The Key to a Happy World
“THE single most powerful figure—not merely in these two millenniums but in all human history—has been Jesus of Nazareth,” said Time magazine. When Jesus was on earth, thousands of honesthearted people recognized, not just his greatness, but his concern for others. Hence, it comes as no surprise that they wanted to make him king. (John 6:10, 14, 15) Yet, as mentioned in the preceding article, Jesus declined to get involved in politics.
JESUS’ response was based on at least three factors: his Father’s view of expressions of human self-determination, which include human rule; Jesus’ awareness that there are powerful, hidden forces working against even the best human efforts at rulership; and God’s purpose to establish a heavenly government to rule over the entire earth. As we examine these three points more closely, we will see why mankind’s efforts to make the world a better place have failed. We will also see how success will be achieved.
Can Humans Govern Themselves?
When God created humans, he gave them authority over the animal kingdom. (Genesis 1:26) But humankind was under God’s sovereignty. The first man and woman were to confirm their submission to God by obediently abstaining from the fruit of one particular tree, “the tree of the knowledge of good and bad.” (Genesis 2:17) Sadly, Adam and Eve abused their free moral agency and disobeyed God. Taking the forbidden fruit was not simply an act of theft. It constituted rebellion against God’s sovereignty. A footnote to Genesis 2:17 in The New Jerusalem Bible states that Adam and Eve laid claim “to complete moral independence by which man refuses to recognise his status as a created being . . . The first sin was an attack on God’s sovereignty.”
Because of the serious moral issues involved, God allowed Adam and Eve and their descendants to choose their own way of life, and they established their own standards of right and wrong. (Psalm 147:19, 20; Romans 2:14) In essence, the human experiment with self-determination then began. Has it been successful? With the advantage of thousands of years of hindsight, we can say no! Ecclesiastes 8:9 states: “Man has dominated man to his injury.” This lamentable record of human self-rule confirms the truthfulness of Jeremiah 10:23: “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.” History has proved that humans do not have the capacity to rule successfully without their Creator.
Jesus fully concurred. Independence from God was anathema to him. “I do nothing of my own initiative,” he said. “I always do the things pleasing to [God].” (John 4:34; 8:28, 29) Hence, with no divine authorization to receive kingship from humans, Jesus did not even consider accepting it. This does not mean, however, that he was reluctant to help his fellowman. On the contrary, he did all in his power to assist people to find the greatest happiness then and in the future. He even gave his life for mankind. (Matthew 5:3-11; 7:24-27; John 3:16) But Jesus knew that “for everything there is an appointed time,” including God’s time to assert his sovereignty over mankind. (Ecclesiastes 3:1; Matthew 24:14, 21, 22, 36-39) Recall, though, that in Eden our original parents submitted to the will of a wicked spirit creature who spoke through a visible serpent. This brings us to a second reason why Jesus kept out of politics.
The World’s Secret Ruler
Satan, the Bible tells us, offered Jesus “all the kingdoms of the world and their glory” in exchange for one act of worship. (Matthew 4:8-10) Essentially, Jesus was offered world rulership—but on the Devil’s terms. Jesus did not fall prey to this temptation. Was it really a temptation, though? Could Satan actually make such a grandiose offer? Yes, for Jesus himself called the Devil “the ruler of the world,” and the apostle Paul described him as “the god of this system of things.”—John 14:30; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 6:12.
Of course, Jesus knew that the Devil does not have mankind’s best interests at heart. He described Satan as “a murderer” and as “the father of lies and of all that is false.” (John 8:44, The Amplified Bible) Obviously, a world “lying in the power” of such a wicked spirit can never be truly happy. (1 John 5:19) But the Devil will not have this authority indefinitely. Jesus, now a mighty spirit creature, will shortly depose Satan and completely eliminate his influence.—Hebrews 2:14; Revelation 20:1-3.
Satan himself knows that his days as world ruler are fast running out. Hence, he is making a desperate, all-out effort to corrupt humans beyond reform, just as he did prior to the Flood of Noah’s day. (Genesis 6:1-5; Jude 6) “Woe for the earth and for the sea,” says Revelation 12:12, “because the Devil has come down to you, having great anger, knowing he has a short period of time.” Bible prophecy and world events indicate that we are living near the conclusion of this “short period of time.” (2 Timothy 3:1-5) Relief is now in sight.
A Government to Bring Happiness
A third reason why Jesus stayed out of politics is that he knew that at a future set time, God would establish a heavenly government to rule over the earth. The Bible calls this government God’s Kingdom, and it was the main theme of Jesus’ teaching. (Luke 4:43; Revelation 11:15) Jesus taught his disciples to pray for that Kingdom to come, for only under its rule will ‘God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven.’ (Matthew 6:9, 10) You may wonder, ‘If this Kingdom is going to rule over the entire earth, what will happen to man-made governments?’
The answer is found at Daniel 2:44: “In the days of those kings [ruling at the end of the present system] the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be brought to ruin. And the kingdom itself will not be passed on to any other people. It will crush and put an end to all these [man-made] kingdoms, and it itself will stand to times indefinite.” Why will God’s Kingdom have to “crush” earthly rulerships? Because these insist on perpetuating the God-defying spirit of self-determination promoted by Satan back in the garden of Eden. In addition to working against mankind’s best interests, those who strive to perpetuate that spirit put themselves on a collision course with the Creator. (Psalm 2:6-12; Revelation 16:14, 16) Hence, we must ask ourselves, ‘Are we for or against rule by God?’
Whose Sovereignty Will You Choose?
In order to help people make an informed decision about rulership, Jesus commissioned his disciples to preach the “good news of the kingdom . . . in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations” before the end of the present system comes. (Matthew 24:14) Who today are known worldwide for preaching God’s Kingdom? Jehovah’s Witnesses are. This journal, in fact, has long carried on its front cover the words “Announcing Jehovah’s Kingdom.” Today, some six million Witnesses in over 230 lands are helping people to gain an accurate knowledge of that Kingdom.a
Blessings for Kingdom Subjects
Jesus always did things God’s way. Hence, instead of choosing an independent course and trying to prop up or improve the existing system of things by political means, he worked hard to advance the interests of God’s Kingdom, the only solution to the world’s ills. For his loyalty he was rewarded with a glorious throne in heaven as the very King of that Kingdom. What a wonderful prize for his submission to God!—Daniel 7:13, 14.
Millions today who imitate Jesus in putting God’s Kingdom first and in submitting to God’s will also enjoy a wonderful gift—the privilege of being earthly subjects of God’s Kingdom. (Matthew 6:33) Under its loving rule, they will be raised to human perfection, with the prospect of everlasting life. (Revelation 21:3, 4) Says 1 John 2:17: “The world is passing away and so is its desire, but he that does the will of God remains forever.” With Satan and his followers swept away and the earth transformed into a global paradise free of divisive nationalism, corrupt commercial systems, and false religion, what an exquisite joy it will be to remain here forever!—Psalm 37:29; 72:16.
Yes, God’s Kingdom is the real key to a truly happy world, and the message announcing it is rightly described as good news. If you have not already done so, the next time one of Jehovah’s Witnesses calls at your home, why not welcome this good news being brought to you?
a In advocating God’s Kingdom, Jehovah’s Witnesses do not mix in politics or foment rebellion against secular governments, even in lands where the Witnesses are banned or persecuted. (Titus 3:1) Instead, they try to make a positive, spiritual, nonpolitical contribution in the way that Jesus and his first-century disciples did. The Witnesses strive to help righteously disposed people in their various communities to adopt wholesome Biblical values, such as familial love, honesty, moral cleanness, and a good work ethic. Primarily, they endeavor to teach them how to follow Bible principles and to look to God’s Kingdom as mankind’s real hope.
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History proves that humans cannot rule successfully without God
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Because he rules the present “system of things,” Satan could offer Jesus “all the kingdoms of the world”
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Jesus taught that under God’s Kingdom arrangement, the world will be a wonderful place