A People with a Purpose
PERHAPS the greatest cause for apathy in religious matters is the feeling shared by multitudes of persons that there is among their religious organizations no real direction, no single worthy purpose for which to labor, nothing to become enthusiastic about. Their organizations hold out no hope of converting the world. In fact, there is every indication that godlessness is gaining ground throughout the earth.
Even religious leaders share the uneasiness and feeling of uselessness, as may be noted by this expression of a clergyman: “In our moments of humility we know we are failing, although we do not know why. We want to be used by God in His reconciling work in the world, but we are involved and caught in the purposelessness of our time. We too are being strangled by the cords of our own vested interests, and we struggle in vain to deliver ourselves from this body of death. We know that we are dry bones. . . . We are the hollow men. We have the physical equipment, but we lack the Spirit.” (Italics added.)
What a refreshing contrast to find that there are today people with a purpose, people who are enthusiastic about their faith, who work whole-souled at spreading it, and who are confident about the future! Yes, we are speaking about the society of Jehovah’s Christian witnesses. No matter where you find them around the world, they are noted as a people whose lives revolve about one vital activity, the preaching of the good news of God’s kingdom from house to house, and that to the glory of God and the blessing of their fellowmen. (Acts 20:20) They are truly happy. “Oh, how I wish I could be like that,” some are heard to say. If you really want to, you can be like them.
THE PARAMOUNT PURPOSE
First, you must learn what is the paramount purpose that actuates this people. To reform and improve governments or living standards is not their aim. Their objective is not that of converting the world. They are followers of Jesus Christ, looking always to him as the pattern for their course. Jesus set the example in purposeful living some 1,900 years ago when he said: “My food is for me to do the will of him that sent me and to finish his work.” “I have come down from heaven to do, not my will, but the will of him that sent me.” As he came to the close of his earthly ministry he could truthfully say in prayer to his heavenly Father: “I have glorified you on the earth, having finished the work you have given me to do.” (John 4:34; 6:38; 17:4) So the sustaining force that kept Jesus going was the conviction that all his activities were in line with his Father’s purpose. He permitted no other consideration to distract or deter him from that course.
It follows that when creatures devote themselves first and foremost to the doing of God’s will they are in effect making God’s purpose their purpose, and since God’s purpose is certain of accomplishment, they can always be certain of satisfying achievement. And what is God’s purpose? Let the words of Holy Scripture answer: “It is according to his good pleasure which he purposed in himself for an administration at the full limit of the appointed times, namely, to gather all things together again in the Christ, the things in the heavens and the things on the earth.” (Eph. 1:9, 10) So it is God’s unalterable purpose in his own appointed time to put an end to all the divisive, warring elements throughout the universe, and forever unite obedient creatures under the peaceful administration of his chosen king, Jesus Christ.
The almighty Creator can achieve his purpose at any time he wishes. Today or tomorrow he could snuff out the lives of all who, for selfish gain, set themselves against his purpose and promote political and social divisions and factions amid the human family. First, however, he mercifully provides time for an earth-wide proclamation of his purpose so that people may intelligently align themselves with him or with his enemies. So it is that the society of his dedicated witnesses diligently busies itself about the work that is Jehovah’s will in these days, a work that is clearly foretold in Jesus’ words: “And 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.” (Matt. 24:14) The good news of the kingdom is actually a message that recommends Jehovah God as the one true and sovereign God, as the One who is worthy to be served and worshiped, as the one who can and will bring to meek and reverent creatures their heart’s desires.
The fact that Jehovah’s witnesses have a purpose in life, namely, Jehovah’s purpose, makes them noticeably different and dynamic. This is why they are so cheerful and free from the fears of this system of things. Each dedicated, baptized member of their society is a minister, a preacher of good news. So dominant is this purpose in their lives that the individual Witness will avoid anything and everything that threatens to interfere with it, even if it should mean seeking some other secular employment. Promotion and high position in secular activity are frequently sacrificed in behalf of the preaching work. So all-consuming is this one purpose in their lives that at times entire families will move from one country to another where there may be greater need for gospel preaching. This same zeal and enthusiasm moves men with families to support and women with children to raise to make time in their lives to preach the good news to all they can reach. Regularly they call at the homes of others as they share in the ministry.
Many other persons have a purpose in life, but often they do not achieve it, or, if they do, they are somehow disappointed in its realization. Subjecting ourselves and our lives to Jehovah’s purpose brings happiness and certainty of success. How foolish and frustrating to be immersed in the petty purposes and objectives of men and nations when they fly in the face of the announced purpose of the Almighty God! At the latest, all such movements and their supporters who are not for God and the accomplishment of his purpose will meet their end at “the war of the great day of God the Almighty” when Jehovah rises to execute judgment upon his enemies. (Rev. 16:14) Wise persons will now seek to make peace with God, dedicate their lives to him and share with the society of his Christian witnesses in proclaiming his purpose to all who will hear.
You too can share the happiness and usefulness of this people by associating and serving with them in imitation of Christ. ‘Vessels for an honorable purpose,’ they are, ‘sanctified, useful to their owner [Jehovah God], prepared for every good work.’—2 Tim. 2:20, 21.