Lovers of God Resolve . . .
This Resolution was enthusiastically adopted this past summer by hundreds of thousands in attendance at the “Divine Love” District Conventions of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
1. What warning are Jehovah’s Witnesses sounding, and why?
For more than 100 years Jehovah God through his witnesses has been serving warning notice that this world or system of things cannot last. Out of consideration for our neighbors of whatever nation, tribe, people or tongue, we are motivated by divine love to point individuals to God’s way as the only solution to mankind’s problems.
2. What things have gone wrong with the world?
2 With the entry of the 1980’s, what do we observe as a consequence of individuals and nations ignoring or defying God’s way and pursuing their own course of self-rule and independent living? Responsible persons everywhere are voicing grave concern over the world’s drifting and confused state of affairs. And no wonder—so many things have gone wrong. In the fields of transportation, communication, medicine, science and technology, various things once acclaimed as a hope or blessing have all too often turned out to be disappointments and even death-dealing. Human society today is overwhelmed with endless problems—crime, corruption, wicked perversions, social disorders, acts of terrorism and other menacing dangers. Truly, mankind’s present world scene is bewildering. From a purely human point of view, the continued existence of the present world order is now being seriously questioned. Yet how many persons today soberly consider the significance of these unparalleled conditions in the light of God’s Word, the Bible?
3. The fulfillment of what Bible prophecies convince Jehovah’s Witnesses that the end of this system is near? What do these prophecies say?
3 Jesus Christ gave a detailed composite sign concerning the conclusion of this system of things and the time for him to begin exercising his Kingdom power over the world of mankind. His prophetic commentary on our times is set out in the record at Matthew chapters 24 and 25, Luke chapter 21 and Mark chapter 13. In concert with his great prophecy, inspired descriptions of these last days are found at 2 Timothy 3:1-5, Revelation chapter 6 and related prophetic portions in the Hebrew and Christian Greek Scriptures. Keen Bible students among us have witnessed the fulfillment of most of these prophecies during this century.
4. What striking evidence is there ‘that all creation is now in pain’?
4 In every walk of life and at every level of society, there is striking evidence “that all creation keeps on groaning together and being in pain together until now.” (Rom. 8:22) We see individuals plagued with a host of physical, mental and emotional ailments and breakdowns despite widely acclaimed medical advancements. Marital bonds are disintegrating. Separations and divorce equal or surpass the number of marriages in many countries. Family life is in disarray, causing many to wonder whether this basic unit of society can survive much longer. Cities are under crushing financial burdens and are facing collapse. Nations are in anguish, torn within by divisive factions and threatened without by unfriendly and aggressive neighbors. The world at large agonizes over the economic and money crises, energy shortages, pollution and health hazards, overpopulation and starvation in many places. On top of all of this hangs the specter of an arms race that threatens to unleash incalculable misery and nuclear destruction upon mankind. Truly, men’s hearts are failing them for fear of what they see coming upon the inhabited earth.
5. (a) In the midst of the present turmoil, what are most of humankind doing? (b) By doing what can persons survive the approaching great tribulation, and what patterns for survival are there?
5 In the midst of such turmoil, many remain apathetic. Others drift with the degrading current and spirit of what is popular at the time. There are also those who are enemies of God, actually taking a stand against his righteous principles and universal sovereignty. As the world sows, it now reaps—rotten fruitage. God’s appointed time draws near for its abrupt and violent destruction. Righteously inclined persons who sense the danger of mankind’s selfish, materialistic, pleasure-mad and heedless course are urged to heed the divine warning before it is too late. By so doing, they may, in keeping with God’s past dealings, be among those who have the prospect of surviving the approaching great tribulation. Forty-three centuries ago God spared Noah and his family from a global flood. Centuries later He delivered Lot and his two daughters when Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed. This provides a pattern of how God may deal with those who act in faith and respond to the everlasting good news which has been declared throughout this century.
6 Modern historians have recognized that 1914 was a turning point. Since that significant year, mankind has been living in a turbulent period of stupendous changes. What many do not realize is the fact that Bible prophecy shows it to be a period of woe for mankind “because the Devil has come down to you, having great anger, knowing he has a short period of time.” (Rev. 12:7-12) A day of reckoning is fast approaching. It will break out upon this generation in what Jesus described as a “great tribulation” that will see the execution of God’s judgment upon Babylon the Great, the world empire of false religion of which Christendom is the principal part. Thereafter, all the nations in opposition to God’s kingdom, his incoming world government, will become involved in the war of the great day of God the Almighty, Biblically called Armageddon, where they will suffer everlasting defeat.—Rev. 16:14-16.
7. (a) After Armageddon, what will happen to the Devil and his spirit forces? (Rev. 20:1-3) (b) What future will humankind then enjoy, as indicated by Bible prophecies? (Rev. 21:3, 4; Ps. 37:9-11, 29; Isa. 11:6-9; 33:24; 65:21-24)
7 Finally, the Devil and his wicked spirit forces will be plunged into the symbolic abyss of immobility, this paving the way for the unhindered, earth-wide rule of God’s kingdom of a thousand years. (Rev. 20:1-3; 21:3, 4) How thankful we are for coming to a knowledge of God’s way of removing wickedness from the earthly scene! Do we not await such divine intervention with keen expectation? Yes, and joyfully we hail the governmental new heavens and a cleansed new earth society that he has promised!—2 Pet. 3:13.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT
8 We, Jehovah’s Witnesses, intensify our efforts to proclaim zealously the good news of the Kingdom as well as boldly declare God’s judgment message within the time divinely allowed. We will continue to give our whole-souled allegiance to God’s kingdom and strive to be loyal subjects of it. This we are determined to do by following the faithful course of Jesus Christ, maintaining separateness from the world, avoiding its entanglements, refusing to become involved in its controversies and allowing no room for compromise. Even though this makes us unpopular and incurs the world’s hatred we are determined to be guided by the Scriptural principle that whoever wants to be a friend of the world is constituting himself an enemy of God.—Jas. 4:4.
9. (a) What Scriptural warning are we resolved to press on in giving? (b) What is involved in abiding by our decision to produce the fruits of the Kingdom and the fruits of God’s spirit? (Mark 13:10; John 13:34, 35; Gal. 5:22, 23; Col. 3:12-14)
9 Having ourselves come out of Babylon the Great, we will press forward in giving the Scriptural warning: “Get out of her, my people, if you do not want to share with her in her sins, and if you do not want to receive part of her plagues.” (Rev. 18:4) In the spirit of self-sacrifice we are determined to go on aiding those multitudes of people who may yet take their stand on the side of the truth before divine judgment overtakes the world empire of false religion. Whereas Christendom’s reprehensible course has brought reproach upon God’s name, our decision is to prove ourselves genuine disciples of Jesus Christ by producing the fruits of the Kingdom as well as the fruitage of God’s spirit and thus glorify our heavenly Father, Jehovah.—John 15:8.
10. (a) We are resolved to render to God sacred service by presenting the truth in what way? (Col 4:6; 1 Pet. 3:15) (b) What kind of example in boldness and courage, as well as respect for authority, did the apostles set that we are determined to follow?
10 Regardless of our individual circumstances and location, we will delight in rendering God sacred service, day and night. Without letup we will take advantage of all opportunities to give a thorough witness to God’s name and purpose, presenting the truth in an appealing way, ‘letting our utterance be always with graciousness, seasoned with salt.’ (Col. 4:6) At the same time, we will seek to be courageous, speaking the Word of God with all boldness, especially in the face of threats, persecution or other forms of opposition. Like the apostles “we cannot stop speaking about the things we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:19, 20) While giving due respect to the superior authorities, rendering to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, yet, when issues arise involving our worship and service to God, we will imitate the apostles by ‘obeying God as ruler rather than men.’—Acts 5:29.
11 By putting spiritual things first in our lives our resolve is to complete the work of proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom and sounding the divine warning from God’s Word. To this end we will trust in Jehovah with all our hearts, always relying upon his direction and care and further manifestations of his love. In our earnest prayers we will ask our heavenly Father that this course of ours will be pleasing and acceptable in his sight, the One ‘who can do more than superabundantly beyond all the things we ask or conceive.’ (Eph. 3:20) May his will be done, resulting in unbounded joys and blessings to us and all other lovers of God, both now and forevermore.