Who Are Preaching the Good News?
“ . . . will be preached in all the inhabited earth.”—MATTHEW 24:14.
THE good news is being preached worldwide by Jehovah’s Witnesses. They do this in a variety of ways. One way is by . . .
The Spoken Word. Like Jesus and his disciples, Jehovah’s Witnesses go to people with the good news. (Luke 8:1; 10:1) They do not simply expect people to come to them. Witnessing to people about God’s Kingdom is something all Witnesses—numbering over seven million—engage in. They preach from house to house, on the street, by telephone, and by other means. Last year, the Witnesses spent more than one and a half billion hours in this activity.
They teach others not only about God’s Kingdom but also about “all the things [Jesus] commanded.” (Matthew 28:20) They regularly conduct over eight million free home Bible studies.
The Witnesses are preaching worldwide—in 236 lands. They preach to people of all walks of life. They preach in the country and the city, in Amazon jungles and the Siberian taiga, in African deserts and the Himalaya Mountains. They are not paid for this work; they do it at their own expense and using their own time, motivated by their love of God and of neighbor. They also make known the good news through . . .
The Printed Page. This magazine, the full title of which is The Watchtower Announcing Jehovah’s Kingdom, is now published in 185 languages and has a circulation of more than 42 million copies each issue. The companion magazine, Awake!, which also publicizes the Kingdom, is published in 83 languages and has a circulation of about 40 million copies each issue.
Books, brochures, tracts, CDs/MP3s, and DVDs that explain Bible teachings are available in some 540 languages. The Witnesses have produced and distributed more than 20 billion of these items in just the past ten years, averaging about three for every individual living on earth!
Jehovah’s Witnesses have also printed or commissioned the printing of various translations of the Bible. The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures—translated, printed, and distributed by the Witnesses—is now available in whole or in part in 96 languages. More than 166 million copies have been distributed. The Witnesses also share the good news of the Kingdom . . .
At Christian Meetings. Weekly meetings held at local Kingdom Halls are not merely religious services; they are designed to educate. Talks are given on subjects pertaining to the Bible, and the Bible is studied with the help of the Watchtower magazine and other publications. At the meetings, Witnesses also learn to be more effective proclaimers of the good news.
The Witnesses study the same material in over 107,000 congregations throughout the earth, contributing to their unity. These meetings are open to the public. No collection is ever taken. Of course, none of this would have much meaning if the Witnesses failed to practice what they preach. Therefore, they try to recommend the good news . . .
By Personal Example. They endeavor to be exemplary in Christian conduct, doing their best to treat others the way they would have others treat them. (Matthew 7:12) Though they are imperfect and sometimes fall short, they sincerely desire to act in a loving way toward all people not only by sharing the good news but also by extending a helping hand whenever possible.
Jehovah’s Witnesses are not trying to convert the world by their preaching. Rather, when that work is done to Jehovah’s satisfaction, the end will come, as Jesus foretold. What will that mean for the earth and the people on it?
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The good news is being preached worldwide by Jehovah’s Witnesses
What Is “the End”?
“. . . and then the end will come.”—MATTHEW 24:14.
THERE seems to be no shortage of end-of-the-world scenarios. Books, movies, and magazines, ranging from the comic to the scientific, portray an assortment of doomsday catastrophes. They include annihilation by nuclear war, asteroid collision, deadly virus, runaway climate change, or invaders from outer space.
Religious views also vary; many teach that “the end” will bring an end to all life on earth. Commenting on Matthew 24:14, one theologian wrote these dire words: “This verse is one of the most important in all the Word of God . . . Our generation faces potential destruction of such total proportions that few of us try to envisage the awful reality.”
Such views usually overlook an important fact: Jehovah God “firmly established” the earth; he “did not create it simply for nothing, [but] formed it even to be inhabited.” (Isaiah 45:18) So when Jesus referred to “the end,” he did not mean that the earth would be destroyed; neither did he mean that humanity would be obliterated. He meant that the wicked—those who stubbornly refuse to live in harmony with Jehovah’s loving direction—would be destroyed.
Consider an illustration. Suppose you owned a beautiful home and allowed people to live in it for free. Some of the tenants lived peaceably with one another and took good care of your home. Others, however, made nothing but trouble, fought with one another, and abused the good tenants. They damaged your property and stubbornly refused to respond to your efforts to stop them.
What would you do to correct matters? Would you destroy your home? Not likely. You would probably evict the bad tenants and repair what damage had been done.
Jehovah will act in a similar manner. He inspired the psalmist to write: “Evildoers themselves will be cut off, but those hoping in Jehovah are the ones that will possess the earth. And 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 37:9-11.
The apostle Peter spoke about the same subject. Under inspiration, he wrote: “There were heavens from of old and an earth standing compactly out of water and in the midst of water by the word of God, and by those means the world of that time suffered destruction when it was deluged with water.” (2 Peter 3:5, 6) Here the apostle refers to the Flood of Noah’s day. The world of ungodly people suffered destruction, but the earth was not destroyed. That global Deluge set “a pattern for ungodly persons of things to come.”—2 Peter 2:6.
Peter then added: “The heavens and the earth that are now are stored up for fire.” If we were to stop there, we might get the wrong idea. Note, though, that the verse goes on to say: “And of destruction of the ungodly men.” The destruction is not of the earth but of the ungodly. What follows? Peter wrote: “There are new heavens [God’s Messianic Kingdom] and a new earth [a righteous human society] that we are awaiting according to his promise, and in these righteousness is to dwell.”—2 Peter 3:7, 13.
Does it strike you as curious that there is so much confusion about Matthew 24:14, a verse that even a child can understand? There are reasons for this. Satan has blinded people to the precious truths found in God’s Word. (2 Corinthians 4:4) Also, God has hidden his purposes from the haughty and has revealed them to humble ones. In this regard, Jesus said: “I publicly praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and intellectual ones and have revealed them to babes.” (Matthew 11:25) What an honor it is to be among the humble ones who understand what the Kingdom of God really is and who can look forward to the blessings it will bring to all who support it!