Grand Blessings from God Near at Hand!
1. In view of worsening world conditions, what questions arise?
DO YOU want to live in peace and happiness? Do you desire good health and long life for yourself and your loved ones? Do you long to see wickedness and suffering end? Every honest-hearted person wants these things. But today, in all parts of the earth, violence, crime, hunger and sickness are increasing. Why is the world so filled with trouble? What does it all mean? Is there any sound reason to believe that conditions will really get better in our lifetime?
2. (a) What book gives us reason for hope? (b) Why can we reasonably think that the loving Creator will bring an end to conditions that cause sorrow?
2 Yes, there is reason for such hope, and it is clearly set out in a book that is published in more languages than any other book in the world. That book is the Bible. It tells us of God’s purpose to set up an entirely new system of things for mankind. If you had the power to do so, would you not bring to an end the conditions that cause so much sorrow? Of course you would! Should we think that the Creator of mankind will do any less? The Bible tells us that “God is love.” (1 John 4:8) Surely this loving heavenly Father knows what mankind needs. He has the power to fill those needs, and he will most certainly do so, for Psalm 145:16* says of God: “You are opening your hand and satisfying the desire of every living thing.”—See also Deuteronomy 32:4.
3. (a) Will it be a long time yet before God satisfies man’s desire for peace and happiness? (b) Of what are worsening world conditions a proof?
3 When will God satisfy man’s desire for true peace and happiness, along with lasting health and life? Must mankind wait for thousands of years more? No! The time is near at hand! But how can this be? Conditions in the world are getting worse, not better. True, but the Bible clearly showed, long in advance, that these very conditions would be proof that we are living in the “last days” of the present wicked system. (2 Timothy 3:1-5) Soon the loving Creator will bring to their end both wickedness and those who cause it. But God will richly bless honest-hearted ones who want to do what is right, for he promises: “The world is passing away and so is its desire, but he that does the will of God remains forever.”—1 John 2:17.
WHAT GOD WILL DO FOR MANKIND
4. (a) In God’s new system, what causes for unhappiness will be things of the past? (b) How will God fulfill his promise of peace?
4 What a change this earth will experience! There will be no more war, nor will there be any of the suffering that war brings. Hatred, selfishness, crime and violence will all be things of the past. Instead, there will be perfect peace and security on earth. God’s own Word declares: “Just a little while longer, and the wicked one will be no more; . . . the meek ones themselves will possess the earth, and they will indeed find their exquisite delight in the abundance of peace.” (Psalm 37:10, 11 [36:10, 11, Dy]) Such peace will exist, not only between nations, but among neighbors and in every household. Think what a grand blessing that could be to you! And how reassuring to know that the fulfillment of this heartwarming promise does not depend on men! It is God who will bring it about. How? By destroying the wicked and by educating his people in the ways of peace.—Proverbs 2:21, 22; Isaiah 54:13.
5. (a) In the new system, what will happen to sickness and death? (b) What questions arise about man’s present short life-span?
5 Among the many blessings that people will enjoy in the new system of God’s making is good health. Even death, which brings much sorrow to all of us, will be no more. The Creator’s promise is: “And [God] will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be any more. . . . Look! I am making all things new.” (Revelation 21:4, 5)* That is something that no human ruler, no scientist, no doctor can do; but it is something that God will do. Is it reasonable that God’s only purpose for man is that he spend twenty years growing up, perhaps another twenty or thirty years gaining knowledge and experience, and shortly thereafter begin to grow old, suffer from sickness and die? Why should man’s life be so short when even a turtle may live to the age of two hundred years and a tree may live far longer? God made man to live, not to die. The Creator promises that soon it will be possible to enjoy life everlastingly, right here on earth. (Isaiah 25:8) With peace-loving neighbors, good health and satisfying activity to fill our lives, what a pleasure that will be!
6. How can we be sure that this new system will come?
6 How can you be sure that this new system will come? How can you be sure it is not just a dream? You can be confident because Almighty God has promised it. The One who created and sustains the universe has given his guarantee that it will come. “God . . . cannot lie.” (Titus 1:2) His word never goes unfulfilled.—Joshua 23:14.
7. Even though men were used to write the Bible, why can we truthfully view it as “the word of God”?
7 These thrilling truths are found in God’s Word, the Bible, the Holy Scriptures. There is no other source of information available to man that explains in a truly satisfying way the reason for what has happened on earth and God’s purpose for mankind. While men were used to write the Bible, they did so under the direction of God’s powerful active force or holy spirit, so that “all Scripture is inspired of God.” (2 Timothy 3:16) Just as an invisible radio beam can carry information to you, so God’s invisible active force directed the writers of the Bible to put down what he wanted mankind to know. That is why one of those writers, the apostle Paul, could say: “When you received God’s word, which you heard from us, you accepted it, not as the word of men, but, just as it truthfully is, as the word of God.”—1 Thessalonians 2:13; see also 2 Peter 1:20, 21.
WORLDWIDE CHANGE NEAR
8. What are some events that Jesus said would mark the last days of this wicked system?
8 God’s Word of truth tells us very clearly that we are fast nearing a worldwide change. It shows us that our time is the one Jesus Christ had in mind when he foretold the end of this wicked system. Jesus foretold many things that his future followers should watch for so they would know when the end was near. He said that the last days of this wicked system would be marked by such things as world wars, food shortages, increasing lawlessness and a growing loss of faith in God. (Matthew 24:3-12) He said there would be “anguish of nations, not knowing the way out.” (Luke 21:25) We have seen the fulfillment of these prophecies in our lifetime.
9. Give an example or two of what men who study world events say about our time.
9 Many men who study world events are convinced that a great change is definitely in the making. The famous writer Walter Lippmann said: “For us all the world is disorderly and dangerous, ungoverned and apparently ungovernable. Everywhere there is great anxiety and bewilderment.” He added that all this “marks, I believe, the historic fact that we are living through the closing chapters of the established and traditional way of life.”* Also, as reported back in 1960, a former United States Secretary of State, Dean Acheson, declared that our time is “a period of unequaled instability, unequaled violence.” Based on what he knew was then going on in the world, it was his conclusion that soon “this world is going to be too dangerous to live in.”*
10. (a) How do we know that world change is very near? (b) For what does the coming world change mean destruction?
10 All the many things foretold in God’s Word of truth indicate that the time for world change is upon us right now! What we see going on throughout the world today in fulfillment of Bible prophecy shows that our time is the one that will see the destruction of this entire wicked system. Present-day governments will be removed to make way for the rule of all the earth by God’s government. (Daniel 2:44; Luke 21:31, 32) Nothing can stop this change, because God has purposed it.
TRUTH THAT LEADS TO ETERNAL LIFE
11 The coming world change will affect every person on the face of the earth, including you. If you love life and want to live, you should hasten to take in accurate knowledge of God, his purposes and his requirements. That is what God wants you to do, for it is his will that “all sorts of men should be saved and come to an accurate knowledge of truth.” (1 Timothy 2:4) Accurate knowledge from God’s Word of truth will enable honest-hearted persons to survive the end of the present wicked system. (Zephaniah 2:3)* It will also reveal the way to eternal life in God’s grand new system. Jesus Christ said in prayer to God: “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; see also John 4:14.
12. What strong reasons do we have for wanting to learn the truth from the Bible?
12 How encouraging it is to know that soon we will see the end of all the world’s troubles! How thrilling it is to know that we have the hope of shortly entering a new system where we can forever enjoy life to the full! This should give every one of us strong reasons for wanting to learn the truth from the Bible. By seeking this truth we begin to lay “a fine foundation for the future, in order [to] get a firm hold on the real life,” “eternal life” in God’s new system of things.—1 Timothy 6:19; AV.
Psalm 144:16, Douay Version.
The Bible book of Revelation is called Apocalypse in the Douay Version.
Newsweek, October 9, 1967, p. 21.
U.S. News & World Report, June 13, 1960, pp. 116, 119.
Sophonias 2:3, Douay Version.
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“God . . . will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be any more.”—Rev. 21:3, 4.