them happy, they are willing to accept the heavenly government’s compulsory jurisdiction. Persons who live in over 200 different countries and yet have been able to unite under a common law based on a single standard of conduct and ethical convictions, and who actively support the same one government, have come a long way indeed in achieving within their ranks world unity.
The Milwaukee Sentinel stressed this when it said about Jehovah’s Witnesses: “Their agreement is not on just the trivialities of life, but the vital things—rules of conduct, adherence to principles, worship of God.” The Brazilian newspaper O Tempo agreed: “Although there are many imposing religions with their propaganda in all parts of the globe, there does not exist a single one on the face of the earth today that shows the same love and unity as the theocratic organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses.”
This is because Jehovah’s Witnesses are loyal subjects of their chosen government. What nation on earth today could claim to have ONLY loyal subjects, plagued as many of them are with radical groups intent on overthrowing the government, with citizens who render lip service, but disloyally cheat on their taxes, sidestep inconvenient laws for personal advantage, show disrespect for the “decisions of its principal organs” and poke fun at their leaders?
Subjects of God’s reigning kingdom, on the other hand, obey its laws to the best of their imperfect abilities, even when inconvenient, because they love God’s law. They show respect for the “decisions of its principal organs” and are willing to pay back to their government its just dues.
In fact they are even willing to die in defense of their heavenly government, willing to die for their country, as it were. Their exemplar, Jesus Christ, laid down his life, not in defense of the Roman Empire, nor to preserve the Jewish system of things, but to promote the interests of God’s kingdom. It is this unbreakable loyalty to God’s government based on love for God that ensures their unity.
This unity, however, does not stifle individualism or variety. Former foreign minister of Israel Abba Eban once said that “national diversity can be a source of intense and positive vitality, provided that it is reconciled with the restraints and solidarities of an international order.” Jehovah’s Witnesses living in over 200 different nations maintain their “national diversity”—manner of dress, local customs, way of life, all the diversity that God purposed among mankind—and this is truly “a source of intense and positive vitality” because it allows them to learn from one another. National groups strong on hospitality are teaching more restrained peoples to be more open and generous; those with organizational talents are helping others to become more practical and efficient; good traits of others are being assimilated, while negative traits are being eradicated. They have learned international thinking, thus letting their “national diversity” be “reconciled with the restraints and solidarities of an international order,” in this case God’s kingdom.
For all of this Jehovah’s Witnesses take no personal credit. They do not claim to be the architects of world unity. It is God who has provided the key to world unity and the key is available for all to use. The unity that Jehovah’s Witnesses demonstrate can only be attributed to their willingness to conform their ways to the ways of God. This is the wise thing to do and the only way to ensure living in God’s new system of things described at Revelation 21:3, 4: “And God himself will be with them. And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.” This is what God’s kingdom will do!
The proposed “United States of Europe,” or even a United Nations Organization, is a poor substitute—indeed, no substitute—for God’s kingdom, despite the fact that Pope Paul VI, addressing the U.N. in 1965, spoke of the peoples’ turning “to the United Nations as to the ultimate hope for harmony and peace.” The truth of the matter is that more and more of the peoples are turning to God’s kingdom as the ultimate hope, drawn by the world unity it has already brought about on a small scale and in expectation of the world unity it will shortly bring about on a global scale.
The publishers of Awake! sincerely hope that many more may still learn about God’s marvelous provision and take advantage of it. The key to world unity has been found and the door to it has been opened. Rejoice! World unity IS within reach! Will you reach out to accept it?
“The fruit of righteousness has its seed sown under peaceful conditions for those who are making peace.”—Jas. 3:18.