1. What is God’s main quality, and how does knowing this make you feel about him?
THE Bible tells us that “God is love.” (1 John 4:8) But what does this really mean? Love is not just one of Jehovah’s many beautiful qualities. It is his main quality. He does not just have love. He is love. Love guides everything he does. How thankful we are that love motivated Jehovah to create the entire universe and all living things!
2. What confidence does God’s love give us? (See opening picture.)
2 Jehovah has kind and tender feelings for his creation. His love for us gives us confidence that his purpose for mankind will come true in the best possible way. The result will be real happiness for those who obey him. For example, because of love, Jehovah “has set a day on which he purposes to judge the inhabited earth in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed,” Jesus Christ. (Acts 17:31) We are confident that this judgment will happen. For obedient humans, it will mean a wonderful future that will last forever.
WHAT HISTORY HAS SHOWN
3. What would life be like if God did not love mankind?
3 What would mankind’s future be like if love were not God’s main quality? Humans would continue to rule one another and be influenced by an unloving and hateful god, Satan. (2 Corinthians 4:4; 1 John 5:19; read Revelation 12:9, 12.) The future would be horrible if Jehovah did not love us!
4. Why did Jehovah allow rebellion against his rule?
4 When Satan rebelled against God’s rulership, he also influenced our first parents to rebel. He questioned God’s right to be the Universal Sovereign. Satan claimed that his rule would be better than God’s. (Genesis 3:1-5) Wisely, Jehovah allowed Satan a short time to try to prove his claim. But the results clearly show that neither humans nor Satan can be good rulers.
Jehovah did not create humans with the ability or the right to live without his direction
5. What has mankind’s history clearly proved?
5 Today the world keeps getting worse. Over 100 million people have been killed in wars in the past 100 years. The Bible says about “the last days”: “Wicked men and impostors will advance from bad to worse.” (2 Timothy 3:1, 13) The Bible also says: “I well know, O Jehovah, that man’s way does not belong to him. It does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step.” (Jeremiah 10:23) History has clearly proved those words to be true. Jehovah did not create humans with the ability or the right to rule themselves without his direction.
6. Why has God allowed wickedness?
6 By allowing wickedness to continue for a period of time, Jehovah has also proved that only his rule can be successful. In the future, God will destroy all the wicked. After that, if anyone ever questions his loving way of ruling, God will act right away. He can use mankind’s history as proof that such rebels should be removed quickly. Wickedness will never be allowed again.
HOW HAS GOD SHOWN HIS LOVE?
7, 8. How has Jehovah shown his love?
7 Jehovah has shown his great love in many ways. Think of the size and the beauty of our universe. It is made up of billions of galaxies, and each galaxy has billions of stars and planets. In our galaxy, the Milky Way, one of the stars is the sun. Without the sun, life could not exist on the earth. All these creations point to Jehovah as our Creator and show his qualities, such as his power, wisdom, and love. Yes, God’s “invisible qualities are clearly seen from the world’s creation onward, because they are perceived by the things made, even his eternal power and Godship.”—Romans 1:20.
Everything Jehovah created on the earth benefits humans and animals
8 Jehovah designed the earth especially for life. Everything on earth benefits animals and humans. God made a beautiful garden home for humans to live in and gave them perfect minds and bodies designed to live forever. (Read Revelation 4:11.) In addition, “he gives food to every living thing, for his loyal love endures forever.”—Psalm 136:25.
9. Although Jehovah is a God of love, what does he hate?
9 Jehovah is the God of love, yet he hates what is bad. For example, Psalm 5:4-6 says of Jehovah: “You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness . . . You hate all those who behave wickedly.” He also hates “violent and deceptive people.”
THE END OF WICKEDNESS IS NEAR
10, 11. (a) What will happen to wicked people? (b) How will Jehovah reward obedient humans?
10 At the proper time, Jehovah will remove wickedness from the entire universe because he is a God of love and he hates what is bad. God’s Word promises: “Evil men will be done away with, but those hoping in Jehovah will possess the earth. Just a little while longer, and the wicked will be no more.” The enemies of Jehovah “will vanish like smoke.”—Psalm 37:9, 10, 20.
11 God’s Word also promises: “The righteous will possess the earth, and they will live forever on it.” (Psalm 37:29) Faithful humans “will find exquisite delight in the abundance of peace.” (Psalm 37:11) Why? Because our loving God always does what is best for his faithful servants. The Bible tells us: “He will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:4) What a wonderful future for obedient humans who appreciate God’s love!
12. Who is “the blameless one”?
12 The Bible tells us: “Take note of the blameless one, and keep the upright one in sight, for the future of that man will be peaceful. But all the transgressors will be destroyed; the future of wicked people will be cut off.” (Psalm 37:37, 38) “The blameless one” comes to know Jehovah and his Son and obediently does God’s will. (Read John 17:3.) He earnestly believes that “the world is passing away and so is its desire, but the one who does the will of God remains forever.” (1 John 2:17) Because the end of the world is near, it is urgent that we “hope in Jehovah and follow his way.”—Psalm 37:34.
THE GREATEST ACT OF GOD’S LOVE
13. What was the greatest act of God’s love?
13 Even though we are imperfect, we can obey God. We can also have a close relationship with Jehovah because of the ransom sacrifice of Jesus, the greatest act of God’s love. Jehovah provided the ransom so that obedient humans could have the opportunity to be freed from sin and death. (Read Romans 5:12; 6:23.) Jesus was faithful to God for a very long time in heaven, so Jehovah was confident that his Son would remain faithful on earth. As a loving Father, Jehovah was deeply hurt when he saw how badly people treated his Son. Yet, Jesus faithfully supported God’s right to rule and showed that a perfect human can remain loyal to God even in the most difficult situations.
14, 15. What did Jesus’ death do for mankind?
14 Despite the most severe tests, Jesus remained loyal and supported Jehovah’s right to rule. We should be grateful that by means of his death, Jesus paid the ransom price because it gives humans the opportunity to live forever in God’s new world! The apostle Paul described the love that Jehovah and Jesus showed through the ransom. He said: “Indeed, while we were still weak, Christ died for ungodly men at the appointed time. For hardly would anyone die for a righteous man; though perhaps for a good man someone may dare to die. But God recommends his own love to us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:6-8) The apostle John wrote: “By this the love of God was revealed in our case, that God sent his only-begotten Son into the world so that we might gain life through him. The love is in this respect, not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a propitiatory sacrifice for our sins.”—1 John 4:9, 10.
15 Jesus said that “God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son, so that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) Even though it was very painful for Jehovah, he gave his Son as a ransom. This shows how much he loves humans. And that love will last forever. Paul wrote: “I am convinced that neither death nor life nor angels nor governments nor things now here nor things to come nor powers nor height nor depth nor any other creation will be able to separate us from God’s love that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”—Romans 8:38, 39.
GOD’S KINGDOM IS RULING NOW
16. What is the Messianic Kingdom, and whom has Jehovah appointed to be its Ruler?
16 God’s government, the Messianic Kingdom, is also proof of Jehovah’s love for mankind. How so? Jehovah has already appointed a Ruler who loves mankind and is qualified to rule, Jesus Christ. (Proverbs 8:31) In addition, 144,000 chosen from mankind will rule with Christ in heaven. When they are resurrected, they take with them their experience of what it was like to be a human. (Revelation 14:1) While Jesus was on earth, the Kingdom was the main theme of his teaching, and he taught his disciples to pray: “Our Father in the heavens, let your name be sanctified. Let your Kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also on earth.” (Matthew 6:9, 10) We look forward to the fulfillment of such prayers when God’s Kingdom brings many blessings to mankind!
17. Compare the rule of Jesus to the rule of humans.
17 There is a huge difference between Jesus’ loving rule and the rule of humans. Human rule has led to wars that have killed millions. But our Ruler, Jesus, truly loves us and imitates God’s beautiful qualities, especially his love. (Revelation 7:10, 16, 17) Jesus said: “Come to me, all you who are toiling and loaded down, 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 yourselves. For my yoke is kindly, and my load is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30) What a loving promise that is!
18. (a) What has been happening since 1914? (b) What will we consider in the next article?
18 The Bible shows that God’s Kingdom began to rule in heaven in 1914. Since then, there has been a gathering of the last members of those who will rule with Jesus in heaven, as well as a gathering of “a great crowd” of people who will survive the end of this system and enter into the new world. (Revelation 7:9, 13, 14) How large is the great crowd today? What does God require of them? The next article will examine these questions.