Living in Harmony with God’s Guarantee
IF WE have absolute faith in God’s guarantee regarding the coming judgment, there should be works to prove our faith. The Bible says: “As the body without spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.”—Jas. 2:26.
Clearly, if we expect the judgment of Jesus Christ to be totally impartial, we should shun favoritism. This would mean according all persons the dignity that they deserve, not looking down on others because of their lowly position or their limitations, nor giving special preference to individuals just because they are rich or prominent. Then, too, we will want to avoid unduly favoring ourselves. How inconsistent it would be to be distressed about the ethical wrongs that others may commit while selfishly seeking our own advantage at every turn!
We do well to keep in mind that divine judgment through Jesus Christ is not only for our fellowman. It is for us personally. The Scriptures state: “If you are calling upon the Father who judges impartially according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves with fear during the time of your alien residence.” (1 Pet. 1:17) When we have a wholesome fear of or regard for our Creator and his appointed Judge, we will be less inclined to look at what others may or may not be doing. Rather, we will be careful about the way in which we conduct our own affairs of life. Recognizing that only Jehovah God through Jesus Christ can set all matters straight, we will be restrained from becoming unduly disturbed about injustices and from flaring up in anger to the point of taking matters into our own hands. The Bible tells us: “Do not avenge yourselves, beloved, but yield place to the wrath; for it is written: ‘Vengeance is mine; I will repay, says Jehovah.’”—Rom. 12:19.
At the same time, if we can help others to come to appreciate the importance of living in harmony with God’s guarantee of a coming judgment, we certainly would want to do that. This may be done by responding kindly toward those who are unjust toward us. The Bible recommends: “‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by doing this you will heap fiery coals upon his head.’ Do not let yourself be conquered by the evil, but keep conquering the evil with the good.” (Rom. 12:20, 21) A kind response may make the unjust person feel ashamed, causing him to regret his course of action. Thus the kind treatment could have a refining effect on him, bringing out his better qualities.
Of course, our exemplary conduct would not be enough to make others aware of the need to harmonize their lives with God’s guarantee. We need to inform them about the divine will and purpose. To the people of Athens, the apostle Paul stated: “[God] is telling mankind that they should all everywhere repent.” (Acts 17:30) Since the day of executing divine justice has not yet arrived, this is still the message that needs to be proclaimed far and wide. Rightly the proclaimers should be persons who have accepted Jesus Christ as Jehovah’s appointed Judge. Those who truly have faith in God’s guarantee cannot help but speak, for ‘out of the heart’s abundance the mouth speaks.’—Matt. 12:34.
The time for individuals to respond to the invitation to repent is limited. No human knows what the next day may bring for him. Tomorrow could be too late. (Prov. 27:1; Jas. 4:13, 14) That is why persons who do not delay in responding to God’s invitation to repent, and who start living a life that gives evidence of faith in the execution of divine justice, are truly wise.
Even now, living such a life is the course of gain. It contributes toward enjoying a clean conscience toward God and our fellowmen, resulting in inner peace and contentment. By being unselfish in our dealings with others, we enjoy the greater happiness that comes from giving. (Acts 20:35) Before us there is a bright future. Not only will we see justice rendered impartially, but all the suffering to which mankind has been subjected for thousands of years will become a thing of the past. The Scriptures set forth this heartcheering promise: “[God] will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.”—Rev. 21:4.
Indeed, we have sound reasons for living in harmony with God’s guarantee. If you desire to learn more about the Creator’s grand purpose and what he would have you do, Jehovah’s Witnesses in your area will be delighted to share with you the knowledge that they have gained from the Scriptures. We invite you to accept their offer of a free home Bible study.
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It is vital that we gain and apply Bible knowledge