A Just World Is Not a Dream!
“JUSTICE is the great interest of man on earth,” noted American statesman Daniel Webster. And the Bible states: “Jehovah is a lover of justice.” (Psalm 37:28) Made in the likeness of God, the first human couple had godly attributes, including a sense of justice.—Genesis 1:26, 27.
The Scriptures also speak of ‘people of the nations that do not have law doing by nature the things of the law.’ They thus “demonstrate the matter of the law to be written in their hearts, while their conscience is bearing witness with them and, between their own thoughts, they are being accused or even excused.” (Romans 2:14, 15) Yes, humans are endowed with the faculty of conscience—an inner sense of right and wrong. Clearly, the need for justice is innate in man.
Closely associated with the need for justice is man’s quest for happiness, for Psalm 106:3 declares: “Happy are those observing justice, doing righteousness all the time.” Why, though, has man not been able to bring about a just world?
Why Has Man Failed?
A basic reason for failure to achieve a just world is the blemish we have inherited from our first parents, Adam and Eve. The Bible explains: “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) The blemish is sin. Though created faultless, Adam and Eve decided to rebel against God and thus made themselves sinners. (Genesis 2:16, 17; 3:1-6) Because of this, they left to their children the legacy of sinful, wrong tendencies.
Are not such personality traits as greed and prejudice the outworkings of sinful tendencies? And do these traits not contribute to injustices in the world? Why, greed is at the root of deliberate environmental abuses and economic oppression! Prejudice is certainly behind ethnic strife and racial injustices. Such traits also induce people to rob, cheat, and act in a manner that harms others.
Even the best-motivated efforts to exercise justice and to do good often fail because of our sinful inclinations. The apostle Paul himself confessed: “The good that I wish I do not do, but the bad that I do not wish is what I practice.” He goes on to explain the struggle, saying: “I really delight in the law of God according to the man I am within, but I behold in my members another law warring against the law of my mind and leading me captive to sin’s law that is in my members.” (Romans 7:19-23) Likely, we today have the same conflict. That is why injustices occur so frequently.
The human way of ruling has also contributed to injustice in the world. In every land, there are laws as well as those who enforce them. And there are, of course, judges and courts. Certainly, some principled men have tried to uphold human rights and to see that there is equal justice for all. Still, most of their efforts have failed. Why? Encapsulating various factors involved in their failure, Jeremiah 10:23 points out: “I well know, O Jehovah, that to earthling man his way does not belong. It does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step.” Alienated from God, man simply is incapable of establishing a righteous and just world.—Proverbs 14:12; Ecclesiastes 8:9.
A great barrier to man’s effort to construct a just world is Satan the Devil. The Bible clearly states that the rebellious angel Satan is the original “manslayer” and “liar” and that “the whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one.” (John 8:44; 1 John 5:19) The apostle Paul identifies him as “the god of this system of things.” (2 Corinthians 4:3, 4) Being a hater of righteousness, Satan does everything possible to promote wickedness. As long as he controls the world, injustices of all sorts and their resultant woes will enslave mankind.
Does all of this mean that injustice is inevitable in human society? Is a just world an impossible dream?
A Just World a Reality—How?
For the hope of a just world to become a reality, mankind has to look to a source that can eradicate the causes of injustice. But who can uproot sin and do away with Satan and his rulership? Clearly, no human nor any human agency can accomplish such a formidable task. Only Jehovah God can! Concerning him, the Bible states: “The Rock, perfect is his activity, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness, with whom there is no injustice; righteous and upright is he.” (Deuteronomy 32:4) And being “a lover of justice,” Jehovah wants mankind to enjoy life in a just world.—Psalm 37:28.
Speaking of God’s arrangement to bring about a just world, the apostle Peter wrote: “There are new heavens and a new earth that we are awaiting according to his promise, and in these righteousness is to dwell.” (2 Peter 3:13) These “new heavens” are not new physical heavens. God made our physical heavens perfect, and they bring him glory. (Psalm 8:3; 19:1, 2) The “new heavens” is a new rulership over the earth. The present “heavens” consist of man-made governments. Very soon, at God’s war of Armageddon, these will give way to the “new heavens”—his heavenly Kingdom, or government. (Revelation 16:14-16) The King of that Kingdom is Jesus Christ. Bringing a permanent end to human rulership, this government will rule to time indefinite.—Daniel 2:44.
What, then, is the “new earth”? It is not a new planet, for God made the earth just right for human habitation, and it is his will that it remain forever. (Psalm 104:5) The “new earth” refers to a new society of people. (Genesis 11:1; Psalm 96:1) The “earth” that will be destroyed consists of the people that make themselves part of this wicked system of things. (2 Peter 3:7) The “new earth” that replaces them will be made up of true servants of God, who hate wickedness and love righteousness and justice. (Psalm 37:10, 11) Thus, gone will be Satan’s world.
But what is in store for Satan? The apostle John foretold: “He [Christ Jesus] seized the dragon, the original serpent, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. And he hurled him into the abyss and shut it and sealed it over him, that he might not mislead the nations anymore.” (Revelation 20:1-3) The influence of enchained Satan on mankind will be no greater than that of a prisoner in a deep dungeon. What a relief that will be for mankind, coming as the harbinger of a just world! And at the end of the thousand years, Satan will be crushed out of existence.—Revelation 20:7-10.
What, though, of inherited sin? Jehovah has already provided the basis for uprooting sin. “The Son of man [Jesus Christ] came . . . to give his soul a ransom in exchange for many.” (Matthew 20:28) The word “ransom” signifies the price required for the redemption of captives. Jesus paid the price of his perfect human life as the ransom to deliver mankind.—2 Corinthians 5:14; 1 Peter 1:18, 19.
Jesus’ ransom sacrifice can benefit us even now. By exercising faith in it, we can enjoy a clean standing before God. (Acts 10:43; 1 Corinthians 6:11) Under the rule of God’s Kingdom, the ransom will make possible for mankind a complete recovery from sin. The last book of the Bible describes a figurative “river of water of life” issuing forth from the throne of God, and along its banks are symbolic fruit trees with leaves “for the curing of the nations.” (Revelation 22:1, 2) What the Bible portrays here represents the Creator’s marvelous provision for recovering mankind from sin on the basis of Jesus’ ransom sacrifice. The full application of this provision will liberate obedient humans from sin and death.
Life in a Just World
Think of what life will be like under Kingdom rule. Crime and violence will be things of the past. (Proverbs 2:21, 22) Gone will be economic injustice. (Psalm 37:6; 72:12, 13; Isaiah 65:21-23) All traces of social, racial, tribal, and ethnic discrimination will be erased. (Acts 10:34, 35) Wars and weapons of warfare will be no more. (Psalm 46:9) Millions of dead will be restored to life in a world free of injustice. (Acts 24:15) Everyone will enjoy perfect and vibrant health. (Job 33:25; Revelation 21:3, 4) “In trueness,” the Bible assures us, “[Jesus Christ] will bring forth justice.”—Isaiah 42:3.
Meanwhile, injustice can befall us, but may we never be unjust in return. (Micah 6:8) Even when injustice has to be endured, may we maintain a positive outlook. The promised just world will soon become a reality. (2 Timothy 3:1-5; 2 Peter 3:11-13) God Almighty has given his word, and it “will prove to be.” (Isaiah 55:10, 11) Now is the time to prepare for life in that just world by learning what God requires of us.—John 17:3; 2 Timothy 3:16, 17.
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All traces of injustice will be erased in God’s promised new world