The Choice We All Face
1-4. (a) What conditions have you seen that make you realize how desirable it would be to have true peace and security? (b) On what basis are world leaders foretelling that they expect lasting peace? (c) If any arrangement for peace and security is to benefit your own life, what kind of problems must it solve?
SURELY you, like most persons today, want peace and security. People everywhere are weary of war, tension and turmoil. They long for relief. Would you not rejoice to see this earth become a pleasant, secure home for all of its inhabitants?
2 There is every reason to believe that the longed-for relief is now at hand! From what source?
3 World leaders today are confidently foretelling the entry of a ‘new era’ in world history. They say that the threat of global war and nuclear destruction is past. Why? Because, they declare, a dramatic change in relations between the world’s great powers is bringing in a time of peace and security such as the world has never seen. In January of 1973 a prominent statesman said: “We have made a breakthrough toward creating in the world what the world has not known before—a structure of peace that can last, not merely for our time, but for generations to come.”1
4 The question is: What is required in order to make the peace and security genuine? How can it make your life secure? To accomplish that, would it not have to reach into your neighborhood and your home and solve the problems that seriously affect you? Would it not also have to solve the problems of growing crime and drug addiction, rising food costs and heavy taxation, spreading pollution and the steady weakening of family ties? Surely, as long as any of these situations continue, they are a threat to your personal peace and security.
5-8. (a) On the basis of your own experience in life, do you believe that men are going to solve those problems? (b) Where else might we look for a solution? (c) How prominent a book is the Bible?
5 Men today offer the hope that they can overcome the major problems afflicting mankind. They say that, freed from the crushing burdens of war, they can direct wealth, research and manpower far more energetically toward finding remedies for such things as crime, disease, hunger, poverty and bad housing.
6 Do you believe this? Is there any solid evidence from the past or from the present to show that men are able to bring such solutions? What does human history show? What does your own experience in life tell you?
7 ‘But if men do not have the solution, what remains?’ you may ask. ‘What choice do we have?’ Well, what about God? There is the undeniable fact that the earth and the living things on it give evidence of intelligent design. (Hebrews 3:4) So, then, where does God enter the picture? Is he concerned? Will he take a hand in human affairs?
8 In view of what is at stake, is it not worth your while to examine what the Bible says on this matter? You may realize that the Bible is the most widely translateda and circulated book on earth. But did you know that it discusses the very matters that are of greatest concern to us in this twentieth century?
9. What does the Bible say about the future of mankind and of government?
9 Many people have heard that it foretells a coming world destruction, and this may disturb them. But few know what it says as to when that destruction will come or about its prophecies of life right here on earth afterward. (Matthew 24:21, 22; 2 Peter 3:11-13) They may have prayed for ‘God’s kingdom to come.’ But few realize that the Bible speaks of that kingdom as an actual government, one that will shortly replace all present political systems.—Daniel 2:44.
10. What are some of the differences between what the Bible says that God’s kingdom will do and what human leaders say that they will do?
10 There is a vast difference between the peace and security the Bible shows that God’s kingdom will bring and what human leaders of our day promise. Today men speak in terms of a reduction of arms by treaties and peace pacts. The Bible, by contrast, says that soon God will bring a complete end to all armaments and remove the root causes of war. The security that God promises is not just from war between nations. It is from enemies of any kind, anywhere, so that no one need be in fear, day or night. (Micah 4:3, 4) Men are now concerned with bringing crime under control, but God’s declared purpose is to wipe out even the sources of crime, rooting out the attitudes and conditions with which crime begins. (Psalm 37:8-11 [36:8-11, Catholic Douay Version]; Galatians 5:19-21) The nations speak of progress in medical research and improved care of the sick and aged. But the Bible explains how God’s government will bring about full and lasting health, yes, even overcoming the problems of aging and death. (Revelation 21:3, 4) Under the kind of rulership described in the Bible, a person’s work will mean more than just getting money or possessions—it will make life meaningful, filled with purpose, bringing real satisfaction. For, after all, no matter what you are paid, how happy can you be if your work is monotonous, if you feel frustrated and without a true sense of accomplishment in life?—Romans 8:19-21; Isaiah 65:21-23.
11. In deciding whether to put our trust in men or in what the Bible promises, what questions do we do well to ask ourselves?
11 Which would you prefer? Which do you believe offers true peace and security? By going along with what the world in general accepts, have you really found what you want in life? If you let yourself be carried along with what may currently be popular, may you find that you have trusted in a false peace, a fraudulent security that leaves you, not only disillusioned, but also in grave danger? On the other hand, can you rely on what the Bible promises as something believable, practical, realistic?
12. Why would it be beneficial for us to examine together the answers to these questions?
12 The choice we each face is not one of minor consequence. Our very lives are at stake. Surely, then, the answer to the questions raised deserves your thoughtful examination.
a Now in 1,500 languages and dialects.
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