The End of Evil Deeds Is Assured!
GOD has given us his inspired Word, which points out the reasons why people do bad things. He has also given us free will and the ability to exercise self-control, making it possible for us to choose not to do bad things. (Deuteronomy 30:15, 16, 19) Thus equipped, we can recognize any bad tendencies we may have and take the necessary corrective steps. In the end, our refraining from bad actions will bring happiness both to us and to those around us.—Psalm 1:1.
Nevertheless, no matter how hard we individually try to resist doing bad things, the world continues to be plagued by evil acts perpetrated by fellow humans. The Bible warns: “Know this, that in the last days critical times hard to deal with will be here.” To show what makes the days “hard to deal with,” it goes on to say: “Men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, self-assuming, haughty, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, disloyal, having no natural affection, not open to any agreement, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, without love of goodness, betrayers, headstrong, puffed up with pride, lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God, having a form of godly devotion but proving false to its power; and from these turn away.”—2 Timothy 3:1-5.
Perhaps you noticed the expression “the last days” in the prophetic statement quoted above. What does that mean to you? As it is commonly understood, to say “the last days” suggests that something is coming to an end. What might that be? Note what God promises in his Word.
The wicked will be completely removed.
“Just a little while longer, and the wicked one will be no more; and you will certainly give attention to his place, and he will not be. But the meek ones themselves will possess the earth, and they will indeed find their exquisite delight in the abundance of peace.”—PSALM 37:10, 11.
“Jehovah is guarding all those loving him, but all the wicked ones he will annihilate.”—PSALM 145:20.
There will be no more oppression.
“The creation itself also will be set free from enslavement to corruption and have the glorious freedom of the children of God.”—ROMANS 8:21.
People’s material needs will be satisfied.
“They will actually sit, each one under his vine and under his fig tree, and there will be no one making them tremble.”—MICAH 4:4.
“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.
Justice will prevail.
“Certainly, then, shall not God cause justice to be done for his chosen ones who cry out to him day and night . . . ? I tell you, He will cause justice to be done to them speedily.”—LUKE 18:7, 8.
“Jehovah is a lover of justice, and he will not leave his loyal ones. To time indefinite they will certainly be guarded.”—PSALM 37:28.
Selfishness will be replaced by righteousness.
“Righteousness is what the inhabitants of the productive land will certainly learn.”—ISAIAH 26:9.
“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.
People Are Changing—Even Now
Without a doubt, all of us would be delighted by such promises. But what assurance is there that they will be fulfilled? Actually, evidence that God’s promises will come true is with us right now. What is that evidence? It is the fact that millions of people worldwide today have already enjoyed success in ridding themselves of selfish, immoral, or violent personality traits and have learned to be honest, peaceable, and kind individuals. Today, Jehovah’s Witnesses, numbering over seven million, are an international brotherhood that transcends racial, ethnic, nationalistic, political, and economic barriers, which have caused so much hatred, violence, and bloodshed throughout history.a That such changes are taking place today provides a firm basis for believing that God’s promises will be fulfilled on a grand scale.
What is it, though, that brings about such changes? The answer lies in yet another of the Bible’s promises, recorded by the prophet Isaiah. He wrote:
“The wolf will actually reside for a while with the male lamb, and with the kid the leopard itself will lie down, and the calf and the maned young lion and the well-fed animal all together; and a mere little boy will be leader over them. . . . Even the lion will eat straw just like the bull. And the sucking child will certainly play upon the hole of the cobra; and upon the light aperture of a poisonous snake will a weaned child actually put his own hand. They will not do any harm or cause any ruin in all my holy mountain; because the earth will certainly be filled with the knowledge of Jehovah as the waters are covering the very sea.”—Isaiah 11:6-9.
Is this prophecy merely foretelling a time when animals will live in harmony with humans? No, there is more to it than that. Note that the last part of the passage indicates what causes the transformation: “The earth will certainly be filled with the knowledge of Jehovah.” Does knowledge of God change animal behavior? Hardly. But it can and does change people! This prophecy foretells that those who may have had animalistic tendencies would put them aside and develop a Christlike personality because of learning and applying what the Bible teaches.
Take as an example Pedro.b He believed that he was fighting for justice when he joined a terrorist organization. After receiving training, he was ordered to blow up a police barracks. While making preparations to do so, he was arrested. Pedro spent 18 months in prison, where he continued his subversive activity. Meanwhile, Pedro’s wife began to study the Bible with Jehovah’s Witnesses. Upon his release, Pedro also started to study the Bible, and what he learned about Jehovah God moved him to make great changes in his attitude and his approach to life. “I thank Jehovah that I never actually killed anyone during my years as a terrorist,” says Pedro. “Now I use the sword of God’s spirit, the Bible, to give people a message of true peace and justice—the good news of God’s Kingdom.” Pedro even visited the barracks he had planned to destroy in order to share his message of peace and of a world without violence.
The powerful effect that God’s Word can have on people gives all the more reason for us to have faith in God’s promise that the end of all evil deeds is assured. Yes, people will not do bad things forever but will change for the better. Soon Jehovah will remove the originator of evil deeds, Satan the Devil, who is behind the scenes, as it were, maneuvering the affairs of the world. The Bible says: “The whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one.” (1 John 5:19) But soon he will be put away. Gone too will be those who stubbornly refuse to leave their wicked ways. How wonderful to live at such a blessed time!
What must one do to be assured of such a future? Recall that it is “the knowledge of Jehovah” that is bringing about the change in people today and that will bring about a worldwide change in the near future. By gaining accurate knowledge of the Bible and applying it—as did Pedro—you too can look forward to living in a world in which “righteousness is to dwell.” (2 Peter 3:13) We therefore urge you to seize the opportunity still available to take in knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ, for that can mean everlasting life for you.—John 17:3.
a For more information, see the brochure Jehovah’s Witnesses—Who Are They? What Do They Believe? published by Jehovah’s Witnesses.
b Name has been changed.
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You too can look forward to living in a world in which “righteousness is to dwell.”—2 PETER 3:13