Make Proper Use of Christian Liberation
CHRISTIANS have been “called for freedom,” but they are warned not to “use this freedom as an inducement for the flesh.” (Galatians 5:13; 1 Peter 2:16) How tragic it would be if a Christian were to misuse Christian liberation so as to be enslaved anew! Let us take an example.
Many a religious person has been taught that drinking alcoholic beverages is a sin. An accurate knowledge of the Bible will liberate him from this mistaken idea, since it is not drinking but drunkenness that the Bible condemns. (Compare Psalm 104:14, 15 with 1 Corinthians 6:10 and; 1 Peter 4:3.) So now such a liberated Christian might feel free to enjoy an occasional drink. But if he begins to “use this freedom as an inducement for the flesh,” he could overdo it, developing a certain dependence upon alcohol, even becoming enslaved to it.
Thus, after being liberated from false views on recreation, dress and grooming, or social behavior, a Christian dare not swing to the other extreme: spending excessive time or money on things previously forbidden but now permitted. This would be an abuse of Christian liberation. It could have serious consequences.
Preach the Liberation Hope
Particularly since the establishment of God’s Messianic Kingdom in 1914 has his promise that “creation itself also will be set free from enslavement to corruption and have the glorious freedom of the children of God” been moving rapidly toward fulfillment. (Romans 8:21) Already Christ has liberated the heavens from Satanic influence. (Revelation 12:7-12) Soon he will destroy Babylon the Great, which has enslaved man by means of religious error. Then at God’s war of Har–Magedon, he will liberate mankind from imperfect human governments by crushing them out of existence. (Daniel 2:44; Revelation 18:21; 19:11-21) He will even liberate humans from the prime backer of enslavement when Satan is made inactive, unable to “mislead the nations anymore until the thousand years [have] ended.”—Revelation 20:2, 3.
By the end of his Thousand Year Reign, Christ will completely have liberated man from all the bad effects that resulted from the original liberation movement back in Eden. Mistreated racial groups will have been liberated from unjust or discriminatory treatment. Women will have been liberated from oppressive male domination. Sick persons will have been liberated from disease. Elderly persons will have been liberated from the debilitating effects of old age. And, wonder of wonders, bereaved persons will have been liberated from sorrow, for their dead loved ones will have been liberated from the grave!—Revelation 20:13–21:5; see also Psalm 146:5-10.
By preaching this divine message of liberation, Jehovah’s Witnesses today are using their own Christian liberation in a beneficial way. How shortsighted it would be for them to support human liberation movements, which, at best, can bring only partial relief and which, in reality, obscure the real liberation hope.
Think of it: You have the opportunity of living to experience a liberation far grander than the liberty of which Patrick Henry spoke. Moreover, you have the opportunity of enjoying its blessings after Armageddon, to all eternity!