Insight on the News
Doomsday—Is It Coming?
● Writing in the New York “Times,” Malcolm W. Browne recently stated: “Interviews with astronomers, geophysicists, biologists and health experts disclose that they believe total human extinction is not necessarily as distant a possibility as many of us would choose to think.” The various “potential catastrophes” include a collision of the earth with large celestial objects, such as comets or asteroids, or a supernova (the outburst of a very massive star) considerably closer than 60 light-years from our globe. For instance, it is said that a nearby supernova explosion would vaporize the earth.
But does man really need to fear such a “doomsday”? A person might think so until he looked into matters more deeply—by searching the sure Word of God, the Bible.
The Scriptures assure us that Jehovah God ‘did not create the earth simply for nothing, but formed it to be inhabited.’ (Isa. 45:18) For how long? Eternally, for we are told: “He [God] has founded the earth upon its established places; it will not be made to totter to time indefinite, or forever.” (Ps. 104:5) Moreover, words of Jesus Christ to an evildoer impaled alongside him clearly show that, far from being an imperiled planet, the earth will one day be a paradise home for mankind.—Luke 23:43.
Is Suicide the Answer?
● A recent “United Press International” dispatch from Tokyo stated: “A businessman and his son anguished over millions in debts, strangled seven members of their family and set themselves on fire in a three-generation murder-suicide pact.” The man’s business had gone bankrupt with debts of about $2.6 million. In a note to the mayor of Yoshida, Shizuoka Province, it was said: “I apologize for causing you trouble. We nine, including my granddaughters, will kill ourselves because our business had failed.”
Many people are distressed, even anguished, over extreme debt, business failure or other problems in life. Some may feel disgraced because of certain unfavorable circumstances. But is a “murder-suicide pact” the answer?
Before a person undertakes any enterprise, he is urged in the Scriptures to consider the cost. Jesus Christ fittingly said: “Who of you that wants to build a tower does not first sit down and calculate the expense, to see if he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, he might lay its foundation but not be able to finish it, and all the onlookers might start to ridicule him, saying, ‘This man started to build but was not able to finish.’”—Luke 14:28-30.
Following that principle may well prevent an individual from embarking on a venture that, from a business standpoint, is not sound. Of course, financial reverses may be experienced even when poor judgment is not involved. In any case of business failure, the debtor should do what he can to pay his creditors. (Rom. 13:8) But never, in these or other distressing circumstances, does the anguished or seemingly disgraced person have the right to take life—either his own or that of others. Rather, God’s command is: “You must not murder.” (Ex. 20:13) Those words also preclude self-murder, or suicide.
Paying a High Price
● Dr. Paul J. Weisner, director of the Venereal Disease Division of the Center for Disease Control in the United States, has called gonorrhea “an unbelievable problem.” He has been quoted as saying: “We estimate that between 50,000 and 80,000 young girls and young women are made sterile by gonorrhea every year. It really robs young women of their future motherhood.” At times, this venereal disease also causes male infertility.
Many people believe that they have a right to sexual freedom and need not be concerned about any moral restraints. But in the long run and in keeping with a Biblical principle, ‘they reap what they sow.’ They often pay a very high price for promiscuity, sometimes by contracting a debilitating venereal disease. As the Christian apostle Paul said: ‘They receive in themselves the full recompense, which is due for their error.’ (Rom. 1:26, 27; Gal. 6:7, 8) How much wiser it is to shun loose conduct!