How Can You Have More than This Life?
FROM all the foregoing information it is abundantly clear that there is much, much more to life than what we now experience. Just think of it—Jehovah God has set before mankind the grand prospect of life here on earth under righteous conditions, with freedom from sickness and death! It can be yours to enjoy, not just for a hundred years or a thousand years, but forever. And the time when this will become reality is so near at hand!
Will you be among those to benefit from the realization of God’s glorious purpose for man and his home, the earth? You definitely can be. But you need to act without delay. We are now living at the time when the Bible’s warning takes on great urgency: “Before there comes upon you people the burning anger of Jehovah, before there comes upon you the day of Jehovah’s anger, seek Jehovah, all you meek ones of the earth, who have practiced His own judicial decision. Seek righteousness, seek meekness. Probably you may be concealed in the day of Jehovah’s anger.”—Zephaniah 2:2, 3.
The “burning anger of Jehovah” is against all who have misled their fellowmen by lying about God and his purpose. And he does not hold guiltless those who support such men by attending their religious services or being members of their organizations. The time left before the execution of divine judgment is short. If you are a lover of righteousness you need to act quickly to obey the Scriptural command to break all ties with the world empire of false religion. Take seriously the urging of God’s Word, which says: “Get out of her, my people, if you do not want to share with her in her sins, and if you do not want to receive part of her plagues.”—Revelation 18:4.
But it is not enough simply to break off one’s connections with organizations that have tolerated and encouraged unrighteousness. The Bible puts us on notice that God’s “wrath is being revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness,” yes, against the practices themselves and those who continue to indulge in them. (Romans 1:18) It does not leave us in any doubt as to what those practices are. It dearly identifies them and urges all who would have Jehovah’s approval to clean such things out of their lives. Love for Jehovah and gratitude for his goodness can make such a change possible.—Ephesians 4:25-5:6; Colossians 3:5, 6.
This is no time to seek to justify oneself, presuming that the good deeds that one does from day to day more than offset one’s shortcomings. Setting their own standards of good and bad led to calamity in the case of Adam and Eve. And even in our day the Bible proverb is true that says: “There exists a way that is upright before a man, but the ways of death are the end of it afterward.” (Proverbs 16:25) Now is the time, then, to learn Jehovah’s ways, to seek his “righteousness.” This is also the time to “seek meekness,” that is, to be submissive to God’s judgment and humbly to accept his correction and discipline, conforming to his will. Only by doing this will it be possible for you to be “concealed in the day of Jehovah’s anger.”
Do not conclude, as some have, that your way of life has been too bad for God to forgive you. Rather, take comfort from the words addressed to unfaithful Israelites of old: “Let the wicked man leave his way, and the harmful man his thoughts; and let him return to Jehovah, who will have mercy upon him, and to our God, for he will forgive in a large way.” (Isaiah 55:7) Also, find encouragement in his promise that says: “Though the sins of you people should prove to be as scarlet, they will be made white just like snow; though they should be red like crimson cloth, they will become even like wool.”—Isaiah 1:18.
Jehovah God has no pleasure in executing judgment against anyone but wants all to enjoy life. (2 Peter 3:9) Still, Jehovah cannot and will not condone unrighteousness. Hence, it is necessary for all who would have his approval to repent of their former way of life and to change their ways to conform to his righteous will.—Isaiah 55:6.
The thing to do now is to start to learn what God requires of you, to take in the vital knowledge contained in his Word, and then to act in harmony with it. This is the way that leads to eternal life. (John 17:3) Jehovah’s Christian witnesses will gladly give you personal help in acquiring an accurate knowledge of the Bible, free of charge. They also welcome you to their Kingdom Halls, where they regularly discuss God’s Word.
A TRULY BENEFICIAL WAY
By responding to the things you learn from the Bible, you will experience beneficial changes in your life. You will find that the application of Bible principles will improve relationships at home, at work and in your daily contacts with fellowmen. (Romans 12:17-21; 13:8-10; Ephesians 5:22-6:4; 1 Peter 3:1-7) This will contribute much toward making your life happier, more contented and meaningful even now.
Of course, this does not mean that you will be immune from the problems and pressures of the world. You are still going to be living among people who have no love of righteousness, and some of them will no doubt endeavor to discourage you from learning and applying the Bible in your life. (2 Timothy 3:12; 1 Peter 4:4) But, as you grow in knowledge of God’s Word, you will find that you are able to cope with the problems of life far more effectively than do those who rely on mere human reasoning. Instead of becoming bitter because of injustices that you may suffer, you will know the reason for them and will have the firm conviction that God’s kingdom by Christ will soon put an end to all these things that detract from full enjoyment of life.—2 Peter 3:11-13.
As you acquire faith in God’s loving provisions for eternal life, you will gain freedom from the oppressive influence that the prospect of death has had on all mankind. No longer will the falsehoods that have been taught concerning death mar your enjoyment of life. The shortsighted view that this life is all there is will lose any influence that it may have had toward tempting you to sacrifice right principles and a good conscience in an effort to get ahead in the world. The conviction that God can and will bring the dead back to life will enable you to gain freedom from the fear of death itself. Faith based on an accurate knowledge of God’s Word will make it possible for you to enjoy life now as never before and to rejoice in the grand prospect of the future—everlasting life in God’s righteous new order.
May appreciation for the loving provisions that God has made for mankind kindle in you a burning desire to know and to do his will. May it move you, with a sincere heart, to join with the psalmist who said: “Make me know your own ways, O Jehovah; teach me your own paths. Make me walk in your truth and teach me, for you are my God of salvation.”—Psalm 25:4, 5.