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3.3  |  How Will God End Suffering and Evil? Lesson 3.3  |  How Will God End Suffering and Evil?

Lesson 3.3

How Will God End Suffering and Evil?

When you complete this lesson, you’ll be able to explain how God will eliminate human suffering by means of his Kingdom ruled by Jesus Christ.

Begin Lesson

Let’s begin by reviewing a key point from the previous lessons in this unit. According to the Bible, where do suffering and evil come from?

Very good. The first man, Adam, rebelled against God, bringing sin and death not only on himself but also on his descendants. (Romans 5:12) At the same time, he rejected Jehovah’s rulership. History has proved that human rule is disastrous.Ecclesiastes 8:9.

Many people share that view. And it’s true that wrong desires led to the rebellion against God, which has brought great suffering to humankind. (Genesis 3:6; James 1:14, 15) However, the Bible shows that not all desire is bad. In fact, it teaches that God fulfills proper desires, saying about him: “You open your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing.”Psalm 145:16.

This view is common, and the Bible acknowledges that a lack of knowledge can lead to suffering. (Proverbs 27:12) However, it teaches that suffering began when Adam and Eve rebelled against God. They were not ignorant of God’s requirements but chose to disobey of their own free will.Genesis 3:2, 3.

In the previous lesson, you learned how God will remove sin by means of the ransom. In this lesson, we’ll see how God will use his Kingdom to eliminate the second root cause of suffering—bad rulership. We’ll answer two main questions:

  1. What is God’s Kingdom?
  2. How and when will God’s Kingdom remove suffering and evil?

1. What is God’s Kingdom?

You may have heard of the Kingdom of God. Millions pray for it when they repeat the model prayer, often called the Lord’s Prayer, which includes the requests: “Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth.” (Matthew 6:10, King James Version) But what is God’s Kingdom? And how will it remove bad rulership?

This video clip shows what God’s Kingdom is and how it is superior to human governments.

Where is God’s Kingdom located?

Correct. Though the Kingdom will rule over the earth, it will do so from heaven. Jesus called it “the Kingdom of the heavens.”Matthew 4:17.

Many believe that the Kingdom is merely a feeling or a state of mind, but the Bible teaches that it is a real government. For more on this subject, see the links at the end of this lesson.

This viewpoint is common, and it’s true that Jesus lived and preached in that area of the world. However, he indicated that the Kingdom would rule from heaven. For example, he used the terms “Kingdom of the heavens” and “Kingdom of God” interchangeably.Matthew 10:7; Luke 10:9.

What will God’s Kingdom do about bad rulership? It will “cast out” Satan as world ruler and remove human governments, bringing peace to the entire earth. (John 12:31; Psalm 72:7, 8) Slide the circle to change the picture. [?]

Pick the best answer. How will God’s Kingdom deal with human governments?

God never intended for humans to rule over other humans. He views human governments as opponents of his Kingdom.Psalm 2:2-9.

Correct. The Bible says that God’s Kingdom “will crush and put an end to” imperfect human rulerships.Daniel 2:44.

If God were to allow human rule to continue over even a small group of people, suffering would continue. Instead, God’s Kingdom will rule over the entire earth, not just part of it.Psalm 72:8.

Summary of Section 1

God’s Kingdom is a government in heaven that will replace bad rulership and will rule over the whole earth. It is superior to human governments in every way.

2. How and when will God’s Kingdom remove suffering and evil?

Jesus’ miracles and teachings provide the answer.

This video clip shows what God’s Kingdom will do about suffering.

Pick the phrase that best completes the sentence: Jesus primarily performed miracles in order to . . .

Jesus certainly had a strong desire to relieve people’s suffering. (Matthew 14:14) Yet his miracles gave only temporary relief; even those he resurrected eventually died again. His miracles had a greater purpose.

Good. Although Jesus’ miracles temporarily relieved people’s suffering and attracted many to his message, his primary work was to preach and teach about God’s Kingdom. (Luke 4:43) His miracles helped to prove that he was qualified to be the future King of that Kingdom and showed what the Kingdom would do for humankind.Matthew 9:35.

It’s easy to see why “large crowds” followed Jesus—he cured “all those who were suffering with various diseases.” (Matthew 4:24, 25) Yet he did not perform signs in order to gain more disciples. In fact, he corrected the thinking of those who were following him just to benefit from his miracles.John 6:10-13, 25-27.

But when will God’s Kingdom bring the end of suffering and evil? The Bible foretold events and conditions that would mark “the last days” of human rule. (2 Timothy 3:1) Check out the links at the end of this lesson for details on these prophecies. Let’s now examine one that foretold a great moral and social breakdown that would take place during the last days. Click the highlighted words for an explanation. [?]

2 Timothy 3:1-5

“In the last days critical times hard to deal with will be here. For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, 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 an appearance of godliness but proving false to its power.”

The effort to stockpile money has produced great economic inequality in our time. For example, the richest 1 percent of people in the world are now estimated to have more wealth than the rest of the world’s population combined.

This part of the prophecy indicates that during the last days, the love that should naturally exist between family members would often be missing. We see this being fulfilled in our time. For example, the World Health Organization reports that “worldwide, almost one third (30%) of all women who have been in a relationship have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by their intimate partner.”

This expression shows that the last days would be marked by noteworthy displays of religious hypocrisy. God is not fooled by hypocrites who claim to worship him. In fact, the Bible calls them “workers of lawlessness.”Matthew 7:21-23.

Jesus compared the sign of the last days to the evidence that marks the change of the seasons. When we see the trees budding, we know that summer is near. Likewise, when we see Bible prophecies about the last days being fulfilled, we know that God’s Kingdom will soon eliminate evil and suffering. (Luke 21:29-31) Click the picture to see the comparison. [?]

Read Acts 10:34, 35, and then answer the question, Who will receive the blessings of God’s Kingdom?

Although we might hope that everyone would eventually accept the rule of God’s Kingdom, the Bible presents the realistic viewpoint that many will never do so. Instead, they will “gather together as one against Jehovah and against his Christ.”Psalm 2:1, 2, footnote.

Even while the world becomes more divided, the “everlasting good news” of God’s Kingdom offers hope to “every nation and tribe and language and people.”Revelation 14:6, footnote.

That’s right. God wants “all sorts of people [to] be saved and come to an accurate knowledge of truth.” (1 Timothy 2:4) Anyone, regardless of culture or ethnic background, can be acceptable to God. As you continue learning from the Bible, you too can benefit from the Kingdom.

Summary of Section 2

God’s Kingdom will bring blessings to humankind, eliminating the suffering caused by bad rulership. Bible prophecy shows that this will happen soon.

Review

Now let’s review some key points to help you remember what you’ve learned.

Review 1 of 3

What is the Kingdom of God?

Although this view is common, the Bible shows that the Kingdom is not an emotion or a state of mind.

You’re right. God’s Kingdom is a real government that “will crush and put an end to [human] kingdoms.”Daniel 2:44.

Review 3 of 3

When will God’s Kingdom replace human governments?

This view is common. In fact, the Bible actually predicted that some during the last days would mock God’s promises. (2 Peter 3:3, 4) For more information on Bible prophecies about the time when God’s Kingdom will replace human governments, see the links at the end of this lesson.

Correct. Although it’s not possible to know the exact time when God will bring an end to human rule and the suffering it causes, Bible prophecies and world conditions prove that the time is near.Matthew 24:33.

Jesus gave a detailed prophecy that helps us identify the period just before the end of human rulership. (Matthew 24:7-14, 37-39) See the links at the end of this lesson for more information.

Dig Deeper

Read 1 Thessalonians 5:2, and then answer the question, Will most people be ready when the day comes for Jehovah to replace human rulership with his Kingdom?

Actually, the Bible teaches that relatively few people will be ready when God’s Kingdom replaces human rule. In fact, the most common response to the evidence of the approaching end is apathy.Matthew 24:37-39.

Very good. Jesus compared the time when he would come as King of God’s Kingdom to the unexpected coming of a thief. (Luke 12:39, 40) He thus taught that even his followers need to be ready at all times.

Lesson Summary

  1. God’s Kingdom is a real government in heaven. It will replace all human governments
  2. The Kingdom will soon bring great blessings to the human family, and you can receive those blessings

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How Will God End Suffering and Evil?
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