The New World—Paradise Regained!
A NEWLY married couple had a very lovely home—a large park full of flowers, trees, birds, and animals. It was Paradise, a generous gift from their loving Father! Did they “live happily ever after”? No. Before long, they lost their home. But why?
That Paradise home was lost because the couple did not appreciate what their Father had done for them. Worse still, they were disobedient. To test their integrity, their Father had told them that they could eat the fruit of every tree but one, but they rebelliously disobeyed and partook of it.—Genesis 2:15-17; 3:6, 7.
Why such a penalty for what may seem to have been a small crime? Perhaps an illustration will help to answer that question. A store owner hires a manager having the necessary credentials. To make sure that this new employee can be trusted, the owner hands him the keys but says that under no circumstances is he to unlock a certain drawer. If the employee does so, he will be dismissed. Left on his own, curiosity overcomes the manager and he opens the drawer. The owner catches him in the act and dismisses him.
How does this relate to the young couple? Because they ate the forbidden fruit, their Father dismissed them from their beautiful home. Outside the Paradise of Eden, thorns and thistles confronted that married couple, Adam and Eve. Instead of being perfect, they were now imperfect. And instead of living forever, they began to die. Their children inherited their imperfection, sinfulness, and death.—Romans 5:12.
Eventually, “Jehovah saw that the badness of man was abundant.” Accordingly, in the days of Noah, God used the Flood to cleanse the earth. Were there any human survivors? Only eight—Noah and his three sons along with their four wives. In preparation for what might be called their voyage into a different world, they had complied with God’s instructions and had built a huge ark capable of carrying them, many kinds of animals, and adequate food supplies. (Genesis 6:5-7, 13-22) The garden once enjoyed by Adam and Eve was wiped out by the Flood. Thus, Paradise was lost—but not forever!
Centuries later, God sent his only-begotten Son to earth to redeem mankind from sin and death. This made it possible for those exercising faith in Jesus Christ to gain everlasting life. (John 3:16) Jesus also foretold that Paradise would be regained. Indeed, when Jesus was dying on the torture stake, he told a criminal impaled next to him: “You will be with me in Paradise.”—Luke 23:43.
The regaining of Paradise will follow what is often called the end of the world, foretold by Jesus when his disciples asked: “What will be the sign of your presence and of the conclusion of the system of things?” In reply, Jesus pointed to warfare, food shortages, earthquakes, pestilences, increasing lawlessness, and a worldwide campaign of Kingdom preaching. These and other features of the sign have been in evidence since 1914. (Matthew 24:3-14) They are harbingers of the end of this system and the restoration of Paradise on this earth.
In the same prophecy, Jesus also said: “Now learn from the fig tree as an illustration this point: Just as soon as its young branch grows tender and it puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. Likewise also you, when you see all these things, know that he is near at the doors. Truly I say to you that this generation will by no means pass away until all these things occur.” (Matthew 24:32-35) Other Bible prophecies also indicate that the regaining or restoration of Paradise is very near, that a new world is on the horizon. But what will it be like?
The New World—Really Different!
Present-day governments will be replaced by God’s Kingdom. (Daniel 2:44) There will be justice and lasting peace for all in the new world under Kingdom rule by Jesus Christ, the “Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6, 7) Since he will destroy the wicked and lawless elements that now dominate mankind, only peace-loving “blameless” ones will remain. (Proverbs 2:21, 22; Revelation 19:11-21; 16:14-16) Yes, the survivors will be meek, peace-loving people. What a relief that will be!
Racial and other forms of prejudice will disappear in the new world. In fact, a vast crowd of people already have come a long way in overcoming such things. Who are they? Jehovah’s Witnesses. And why are they so different? Because they study the Bible diligently, apply it in life, and have love among themselves. (John 13:34, 35; Acts 10:34, 35) The Witnesses now number millions worldwide, but the Bible foretells that Jehovah’s earthly worshipers will eventually be “a huge number, impossible to count, of people from every nation, race, tribe and language.”—Revelation 7:9, The Jerusalem Bible.
War will no longer claim human lives. No more will billions be spent on nuclear weapons, other armaments, and military forces. Revolutions, ethnic conflicts, and all other kinds of violence will not exist. (Isaiah 2:4) Military training and conscription will cease, for they will be unnecessary. What a happy day when God puts an end to wars!—Psalm 46:8, 9.
True peace will prevail. “Just a little while longer,” said the psalmist, “and the wicked one will be no more . . . But the meek ones themselves will possess the earth, and they will indeed find their exquisite delight in the abundance of peace.”—Psalm 37:10, 11.
Food shortages will give way to abundance. In many places, poor peasants now struggle with thorns and thistles, poor soil, encroaching deserts, drought, and devastating locust invasions. All of this will be reversed. (Isaiah 35:1, 6, 7) The result? A huge increase in productivity! (Psalm 72:16) Eliminating shortages of food and drink, Jehovah will provide “a banquet”!—Isaiah 25:6.
Rewarding work will be enjoyed by all. How satisfying it will be to build homes, plant fruit trees, and tend gardens! And how delightful to sit in the shade of your own fig tree and eat its delicious fruit!—Micah 4:4.
Housing of the finest quality will be provided for everyone. Today, millions live in slums or in shantytowns. What an unhappy life! In Africa, for instance, millions of the black population are leaving the rurals, but they often have to live in homes of mud or clay with corrugated iron roofs, poor hygienic conditions, and little privacy. In the new world, however, people will build fine houses and inhabit them.—Isaiah 65:21, 22.
Perfect health will flourish in place of sickness and such diseases as deadly AIDS. The inspired prophet foretold that no one will say: “I am sick.” Moreover, in the new world near at hand, “the eyes of the blind ones will be opened, and the very ears of the deaf ones will be unstopped. At that time the lame one will climb up just as a stag does, and the tongue of the speechless one will cry out in gladness.”—Isaiah 33:24; 35:5, 6.
Death, tears, and funeral parlors will disappear. (Revelation 21:4) But what about the billions already dead? As a man on earth, Jesus resurrected several persons. For instance, he once met a funeral cortege accompanying the bier of a young man who had just died in the city of Nain. After a word of comfort to the bereaved mother, a widow, Jesus said: “Young man, I say to you, Get up!” And he did! (Luke 7:11-17) On another occasion, Jesus gave this assurance: “The hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will . . . come out.” (John 5:28, 29) Since God created quintillions of stars and other heavenly bodies and calls them “even by name,” surely the resurrection of billions of human dead will pose no problem.—Isaiah 40:26.
Is It for You?
Jehovah God originally purposed that mankind should never die but should eternally enjoy the good things he lovingly provides. So just imagine the blessings of life in the new world with happy families! Think of children able to play safely with animals now so dangerous. (Isaiah 11:6-9) Consider the blessings of peace, good housing, rewarding work, abundant food. Yes, and think of living eternally in an earthly paradise.
Can you be there? Yes, if you take in and act upon accurate knowledge of God’s Word. Jehovah’s Witnesses stand ready to help you build faith in God’s unfailing purposes. You can be confident that Paradise will soon be regained, for a new world is very near!