Just Ahead—A Paradise Earth!
“Our Father in heaven, may your name be held holy, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven.”—Matthew 6:9, 10, The Jerusalem Bible.
THIS famous prayer, known to many as the Our Father or the Lord’s Prayer, holds out hope to mankind. How so?
As the Lord’s Prayer reveals, God’s Kingdom will cause God’s will to be done on earth as surely as it now prevails in heaven. And it is God’s will that Paradise be restored. (Revelation 21:1-5) What exactly is God’s Kingdom, and how will it restore Paradise to the earth?
A Real Government
God’s Kingdom is a real government. For any government to function, it requires rulers, laws, and subjects. Does God’s Kingdom satisfy these requirements? Note the Bible’s answers to the following three questions:
Who are the rulers in God’s Kingdom? (Isaiah 33:22) Jehovah God has appointed his Son, Jesus Christ, to oversee the Kingdom. (Matthew 28:18) Under Jehovah’s direction, Jesus has selected a limited number of individuals from “every tribe and tongue and people and nation” who will rule with him as “kings over the earth.”—Revelation 5:9, 10.
What laws has God’s Kingdom established for its subjects to obey? Some of the laws or commandments require positive action. Jesus identified the most important of those laws, saying: “‘You must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. The second, like it, is this, ‘You must love your neighbor as yourself.’”—Matthew 22:37-39.
Other laws require that subjects of God’s Kingdom refrain from certain actions. For example, the Bible provides this clear statement: “Don’t fool yourselves! No one who is immoral or worships idols or is unfaithful in marriage or is a pervert or behaves like a homosexual will share in God’s kingdom. Neither will any thief or greedy person or drunkard or anyone who curses and cheats others.”—1 Corinthians 6:9, 10, Contemporary English Version.
Who are the subjects of God’s Kingdom? Jesus likened the subjects of God’s Kingdom to sheep. He said: “They will listen to my voice, and they will become one flock, one shepherd.” (John 10:16) To be a subject of God’s Kingdom, a person must not only say that he follows the Fine Shepherd, Jesus, but also do what he commands. Jesus said: “Not everyone saying to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of the heavens, but the one doing the will of my Father who is in the heavens will.”—Matthew 7:21.
Therefore, those who are subjects of God’s Kingdom use and honor God’s name, Jehovah, just as did Jesus. (John 17:26) They obey Jesus’ command to teach others about “this good news of the kingdom.” (Matthew 24:14; 28:19, 20) And they show genuine love for one another.—John 13:35.
Bringing “to Ruin Those Ruining the Earth”
Current world conditions signify that God’s Kingdom will soon act to bring sweeping changes to the earth. How do we know that? Two thousand years ago, Jesus described a multifaceted sign that would indicate that “the kingdom of God is near.” (Luke 21:31) As shown in the preceding article, the features of that sign are now clearly evident worldwide.
What comes next? Jesus answers: “Then there will be great tribulation such as has not occurred since the world’s beginning until now, no, nor will occur again.” (Matthew 24:21) This is no man-made catastrophe. Rather, it is God acting “to bring to ruin those ruining the earth.” (Revelation 11:18) Wicked people, whose selfish actions have brought the planet to the brink of ruin, “will be cut off from the very earth.” But blameless ones, who serve God acceptably, “will be left over in it.”—Proverbs 2:21, 22.
Jehovah God is justified in taking such drastic action. Why? Consider this illustration: Imagine you own a small apartment building. Some of the tenants are well-behaved and considerate; they pay their rent and take good care of their homes. However, other tenants are disruptive and selfish; they refuse to pay rent and badly damage the building. Despite repeated warnings, their bad conduct persists. What would you do? As the owner, you would surely evict those bad tenants.
Similarly, Jehovah God, as the Creator of the earth and all that is on it, has the right to decide whom he will allow to inhabit the planet. (Revelation 4:11) Jehovah’s stated purpose is to remove from this earth wicked people who ignore his will and encroach on the rights of others.—Psalm 37:9-11.
Soon, God’s Kingdom in the hands of Jesus Christ will rule the earth. Jesus called this new beginning “the renewal of all things.” (Matthew 19:28, New International Version) What will conditions be like? Note the following Bible promises:
Psalm 46:9. “He is making wars to cease to the extremity of the earth.”
Isaiah 35:1. “The wilderness and the waterless region will exult, and the desert plain will be joyful and blossom as the saffron.”
Isaiah 65:21-23. “The work of their own hands my chosen ones will use to the full. They will not toil for nothing, nor will they bring to birth for disturbance.”
John 5:28, 29. “The hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear [Jesus’] voice and come out.”
Revelation 21:4. “[God] will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore.”
Reasons to Believe
Do you believe the Bible’s promises? The Bible foretold that many would not. It states: “In the last days there will come ridiculers . . . proceeding according to their own desires and saying: ‘Where is this promised presence of his? Why, from the day our forefathers fell asleep in death, all things are continuing exactly as from creation’s beginning.’” (2 Peter 3:3, 4) But such scoffers are greatly mistaken. Consider just four reasons why you can believe what the Bible says:
(1) God has intervened in earth’s affairs in the past. The Flood of Noah’s day is an outstanding example.—2 Peter 3:5-7.
(2) God’s Word accurately predicted current global conditions.
(3) All things are not “continuing exactly as from creation’s beginning.” On a scale unprecedented in history, our planet suffers from social, moral, and environmental degradation.
(4) The “good news of the kingdom” is now being preached throughout the earth, signaling that “the end will come” soon.—Matthew 24:14.
Jehovah’s Witnesses invite you to study God’s Word, the Bible, with them so that you can learn more about the hope of everlasting life under the rule of God’s Kingdom. (John 17:3) Yes, a wonderful future awaits mankind. The very best of times lies just ahead! Will you be a part of this future?
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Those who say that things will stay much the same as they have always been are greatly mistaken
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Will you be a part of this future?