At Last—A Government That Will End Crime
THE Bible foretold that in our day people would be “lovers of themselves, lovers of money, self-assuming, haughty, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, disloyal, having no natural affection, not open to any agreement, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, without love of goodness.” (2 Timothy 3:2, 3) Such types of people commit crimes.
Since people commit crimes, to the extent that they change for the better, crime is reduced. But it has never been easy for people to change for the better. Today it is harder than ever, for since 1914, a date established by Bible chronology, we have been living in “the last days” of this system of things. As the Bible foretold, this period is characterized by “critical times hard to deal with.” These critical times are caused by Satan the Devil, the greatest criminal of all, who has “great anger, knowing he has a short period of time.”—2 Timothy 3:1; Revelation 12:12.
That explains today’s upsurge in crime. Satan knows that he and his system are soon to be destroyed. During the short remaining time, he seeks in every way possible to foster in humans the bad traits mentioned in 2 Timothy chapter 3. Thus, for a government to end crime, it must get rid of Satan’s influence and also help people to change so that they no longer act in the way described above. But is any government up to this superhuman task?
No human government is capable of doing this. J. Vaskovich, a law teacher in Ukraine, suggests the need for “a common capable body, which would unify and coordinate the efforts of all state and public organizations.” And President Fidel Ramos of the Philippines stated at a world conference on crime: “Because modernization has made our world smaller, crime has managed to cross national boundaries and has developed into a transnational problem. It follows that solutions should likewise be transnational.”
“A Worldwide Tragedy”
The United Nations is a transnational (international) body. Since its founding, it has sought to combat crime. But it has no more answers than the national governments have. The book The United Nations and Crime Prevention notes: “Domestic crime has outstripped the control of most individual nations and transnational crime has accelerated far beyond the current reach of the international community. . . . Crime by organized criminal groups has expanded to alarming proportions, with particularly serious consequences in terms of physical violence, intimidation and corruption of public officials. Terrorism has claimed tens of thousands of innocent victims. Predatory trafficking in addictive narcotics has become a world-wide tragedy.”
James Madison, fourth president of the United States, once said: “In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.” (Compare Ecclesiastes 8:9.) So the ideal solution would be to replace governments “administered by men over men” with a system whereby God would govern. But is such a solution realistic?
The Government That Will End Crime
True Christians believe what the Bible says about God’s Kingdom.a It is a real government. Although the Kingdom is invisible because of being in heaven, its accomplishments on earth are visible. (Matthew 6:9, 10) It is composed of Christ Jesus and 144,000 persons taken “out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation . . . to rule as kings over the earth.” This powerful government will rule over “a great crowd” of subjects who, as the Bible foretells, also come “out of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues.” (Revelation 5:9, 10; 7:9) Thus, both the rulers and the subjects are international in background, a truly united people from all nations, having divine approval.
Accepting God’s rule, Jehovah’s Witnesses have to a great degree overcome the problem of crime within their own ranks. How? By learning to appreciate the wisdom of Bible principles, by applying them in their lives, and by letting themselves be motivated by the most powerful force in the universe, God’s spirit, and its fruitage—love. God’s Word states: “Clothe yourselves with love, for it is a perfect bond of union.” (Colossians 3:14) In over 230 lands, Jehovah’s Witnesses practice this love and unity, demonstrating how God’s Kingdom is already taking steps to put an end to crime.
This can be illustrated by the results of a 1994 survey in which 145,958 of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Germany participated. Many of them admitted that they had had to overcome serious faults in order to become Witnesses. They were motivated to do so by their study of the Bible. For example, 30,060 overcame tobacco or drug addiction; 1,437 gave up gambling; 4,362 rectified violent or criminal behavior; 11,149 overcame traits like jealousy or hatred; and 12,820 restored domestic tranquillity to strained family life.
Although these findings involved Jehovah’s Witnesses in only one country, they are typical of Witnesses the world over. Take, for example, a young Ukrainian named Yuri. At the time that he began studying the Bible with Jehovah’s Witnesses, he was a pickpocket. He had even traveled to Moscow where he knew the crowds would make his “work” easier.
In 1993, Yuri was again in Moscow, among crowds of people. But none of the over 23,000 people present at Locomotive Stadium on Friday, July 23, had to fear him, for he was now one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Indeed, Yuri was on the stage participating in a program presented to an international audience. Changed for the better, he obeys the Bible’s injunction: “Let the stealer steal no more.”—Ephesians 4:28.
Numerous others like Yuri have forsaken lives of crime in order to qualify for life in God’s new world of righteousness. This underscores the truthfulness of what Sir Peter Imbert, a former British police official, said: “Crime could be controlled overnight if everyone was prepared to make the effort.” The Bible educational program offered by God’s government provides honesthearted people with the motivation they need “to make the effort.”
A Crimeless World
Crime in any form displays a lack of love for others. Christians follow the example of Jesus, who said: “You must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind.” And, “You must love your neighbor as yourself.”—Matthew 22:37-39.
The only government dedicated to ending crime by teaching people to obey these two commandments is God’s Kingdom. Today, over five million Witnesses of Jehovah benefit from this instruction. They are determined not to let criminal tendencies take root in their hearts, prepared to make whatever personal effort is necessary to contribute to a crime-free world. What God has accomplished in their lives is but a foretaste of what he will do in his new world under the rulership of his heavenly government. Imagine a world with no need for policemen, judges, lawyers, or prisons!
Achieving this on a worldwide scale will involve the greatest governmental upheaval in history, brought about by God himself. Daniel 2:44 says: “In the days of those kings [existing today] the God of heaven will set up a [heavenly] kingdom that will never be brought to ruin. And the kingdom itself will not be passed on to any other people. It will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, and it itself will stand to times indefinite.” God will also crush Satan, ending his evil influence.—Romans 16:20.
Once human governments have been replaced by God’s heavenly government, humans will never again rule over one another. Heavenly kings—kings even higher than the angels—will instruct humankind in the ways of righteousness. Then, no more assassinations, poison-gas attacks, or terrorist bombs! No more social injustices that breed crime! No more haves and have-nots!
Professor S. A. Aluko, of Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria, observed: “The poor cannot sleep at night because they are hungry; the rich cannot sleep because the poor are awake.” But soon everyone will be able to sleep soundly in the knowledge that government—God’s government—has finally put an end to crime!
a For a detailed explanation of what God’s Kingdom is and how it will benefit believing humankind, please read the book Knowledge That Leads to Everlasting Life, published by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc.
[Picture on page 10]
A former thief and his victim, now united as Christian brothers