What Christ’s Coming Will Accomplish
“TERROR IN SÃO PAULO.” That is how Veja magazine described the four days in May 2006 when organized crime brought Brazil’s largest and richest city “to its knees.” Some 150 law-enforcement officers, criminals, and ordinary citizens were killed during “more than 100 hours of terror.”
Violence is making news headlines in just about every corner of the earth. Human leaders seem unable to stop it. Our world is becoming an increasingly dangerous place in which to live. Perhaps you feel discouraged because wherever you look, there is so much bad news. However, the time for a change is near.
Jesus taught his followers to pray for God’s Kingdom to come and for God’s will to take place, “as in heaven, also upon earth.” (Matthew 6:9, 10) This Kingdom is a government with Christ Jesus as its God-appointed King. It will solve all of mankind’s problems. For God’s Kingdom to bring about changes on the earth, however, there has to be a change from human rulership to the rulership of Christ. This is exactly what Christ’s coming will accomplish.
A Peaceful Transition?
Will the nations submit to Christ’s rule peacefully? The apostle John was given a vision that provides the answer. John relates: “I saw the wild beast [the world’s political system] and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage the war with the one [Jesus] seated on the horse and with his army.” (Revelation 19:19) How will the kings of the earth fare in this war? Jehovah’s anointed King “will break them with an iron scepter, as though a potter’s vessel [he] will dash them to pieces,” states the Bible. (Psalm 2:9) The political system will be completely smashed. God’s Kingdom “will crush and put an end to all [human] kingdoms, and it itself will stand to times indefinite.”—Daniel 2:44.
What about the people who oppose God’s Kingdom? “At the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with his powerful angels in a flaming fire,” Jesus is portrayed as someone who “brings vengeance upon those who do not know God and those who do not obey the good news.” (2 Thessalonians 1:7, 8) “As regards the wicked,” states Proverbs 2:22, “they will be cut off from the very earth; and as for the treacherous, they will be torn away from it.”
With regard to Christ’s coming, the Bible says: “Look! He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him.” (Revelation 1:7) People will not see him with their literal eyes. Since his ascension to heaven, Jesus is a spirit person “who dwells in unapproachable light, whom not one of men has seen or can see.”—1 Timothy 6:16.
Jesus does not need to take on a human form to be “seen” by the inhabitants of the earth any more than Jehovah needed to do so when he brought the Ten Plagues on the Egyptians in the days of Moses. The people of that time had no doubt that Jehovah was causing the plagues, and they were forced to recognize his power. (Exodus 12:31) In a similar way, when Christ takes action as God’s Executioner, the wicked will be forced to “see,” or perceive, that Jesus is being used by God to judge them. They will know this because mankind will have been warned in advance. Yes, “every eye will see [Jesus], and all the tribes of the earth will beat themselves in grief because of him.”—Revelation 1:7.
The destruction of the wicked and the removal of wicked rulership are essential before true peace and prosperity can be restored to the earth. Christ will accomplish that. Then he will take full control of all affairs on the earth, and momentous changes will follow.
A Restoration That Brings Benefits
The apostle Peter spoke about the “restoration of all things of which God spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets of old time.” (Acts 3:21) This restoration includes the transformation that will take place on the earth during Christ’s rule. Among the prophets through whom God spoke of the “restoration of all things” on earth is the prophet Isaiah, of the eighth century B.C.E. He foretold that Jesus Christ, the “Prince of Peace,” would restore peace to the earth. Regarding Christ’s rulership, Isaiah’s prophecy states: “To the abundance of the princely rule and to peace there will be no end.” (Isaiah 9:6, 7) Jesus will educate earth’s peoples in the ways of peace. Those inhabiting the earth “will indeed find their exquisite delight in the abundance of peace.”—Psalm 37:11.
What will happen to poverty and hunger under Christ’s rulership? Isaiah said: “Jehovah of armies will certainly make for all the peoples, in this mountain, a banquet of well-oiled dishes, a banquet of wine kept on the dregs, of well-oiled dishes filled with marrow, of wine kept on the dregs, filtered.” (Isaiah 25:6) The psalmist sang: “There will come to be plenty of grain on the earth; on the top of the mountains there will be an overflow.” (Psalm 72:16) Moreover, regarding earth’s inhabitants, we read: “They will certainly build houses and have occupancy; and they will certainly plant vineyards and eat their fruitage. They will not build and someone else have occupancy; they will not plant and someone else do the eating. For like the days of a tree will the days of my people be; and the work of their own hands my chosen ones will use to the full.”—Isaiah 65:21, 22.
Isaiah also foretold the end of sickness and death. God spoke through Isaiah, saying: “At that time the eyes of the blind ones will be opened, and the very ears of the deaf ones will be unstopped. At that time the lame one will climb up just as a stag does, and the tongue of the speechless one will cry out in gladness.” (Isaiah 35:5, 6) Then “no resident will say: ‘I am sick.’” (Isaiah 33:24) God “will actually swallow up death forever, and the Sovereign Lord Jehovah will certainly wipe the tears from all faces.”—Isaiah 25:8.
What about all the dead “in the memorial tombs”? (John 5:28, 29) Isaiah prophesied: “Your dead ones will live. . . . They will rise up.” (Isaiah 26:19) Yes, those sleeping in death will be brought back to life!
“God Is Your Throne Forever”
Christ’s coming will lead to nothing less than the complete restoration of planet Earth. The earth will be transformed into a glorious paradise, and mankind will be united in the worship of the true God. Can we be certain that Jesus Christ will succeed in removing wickedness from the earth and in bringing about righteous conditions?
Consider the source of the power and authority bestowed upon Jesus. With reference to the Son, the Bible states: “God is your throne forever and ever, and the scepter of your kingdom is the scepter of uprightness. You loved righteousness, and you hated lawlessness.” (Hebrews 1:8, 9) Jesus’ throne, that is, his office or authority, has its source in Jehovah. God is the Originator and Giver of this throne. No problems will be too grave for Jesus to resolve.
After his resurrection, Jesus told his disciples: “All authority has been given me in heaven and on the earth.” (Matthew 28:18) “Angels and authorities and powers were made subject to him,” states 1 Peter 3:22. No power or authority will be successful in opposing Jesus. Nothing can prevent him from bringing lasting benefit to mankind.
How Christ’s Coming Affects People
In his letter to the Thessalonians, the apostle Paul wrote: “We bear incessantly in mind your faithful work and your loving labor and your endurance due to your hope in our Lord Jesus Christ before our God and Father.” (1 Thessalonians 1:3) Paul attributed fruitful labor and endurance to hope in Jesus Christ. That hope includes faith in Christ’s coming and in the restoration for which it paves the way. Such a hope can sustain true Christians, or keep them going, in spite of very difficult situations.
Take, for example, Carlos, who lives in São Paulo, Brazil. In August 2003, Carlos discovered that he had cancer. Since then, he has undergone eight operations that resulted in painful and debilitating side effects. Yet, he has continued to be a source of encouragement to others. For instance, while evangelizing on the street in front of a large hospital, he met another one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, whose husband was undergoing chemotherapy. Having experienced the devastating effects of cancer, Carlos was able to give encouragement and comfort to both husband and wife. Afterward, they commented that the conversation was a morale booster for them. Carlos thus experienced the truthfulness of these words of Paul: “God . . . comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”—2 Corinthians 1:4, New International Version.
What helps Carlos find the strength to continue encouraging others in spite of his illness? The hope of Christ’s coming and all that it will accomplish motivates Carlos to keep “doing what is fine.”—Galatians 6:9.
Consider also the case of Samuel, whose brother was murdered just 150 feet [50 m] from their father’s house. Ten bullets were fired into his brother’s body. The corpse remained on the sidewalk for eight hours while the police investigated the crime. Samuel cannot forget what happened that day. However, he is sustained by the hope that Christ will purge the earth of all wickedness and that the righteous rule that follows will bring blessings to mankind. Samuel often imagines himself embracing his resurrected brother in Paradise on earth.—Acts 24:15.
What Must You Do?
You will find much comfort in the hope of Christ’s coming and what it will accomplish. Jesus Christ is sure to address all the root causes of human problems and of the evils that beset us.
What must you do to enjoy the blessings that Christ’s rule will shower upon mankind? Undertake a careful study of God’s Word, the Bible. In a prayer to his Father, 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) Make it your goal to examine what the Bible teaches. Jehovah’s Witnesses in your area will be happy to assist you in this regard. You have our warm invitation to contact them or to write to the publishers of this magazine.
[Pictures on page 7]
Christ’s coming will lead to nothing less than the complete restoration of the earth
Inset, background only: Rhino and Lion Park, Gauteng, South Africa