Has God’s Purpose for Mankind Failed?
What is God’s purpose for mankind? Has it failed or will it yet be realized? If it will be, what must we do to benefit from it?
IS GOD’S purpose for mankind the conversion of the world to the so-called Christian religions? That is what the majority of the sects of Christendom teach. These also hold that the earth is merely the temporary home of man, that man’s destiny is heaven and that someday the earth will be consumed by fire.
Definitely disagreeing with such beliefs are the deists who, while believing in the existence of God, deny the inspiration of the Bible. These hold that God, once having created the universe, including the earth and man, is not directly concerned with what goes on upon the earth but lets mankind go its own way.
If God’s purpose for mankind is the conversion of all men to any or all sects of Christendom it has signally failed. How so? Because not only is earth’s population increasing at a greater rate than are the sects of Christendom, but even in Christendom comparatively few can be said to be true Christians.
God is the great First Cause. Of himself he says: “I am Jehovah, that is my name.” And that name literally means “he causes to be.” For God to be the Great Causer, and yet not have a purpose, why, that would be unthinkable. It would indicate a lack of intelligence, and God, above all others, is The Intelligent One, the Source of all knowledge and the Personification of wisdom.—Isa. 42:8, AS.
But why speculate on what God’s purpose is when he has given us his well-authenticated Word for the very reason of revealing to us his purpose for mankind? Failure to make his purpose known to intelligent creatures would be both unjust and unloving and so not at all like God. “Surely the Lord Jehovah will do nothing, except he reveal his secret unto his servants.”—Amos 3:7, AS.
GOD’S PURPOSE FOR MANKIND
What is God’s purpose for mankind? His purpose he made known by a mandate he gave the very first human pair in Eden. Incidentally, all mandates or commands issuing from God, the divine One, are divine mandates. To distinguish this one from all other divine mandates it therefore seems best to speak of it as the “procreation mandate.” And of what did this procreation mandate consist? Of three specific commands:
First of all, “Be fruitful and become many and fill the earth”; with righteous creatures, of course, like Adam and Eve, having a right to life, living in harmony with their Creator and dwelling in happiness and at peace with one another. Secondly, “and subdue it,” that is, the earth; by making all the earth a paradise even as was the specially prepared garden of delight in Eden. And, thirdly, ‘have in subjection all the lower animals.’ Man was to be a wise and loving ruler, not over fellow humans, but over the lower, unreasoning, brute creation.—Gen. 1:28, NW.
Note that God said nothing to Adam and Eve about going to heaven. Neither did he tell them that someday the earthly globe was to be destroyed. Rather he told them that they would live as long as they obeyed a certain commandment. We must therefore conclude that man’s destiny was earthly, not heavenly. And so we read: “The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever.” But how could they if someday it were to be destroyed by fire.?—Ps. 37:29, AS.
What a marvelous prospect God’s purpose held out to mankind! What a testimony that procreation mandate was to God’s love, justice, wisdom and power! Yet today, some six thousand years removed from the time God gave that mandate, do we see God’s purpose for mankind practically realized? Far from it!
Instead of man’s making the earth a paradise he has so exploited it that large areas are barren because of dust storms and soil erosion. Destructive wars have ruined other large sections and now scientists warn that production of atomic energy may eventually make the entire earth uninhabitable.
Likewise man has failed to exercise wise, just and loving dominion over the lower animals. Instead, man has abused his charges, causing them much needless suffering, and has wantonly slain them for commercial gain or for sport, even to the extent of completely wiping out some species. And far from filling the earth with a happy and righteous race of humans having the right to life, man has filled the earth with an unrighteous, wretched and dying race.
Why this apparent failure of God’s purpose for mankind? Because of original sin, caused by the rebellion of one of God’s spirit creatures who was placed in charge of the earth and man, and who, because of his rebellion, is now known as Satan the Devil—a record all too well known to need detailed repeating here.—Gen. 3:1-19; Rom. 5:12.
Does that mean that God’s purpose for mankind will not be realized? Not at all. None of God’s purposes ever fail. How could they, when he is both all-knowing and all-powerful? As he himself assures us: “I have purposed, I will also do it.”—Isa. 46:11, AS.
Actually it is merely a matter of God’s purpose for mankind being temporarily interrupted, which God permitted for very good reasons. Such as? To demonstrate his superiority over a rival even when that one is given practically free rein, and also to prove that he can have creatures that will prove true to him in spite of all the temptations and persecutions that God’s enemy Satan can bring against them. For an example see the book of Job.
GOD’S PURPOSE WILL YET BE REALIZED
How will God’s purpose for mankind yet be realized? Necessarily, by removing the condemnation resting upon mankind because of Adam’s transgression. This God made possible by having his Son come to earth and take man’s place in death. As we read of Jesus: “See, the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world!” Yes, even as the sin of one perfect man, Adam, brought death to the human race, so the sacrifice of one perfect man, Jesus, opens the way for all lovers of righteousness to get life.—John 1:29, NW.
However, before mankind can receive the benefits of Jesus’ sacrifice or ransom, Satan and all his cohorts, both visible and invisible, must first be put out of the way, as they would obstruct all such activity in behalf of man. This Jesus Christ and his invisible armies will do at Armageddon, at “the war of the great day of God the Almighty.” In that universal war all those on earth who do not take their stand for Jehovah will be destroyed, whereas Satan and his invisible hosts will be hurled into an abyss of deathlike inactivity for a thousand years.—Rev. 16:14, 16; 20:1-3, NW.
Armageddon’s survivors, the lovers of Jehovah and righteousness, will then see Jesus’ prayer being fulfilled: “Let your will come to pass, as in heaven, also upon earth.” That will mean a “new heavens and a new earth” in which righteousness will dwell.—Matt. 6:10; 2 Pet. 3:13, NW.
That heavenly kingdom of God, which will realize God’s purpose for mankind, consists of a King, Jesus Christ, and 144,000 royal associates. These associates are chosen from among men, are an exception to the rest of mankind and will be the only ones ever taken to heaven.—Rev. 14:1, 3.
As the seed of Abraham, Christ and his associates will bless all mankind. Under their Kingdom rule the effects of sin and death will gradually be removed. Their first subjects, the Armageddon survivors, the “great crowd” of Revelation 7 (NW), will share in a token fulfillment of the procreation mandate, bringing forth children in righteousness. They will also exercise wise, just and loving dominion over the brute creation and subdue the earth, making it a paradise. And then those in the memorial tombs, or in God’s memory, will hear Jesus’ “voice and come out.”—John 5:28, 29, NW.
At the end of the 1,000-year Kingdom rule Satan and his demons will be loosed so as to try all those dwelling on earth. All who succumb to selfish temptation will be destroyed with Satan and his demons. Those that withstand the test will be declared righteous by God and given the right to everlasting life. Then God’s purpose will be fully realized as all mankind enjoy endless life in an earthly paradise, unitedly worshiping Jehovah in spirit and in truth and dwelling together in happiness, love and peace.
Would you like to share in Jehovah’s glorious purpose for mankind, so certain to be realized, and that soon? Then give him the exclusive devotion all his creatures owe him and he rightfully requires of them. To help you give Jehovah exclusive devotion is the purpose of the Watch Tower publications and the activity of Jehovah’s witnesses. Accept the help they offer, to your lasting benefit.