What Do You Want to Do?
IN READING this magazine, particularly the article “When All Nations Collide, Head On, with God,” you have considered information from the Word of God regarding the situation now facing us and events about to break upon the world. You are informed of the danger ahead.
The question before you, as it is before all people, is, What can you do? or, rather, What do you want to do? For if you want to, you can take the course of safety.
EVERYONE MUST MAKE A DECISION
Certainly safety will not come by doing nothing, by “sitting tight” and waiting to see what happens. The words of God are not given in vain. Jesus gave an illustration that sets the matter before us clearly:
“Therefore everyone that hears these sayings of mine and does them will be likened to a discreet man, who built his house upon the rock-mass. And the rain poured down and the floods came and the winds blew and lashed against that house, but it did not cave in, for it had been founded upon the rock-mass. Furthermore, everyone hearing these sayings of mine and not doing them will be likened to a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand. And the rain poured down and the floods came and the winds blew and struck against that house and it caved in, and its collapse was great.”—Matt. 7:24-27.
“These sayings” that Jesus referred to were not demanding anything unreasonable of his hearers, but were only those things that any person who has genuine respect for God and for the rights of his fellowman should do. If you read Christ’s Sermon on the Mount in Matthew chapters five to seven you will see that he stressed, first of all, the importance of being conscious of one’s spiritual need, seeking righteousness, being purehearted and peaceable. And he emphasized proper living, repeatedly mentioning the kingdom of the heavens, the need to seek it and God’s righteousness. Jesus stated that safety lies in obedience to these teachings.
A MATTER OF FREE WILL
All these things are left to the free will of each individual to do or not to do. No one is forced. God delights in the fact that he rules by love. “God is love,” says the apostle John, and Jehovah himself says: “I am Jehovah, the One exercising loving-kindness, justice and righteousness in the earth; for in these things I do take delight.”—1 John 4:8; Jer. 9:24.
It is in harmony with his creatorship and his dignity and sovereignty that he lets each intelligent individual choose to accept and acknowledge His sovereignty. God is interested, not in mere service to him, but also, primarily, in heart motive. “I, Jehovah, am searching the heart,” he declares. “Jehovah is making an estimate of hearts,” says the inspired writer. (Jer. 17:10; Prov. 21:2) God is not impressed with one’s great ability. On the other hand, he does not accept a mere show or profession of loyalty. One must have genuine works, proving his loyalty.
Of course, any organization claiming to be Christian should instill in its members strong faith in God, a knowledge of his Word, and loyalty to his kingdom. However, you may, on seriously considering these matters, find that you are affiliated with a religious organization that is not teaching the truth of the Bible. If that organization has not enabled you to understand the Bible so that you have the ability to explain it to others, and furthermore, if the organization condones wrongdoing, shows partiality to the rich and influential or preaches doctrines contrary to the Bible, what will you do? Will you follow the command: “‘Therefore get out from among them, and separate yourselves,’ says Jehovah, ‘and quit touching the unclean thing’”?
WHERE TO TURN
To what or where, then, should you turn? Not to atheistic evolution, which is grossly materialistic, nor to a policy of complete isolation. This would not be seeking righteousness, and no safety would be found therein. No, rather, God goes on to say to those who are faithful believers, “and I will take you in.” God shows how to come under his care.—2 Cor. 6:17.
First of all, it is urgent, a matter of life or death in these critical times, to read and study the Bible with understanding. And you will find that you make much faster progress in understanding the Bible by receiving help from one who understands, and who can find the answers to your questions in the Bible.
At this time, very near the end of this system of things, there is an association, a society of Christians, ministers, who are preaching and teaching the good news of God’s kingdom and bringing their lives into conformity with Bible principles. They are expending time and energy in harmony with Jesus’ command: “Go therefore and make disciples of people of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit, teaching them to observe all the things I have commanded you. And, look! I am with you all the days until the conclusion of the system of things.”—Matt. 28:19, 20.
This work is not done “in a corner,” just as the apostle Paul declared. (Acts 26:26) It is international. All over the world those who believe God’s Word associate with fellow believers in God and Christ. The apostle Peter corroborates this in his writings, saying: “Have love for the whole association of brothers.”—1 Pet. 2:17; 5:9.
Jehovah’s witnesses are thus associating in carrying on this work of teaching. They do not feel that they are intrinsically or inherently better or wiser than others. But they are thankful that through a study of the Bible and because of being helped by others of this Christian society they are informed. They are following the command to “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 perfect will of God.”—Rom. 12:2.
AN INVITATION TO INVESTIGATE FURTHER
In reading this magazine, you may have had unanswered questions. Jehovah’s witnesses invite you to read the Bible. At your convenience they will be glad to study the Bible with you, free of charge. You will find it encouraging and upbuilding to investigate and examine more fully what the Bible says, and to take the direction it recommends as the course of safety for yourself and those you love.
You have the assurance from God’s Word that if you sincerely “keep on seeking” the truth you will find it. (Matt. 7:7) If you pray to Jehovah God in Jesus’ name, asking Him to help you find the right way, you will be answered. Said King David of Israel: “He [Jehovah] will teach the meek ones his way.” And God’s warm love toward you is expressed in the apostle Paul’s words: “In fact, [God] is not far off from each one of us.”—Ps. 25:9; Acts 17:27.