How Can Peace Come to Man?
The threat of nuclear war makes the establishing of permanent peace imperative. The continued existence of mankind depends upon it.
MAN has solved difficult problems that opened the way for him to tap the power of the atom, to send rocket probes hundreds of thousands of miles into space and to conquer deadly diseases, but he has not been able to solve the extremely important problem of how to live together in peace. He has produced a number of plans for world peace as well as peace agencies, but permanent peace continues to appear very remote.
Deadly weapons are being produced and stock-piled on a large scale, international differences grow more acute, suspicions and fears mount and internal uprisings overthrow established governments. The threat of war constantly overshadows the common man’s hope for peace. Our troubled world is like a rumbling volcano that threatens to blow off its top at any moment.
Rumblings that could herald the explosion come from the near East, from Berlin, from the Formosa Strait and from other trouble spots. The news magazine U.S. News & World Report reported recently: “‘Cold war in Asia,’ said one U.S. expert just back from the area, ‘is turning hot—so hot that the blindest of Asian leaders now is forced to face the reality of aggressive Communism.’” In the same magazine Allen W. Dulles, who is director of the Central Intelligence Agency, spoke of the situation in Iraq as “the most dangerous in the world.”
The sky-rocketing population of China is considered by many persons as a threat to world peace. They fear that China will be compelled to look for new territory to accommodate its people. Commenting on this, the New York Times Magazine of March 15, 1959, said: “Such a mass equipped with modern arms and disciplined by a dictatorship, if bent on conquest, could be stopped only by a united world outside.”
If a war should break out between the East and the West, there seems little doubt that dreaded nuclear weapons will be used. One news magazine said: “War with Soviet Russia or war with a satellite country that involves the use of any Russian troops will be a nuclear war, fought with all available weapons.” That can result in nuclear devastation on a world-wide scale. “All-out military power today—power unlimited,” said The Atlantic, “implies clearly the death of civilization as we know it.”
In view of this critical situation it is of utmost concern to all peoples to know how permanent peace can come to man. It is evident that they cannot look to world leaders or to man-made agencies for peace. These have failed to turn the world from its road to nuclear destruction. They would do well to consider the words of Jesus Christ, who foresaw our days of distress and perplexity. He foretold how men would become “faint out of fear and expectation of the things coming upon the inhabited earth.”—Luke 21:26.
PEACE BY THE HAND OF GOD
Because man has failed to come up with a workable solution for the problem of world peace, that does not mean all is lost. He can look to his Creator for that solution. Jehovah God revealed it long ago when he caused a prophet to write: “For there has been a child born to us, there has been a son given to us, and the princely rule will come to be upon his shoulder. . . . To the abundance of the princely rule and to peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and upon his kingdom in order to establish it firmly and to sustain it by means of justice and by means of righteousness, from now on and to time indefinite. The very zeal of Jehovah of armies will do this.”—Isa. 9:6, 7.
This heavenly government for earth can do what man has failed to do—establish permanent peace. It can eliminate war forever. It was this government that Jesus taught his followers to pray for when he said: “You must pray, then, this way: ‘Our Father in the heavens, let your name be sanctified. Let your kingdom come. Let your will come to pass, as in heaven, also upon earth.’” (Matt. 6:9, 10) With that divine government ruling the earth in justice and righteousness wars will be impossible.
One of the principal causes of trouble today is the division of mankind into many groups, with each group laying exclusive claim to a certain territory. Because some groups greedily seek to annex the territories of other groups and to dominate the peoples there, it seems impossible to have permanent peace. But this could not happen under the rule of God’s kingdom. Instead of being divided into many nations, earth’s inhabitants will form only one nation under one government—a righteous government.
For peace to come by the hand of God it is first necessary to remove man-made governments. Trouble will continue as long as they exist. The great Sovereign of the universe will not permit them to compete with his righteous government for earth and be a source of trouble. He foretold long ago through his prophet Daniel that they will cease to be. “In the days of those kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed, nor shall the sovereignty thereof be left to another people; but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.”—Dan. 2:44, AS.
Permanent peace cannot come to mankind as long as people exist who will not obey divine laws and will not submit to the authority of God’s kingdom. It is necessary to purge the earth of the wicked. The coming battle of Armageddon will do just that. It will be the “war of the great day of God the Almighty” when he will execute his adverse judgment upon a wicked system of things.
EFFECT OF KINGDOM’S RULE
The people who will possess the earth under the rule of God’s kingdom will exercise love for one another instead of hate and suspicion. This is essential for maintaining a peaceful world. People who have love for one another as Christ instructed do not stock-pile death-dealing weapons to destroy one another. They do not need inspection safeguards to protect themselves from one another’s perfidy. They do not act treacherously but are truthful and honest.
For love to be exercised by people living today a transformation must take place. It must be a transformation in thinking as well as in manner of living. Instead of selfishly thinking only of one’s own interests, a person must learn to think unselfishly. His manner of living must show consideration for others. Above all, God’s interests must be put first. The apostle Paul spoke of this transformation when he said: “Quit being fashioned after this system of things, but be transformed by making your mind over, that you may prove to yourselves the good and acceptable and complete will of God.” (Rom. 12:2) There are people today who are doing just that despite national boundaries and hatreds. They exercise love for one another the world over. As a new world society these people look forward with keen anticipation to earth-wide peace under God’s kingdom.
As only peace-loving people survived the flood of Noah’s day, so only peace-loving people will survive the coming battle of Armageddon. “For the upright are the ones that will reside in the earth, and the blameless are the ones that will be left over in it. As regards the wicked, they will be cut off from the very earth; and as for the treacherous, they will be torn away from it.”—Prov. 2:21, 22.
The effect of the rule of God’s kingdom will be an earth populated with righteous people, all exercising love for one another. The wicked of this present world will have been cut off from existence. None will survive the battle of Armageddon to disrupt the peace of the new world that will follow.
With all people united as one under God’s righteous government, there will be no clashes because of race or nationality. All will realize that “God is not partial” and that every “man that fears him and works righteousness is acceptable to him.” (Acts 10:34, 35) Human unity will also include worship, which in itself will be a great contributor to peace.
Besides peace God has promised to bring many other good things to mankind by means of his kingdom. “God himself will be with them. And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be any more. The former things have passed away. And the one seated on the throne said: ‘Look! I am making all things new.’” (Rev. 21:3-5) God goes on to assure us that what he promises here he will surely do, saying: “Write, because these words are trustworthy and true.”
PEACE WILL COME IN OUR GENERATION
Jehovah reveals in the Bible when we can expect the change in rule that will bring permanent peace. He caused his prophets to write down things that would be taking place on an earth-wide scale during the last days of the present system of things. The generation that would be living when these things became realities would be the one that would see the change. The world events since World War I of 1914-1918 have fulfilled those prophecies. The time has finally come for Jehovah God to clean up the earth and to bring permanent peace to man. The generation living in 1914 will see it. “Truly I say to you that this generation will by no means pass away until all these things occur.” (Matt. 24:34) Before stating this Jesus mentioned some of the visible occurrences marking the last days, which things have been taking place.
To be among those who will live to see permanent peace on earth under the rule of God’s kingdom it is necessary to seek Jehovah God and to obey him. “Seek ye Jehovah, all ye meek of the earth, that have kept his ordinances; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye will be hid in the day of Jehovah’s anger.” (Zeph. 2:3, AS) We cannot set aside God’s commands because of war rumblings today. Regardless of what nations may try to do, we can trust God’s promises to bring a change for the better. We can be confident that his kingdom will bring permanent peace to men in this generation.