What You Must Do to Live Forever
1. (a) What two courses are open to you? (b) How may you choose the right course?
JEHOVAH GOD offers you something wonderful—everlasting life in his righteous new system of things. (2 Peter 3:13) But living then depends upon your doing God’s will now. The present wicked world, including all who remain a part of it, is about to pass away, “but he that does the will of God remains forever.” (1 John 2:17) So you must choose between two courses. One leads to death and the other to eternal life. (Deuteronomy 30:19, 20) Which one will you take?
2. (a) If you have true faith, of what will you be convinced? (b) How will trusting God as a child trusts a loving father help you to serve him?
2 How do you show that you are choosing life? First of all, you must have faith in Jehovah and in his promises. Are you firmly convinced that God exists “and that he becomes the rewarder of those earnestly seeking him”? (Hebrews 11:6) You need to trust God as a son or a daughter trusts a loving and merciful father. (Psalm 103:13, 14; Proverbs 3:11, 12) Having such faith, you will not doubt that his counsel is wise or that his ways are right, even if at times you do not understand matters fully.
3. (a) In addition to faith, what else is necessary? (b) What works are needed to show that you are choosing life?
3 However, more than faith is needed. There must also be works to demonstrate what your true feelings are about Jehovah. (James 2:20, 26) Have you done things to show that you are sorry for any failing in the past to do what is right? Have you been moved to repent or make changes to bring your life course into harmony with Jehovah’s will? Have you turned around, that is, rejected any wrong course that you may have been following, and have you begun doing the things God requires? (Acts 3:19; 17:30) Such works will show that you are choosing life.
DEDICATION AND BAPTISM
4. (a) What should move you to do God’s will? (b) When you decide you want to serve God, what is it proper to do?
4 What should move you to choose life by doing God’s will? Appreciation should. Just think: Jehovah has made possible for you relief from all sickness, suffering, and even death! By the precious gift of his Son he has opened up to you the way to endless life in a paradise earth. (1 Corinthians 6:19, 20; 7:23; John 3:16) When Jehovah’s love moves you to love him in return, what should you do? (1 John 4:9, 10; 5:2, 3) You should approach God in Jesus’ name and tell him in prayer that you want to be his servant, that you want to belong to him. In this way you dedicate yourself to God. This is a personal, private matter. No one else can do it for you.
5. (a) After you make your dedication to God, what does he expect you to do? (b) What help is available to you in living up to your dedication?
5 After you have made your dedication to God, he will expect you to live up to it. So prove that you are a person of your word by sticking to this decision, or dedication, as long as you live. (Psalm 50:14) If you keep close to God’s visible organization, you can be helped by fellow Christians who will gladly give you loving encouragement and support.—1 Thessalonians 5:11.
6. (a) When you dedicate your life to God, what step then is necessary? (b) What is the meaning of baptism?
6 However, you must do more than privately tell Jehovah that you want to belong to him. You need to show before others that you have made a dedication to serve God. How do you do this? By getting baptized in water. Such water baptism is a public demonstration that a person has dedicated his life to Jehovah and is presenting himself to do His will.
7. (a) What example did Jesus provide for Christians? (b) Why is the baptism commanded by Jesus not for infants?
7 That water baptism is an important requirement is shown by the example of Jesus Christ. Jesus did not simply tell his Father that he had come to do His will. (Hebrews 10:7) When he was about to begin his service as a preacher of God’s kingdom, Jesus presented himself to Jehovah and was baptized in water. (Matthew 3:13-17) Since Jesus set the pattern, those today who dedicate themselves to Jehovah to do his will should be baptized. (1 Peter 2:21; 3:21) In fact, Jesus commanded his followers to make disciples of people of all nations and then to baptize these new disciples. This is no baptizing of infants. It is a baptism of persons who have become believers, having made up their minds to serve Jehovah.—Matthew 28:19; Acts 8:12.
8. If you want to be baptized, to whom in the congregation should you make this known, and why?
8 If you have made up your mind to serve Jehovah and want to be baptized, what should you do? You should make your desire known to the presiding overseer of the congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses with which you are associating. He, along with other elders in the congregation, will gladly review with you information that you need to know in order to serve God in an acceptable way. Then it can be arranged for you to be baptized.
GOD’S WILL FOR YOU TODAY
9. What did Noah do before the flood that it is God’s will for you to do now?
9 Before the flood, Jehovah used Noah, “a preacher of righteousness,” to warn of the coming destruction and to point to the only place of safety, the ark. (Matthew 24:37-39; 2 Peter 2:5; Hebrews 11:7) God’s will is that you now do a similar preaching work. Jesus foretold regarding our time: “This good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations; and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14) Others must know the things you have learned about God’s purposes if they are to survive this system’s end and live forever. (John 17:3) Is your heart not moved to have a part in sharing this life-giving knowledge with others?
10. (a) What example of Jesus should love of people move us to follow? (b) How is much of the preaching work done?
10 Follow Christ’s example. He did not wait for people to come to him, but he went looking for those who would listen to the Kingdom message. And he instructed his followers—all of them—to do the same. (Matthew 28:19; Acts 4:13; Romans 10:10-15) Following Christ’s instruction and example, early Christians called on people in their homes. They went “from house to house” with the Kingdom message. (Luke 10:1-6; Acts 20:20) This is still the main way that true Christians carry on their ministry in our day.
11. (a) Why does it take courage to preach about God’s kingdom, but why do we not need to fear? (b) How does Jehovah view the work we do?
11 It takes courage to do this work. Satan and his world are sure to try to stop you, even as they tried to stop Christ’s early followers from preaching. (Acts 4:17-21; 5:27-29, 40-42) But you need not fear. Just as Jehovah backed up and strengthened those early Christians, he will do the same for you today. (2 Timothy 4:17) So take courage! Prove that you really do love Jehovah and your fellow humans by having a full share in the lifesaving preaching and teaching work. (1 Corinthians 9:16; 1 Timothy 4:16) Jehovah will not forget your work, but will richly reward you.—Hebrews 6:10-12; Titus 1:2.
12. What can we learn from the example of the wife of Lot?
12 There is nothing of real value that this old system has to offer, so never think you are missing out by turning your back on it. “Remember the wife of Lot,” Jesus said. (Luke 17:32) After she and her family escaped from Sodom, she looked in a longing way at the things they had left behind. God saw where her heart was, and she became a pillar of salt. (Genesis 19:26) Do not be like Lot’s wife! Keep your eyes on what is ahead, on “the real life” in God’s righteous new order.—1 Timothy 6:19.
CHOOSE ETERNAL LIFE IN PARADISE ON EARTH
13. How did Jesus present the choice that all of us have to make?
13 Really, there are but two choices. Christ compared it to the choice of either one of two roads. One road, he said, is “broad and spacious.” On it travelers are permitted freedom to please themselves. The other road, however, is “cramped.” Yes, those on that road are required to obey the instructions and laws of God. The majority, Jesus noted, are taking the broad road, only a few the narrow one. Which road will you choose? In making your choice, keep this in mind: The broad road will suddenly come to a dead end—destruction! On the other hand, the narrow road will lead you right through into God’s new system. There you can share in making the earth a glorious paradise, where you can live forever in happiness.—Matthew 7:13, 14.
14. What must you be a part of in order to survive into God’s new system?
14 Do not conclude that there are different roads, or ways, that you can follow to gain life in God’s new system. There is only one. There was just the one ark that survived the Flood, not a number of boats. And there will be only one organization—God’s visible organization—that will survive the fast-approaching “great tribulation.” It is simply not true that all religions lead to the same goal. (Matthew 7:21-23; 24:21) You must be part of Jehovah’s organization, doing God’s will, in order to receive his blessing of everlasting life.—Psalm 133:1-3.
15. (a) What do we need to do every day? (b) What hope is much more than a dream?
15 So keep the picture of God’s promised new system of things bright in your mind and heart. Every day think about the grand prize that Jehovah God holds out to you—living forever in Paradise on earth. This is no dream. It is real! For the Bible promise is certain to be fulfilled: “The righteous themselves will possess the earth, and they will reside forever upon it. . . . When the wicked ones are cut off, you will see it.”—Psalm 37:29, 34.
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Dedicate yourself to Jehovah . . . and get baptized
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“Remember the wife of Lot”
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Keep God’s new system bright in your mind and heart