Who Are Real Messengers of Peace?
ON May 31, 1996, news sources proclaimed what appeared to be a message of peace. On the preceding day, an official statement was released affirming that Benjamin Netanyahu, who was about to become Israel’s prime minister, was “deeply committed to the continuation of the peace process, peace with security, between the state of Israel and all its neighbors, including the Palestinians.”
Netanyahu’s highly publicized election caused many to wonder if peace in the Middle East might be more than just a dream. If so, could other nations follow suit, forgetting their differences?
Of course, it is easier to promise peace than it is to achieve it. Realizing this, many were skeptical. As journalist Hemi Shalev put it, “half of the public in Israel is now going around with a feeling that redemption is at hand, and the other believes that it is trapped in a hell on earth.” In summary, he stated: “Some rejoice; others weep.”
So it goes with man’s attempts at peace. The victory of one leader and his supporters spells defeat for the opposing camp. Dissatisfaction leads to disillusionment, and disillusionment, often to rebellion. Whether in the Middle East, Latin America, Eastern Europe, or anywhere else—mankind’s efforts at peace are so illusory.
Real Peace at Hand!
During the time that peace in the Middle East was an especially hot news topic, another message of peace was heard. This was not a highly publicized political speech; nor was it a peace treaty between nations. Rather, this message proclaimed a peace that will come about only through God’s Kingdom. Where was this message heard? At over 1,900 “Messengers of Godly Peace” District Conventions being held by Jehovah’s Witnesses throughout the world during 1996/97.
At these conventions it was made clear that no human government can bring true peace and security. Why? Because this would require putting an end to the things that rob us of peace on a daily basis. True peace means waking up every morning without the threat of war or violence. It means no more crime, no more locks on our doors, no more fear of walking the streets, no more families torn apart. What government on earth can accomplish all of that? Indeed, what government on earth would even dare to promise it?
God’s Kingdom, however, can and will bring these things about. The Bible promises: “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.” (Revelation 21:3, 4) What relief that will bring to suffering mankind!
Jehovah God’s promise is not an empty one. The Bible assures us: “God is not a man that he should tell lies, neither a son of mankind that he should feel regret. Has he himself said it and will he not do it, and has he spoken and will he not carry it out?” (Numbers 23:19) Yes, what God has promised will come to pass—to the blessing of all those who take their stand on his side.
God’s Messengers of Peace
Jehovah’s Witnesses are well-known for their zealous preaching about God’s Kingdom. Each year, they collectively spend more than a billion hours sharing the Bible’s heartening message with others. This is in fulfillment of Jesus’ words: “This good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations; and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14) The message that the Witnesses bring is indeed “good news,” for it heralds God’s heavenly Kingdom as the only hope for mankind. And what a solid hope for the future it is!
Even now God’s Kingdom is producing in its subjects a genuine bond of peace and brotherly love. Jesus said: “By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love among yourselves.” (John 13:35) Jehovah’s Witnesses endeavor to live up to this basic requirement of true Christianity. As a result, theirs is a marvelous brotherhood uniting Jews and Arabs, Croatians and Serbs, Hutu and Tutsi. This peace that the majority of mankind can only dream about is now the possession of millions of Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide.
Encouragement to continue living by Bible principles and to keep on preaching the good news of God’s Kingdom was highlighted on the “Messengers of Godly Peace” District Convention program. We invite you to read the following report of the stirring three-day convention that millions have been enjoying.