Acts of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Modern Times
It was less than thirty years from the time Jesus prophesied that “this good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth” when the apostle Paul, in the early 60’s of our Common Era, declared that the “good news . . . was preached in all creation that is under heaven.” (Matt. 24:14; Col. 1:23) The preaching work had been pushed into all the earth.
That work of declaring the good news called for devotion and courage on the part of God’s servants, who met up with much hardship and opposition. Jesus Christ had foretold that his followers would be persecuted for the sake of his name. Yet, he added: “By endurance on your part you will acquire your souls.”—Luke 21:12-19.
Jehovah God backed up those first-century Christians. He prospered their preaching work. For example, we read: “Consequently those who had been scattered by the tribulation that arose over Stephen [the first Christian martyr] went through as far as Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, but speaking the word to no one except to Jews only. However, out of them there were some men of Cyprus and Cyrene that came to Antioch and began talking to the Greek-speaking people, declaring the good news of the Lord Jesus. Furthermore, the hand of Jehovah was with them, and a great number that became believers turned to the Lord.” (Acts 11:19-21) Yes, “the hand of Jehovah” was with those early proclaimers of the good news.
It is the same today. Christians are suffering opposition. But ‘the hand of Jehovah is with them.’ They are enduring, and they appreciate Paul’s words: “You have need of endurance, in order that, after you have done the will of God, you may receive the fulfillment of the promise.”—Heb. 10:36.
As Paul and other early Christians endured and continued preaching, surely they had reason for satisfaction and gratefulness as God prospered their activity. Similarly, Christians of today can review their years of service with satisfaction, and with gratitude to Jehovah. His hand has been with them. How evident this is from the historical accounts that appear in the following pages! Religious pressures in India, early persecutions in Liberia, dangers during Nazi rule in Norway, and hardships in Panama did not prevent the spread of true Christianity. As you now relive the acts of Jehovah’s Witnesses in these lands, doubtless you will agree that ‘the hand of Jehovah is with them.’