It’s Time for a “New Earth”
WHEN time runs out for this world, will time run out for all people? No! There will be survivors. But will the earth they inherit be a radioactive, scorched cinder or a dark, frozen wasteland? Neither. It will become a place flourishing with plant, animal and human life! Sound strange? If so, look at Jesus’ prophetic words again.
Examine the same chapter of the Bible where Jesus listed the many-faceted sign signaling the nearness of the end of this world. You will find that he likened our period to another one. He said: “Just as the days of Noah were, so the presence of the Son of man will be. . . . They took no note until the flood came and swept them all away.” (Matthew 24:37-39) In Noah’s day, time ran out. For whom or what? Only for the ungodly.
Time did not run out for Noah and his family. They survived into a globe wiped clean of wickedness and to see the earth itself become sparkling new. Why? Because they loved righteousness and obeyed God.—Genesis 6:5-9, 22; 2 Peter 2:5.
“After being given divine warning” of the fact that a global flood was impending, Noah gave evidence that he had practical wisdom. Unlike others of mankind, he showed faith and took action with a view to the saving of his household. (Hebrews 11:7) He proved himself to be a man of godly devotion. Are you, too, such a person? If so, then you can draw comfort from the fact that “Jehovah knows how to deliver people of godly devotion out of trial, but to reserve unrighteous people for the day of judgment to be cut off.”—2 Peter 2:9.
What Conditions Will Prevail?
It is God’s will for this planet to become a perfect paradise of peace for “people of godly devotion,” not a lifeless, charred sphere. The earth is mankind’s everlasting home. Since the Creator holds the ultimate position of power, he can guarantee that the tragedy of complete ruin will never befall our earth. His inspired Word, at Isaiah 45:18, assures us that he ‘did not make it a desolate waste but a place to live in.’—Today’s English Version.
But not only will the planet become a beautiful paradise; human relationships will become just as beautiful. God is causing time to run out for this evil system so that honest-hearted people can enjoy life to the full in a righteous one. That is one reason why he is creating a “new earth”—a new human society—one in which “righteousness is to dwell.”—2 Peter 3:13.
How will the “new earth” be brought about? First, by means of action taken by the “new heavens”—a new heavenly government with Christ as Jehovah’s appointed King, who will rule the earth in righteousness. Second, by education of lovers of truth in God’s righteous ways. Therefore, the survivors into the “new earth” will be only those who show by the way they live their lives that they have really cultivated an intimate relationship with Jehovah and his kingly Son. Are you proving yourself to be such a person?—Isaiah 9:7; John 17:3; 2 Peter 3:13.
“New Earth”—For Whom?
‘But doesn’t everyone desire to live in a righteous earth?’ you may ask. No, not all people would like life in a righteous environment. If they covet their neighbor’s wife, or want the freedom to divorce their own when they think it is time for a change, or would not hesitate to steal something from their fellowman, then they would not enjoy that “new earth.” If their idea of pleasure is sucking smoke into their lungs, sniffing dope up their nostrils or pouring alcohol down their throats until their senses are dull, then they would not like that “new earth.” None of these abuses will exist therein.
But, on the other hand, if you would like to have a part in subduing the earth, transforming it into fields yielding food and parks reflecting beauty, or if you would enjoy exercising loving dominion over the animals, then you would like the “new earth.” If you long for a time when all married partners will be faithful to their own mates, when children can be reared free from the fear of abuse, or when proper moral conduct will be practiced by all, then you will rejoice in the “new earth.” If you wish for a time when bombs will not blow women and children to bits, when oppressive political rule will vanish and commercial greed will be missing, or when men will dwell in peace under their own vine and fig tree, then you will thrill to the prospects of the “new earth.”
In addition, Jehovah’s shower of rich blessings will mean life free from the frustration, irritation, disagreeableness and anxiety that characterize the lives of millions today. And his blessings will include sound health for all. This enjoyment will not be temporary. It will not be cut short by death after 70 or 80 years of life. For God’s Word guarantees the elimination of death, saying: “He will actually swallow up death forever, and the Sovereign Lord Jehovah will certainly wipe the tears from all faces.” Even the dead who are in God’s memory will be resurrected and given the opportunity to prove their love for righteousness.—Isaiah 25:8; John 5:28, 29.
If such a righteous “new earth” appeals to you, then now is the time to begin living for it.
When time runs out for this ungodly world, it does not have to run out for you. Will you imitate Noah and be a lover of righteousness too? If so, you must act now! Why? Consider this: In an emergency, what results in life? Just hearing the alarm, or the lifesaving action that follows? Isn’t it the action that follows the alarm?
The time is now very near for the arrival of Jehovah’s “new earth.” The alarm is sounding, signaling the fast-approaching destruction of this wicked system of things by God’s hand. The opportunity to take in life-giving knowledge from God’s Word is still before you, like the open door of the ark built by Noah before the Flood. But it will soon swing shut. Therefore, now is the time to show that you really want life. (Zephaniah 2:2, 3) Use the remaining time wisely so that when time finally runs out for this system you will be one who has the happy prospect of survival.
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Only people who love righteousness will survive into God’s “new earth”