A New World Free From Suffering
“The former things will not be called to mind, neither will they come up into the heart. But exult, you people, and be joyful forever in what I am creating.”—Isaiah 65:17, 18.
THOSE prophetic words were inspired by God over 2,700 years ago. They describe, in part, what life will be like on earth in the future. When? After God brings an end to the present system of things. Many Bible prophecies make clear that it is God’s purpose to remove this present system of things shortly and to replace it with a new world free from any suffering.
How different life will be in that new world compared with life throughout previous human history! God’s prophetic Word tells us that it will be completely free from war, crime, poverty, and injustice. Gone forever will be sickness and death. No more will there be the divisive governments, religions, or economic systems that have proved so inadequate. Tears of joy will replace tears of sorrow because gone forever will be wickedness and suffering.
Foreshadowed in Bible Prophecies
Notice how such conditions were foreshadowed in this sampling of Bible prophecies:
Justice for Everyone: “I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the leveling instrument.”—Isaiah 28:17.
Freedom From Fear: “They will actually sit, each one under his vine and under his fig tree, and there will be no one making them tremble.” (Micah 4:4) “They will actually prove to be on their soil in security.”—Ezekiel 34:27.
Hunger Eliminated: “There will come to be plenty of grain on the earth; on the top of the mountains there will be an overflow.” (Psalm 72:16) “The tree of the field must give its fruitage, and the land itself will give its yield.”—Ezekiel 34:27.
Death, Mourning, and Pain Gone Forever: “[God] 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.”—Revelation 21:4.
Not Affected by the Past
The incoming new world of God’s making will be so satisfying that the enjoyment of life by earth’s inhabitants will not be hindered, even by any unpleasant memories of previous suffering. The many upbuilding thoughts and activities that will be the everyday life of people in that new era will gradually erase the past bad memories. God’s promise is: “The former things will not be called to mind, neither will they come up into the heart.” People will be “joyful forever” in what God will introduce earth wide. “The whole earth has come to rest, has become free of disturbance. People have become cheerful with joyful cries.”—Isaiah 65:17, 18; 14:7.
Today, “expectation postponed is making the heart sick,” as the Bible states. But the situation will be reversed in the new world. At that time “the thing desired [will be] a tree of life when it does come.” (Proverbs 13:12) No more will hearts be made heavy by suffering or by unrealized hopes. Instead, they will be filled with contentment and joy because of the many marvelous things that God will provide for the human family.
Rather than have unsatisfactory human rule independent of God, the new world will have an entirely different rulership. Governing authority will be taken away from humans. Never again will they be allowed to rule independent of God.
Bible prophecy states: “In the days of those kings [the rulers now in power] the God of heaven will set up a kingdom [in heaven] that will never be brought to ruin. And the kingdom itself will not be passed on to any other people [there being no more human rule]. It will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms [that now exist], and it itself will stand to times indefinite.”—Daniel 2:44.
Jesus taught his followers to pray for earth’s new rulership when he said: “Let your kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also upon earth.”—Matthew 6:10.
That will be mankind’s new government—the heavenly rule of God by means of his Kingdom in the hands of Christ. And on earth, loyal human servants of God will administer affairs according to God’s direction. (Isaiah 32:1) The apostle Peter spoke of this new arrangement as “new heavens and a new earth that we are awaiting according to his promise, and in these righteousness is to dwell.” (2 Peter 3:13) That Kingdom rule is the Bible’s central teaching.
‘The Creation Set Free’
This new rulership will also bring earth’s natural forces under complete control. No longer will ‘acts of nature’ such as earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, or droughts cause distress. Jesus himself demonstrated his power in commanding these forces. On one occasion, for example, when the boat that Jesus and his disciples were on was about to capsize in a storm, he calmed the wind and the sea. The amazed disciples declared: “What sort of person is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him?”—Matthew 8:23-27.
So the earth, as well as its human creation, will find an unparalleled freedom. “The creation itself also will be set free from enslavement to corruption and have the glorious freedom of the children of God. For we know that all creation keeps on groaning together and being in pain together until now.”—Romans 8:21, 22.
Can we be sure that human rule will soon end and that God’s new government will take over the directing of all the affairs of earth? We certainly can, because the Universal Sovereign has given his word: “‘My own counsel will stand, and everything that is my delight I shall do’; . . . I have even spoken it; I shall also bring it in. I have formed it, I shall also do it.”—Isaiah 46:10, 11.
“An Appointed Time”
How will that come about? When will it happen? God’s Word states: “For everything there is an appointed time.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1) This includes an appointed time for God to say ‘enough!’ and to end wickedness and suffering. Daniel referred to “the appointed time of the end.” (Daniel 8:19) Jesus also spoke of an “appointed time.”—Mark 13:32, 33.
Yes, God has set a definite time for him to intervene in human affairs and wipe out the miserable experiment in human rule independent of him. “The true God will judge both the righteous one and the wicked one, for there is a time for every affair.” (Ecclesiastes 3:17) And the evidence in fulfillment of Bible prophecy indicates that God’s allotted time for permitting suffering is soon to end. When that time limit has expired, he will crush out of existence the unsatisfactory system of human rule that for thousands of years has brought great suffering to the human family.—Matthew 24:3-14; 2 Timothy 3:1-5, 13; Revelation 19:11-21.
When God executes his judgments, notice what will happen to those who submit to his rule, contrasted with those who do not: “Just a little while longer, and the wicked one will be no more; . . . but the meek ones themselves will possess the earth, and they will indeed find their exquisite delight in the abundance of peace.” “As for the offspring of the wicked ones, they will indeed be cut off. The righteous themselves will possess the earth, and they will reside forever upon it.” “Keep the upright one in sight, for the future of that man will be peaceful. But the transgressors themselves will certainly be annihilated together.”—Psalm 37:10, 11, 28, 29, 37, 38; see also Proverbs 2:21, 22; Matthew 5:5.
But what of the thousands of millions of people who have already died? How will they benefit from a new world? By means of the resurrection, a restoring to life right here on earth. They will come back from the grave and be given the opportunity to enjoy life forever. God’s Word guarantees: “There is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Acts 24:15) And Jesus demonstrated this by resurrecting dead persons, such as Lazarus and the son of the widow of Nain.—John 11:38-44; Luke 7:11-16.
How heartening it is to know that God’s purpose is to bring an end to suffering and to usher in a righteous new world! Think of living millions of years—indeed, forever—in perfect health and happiness amid paradisaic surroundings, where wickedness and suffering will forever be things of the past!
Would you not agree that this “compensation” by God to mankind—throughout eternity—far outweighs the relatively few thousand years that God has allowed suffering? And does it not also far outweigh the 70 or 80 years of suffering—or less—that we may have endured individually in our lifetime?
A Long-Range View
In his long-range view of things, the Creator knows that it was vital to settle first the crucial matters of his right to rule as Universal Sovereign and the rightness of his rule. And it was vital to settle the matter of the proper and improper uses of freedom of choice. It was also necessary to demonstrate that his creation is perfect in that humans who loyally submit to his righteous laws can keep integrity to him under persecution and test by worldly rulers, the outstanding example of this being his own Son, Jesus, while on earth.
Having settled all the issues, God will not allow wickedness and suffering to reappear to mar the peaceful universe. “Distress will not rise up a second time.”—Nahum 1:9.
Throughout all the eternity to come, God can use what has happened these past thousands of years much as if it were a test case decided in a supreme court. Its precedent could be applied at any future time, anywhere else in the universe, should questions ever again come up with reference to God’s sovereignty or the proper use of free will.
What Will You Choose?
We have a choice today. We can use our free will in one of two ways: We can choose to ignore God’s purposes, be satisfied with imperfect human rule and share its destiny, or we can use our freedom of choice to learn what God’s purposes are and what we need to do to please him as devoted subjects of his Kingdom.
Jesus said to God in prayer: “This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ.” (John 17:3) So if we want life in the new world, we need to make the effort to learn the truth about God, his purposes, and his requirements. Note how the Bible puts it: “Jehovah is with you as long as you prove to be with him; and if you search for him, he will let himself be found by you, but if you leave him he will leave you.”—2 Chronicles 15:2.
Time is running out for this old world; a new one is on the way in: “The world is passing away and so is its desire, but he that does the will of God remains forever.” (1 John 2:17) Which will you choose—the outgoing old world or the incoming new one?
God’s Word states: “I have put life and death before you, the blessing and the malediction; and you must choose life in order that you may keep alive, you and your offspring, by loving Jehovah your God, by listening to his voice and by sticking to him; for he is your life and the length of your days.”—Deuteronomy 30:19, 20.
Is it your desire to enjoy the blessings that God has in store for those who conform their will to his? The publishers of this magazine or Jehovah’s Witnesses anywhere in the world will be happy to assist you, free of charge, to learn more about this.
[Blurb on page 12]
The dead will have the opportunity to live in God’s new world by being resurrected from the grave