Relief from Global Problems at Hand
PROBLEMS are certainly not new. You, like everyone else, have your share of them. Also, you no doubt find that these problems have intensified in recent months.
Men in responsible positions actually fear global disaster. Daily their fears are screamed out in headlines such as:
“WHOLE WORLD SUFFERING FROM SURGE OF INFLATION”
“STREET CRIME BECOMES WORLDWIDE PROBLEM”
“WORLD STARVATION IS FEARED”
But there are other problems. Oil shortages and economic collapse threaten many nations. So serious are the problems that global and regional conferences have been held frequently, such as when 130 nations gathered in Rome last November on the global food problem. In fact, so many groups met in 1974 that it has been called ‘the year of international conferences.’
Problems that in the past were on ‘the other side of the globe’ seem now to have closed in on everybody. As this takes place, the truth becomes more evident that all men are members of the same human family. And what affects one segment of that family affects all, sometimes “overnight.”
It is clear, therefore, that the earthly system is a close-woven fabric. Yes, whether we like it or not, the nations are all interdependent. Yet this fact has not brought them into cooperation, even though they see the desperate need for this.
Why is it that the nations cannot work out their problems by cooperation?
WHY MEN CANNOT COPE WITH PROBLEMS
In particular, because they are divided in so many ways. They have different political ideologies, economic systems, social setups and religious beliefs. And people, as a result, often have deep-seated prejudices against those who hold views different from theirs.
All this breeds distrust. And this lack of trust is a major reason for man’s inability to solve problems between nations and peoples. For example, consider one result: Though they see how unwise it is, nations nearly ruin their economies to spend billions of dollars on armaments that they hope they will never have to use. And yet, in view of the repeated breaking of peace treaties, nations can see no reason to trust one another, and hence believe that there is no alternative to such arms races.
Thus a basic factor in the inability of men to solve global problems is human selfishness. It not only is prevalent in organizations and nations, but exists in the very roots of human society. Is it not true that nearly everyone thinks first of “me”? He usually seeks his own advantage without consideration for the other person. He may excuse his actions with the thought that the next person does the same, and will take advantage of him if he does not selfishly care for himself first. Nations do this on a massive scale.
No one should get the idea that the earth itself is responsible for man’s problems—that it is, for example, incapable of growing enough food for everyone. The fact is, back in 1970 the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimated that the earth could feed many times as many people as the present world population. Humans simply have been mismanaging earth’s food production, as well as the distribution of that food.
It is similar in connection with the world’s so-called ‘dwindling resources.’ The earth is literally a bountiful storehouse of all the raw materials that humans need in order to enjoy a comfortable, happy life. But men have selfishly squandered and misused these things, and in such a way as to spread pollution earth wide. Yes, the problems that threaten the globe are of man’s own making.
Furthermore, these problems are now too big for man to solve on just a local basis. People in every part of the globe must be taken into consideration. To accomplish this, what is needed?
NEEDED: A WORLD GOVERNMENT
In recent decades, more and more talk has centered on the need for a world government of some kind. Of course, God saw man’s need for a world government long ago and spoke of such a global rule in his Word the Bible.—Dan. 7:13, 14, 27.
However, back in 1918, after World War I, men said that their method, the League of Nations, would solve the globe’s problems. Even the churches backed it, wrongly looking to it as “an essentially Christian means of attaining international justice and peace.”—The London Times, December 5, 1918.
Yet that League was not really Christian. Nor was it actually a world government. And it did not solve the problems. Now, the United Nations is in the limelight as never before in its twenty-nine-year history. But, honestly, which one of the many truly global problems plaguing mankind has the United Nations been able to solve?
Clearly, global problems are too difficult for man to cope with. Does this mean, then, that the situation is hopeless? No, there is a solution. Where?
SOURCE OF RELIEF
Well, consider: To whom would it be more reasonable to look for a solution than to man’s own Creator? Who knows better than He the functioning of our earth and how to fill the needs of men upon it? And who is more interested in humans than their Creator?
But you may ask, ‘If He were going to solve global problems, why has He not done so before now?’
Our Creator answers that question in a most satisfying way in his Word. The Bible explains that God has permitted wicked conditions for these many years in order to settle important issues that were raised at the time of man’s rebellion against God, issues that affect our own enjoyment of life. But now the time is at hand when, as He has promised, God will destroy all who make a practice of wickedness, and then he will fulfill his own grand purpose to make the earth a paradise. Also, God is patient with humankind, and desires that they have opportunity to gain salvation by learning about his purpose and living in accord with it. He has kindly allowed time for this.—2 Pet. 3:9, 15.
What is God’s purpose?
WORLD GOVERNMENT BY GOD
His purpose is to bless humankind with a righteous government that will unite all peoples on earth. Jesus Christ devoted his earthly ministry to telling people about this Kingdom government. He urged his disciples to pray for it. You pray for that government when you say: “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”—Matt. 6:9, 10, Authorized Version.
But how will that kingdom come? Will it come by all present nations and peoples eventually submitting to the laws of God and unselfishly looking after the interests of one another? What do you think? Is there any indication that this will happen?
Some persons may point to food gifts of richer nations to poorer nations as evidence of these nations’ unselfish interest in the welfare of others. But is this really unselfish interest? To the contrary, political strategists consider these gifts as “enlightened self-interest.” George Wald of Harvard University explains: “Our food is promised where it can be used to secure a political advantage or where it can be sold at a good price.”
No, if the ‘coming’ of God’s kingdom were dependent upon development of unselfish, loving interest of present peoples and nations in one another, then it would never come. Instead, God’s kingdom will come in another way, a very shocking way to most people on earth. How is that?
This is explained in Bible prophecy. Pointing forward to this very time for the complete settling of issues and the fulfilling of God’s grand purposes, the Bible says: “In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be brought to ruin. And the kingdom itself will not be passed on to any other people. It will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, and it itself will stand to times indefinite.”—Dan. 2:44.
Think what that means! When we pray for God’s kingdom to come, it means that we are praying for it to come with destructive force to wipe from the earth all present human governments. This will mean the end of this unrighteous world, an event often spoken about in the Bible. (2 Pet. 3:5-7; 1 John 2:17) Of course, the literal earth will survive, and God will also preserve some of humankind to fulfill his grand purpose for our earth.
How will this government unite all peoples on earth, and bring relief from global problems?
WHAT GOD’S GOVERNMENT WILL BRING
The Bible says, “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) Now, the Bible here is not speaking of new literal star-filled heavens, or a new literal planet earth. There is nothing defective about these so that they need to be replaced. In fact, the Bible says the literal earth was established to last “forever.”—Ps. 104:5.
What is needed, though, is a righteous government, one that is impartial toward all its subjects and so has their confidence. That is what God’s kingdom is. Jesus repeatedly called it “the kingdom of the heavens.” (Matt. 4:17; 10:7; 11:11) This heavenly rulership is the symbolic “new heavens.” The “new earth” is a new earthly society of people who submit to the rule of God’s kingdom. Righteousness will dwell in this new system. Why can we be sure?
First of all, because Jesus Christ is God’s designated ruler of his heavenly government. And while on earth Jesus proved that he would make a good ruler; he lived a righteous life. He also taught others: “All things, therefore, that you want men to do to you, you also must likewise do to them.” (Matt. 7:12) Now, if everyone really lived in this way, what kind of “earth” do you think this would be?
It would truly be new, would it not? People would not be divided. They would not be distrustful of one another, nor have prejudices. All selfishness would be eliminated, and, instead, people would be genuinely concerned with helping one another. With Jesus Christ as ruler, we can be certain that he will see to it that all his earthly subjects conform to this righteous standard. They all will obey the Bible command to love one another. How grand that will be!—John 13:34.
What about other global problems, such as worldwide food shortages? How will these be relieved?
Think about it: With the power of the One who created the great galaxies of trillions of stars backing him up, will not Jesus Christ be able to handle such problems? Why, even on earth Jesus demonstrated control over the weather, upon which the growth of crops is dependent. (Mark 4:35-41) Also, he blessed five loaves and two fishes, and God miraculously increased this food so that it was sufficient to feed 5,000 men, besides women and children. With such power behind the throne, no one under God’s kingdom will lack nourishing food to eat.—Matt. 14:14-21.
Even problems that men cannot hope to solve, Christ will solve. When people brought him the sick and infirm, he demonstrated what he will do for his subjects earth wide. The Bible says: “He cured them; so that the crowd felt amazement as they saw the dumb speaking and the lame walking and the blind seeing.”—Matt. 15:30, 31.
Jesus even raised the dead! Addressing himself to a dead girl, he said: “Maiden, I say to you, Get up!” And she did! “Immediately the maiden rose and began walking.” How did the people react? The Bible says: “They were beside themselves with great ecstasy.” (Mark 5:41, 42) Surely that will also be the reaction in God’s “new earth” when the resurrection of the dead takes place.
As for the literal earth, it will undergo a delightful transformation. As Jesus was dying, a man being executed on a stake alongside him put faith in him, and asked: “Jesus, remember me when you get into your kingdom.” Jesus replied: “Truly I tell you today, You will be with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:42, 43) And that is what the whole earth will become under the rule of God’s king, Christ Jesus—a beautiful garden or park, a true paradise.
WHAT WILL YOU DO ABOUT IT?
Some people may say, ‘Why, all of that is too good to be true.’ But one thing is sure, men have proved unable to solve global problems. There is no hope in their promises. At the same time, all of us will have to admit that the things that God promises are what we desire for ourselves and our loved ones. Yet God does not expect us to believe without evidence. That is why he has provided in his Word the Bible evidence that these things are true.
We encourage you to investigate. Attend the meetings, free of charge, at any Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses. They will be glad to show you what the Bible says that we personally must do in order to benefit from the permanent solution to man’s global problems.