A Better Life—Soon!
IMAGINE a weather forecaster whose predictions almost always come true. If he predicts on the evening news that it will rain the following day, you do not hesitate to take along your umbrella when you leave the house the next morning. His past record has won your confidence. You act on what he says.
Now, how reliable is Jehovah’s promise of a better life on a paradise earth? Well, what does his past record indicate? The fulfillment of Bible prophecies clearly establishes Jehovah’s record. He is a God of unfailing accuracy and truthfulness. (Joshua 23:14; Isaiah 55:11) So reliable are Jehovah God’s promises that at times he actually speaks of promised future events as though they had already happened. For example, following his promise of a new world in which death and mourning will be no more, we read: “They [the promised blessings] have come to pass!” In other words, “They are a fact!”—Revelation 21:5, 6, footnote.
Yes, the fulfillment of Jehovah’s past promises gives us confidence in the realization of his promise of a better life for mankind. But when will this better life come?
A Better Life—When?
A much better life will come soon! We can be sure of that because the Bible says that many bad things would happen on earth just before Paradise was to usher in a better life. Those bad things are happening now.
For example, Jesus Christ foretold that there would be great wars. He said: “Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom.” (Matthew 24:7) This prophecy has come true. During the years 1914 to 1945, there were two world wars, and these have been followed by numerous other wars in which nations have fought one another. “On an average yearly basis, the number of war deaths in this period [since World War II] has been more than double the deaths in the 19th century and seven times greater than in the 18th century.”—World Military and Social Expenditures 1993.
The spread of disease is another evidence of the nearness of a better life in Paradise. Jesus foretold that there would be ‘pestilences in one place after another.’ (Luke 21:11) Has this prophecy come true? Yes. After the first world war, the Spanish flu killed over 20 million people. Since then, cancer, heart disease, malaria, AIDS, and other illnesses have killed millions of people. In developing countries, diseases resulting from contaminated water (including diarrhea and intestinal worm infections) claim millions of lives every year.
Jesus also said: “There will be food shortages.” (Matthew 24:7) As noted in the preceding article, the world’s poor do not have enough to eat. This is another part of the evidence that a much better life in Paradise is soon to come.
“There will be great earthquakes,” said Jesus. (Luke 21:11) This also has come true in our time. Since 1914 destruction by devastating earthquakes has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives.
The Bible further says that “the last days” would be marked by a change in people. They would be “lovers of themselves” and “lovers of money,” and children would be “disobedient to parents.” People in general would be “lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God.” (2 Timothy 3:1-5) Do you not agree that many fit this description?
As more and more people practice bad things, there is an increase in lawlessness. This was also foretold. According to Matthew 24:12, Jesus spoke of an “increasing of lawlessness.” Likely you will agree that crime is worse now than it was years ago. People everywhere are fearful that they will be robbed, cheated, or harmed in some way.
Wars, widespread disease, food shortages, earthquakes, increasing crime, and a change for the worse in human relations—all of these are evident today, just as the Bible foretold. ‘But have not these things happened all throughout human history?’ you may ask. ‘What is different about our day?’
There are some highly significant aspects of what is happening today. The Bible does not say that any one feature, such as food shortages, would by itself be proof that we are in the time of the end and that a better life is near. The Bible’s prophecies about the time of the end were to be fulfilled upon a godless generation.—Matthew 24:34-39; Luke 17:26, 27.
Furthermore, it is quite unusual that some features of Jesus’ prophecy—especially those about food shortages and widespread disease—are coming true today. Why? Because scientific achievements have never been greater. Medical knowledge and forms of treatment have never been more advanced or widespread. Only God could have foretold in his Word, the Bible, that at such a time, disease and famine would get worse, not better.
Since all the Bible’s prophecies about the time of the end, or “the last days,” are coming true, what can we conclude? That a better life is near! But how will it come about?
A Better Life—How?
Do you think that humans can bring about Paradise? Throughout history right down to this day, there have been many kinds of human government. Some have tried very hard to satisfy the needs of the people. Yet, many problems are getting worse. Both in rich countries and in poor lands, governments struggle with drug abuse, poor housing, poverty, crime, unemployment, and warfare.
Even if governments could solve some of these problems, they could never provide complete freedom from ill health; neither could they put an end to old age and death. Clearly, humans will never bring Paradise to this earth.
The Bible wisely says: “Do not put your trust in nobles, nor in the son of earthling man, to whom no salvation belongs.” In whom, then, should we put our trust? The Bible answers: “Happy is the one who has the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in Jehovah his God.” (Psalm 146:3, 5) If we put our hope in Jehovah God, we will never be disappointed.
Surely the One with the wisdom and power to create the earth, the sun, and the stars can also make earth a paradise. He can enable humans to enjoy a better life. Whatever Jehovah God sets out to do, he can and will accomplish. His Word says: “With God no declaration will be an impossibility.” (Luke 1:37) But how will God bring about a better life?
Jehovah will bring mankind a much better life by means of his Kingdom. And what is God’s Kingdom? It is a real government with a God-appointed Ruler, Jesus Christ. God’s Kingdom is located in heaven, but it will soon bring marvelous blessings and a much better life to the residents of the Paradise earth.—Isaiah 9:6, 7.
You may already be familiar with Jesus’ model prayer, found in the Bible at Matthew 6:9-13. Part of that prayer to God says: “Let your kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also upon earth.” In harmony with that prayer, God’s Kingdom will “come” to carry out Jehovah God’s purpose for the earth. And it is his purpose that the earth become a paradise.
One final question arises: What must you do to enjoy a better life in the coming Paradise?
What You Need to Do
Jehovah God lovingly holds out the prospect of a better life in Paradise to all who do his will. The Bible tells us: “The righteous themselves will possess the earth, and they will reside forever upon it.” (Psalm 37:29) But what makes a person righteous in God’s eyes?
To please Jehovah we need to learn more about what he wants us to do. If we take in knowledge of God and apply it in our lives, we can live forever. In a prayer to God, Jesus said: “This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ.”—John 17:3.
The book that tells us about Jehovah God and Jesus Christ is God’s Word, the Bible. It is one of Jehovah’s most precious gifts. The Bible is like a letter from a loving father to his children. It tells us about God’s promise to bring about a better life for mankind and shows us how we may gain it. The Bible lets us know what God has done in the past and what he will do in the future. It also gives us practical advice about how to deal successfully with our problems now. Indeed, God’s Word teaches us how to find a measure of happiness even in this troubled world.—2 Timothy 3:16, 17.
Jehovah’s Witnesses will gladly arrange a free home Bible study for you. Learn how you can have a happier life now, with the prospect of a much better life in the near future.
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Bible prophecies indicate that a better life is near
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God’s Kingdom will usher in a better life for mankind