Soon—A World Without Pain!
A WORLD without pain coming soon? What welcome news that would be to chronic sufferers—whether their pain is physical, mental, or emotional! For instance, millions would be overjoyed at the removal of the intense physical pain caused by some types of cancer, the affliction tic douloureux, and the heart disease angina pectoris. Those afflicted with severe mental problems would welcome relief from their often indescribable sufferings. And millions more would rejoice if only their emotional pain caused by such feelings as fear, grief, guilt, worry, and frustration were to end. But do we really want to see the end of all pain?
“Not to have pain at all is a disaster,” states anatomist Allan Basbaum of the University of California at San Francisco. He made this statement with good reason. As an alarm factor, physical pain lets us know that something harmful is happening.
Inability to feel physical pain can really be disastrous. This is illustrated in this Time magazine report: “The twelve-year-old boy’s sweet smile makes a poignant contrast to his otherwise pitiful appearance. His arms and legs are deformed and bent, as though he had suffered from rickets. Several fingers are missing. A large open wound covers one knee, and the smiling lips are bitten raw. He looks for all the world like a battered child . . . He was born with an extremely rare genetic defect that makes him insensitive to pain. His fingers were either crushed or burned because he did not pull his hand away from things that were hot or dangerous. His bones and joints are misshapen because he pounded them too hard when he walked or ran. His knee had ulcerated from crawling over sharp objects that he could not feel. Should he break a bone or dislocate a hip, he would not feel enough to cry out for help.”
Some people are quick to hold God responsible for such afflictions and for the misery experienced by millions. However, can we rightly blame God for mankind’s painful sufferings?
Is God to Blame?
For some 6,000 years now, mankind has been in bondage to physical, mental, and emotional pain. In fact, some 19 centuries ago, the Christian apostle Paul correctly observed: “All creation keeps on groaning together and being in pain together until now.” (Romans 8:22) Despite the many painkillers obtainable at drugstores and the efforts of physicians and psychiatrists, widespread bondage to pain of all kinds continues. Why, some have cursed God because of their sufferings, even as the wife of the man Job urged him to do many centuries ago! As he himself realized, however, such a spirit is foolish and improper.—Job 2:9, 10.
Present human bondage to pain cannot rightly be blamed on God. Rather, the blame rests with an invisible liar and with our first parents. How so?
The Scriptures indicate that although originally righteous, a spirit creature became greedy for power and prominence. At the dawn of human life on earth, he envisioned a race of mankind on a paradise earth, all giving full devotion to Almighty God, Jehovah. Driven by a heart that had become malicious, this spirit creature rebelled against the Creator, wanting human worship and devotion for himself. His wicked intentions manifested themselves when he cunningly lied. This, in turn, brought sin into the world.
Jehovah God told the first man, Adam, that eating fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and bad would result in death. (Genesis 2:15-17) But Adam’s wife, Eve, was induced to disobey. Using the serpent as a mouthpiece, the spirit Deceiver told her: “You positively will not die. For God knows that in the very day of your eating from it your eyes [those of Eve and of her husband] are bound to be opened and [both of] you are bound to be like God, knowing good and bad.” (Genesis 3:1-5) That was the first lie, and it branded this wicked spirit creature as ‘the father of lies.’ (John 8:44) His use of the serpent on that occasion in the garden of Eden finds a parallel in his Scriptural identification as “the original serpent, the one called Devil and Satan.”—Revelation 12:9.
Sin brought groaning and bondage to pain upon mankind. True to God’s word, on the very day of Adam’s sinning, God pronounced the sentence of death on the transgressors. Judicially, from Jehovah’s standpoint, Adam and Eve died that day. (Compare Luke 20:37, 38.) In Eden, Jehovah told the then sinful first woman: “I shall greatly increase the pain of your pregnancy; in birth pangs you will bring forth children.” (Genesis 3:16) Adam would eke out a painful existence outside the garden of Eden in an earth far from paradisaic in nature. Said Jehovah: “In the sweat of your face you will eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken. For dust you are and to dust you will return.” (Genesis 3:17-19) Bondage to pain thus had its start for the human race.
So, then, bondage to pain is linked with imperfection, sin, and death inherited from Adam. As the apostle Paul put matters: “Through one man sin entered into the world and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men because they had all sinned.” (Romans 5:12) But God’s Word helps us to bear pain, for it tells us why Jehovah has permitted it and assures us that it will soon end. God permitted the serpentine ‘father of lies,’ Satan the Devil, to afflict righteous Job and thus test his integrity. The Devil’s contention was that Job served God out of selfishness, not love. (Job 1:8-12) But Job remained faithful to God, proving that imperfect humans can serve Him out of love and can loyally uphold His sovereignty despite severe tests of their faith. Job’s endurance as an integrity keeper contributed to the sanctification of Jehovah’s name, proved that Satan is a liar, and brought rich rewards to that exemplary patriarch. (Job 42:12-17; James 5:11) From Job’s experience, we can conclude that when God’s purpose has been served, mankind’s bondage to pain will end. But how can we be sure about that?
How Pain Will End
Actually, Jehovah has provided a completely effective means to end human bondage to pain. This he has done on the basis of the ransom sacrifice of his Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus is “the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29) He came to the earth, “not to be ministered to, but to minister and to give his soul [his perfect human life] a ransom in exchange for many.” (Matthew 20:28) Through disobedience, Adam lost perfect human life, with all its rights and prospects. And that is exactly what is redeemed by means of Jesus’ ransom sacrifice. (1 Timothy 2:5, 6; Hebrews 7:26) Indeed, “God loved the world [of mankind] so much that he gave his only-begotten Son, in order that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life.”—John 3:16.
God has also specifically promised that bondage to pain will end. Foretelling a time when pain associated with sin will be no more, the Christian apostle John was divinely inspired to write:
“I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea is no more. . . . I heard a loud voice from the throne say: ‘Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his peoples. And God himself will be with them. And he 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.’ And the One seated on the throne [Jehovah God] said: ‘Look! I am making all things new.’ Also, he says: ‘Write, because these words are faithful and true.’”—Revelation 21:1-5.
Obedient humans will soon receive the full benefit of Jesus’ ransom sacrifice. This will occur under the rule of the Kingdom for which the upright have long prayed, saying: “Our Father in the heavens, let your name be sanctified. Let your kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also upon earth.” (Matthew 6:9, 10) In the heavenly Kingdom, Jesus Christ will reign until he has put all enemies under his feet, including bondage to pain and the last enemy, death.—1 Corinthians 15:25, 26.
Yes, as far as obedient humans are concerned, soon God ‘will wipe out every tear, and neither death, mourning, outcry nor pain will be anymore.’ (Revelation 21:4) Then the following prophetic words that now have a spiritual application will also have a literal fulfillment: “Bless Jehovah, O my soul, . . . him who is forgiving all your error, who is healing all your maladies.” “No resident will say: ‘I am sick.’”—Psalm 103:1-3; Isaiah 33:24.
When an End of Pain?
The end of bondage to pain is imminent. Yes, it will occur in our day, and this very generation will see it. Fulfillment of Bible prophecy shows that we are living at the end of this wicked system of things. The unparalleled wars, famines, and earthquakes, as well as the earth-wide preaching of the good news by Jehovah’s Witnesses, are part of a composite “sign” of Jesus’ invisible “presence” in heavenly Kingdom glory.—Matthew 24:3-14, 21, 34.
Soon, “the former heaven and the former earth,” Satan the Devil’s organized system of things with its governmental structure, will pass away. The turbulent “sea” of wicked mankind will cease to exist. We therefore stand at the very threshold of a divinely blessed governmental “new heaven” over “a new earth,” a righteous human society. In these “righteousness is to dwell.”—Revelation 21:1; 2 Peter 3:13.
With such blessings under a new government—God’s Kingdom—so close at hand, take heart. Seek further knowledge of the new world without pain and death. Indeed, look forward to the blessed day now so near when all who love and obey Jehovah God will live in a world without pain.