Events That Still Lie Ahead
The coming into existence of such a state of affairs in our day is no idle dream. It is based on the dependable promise of the One who is fully capable of bringing it about. That One is man’s Creator, Jehovah God.
However, before he takes action to produce an earth filled with righteousness, other startling events must first take place. As they do, God-fearing persons will have added assurance that, despite increasing insecurity and troubles on earth, a righteous new order is near. Rather than give way to great anxiety and fear, they will heed the admonition of the Lord Jesus Christ: “Raise yourselves erect and lift your heads up, because your deliverance is getting near.”—Luke 21:28.
But what world-shaking events will precede the deliverance from the troubles that have long plagued humankind?
PREACHING OF THE “GOOD NEWS”
One of these events is now in the process of reaching its culmination. It is the preaching of the “good news” of God’s kingdom by his Christ. (Matt. 24:14) You yourself have seen repeated evidence that this “good news” is being proclaimed. Has not someone taken the time to speak to you about God’s kingdom? And have you not noticed that Jehovah’s witnesses are the only group of Christians that are making it a matter of personal concern to reach people privately and publicly so that they might hear this message? Jehovah’s witnesses are doing this in 207 lands. Though persecuted, misrepresented and ridiculed in various parts of the earth, they have not stopped their activity. Even when faced with governmental bans, they have kept right on preaching, obeying “God as ruler rather than men.”—Acts 5:29.
What has been the result of this activity? First of all, the disciples chosen by God to be united with his Son in rulership have been gathered from among earth’s inhabitants. (Matt. 24:31) But that is not all. Each year tens of thousands of other believers have dedicated their lives to Jehovah God and, by conforming to the Bible’s commands, have begun living in a way that reflects subjection to Jesus Christ as King. Today more than two million men, women and children earth wide are doing just that. Their course of action in repentantly accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord to the glory of his Father, Jehovah, was described to the apostle John in a prophetic vision. That vision portrays them as a “great crowd” of persons out of all nations who “have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”—Rev. 7:9, 14.
This “great crowd” is looking forward with eager anticipation to the prospect of surviving the end of the present ungodly system of things. They know that the destructive “day of Jehovah” will come right after men and nations reach the point where they are proclaiming “Peace and security!” (1 Thess. 5:3) Already there are indications in that direction. Not only are world leaders more frequently using the words “peace” and “security,” but they are also developing a “détente,” in which they view more tolerantly the nations that have completely different ideologies and social systems.
DESTRUCTION OF “BABYLON THE GREAT”
But what will be first to go down in destruction at the time that men are saying, “Peace and security!”? From the Bible book of Revelation, we learn that it will be a “woman,” a harlot, called “Babylon the Great.” But who is she?
The Holy Scriptures say of this harlot that she represents “the great city that has a kingdom over the kings of the earth.” (Rev. 17:18) This would make her an empire. Since the Bible refers to some rulers and to commercial elements as mourning her destruction, “Babylon the Great” must be a religious empire. (Rev. 18:9-19) This agrees with the fact that religion has tried to dominate the political scene. Also, the ancient city of Babylon was primarily known for being a religious center. So, then, “Babylon the Great” fittingly represents the world empire of false religion.
Though the political governments have also used religion for their selfish purposes, they will soon tire of religious interference and influence in carrying out their functions. They will become disgusted with “Babylon the Great” and rise up against her in destructive fury.—Rev. 17:16.
GOD’S GREAT WAR
Not satisfied with stamping out false religion, the political elements will next attempt to vent their rage against those who are upholding true worship—the “chosen ones” and the “great crowd,” all loyal disciples of Jesus Christ. Satan the Devil and his demons will incite the political elements to do this and thereby they will be maneuvered into fighting against Jehovah God and his appointed King, Jesus Christ.—Rev. 16:14.
Jehovah God, however, will not permit the nations of the earth to destroy his people. By means of his Son and mighty angelic forces, he will come to the defense of his human servants. The Bible describes symbolically what will take place:
“Look! a white horse. And the one seated upon it is called Faithful and True, and he judges and carries on war in righteousness. . . . Also, the armies that were in heaven were following him on white horses, and they were clothed in white, clean, fine linen. And out of his mouth there protrudes a sharp long sword, that he may strike the nations with it, and he will shepherd them with a rod of iron. He treads too the winepress of the anger of the wrath of God the Almighty. And upon his outer garment, even upon his thigh, he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.
“I saw also an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice and said to all the birds that fly in midheaven: ‘Come here, be gathered together to the great evening meal of God, that you may eat the fleshy parts of kings and the fleshy parts of military commanders and the fleshy parts of strong men.’”—Rev. 19:11-18.
INVISIBLE RULERS REMOVED FROM THE SCENE
The destruction of ungodly humans would, nevertheless, not be enough to pave the way for righteous conditions on earth. Centuries ago Jehovah God destroyed a wicked world of mankind in a global flood. But that did not prevent wickedness from springing up anew among the descendants of the Flood survivors. One of the major reasons for this was that the Flood did not rid the earth of Satanic influence.
Following the “war of the great day of God the Almighty” at Har–Magedon, however, Satanic influence will be completely removed. Satan and his demons will be confined to an abyss, a deathlike state of inactivity. Regarding this we read at Revelation 20:1-3:
“I saw an angel coming down out of heaven with the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. And he seized the dragon, the original serpent, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. And he hurled him into the abyss and shut it and sealed it over him, that he might not mislead the nations anymore.”
The removal of all interference from ungodly men and wicked spirit forces will create a climate conducive to the doing of God’s will. Furthermore, with human perfection as an objective, the benefits of Jesus Christ’s atoning sacrifice will then be applied in behalf of the “great crowd” of persons who survive the destruction of all wickedness. This “great crowd” will begin to grow to perfection as they individually respond to the help made available to them through the application of Jesus’ atoning sacrifice.
Under the direction of God’s kingdom, this earth will be transformed into a state of paradisaic loveliness. What Jehovah God did for ancient Israel in fulfillment of his prophetic word he can easily do on a far grander scale in fulfillment of the commission that he gave to man in Genesis 1:28:
“The wilderness and the waterless region will exult, and the desert plain will be joyful and blossom as the saffron. Without fail it will blossom, and it will really be joyful with joyousness . . . For in the wilderness waters will have burst out, and torrents in the desert plain. And the heat-parched ground will have become as a reedy pool, and the thirsty ground as springs of water.”—Isa. 35:1-7.
Not only will the survivors of God’s great war be able to enjoy these blessings, but the hundreds of millions who have died will be raised to life with the opportunity of enjoying righteous conditions for all eternity. “The hour is coming,” said Christ Jesus, “in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice and come out.” (John 5:28, 29) What joy there will be as the Har–Magedon survivors welcome back the dead from the graves!
EVENTS AHEAD SHOULD STIR US TO ACTION
But what should the events that lie ahead stir you to do? Appreciating that this ungodly system of things is on its way out, would it not be right to join the ever-increasing crowd of persons who are helping others to put themselves in line for God’s approval and life? Would it not be most appropriate to strive to maintain a clean standing before Jehovah God? Indeed! And this is exactly what the apostle Peter urged fellow believers to do in view of the coming annihilation of all ungodly elements. We read:
“Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of persons ought you to be in holy acts of conduct and deeds of godly devotion, awaiting and keeping close in mind the presence of the day of Jehovah, through which the heavens [not the literal heavens, but “the superior authorities” that have exercised rulership over mankind] being on fire will be dissolved and the elements being intensely hot will melt! But there are new heavens and a new earth that we are awaiting according to his promise, and in these righteousness is to dwell. Hence, beloved ones, since you are awaiting these things, do your utmost to be found finally by him spotless and unblemished and in peace.”—2 Pet. 3:11-14.
Is this what you desire to do? If so, Jehovah’s Christian witnesses in your locality would be pleased to assist you in gaining an accurate knowledge of God’s will now. Why not avail yourself of the opportunity to have a free Bible study right in your own home?