Deliverance by God’s Kingdom Is at Hand!
“Let your kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also upon earth.”—MATT. 6:10.
1. What was Jesus’ main teaching?
WHEN Jesus Christ gave his Sermon on the Mount, he included a model prayer that summarized his main teaching. He taught his followers to pray to God: “Let your kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also upon earth.” (Matt. 6:9-13) Jesus “went journeying from city to city and from village to village, preaching and declaring the good news of the kingdom of God.” (Luke 8:1) Christ urged his followers: ‘Keep on seeking first the kingdom and God’s righteousness.’ (Matt. 6:33) As you study this article, look for ways to use the material in your ministry. For instance, consider how you might answer these questions: How important is the Kingdom message? From what does mankind need to be delivered? And how will God’s Kingdom provide deliverance?
2. How important is the Kingdom message?
2 Jesus foretold: “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.” (Matt. 24:14) The good news about God’s Kingdom is of utmost importance. Why, it is the most important message in the world! In over 100,000 congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses earth wide, about seven million servants of God are engaged in an unparalleled preaching work, telling others that the Kingdom has been established. Its establishment is good news because it means that God has set up a government in heaven to take full control of earth’s affairs. Under Kingdom rule, Jehovah’s will is going to be done on earth as it is in heaven.
3, 4. What will be the result when God’s will is done on earth?
3 What will happen to mankind when God’s will is done on earth? Jehovah will “wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore.” (Rev. 21:4) People will not get sick or die because of inherited sin and imperfection. The dead in God’s memory will have the opportunity to live forever, for the Bible promises: “There is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Acts 24:15) There will be no more war, illness, or hunger, and the earth will be transformed into a paradise. Even animals that are now dangerous will be at peace with humans and with one another.—Ps. 46:9; 72:16; Isa. 11:6-9; 33:24; Luke 23:43.
4 With such marvelous blessings resulting from Kingdom rule, it is no wonder that Bible prophecy speaks of life at that time in these comforting words: “The meek ones themselves will possess the earth, and they will indeed find their exquisite delight in the abundance of peace.” But what about those who cause trouble? The Scriptures foretell: “Just a little while longer, and the wicked one will be no more.” However, “those hoping in Jehovah are the ones that will possess the earth.”—Ps. 37:9-11.
5. What is going to happen to the present system of things?
5 For all of this to happen, the present system of things with its conflicting governments, religions, and commercial systems will have to be removed. And that is exactly what the heavenly government will do. The prophet Daniel was inspired to foretell: “In the days of those kings [now existing] the God of heaven will set up a kingdom [in heaven] 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 [present] kingdoms, and it itself will stand to times indefinite.” (Dan. 2:44) God’s Kingdom—a new heavenly government—will then rule over a new earthly society. There will be “new heavens and a new earth . . . , and in these righteousness is to dwell.”—2 Pet. 3:13.
Greater Need for Deliverance Now
6. How does the Bible describe the badness of this wicked world?
6 When Satan, Adam, and Eve rebelled against God, wanting to decide for themselves what was right and what was wrong, the human family was set on a disastrous course. Before the global Flood, over 1,600 years later, “the badness of man was abundant in the earth and every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only bad all the time.” (Gen. 6:5) About 1,300 years thereafter, Solomon found conditions to be so bad that he wrote: “I congratulated the dead who had already died rather than the living who were still alive. So better than both of them is the one who has not yet come to be, who has not seen the calamitous work that is being done under the sun.” (Eccl. 4:2, 3) Some 3,000 years more brings us to our day, when badness continues to flourish.
7. Why is there a greater need now for deliverance by God?
7 While it is true that badness has been around for a long time, there is a greater need for deliverance by God’s Kingdom now than at any other time. Conditions in the past 100 years have been worse than ever, and they continue to deteriorate. For example, the Worldwatch Institute reports: “Three times as many people fell victim to war in [the 20th] century as in all the wars from the first century AD to 1899.” Since 1914 more than 100 million lives have been lost in wars! One encyclopedia estimates that up to 60 million people died in World War II. With some nations now even being armed with nuclear weapons, humans have the capacity to wipe out huge segments of the world’s population. And even with advances in science and medicine, every year hunger still claims the lives of some five million children.—See chapter 9 of the book What Does the Bible Really Teach?
8. What have thousands of years of human rule proved beyond doubt?
8 Human efforts have failed to stem the tide of badness. This world’s political, commercial, and religious institutions have never fulfilled the basic human need for peace, prosperity, and health. Far from solving the huge problems now facing mankind, these institutions have added to them. Surely, thousands of years of human rule have proved the truthfulness of the words: “To earthling man his way does not belong. It does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step.” (Jer. 10:23) Yes, “man has dominated man to his injury.” (Eccl. 8:9) Moreover, “all creation keeps on groaning together and being in pain together.”—Rom. 8:22.
9. What conditions do true Christians expect to see in these “last days”?
9 Regarding our time, the Bible foretold: “In the last days critical times hard to deal with will be here.” After describing conditions of the last days under human rule, the prophecy states: “Wicked men and impostors will advance from bad to worse.” (Read 2 Timothy 3:1-5, 13.) That is what Christians expect, for “the whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one,” Satan. (1 John 5:19) However, the good news is that God will soon deliver those who love him. They will be delivered from this world, which is rapidly going from bad to worse.
The Only Reliable Source of Deliverance
10. Why is Jehovah the only reliable Source of deliverance?
10 As you preach the good news, point out that Jehovah is the only reliable Source of deliverance. He alone has the power and the will to deliver his servants from any bad situation. (Acts 4:24, 31; Rev. 4:11) We can be certain that Jehovah will always deliver his people and fulfill his purposes, for he has sworn: “Surely just as I have figured, so it must occur.” His word “will not return to [him] without results.”—Read Isaiah 14:24, 25; 55:10, 11.
11, 12. What guarantee does God give to his servants?
11 Jehovah has guaranteed that he will deliver his servants when he executes judgment upon the wicked. When sending the prophet Jeremiah to speak boldly to gross sinners, God said: “Do not be afraid.” Why not? “I am with you to deliver you.” (Jer. 1:8) Similarly, when Jehovah was about to destroy wicked Sodom and Gomorrah, he sent two angels to escort Lot and his family safely out of the area. “Then Jehovah made it rain sulphur and fire . . . upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah.”—Gen. 19:15, 24, 25.
12 Even on a worldwide scale, Jehovah can deliver those who do his will. When he destroyed the ancient wicked world in the Flood, he “kept Noah, a preacher of righteousness, safe with seven others.” (2 Pet. 2:5) Jehovah will again deliver the upright when he destroys the present wicked world. His Word thus states: “Seek Jehovah, all you meek ones of the earth . . . Seek righteousness, seek meekness. Probably you may be concealed in the day of Jehovah’s anger.” (Zeph. 2:3) As a result of that worldwide destruction, ‘the upright will reside in the earth, but the wicked will be cut off from it.’—Prov. 2:21, 22.
13. How will Jehovah’s servants who have died be delivered?
13 However, many of God’s servants have already died because of illness, persecution, and other factors. (Matt. 24:9) How, then, will all of these be delivered? As noted earlier, “there is going to be a resurrection of . . . the righteous.” (Acts 24:15) What comfort there is in knowing that nothing can prevent Jehovah from delivering his servants!
A Righteous Government
14. Why are we confident that God’s Kingdom is a righteous government?
14 In your ministry, you can explain that Jehovah’s heavenly Kingdom is a righteous government. This is so because it reflects God’s marvelous qualities, such as justice, righteousness, and love. (Deut. 32:4; 1 John 4:8) God has put the Kingdom in the hands of Jesus Christ, the one best qualified to rule the earth. Jehovah has also purposed that 144,000 anointed Christians be taken from the earth and raised to heavenly life as Christ’s joint heirs associated with him in administering earth’s affairs.—Rev. 14:1-5.
15. Contrast the rule of God’s Kingdom with human rule.
15 What a great contrast there will be between the rule of Jesus and the 144,000 and that of imperfect humans! The rulers of this system of things have often been cruel and have led their subjects into wars, resulting in the slaughter of millions. No wonder the Scriptures counsel us not to put our trust in man, “to whom no salvation belongs”! (Ps. 146:3) But what a fine spirit will mark Christ’s rule! “Come to me, all you who are toiling and loaded down,” said Jesus, “and I will refresh you. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am mild-tempered and lowly in heart, and you will find refreshment for your souls. For my yoke is kindly and my load is light.”—Matt. 11:28-30.
The Last Days Soon to End!
16. How will these last days conclude?
16 This world has been in the last days, or “the conclusion of the system of things,” since the year 1914. (Matt. 24:3) Very soon now, what Jesus called the “great tribulation” will occur. (Read Matthew 24:21.) That unparalleled tribulation will bring Satan’s entire world to its end. But how does the great tribulation begin? And how does it end?
17. What does the Bible indicate as to the beginning of the great tribulation?
17 The great tribulation will begin suddenly. Yes, “Jehovah’s day” will come unexpectedly “whenever it is that they are saying: ‘Peace and security!’” (Read 1 Thessalonians 5:2, 3.) The foretold tribulation will begin when the nations think that they are close to solving some of their big problems. The sudden destruction of “Babylon the Great,” the world empire of false religion, will catch the world by surprise. Kings and others will be amazed when judgment is executed upon Babylon the Great.—Rev. 17:1-6, 18; 18:9, 10, 15, 16, 19.
18. How does Jehovah react to Satan’s attack on His people?
18 At a critical point, there will be “signs in sun and moon and stars,” and “the sign of the Son of man will appear in heaven.” We can then ‘raise ourselves erect because our deliverance is getting near.’ (Luke 21:25-28; Matt. 24:29, 30) Satan, or Gog, will turn his forces against God’s people. But regarding those attacking his faithful servants, Jehovah says: “He that is touching you is touching my eyeball.” (Zech. 2:8) Therefore, Satan’s attempt to destroy them will not succeed. Why? Because the Sovereign Lord Jehovah will react promptly in order to deliver his servants.—Ezek. 38:9, 18.
19. Why can we be confident that God’s executional forces will destroy Satan’s system?
19 When God takes action against the nations, ‘they will know that he is Jehovah.’ (Ezek. 36:23) He will send his executional forces—myriads of spirit creatures led by Christ Jesus—to destroy the rest of Satan’s system on earth. (Rev. 19:11-19) When we remember that on one occasion it took just one angel only a single night to “strike down a hundred and eighty-five thousand” of God’s enemies, we can be confident that the heavenly army will easily destroy every vestige of Satan’s system on earth as the great tribulation culminates in Armageddon. (2 Ki. 19:35; Rev. 16:14, 16) Satan and his demons will be abyssed for a thousand years. Eventually, they will be destroyed.—Rev. 20:1-3.
20. What will Jehovah accomplish by means of the Kingdom?
20 Earth will thus be cleansed of wickedness, and righteous humans will live forever on this globe. Jehovah will have proved to be the Great Deliverer. (Ps. 145:20) By means of the Kingdom, he will vindicate his sovereignty, sanctify his holy name, and fulfill his grand purpose for the earth. May you experience great joy in your ministry as you declare this good news and help those “rightly disposed for everlasting life” to realize that deliverance by God’s Kingdom is at hand!—Acts 13:48.
Do You Recall?
• How did Jesus highlight the importance of the Kingdom?
• Why is there a greater need for deliverance now than ever before?
• What events can we expect during the great tribulation?
• How does Jehovah prove to be the Great Deliverer?
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God’s Word foretold an unparalleled worldwide preaching work for our time
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As Jehovah delivered Noah and his family, He can deliver us
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Jehovah “will wipe out every tear . . . , and death will be no more.”—Rev. 21:4