Something Better Than Reform

IF A tree produces worthless fruit, the problem will not be solved by lopping off a few branches. The tree must be cut down and its roots removed from the ground. Then another tree should be planted, one that produces fine fruit.​—Matthew 7:16-20.

For the same reason, even those reformers with the most honorable goals address only the symptoms of wrong in human society​—corruption, injustice, deprivation, and robbery. The root cause, however, lies much deeper. What needs to be changed is the whole system. This is what the Bible promises.

The Kingdom of God is a heavenly government that will do more​—much more—​than just reshape, remold, reorganize, or reform human society. That government will introduce a completely new way of running man’s affairs, uniting all mankind under its rule. This government will attend to such matters as education, work, housing, nutrition, health, and the environment.

Psalm 72:12-14 describes prophetically what the Messianic King will do for mankind: “He will deliver the poor one crying for help, also the afflicted one and whoever has no helper. He will feel sorry for the lowly one and the poor one, and the souls of the poor ones he will save. From oppression and from violence he will redeem their soul.”

But if society is to be completely free of corruption, injustice, and deprivation, surely not only will the government have to change but the people will have to change as well. Hence, the Kingdom will give each individual personal guidance on how to lead a joyful, purposeful, and rewarding life. The Bible promises that God’s Kingdom will help its earthly subjects to change themselves. How?

The Kingdom will educate its subjects in the ways of Jehovah God, thus helping them to develop faith and love. (Isaiah 11:9) Love for God moves the heart to action. In the first century, for instance, Jesus met Zacchaeus, a chief tax collector who was lining his own pockets by inflating the taxes levied on the people. Jesus did not put pressure on this corrupt official to shame him into changing his ways. Rather, Jesus helped Zacchaeus to recognize his own error and repent. Zacchaeus was moved by accurate knowledge of godly principles and by love for God. He made remarkable changes.​—Luke 19:1-10.

Is that not a superior remedy for society’s shortcomings? A perfect, righteous government to care for mankind’s affairs coupled with personal motivation for each individual to change his ways. Will we then need reform? Not any longer, for God will have made all things new. The former things will have passed away.​—Revelation 21:4, 5.

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God’s Kingdom will bring, not reform, but complete change

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While on earth Jesus helped individuals to make personal changes