Will Things Get Better?
“MANY of my friends,” said a white-haired Indian shopkeeper in Old Delhi, “believe now that things will get better for us.” Then he added: “But I don’t know. I don’t see how things can get better. The greed and folly of man has brought us to where we are, and we have only man to make things better. Why should we count on the creature who made things bad to make things better? This will not happen.”
When it comes to the future, many people today share the gloomy outlook of this Indian shopkeeper.
Yet it may be asked, Does man’s inability to bring about better conditions really mean that there is no basis for hope in the future? One of the wisest men ever to walk the earth did not think so. That man was a prophet whose words have been distributed more widely and translated into more languages than those of any other man. That prophet was Jesus Christ.
His prophecies always came true. One of his outstanding prophecies pertained to the city of Jerusalem and its temple. Jesus Christ foretold that Jerusalem would fall and that the conquerors would “not leave a stone upon a stone” in the city. (Luke 19:44) Regarding the magnificent temple, he said: “The days will come in which not a stone upon a stone will be left here and not be thrown down.” (Luke 21:6) In fulfillment of those words, the year 70 C.E. saw the Roman armies under the command of Titus utterly destroy Jerusalem and the glorious temple. This is but one example, of many, vindicating Jesus Christ as a true prophet.
Surely, then, we also have good reason to take seriously what he said about the coming of better times for humankind. To his disciples he pointed out that relief from injustices, oppression, insecurity, famines, wars and other problems would come at a time of unprecedented fear and anxiety. He said: “On earth nations will stand helpless, not knowing which way to turn . . . men will faint with terror at the thought of all that is coming upon the world.” (Luke 21:25, 26, New English Bible) Is this not what we see today?
Jesus Christ, however, did not simply paint a picture of hopelessness and helplessness. He continued: “When all this begins to happen, stand upright and hold your heads high, because your liberation is near.” (Luke 21:28, NE) Then, by means of an illustration, Jesus Christ called attention to the nearness of that liberation and also the instrument through which it would be brought about. “Look at the fig-tree,” he said, “or any other tree. As soon as it buds, you can see for yourselves that summer is near. In the same way, when you see all this happening, you may know that the kingdom of God is near. I tell you this: the present generation will live to see it all.”—Luke 21:29-32, NE.
So deliverance from today’s distressing world situation will not come through any man or group of men but through God’s kingdom. Jesus Christ himself is the king of that government. His receiving royal authority was revealed in a prophetic vision as follows: “With the clouds of the heavens someone like a son of man happened to be coming; and to the Ancient of Days [the Most High] he gained access, and they brought him up close even before that One. And to him there were given rulership and dignity and kingdom, that the peoples, national groups and languages should all serve even him.” (Dan. 7:13, 14) Thereafter all the ruling powers of the earth that refuse to serve him are shown to have their authority ripped away from them. (Dan. 7:17, 18) Never again will ‘man dominate man to his injury.’—Eccl. 8:9.
As world ruler, Jesus Christ has the wisdom to bring about, not just better times, but the very best of conditions on the earth. Prior to his miraculous birth on earth, he had been in the heavens with his Father, the Most High God. (Luke 1:30-38) He was the “Word,” that is, his Father’s spokesman to all other intelligent creatures. In his prehuman existence, the “Word” shared with his Father in creation. The Bible tells us: “The Word, then, was with God at the beginning, and through him all things came to be; no single thing was created without him.”—John 1:2, 3, NE.
Accordingly, Jesus Christ knows what life is and how it can be perpetuated for all eternity. He also knows how earth’s resources can best be utilized, without causing needless pollution of land, water and air. Under his rule, therefore, this earth can be transformed into a delightful paradise.
While on earth as a man, Jesus Christ opened the eyes of the blind, unstopped the ears of the deaf, enabled the speechless ones to speak, restored soundness of limb to the crippled and even raised the dead. Having been resurrected, Jesus Christ will certainly do no less for mankind after he takes over the managing of earth’s affairs. He will prove true to his words: “I am the resurrection and the life. He that exercises faith in me, even though he dies, will come to life.”—John 11:25.
The rule of Jesus Christ will reflect the same concern and warmth that his invitation to become his disciples did. He said: “Come to me, all you who are toiling and loaded down, and I will refresh you. Take my yoke upon you and become my disciples, for I am mild-tempered and lowly in heart, and you will find refreshment for your souls.”—Matt. 11:28, 29.
How can we be certain that Jesus Christ, as a mighty heavenly king, will be just as humble and concerned about bringing relief and refreshment to humankind as he was while on earth? Might he not have changed? The Holy Scriptures give us this comforting assurance: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, and forever.”—Heb. 13:8.
Things will indeed get much, much better in the not-too-distant future when God’s kingdom by Christ replaces the rule of imperfect men. What grand relief that will bring from injustices, oppression, suffering, pollution, sickness and death!
Surely we have good reason to want Jesus Christ as our King. Are you acquainted with his requirements for those who would be his loyal subjects? The group of Christians known as Jehovah’s witnesses are eager and willing to help anyone to gain a better understanding of these requirements as contained in the Bible. Why not avail yourself of their help the next time they call on you?
[Blurb on page 164]
“On earth nations will stand helpless, not knowing which way to turn . . . men will faint with terror at the thought of all that is coming upon the world . . . When all this begins to happen, stand upright and hold your heads high, because your liberation is near.”—Luke 21:25, 26, 28, “New English Bible.”