Will the World Unite?
IN RECENT years millions of people in Eastern Europe and elsewhere have suffered the consequences of divisive warfare. Yet, even while such cruel conflicts were going on, thousands of people in these war-torn countries were able to cultivate and maintain true unity among themselves. Consider a few examples.
In 1991 an international crowd of nearly 15,000 met in Zagreb, Croatia. A policeman on the scene was moved to remark: “It would be good to show the mass media what is happening in this stadium, right here, where we see Serbians, Croats, Slovenians, Montenegrins, and others sitting next to one another in peace.” What accounts for such unusual unity?
In 1993 an even larger international convention, with the theme “Divine Teaching,” was held in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. There was a peak attendance of nearly 65,000. The front page of the Evening Kiev reported: “Jehovah’s Witnesses . . . are united not only by blue badges with ‘Divine Teaching’ written on them but by true faith.”
Divine Teaching—A Force for Unity
Do you wonder why Jehovah’s Witnesses enjoy unity while disunity is rampant around them? Polish Professor Wojciech Modzelewski identifies the reason by observing about the Witnesses: “The key factor for their peaceful attitude is the idea to follow already now the principles revealed in the Bible.” Indeed, the Witnesses are united worldwide through the divine teaching of the Creator, Jehovah God. What is that teaching?
Jesus Christ pointed to an important unifying principle when he said regarding his followers: “They are no part of the world, just as I am no part of the world.” Yes, the position of neutrality taken by Jehovah’s Witnesses everywhere unites them. This is in line with Jesus’ words when he prayed: “I make request . . . that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in union with me and I am in union with you, that they also may be in union with us.”—John 17:16-21.
This position of neutrality is a force for unity because it moves Witnesses in all parts of the world to live up to what the prophet Isaiah noted about all those whom God “will instruct . . . about his ways.” Isaiah stated that such ones would “have to beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning shears.” The prophet continued: “Nation will not lift up sword against nation, neither will they learn war anymore.”—Isaiah 2:2-4.
The unity and peace observed at the conventions of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Eastern Europe during the last decade illustrate that Isaiah’s prophecy is already being fulfilled on a small scale. In Europe and elsewhere, the Witnesses have figuratively beaten their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning shears. As a result, they enjoy peace and unity today in this disunited world. No wonder that a newspaper editorial once stated: “If all the world lived by the [Bible] creed of the [Jehovah’s] Witnesses there would be an end of bloodshed and hatred, and love would reign as king”! Will that ever be the case?
How Worldwide Unity Will Come About
To bring about unity throughout the entire earth, more is needed than a relatively small group of well-meaning people. There also needs to be a government that has the power to limit the influence of those who work against unity and peace. In fact, Jesus taught his followers to pray for just such a government: “Let your kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also upon earth.” (Matthew 6:10) Yes, Jesus indicated that only a government by God, “the kingdom of the heavens,” can offer the solution to the world’s problems—including the problem of disunity.—Matthew 4:17.
Jesus Christ is the King of this heavenly Kingdom. Under his rulership people on earth will experience an unprecedented time of peace and unity. This worldwide unity will not come about as a result of man-made economic reforms. Only a world government in the hands of the “Prince of Peace” can do such a thing.—Isaiah 9:6, 7.
Present injustices, often caused by poverty and abuse of power, will not be tolerated by the Prince of Peace. The Bible promises: “To him all the kings will prostrate themselves; all the nations, for their part, will serve him. For he will deliver the poor one crying for help, also the afflicted one and whoever has no helper. From oppression and from violence he will redeem their soul . . . There will come to be plenty of grain on the earth; on the top of the mountains there will be an overflow.”—Psalm 72:11, 12, 14, 16.
Unemployment too will be a thing of the past under Christ’s rulership. The prophet Isaiah states: “They will not build and someone else have occupancy; they will not plant and someone else do the eating. For like the days of a tree will the days of my people be; and the work of their own hands my chosen ones will use to the full.” (Isaiah 65:22) Imagine, everyone on earth will be able to perform useful, satisfying work!
But when will Christ’s rule over the earth begin? In answering that question, Jesus Christ pointed to a time characterized by wars, reports of wars, diseases, earthquakes, and other events. Yet, he also pointed to a positive aspect—a worldwide preaching of the good news of God’s Kingdom. (Matthew 24:3-14; Luke 21:11) These events, said Jesus, will culminate in a “great tribulation” that will herald a complete change of rulership for the earth. (Matthew 24:21) Read his discourse recorded in Matthew chapter 24 and Luke chapter 21. Compare the conditions he foretells with what you observe in the world. You cannot help but see that we are now living on the eve of God’s intervention in man-made rulership. His Kingdom, with Jesus Christ as King, will take over rulership. A united world is ahead!
The question remains, What should you do to see this promise come true? Since the Bible plays an important role in mankind’s expectations for the future, it is wise to make an effort to get to know the Bible better. Therefore, Jehovah’s Witnesses would be pleased to call at your home to conduct a free Bible study with you. * If you accept this offer, you will soon see that world unity lies within reach and that you too can share in it!
^ par. 17 If you wish to receive more information about this Bible study program, contact the publishers of this magazine or Jehovah’s Witnesses in your community.
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All around the world, Jehovah’s Witnesses enjoy a remarkable unity
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God’s purpose is for mankind to become one united, global family