20 The people of the nations are now being separated like sheep and goats according to the parable that Jesus gave at the close of his prophecy on the end of this system of things. Do you want to prove yourself a “goat”? No! For “these will depart into everlasting cutting-off [punishment, the opposite of life], but the righteous ones [the sheep] into everlasting life.”—Matt. 25:31-46.
21. (a) If we die before the destruction of Babylon the Great and the war of Har–Magedon, in what condition do we want to die? (b) What other possibility is there for us of today?
21 A short time remains yet before Babylon the Great’s destruction and the war of Har–Magedon. If we die before then, we want to die worthy of being kept in God’s memory, like being kept in the “memorial tombs.” Then, in due time, we shall hear the voice of the Son of man and come out to the prospect of everlasting life in God’s righteous new order of things, to a “resurrection of life.” But it is also possible that we may be among those of the “great crowd” who will not die but who will live through the war of Har–Magedon and pass directly on into God’s new order of things.
22. What, then, would it be well for us to do now, and with what benefit to ourselves?
22 How advisable it is for us, then, to keep from practicing vile things now and to prepare for the righteous new order! In the love of righteousness we do well to choose to do good things in harmony with God’s will and in imitation of his Christ now! In that way we shall get an advance start in the way of righteousness that leads to everlasting life in happy harmony with God.
Keeping Filled with the Spirit of God
PAUL the apostle assured fellow Christians: “Now we received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is from God.” (1 Cor. 2:12) Everyone is being controlled by either one or the other of these spirits, for in every individual one will dominate. How important to be sure that we are motivated by the right one!
What is “the spirit of the world”? It is the frame, inclination or tendency of the mind that controls and colors the thinking of the majority of humans. In the Scriptures it is called, among other things, “the spirit of error,” “the spirit of fear” and “the spirit of bondage.” It is a spirit of selfishness. In view of its nature and its fruitage it will be completely dispelled by God’s coming new order of things.—1 John 4:6; 2 Tim. 1:7; Rom. 8:15, AV.
As slaves dedicated to God we must be on guard against the spirit of the world, for it is at enmity with God. Also, we must expose it for what it is by sharing in the pouring out of God’s plague-like denunciations on this present wicked system of things. (Rev. 15:5 to 16:21) This involves self-denial and much hardship, but we can endure if we are ‘keeping filled with the spirit of God.’—Eph. 5:18.*
In order to keep getting filled with God’s spirit we must avail ourselves of the many generous provisions he has made to aid us. The inspired Holy Bible must be read regularly. Its subject matter must be pondered carefully and impressed on our minds. Prayer to God for more of his spirit and association with others who have his spirit are also vital. In fact, we are assured by Jehovah that the prayer of faith will be favorably heard and that by regularly gathering ourselves together and inciting one another to love and fine works we shall be enabled to stand approved before him.—Luke 11:13; Heb. 10:24, 25.
During the month of December, particularly, we will be manifesting that we are filled with God’s holy spirit by uniting with our brothers in presenting the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures and the book “All Scripture Is Inspired of God and Beneficial” to everyone we can reach, thus giving them the opportunity to get clear of the baleful influence of the spirit of this world and become filled with “the spirit which is from God.”
Thus, by study of God’s Word, by applying it in our lives, by preaching it to others, by prayer and by association with others who have God’s spirit, we ourselves can be filled with it.