Disasters Are Nearing Their End
EARTHQUAKES, wars, famines, and disease—these are some of the things that Jesus foretold would mark “the conclusion of the system of things” in which we now live. (Matthew 24:3, 7, 8; Luke 21:7, 10, 11) Of course, those events are not acts of God. Neither Jesus nor his Father, Jehovah God, is responsible for them.
But God will be responsible for what the foretold events presage, namely, the coming of God’s Kingdom—a heavenly government in the hands of Jesus Christ—and the destruction of all who reject Jehovah’s sovereignty. (Daniel 2:44; 7:13, 14) Thereafter, earth will be made into a haven of peace, where there will be no fear of natural disasters. In a complete sense, God’s promise will be fulfilled: “My people must dwell in a peaceful abiding place and in residences of full confidence and in undisturbed resting-places.”—Isaiah 32:18.
Listen to God and Live!
As explained in the preceding article in this series, acting on warnings can be lifesaving. That principle applies even more to divine warnings recorded in the Bible. “As for the one listening to me,” God promises, “he will reside in security and be undisturbed from dread of calamity.”—Proverbs 1:33.
Jehovah’s Witnesses strive to listen to God by reading his inspired Word regularly and applying its teachings. They invite you to do the same. Yes, all who obediently listen to Jehovah have no need to dread the future and the calamity that will befall the wicked. Instead, they can look forward to gaining everlasting life in Paradise on earth, where they will “find their exquisite delight in the abundance of peace.”—Psalm 37:10, 11.
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COMFORT FOR MOURNERS
Have you lost loved ones in death, perhaps because of a natural disaster or some other tragedy? Nearly 2,000 years ago, Jesus’ close friend Lazarus suffered an untimely death. Upon learning about this, Jesus went to Lazarus’ village, Bethany, and raised him from the “sleep” of death.—John 11:1-44.
Jesus performed this miracle not just to show love for Lazarus and his family but also to add weight to Jesus’ promise to resurrect “all those in the memorial tombs” during his Kingdom rule. (John 5:28, 29) Yes, in the coming Paradise, Jesus will undo all the harm that began with the rebellion in Eden.*—1 John 3:8.
For Scriptural advice on how to cope with the loss of a loved one in death as well as a more detailed discussion of the resurrection promise, please see the brochure When Someone You Love Dies, published by Jehovah’s Witnesses.
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AN EARTHQUAKE CHANGED MY DIRECTION IN LIFE
In 1971, I was a young mother and an aspiring opera soprano. I had moved from my native Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, in 1957 to be near Hollywood, California, U.S.A., hoping to pursue my first love, music.
For nine summers, Mother, one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, traveled from Canada to visit me. She used those occasions to talk to me about the Bible, convinced that it offered the best advice on happiness and family life. I loved Mother and respectfully listened to her. However, each time she left, I discarded the literature she had given me, confident that my life was headed in the right direction.
Then, early on a Tuesday morning in February 1971, a 6.6 magnitude earthquake jarred me awake. The noise was deafening, and the shaking violent. Terrified, I rushed to my son and was relieved to find him safe in his crib. When the shaking stopped, broken glass and the contents of cupboards littered the floor, and the water that had been in the swimming pool was all over the yard. Even though my family was safe, I could not go back to sleep.
Mother had spoken of “the last days,” a feature of which is “great earthquakes.” (2 Timothy 3:1; Luke 21:7-11) That summer she returned for her annual visit but without Bible literature. Having witnessed to me for nine years without results, she assumed that I had no interest. How wrong she was! From the moment she arrived, I barraged her with questions. Singing and fame had suddenly become much less important.
That very week I attended Christian meetings with Mother at the local Kingdom Hall, and thereafter I rarely missed a meeting. She arranged for me to have a home Bible study. I was baptized in 1973, and today I spend an average of 70 hours each month proclaiming the good news of God’s Kingdom to others. (Matthew 24:14) Yes, instead of shattering my faith in God, an earthquake helped me to build faith.—As told by Colleen Esparza.