Life in a Righteous New World
“THIS is not right.” How often today people say these words to themselves! Thus we attest to the flood of unrighteousness that has engulfed this world. What is right is not so important to most people as is what is profitable. Drenched in this world’s unrighteousness, politics and commercialism are notorious for corrupt and deceptive practices. Where is the lover of righteousness to look for the practice of straight principles?
By going to God’s Word, the Bible, the lover of righteousness is cheered; for therein he will read of a sure promise of life in a righteous new world: “There are new heavens and a new earth that we are awaiting according to his promise, and in these righteousness is to dwell.”—2 Pet. 3:13.
A grand promise that! A world in which “righteousness is to dwell”! No shortages of the necessities of life in such a world! Because of unrighteousness today—not because of any lack of productiveness of the earth—millions of persons do not have proper food, clothing or housing. International rivalry stops the free flow of the necessities of life, and oppressive rulers treat their subjects cruelly, just as Proverbs 28:15, 16 says: “As a growling lion and an onrushing bear is a wicked ruler over a lowly people. A leader that is in want of true discernment is also abundant in fraudulent practices.” So many are the fraudulent practices in today’s commercial businesses, politics and religions that almost daily there are new exposures, but they do little to root out unrighteousness in the hearts of men. Yet life in God’s new world will be free from fraudulent practices, indeed, free from all unrighteous people.
Jehovah God has often displayed his power to cut off unrighteous people and to deliver righteous ones. He did this in Noah’s day and in the time of Lot. “God,” writes the apostle Peter, “did not hold back from punishing an ancient world, but kept Noah, a preacher of righteousness, safe with seven others when he brought a deluge upon a world of ungodly people; and by reducing the cities Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them, setting a pattern for ungodly persons of things to come, and he delivered righteous Lot, who was greatly distressed by the indulgence of the law-defying people in loose conduct.” In view of these facts we are assured: “Jehovah knows how to deliver people of godly devotion out of trial, but to reserve unrighteous people for the day of judgment to be cut off.”—2 Pet. 2:4-9.
The judgment God executed upon the preflood world and upon the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah was prophetic; that is, it set “a pattern for ungodly persons of things to come.” The coming event that all righteous persons long for is God’s war of Armageddon, when the Lord Jesus Christ as Jehovah’s reigning King puts an end to all manner of unrighteousness.
No unproved King is the Lord Jesus Christ, for he was thoroughly tried and tested as to his love for righteousness. When on earth he spurned the Devil’s offer for rulership over this unrighteous world. He stayed loyal to his Father and the divine principles of righteousness. Applying Psalm 45:7 to Jesus Christ, the inspired writer of Hebrews 1:8, 9 says: “But with reference to the Son: ‘God is your throne forever, and the scepter of your kingdom is the scepter of straight principles. You loved righteousness and hated lawlessness.’” How thrilling to our hearts this assurance that the King of the new world loves righteousness, that his very scepter is one of “straight principles”! Further, since it is said of God’s King that “God is your throne forever,” we have another guarantee of the new world’s righteousness; for at Psalm 97:2 we read of God’s throne: “Righteousness and judgment are the established place of his throne.”
The end, then, of all fraudulent practices, oppression, selfishness and wickedness is at hand. Rejoice in the knowledge that within this generation men of good will toward God, men who love righteousness, will be delivered by God so as to gain entrance into a world in which “righteousness is to dwell.” Giving this prophetic foregleam of life in the righteous new world under the King with the scepter of straight principles, the psalmist says: “O God, give your own judicial decisions to the king, and your righteousness to the son of the king. May he plead the cause of your people with righteousness and of your afflicted ones with judicial decision. Let the mountains carry peace to the people, also the hills, through righteousness. . . . In his days the righteous one will sprout, and the abundance of peace until the moon is no more.”—Ps. 72:1-8.
No unrighteousness will take root in that new world. Only the “righteous one will sprout.” Gone, then, appalling housing shortages, vanished the food shortages. Even now, says Dr. Josué de Castro, “the world has at its disposal enough resources to provide an adequate diet for everybody, everywhere.” Indeed, some governments have great food surpluses that are either stored up, destroyed or disposed of in some other manner. Yet millions of persons starve on an earth capable of producing an abundance for all. Life in God’s righteous new world will not be one of shortages of any kind. Then, earth-wide, Isaiah’s prophecy will have a literal fulfillment: “They will certainly build houses and have occupancy; and they will certainly plant vineyards and eat their fruitage. They will not build and someone else have occupancy; they will not plant and someone else do the eating. For like the days of a tree will the days of my people be; and the work of their own hands my chosen ones will use to the full.” “And the work of the true righteousness must become peace, and the service of the true righteousness quietness and security to time indefinite.”—Isa. 65:21, 22; 32:16, 17.
How may you enjoy everlasting life on earth in a righteous world? Do what God’s Word counsels: “Seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye will be hid in the day of Jehovah’s anger.” (Zeph. 2:3, AS) Learn God’s righteous ways now. Apply the divine principles to your life. Direct others to the worship of Jehovah God, aiding them also to gain life everlasting in a righteous world.