“Tell them to work at good, . . . so that they may get a firm hold on the real life.”
SONGS: 125, 40
1, 2. (a) What do you look forward to in Paradise? (See opening picture.) (b) What will give us the most joy in the new world?
WE REALLY look forward to “everlasting life.” The apostle Paul described this as “the real life.” (Read 1 Timothy 6:12, 19.) For most, this will mean living forever in Paradise on earth. It is hard to imagine what it will be like to wake up feeling healthy, happy, and satisfied every morning. (Isaiah 35:5, 6) Think of how good it will be to spend time with your family and friends, including those who will be resurrected. (John 5:28, 29; Acts 24:15) You will have time to learn new skills and become better at the things you enjoy. For example, you could learn more about science. Or you could learn how to play musical instruments or how to design your own home.
2 Although we look forward to all these good things, worshipping Jehovah will bring us the most joy. Imagine what life will be like when all people treat Jehovah’s name as holy and accept Jehovah as their Ruler. (Matthew 6:9, 10) We will be excited to see the earth filled with perfect people, just as God intended it to be. And just think how much easier it will be to deepen our friendship with Jehovah as we gradually become perfect!
3. What should we prepare for now?
3 We trust that Jehovah will do all these wonderful things, because “with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:25, 26) If we want to live forever in the new world, now is the time to “get a firm hold” on everlasting life. We know that the end is coming soon, so we must live in a way that shows we expect the end to come at any time. We need to do everything we can now to prepare for life in the new world. Let us see how.
HOW TO PREPARE
4. How can we prepare now for life in the new world? Give an illustration.
4 How can we prepare now for life in the new world? If we were planning to go and live in another country, we might do some things to prepare ourselves for life in that country. For example, we might start learning the language and customs of the people who live there. We might try some of their foods. Similarly, we can prepare now for life in the new world by doing what we can to live as if we are already there. Let us examine some ways we can do this.
5, 6. How will learning to obey the direction from Jehovah’s organization help us to prepare for life in the new world?
5 In this world, Satan wants people to think that they can do whatever they like. Many feel that it is important to be independent and that there is no need to obey God. What has been the result? Much suffering and unhappiness. (Jeremiah 10:23) But Jehovah is a loving Ruler. How much better life will be in the new world when everyone obeys him!
6 In the new world, we will enjoy following direction from Jehovah’s organization to help make this earth into a beautiful paradise and help teach those who are resurrected. Jehovah will have much work for us. But what if those taking the lead asked us to do something that we do not really like? Would we obey? Would we do our best to fulfill and enjoy our assignment? To prepare for everlasting life in the new world, we need to obey the direction from Jehovah’s organization now.
7, 8. (a) Why should we cooperate with those taking the lead? (b) What changes have some Christians experienced? (c) What can we be sure of in the new world?
7 If we want to be ready for life in the new world, we need to learn to be content and to cooperate with Jehovah’s organization and with one another. For example, when we are given a new assignment, we willingly cooperate and do our best to be happy and content. If we learn to cooperate with those taking the lead now, we will likely do the same in the new world. (Read Hebrews 13:17.) When the Israelites entered the Promised Land, they were assigned where to live. (Numbers 26:52-56; Joshua 14:1, 2) We do not know where each one of us may be assigned to live in the new world. But if we have learned to cooperate, we will be happy to do Jehovah’s will wherever we live.
8 Imagine what an honor it will be to serve in God’s new world under the rule of the Kingdom! For this reason, we are happy to cooperate with Jehovah’s organization now and to do whatever we are assigned to do. At times, though, our assignments may change. For example, some Bethelites in the United States have been reassigned to the field. And because of age or other circumstances, some traveling overseers have been assigned to be special pioneers. They are happy in their new assignments, and Jehovah is blessing them. If we pray for Jehovah’s help, do all we can to serve him, and learn to be content with whatever assignment we are given, we will be happy and Jehovah will bless us. (Read Proverbs 10:22.) What if, in the new world, we would love to live in one area but Jehovah’s organization asks us to move to another? At that time, it will not matter where we live or what we do. We will simply be thankful to be living in the new world.
9, 10. (a) Why may we need to be patient in the new world? (b) How can we show that we are patient now?
9 In the new world, at times we may need to be patient. For example, we may hear that some people are very excited because their relatives and friends have been resurrected. However, we may have to wait for the resurrection of our loved ones. If that happens, will we rejoice with others and be patient? (Romans 12:15) If we learn to wait patiently for Jehovah to fulfill his promises now, it will help us to be patient then.
10 We can also prepare for the new world by being patient when we receive adjustments in our understanding of Bible truth. Do we study this new material, and are we patient if we do not fully understand it? If so, in the new world, it will be easier to be patient each time Jehovah gives us new instructions.
11. Why should we learn to forgive others now, and how will this help us in the new world?
11 Another way we can prepare for life in the new world is by learning to be forgiving. During Christ’s Thousand Year Rule, it will take some time for everyone to become perfect. (Acts 24:15) Will we be loving and forgiving toward one another? If we learn to forgive others and to have a good relationship with them now, it will be easier for us to do so in the new world.
In the new world, we will need the same qualities that Jehovah is teaching us to show now
12. Why should we prepare now for life in the new world?
12 In the new world, we may not always get what we want, or we might have to wait for it. We will need to be thankful and content in whatever situation we are in. In fact, we will need the same qualities that Jehovah is teaching us to show now. So by learning to show these qualities now, we prove that the new world is real to us and that we are preparing for everlasting life. (Hebrews 2:5; 11:1) Also, we will show that we really want to live in a world where everyone obeys Jehovah.
FOCUS ON SERVING JEHOVAH
13. What will we put first in our lives in the new world?
13 In the new world, we will have everything we need to enjoy life. But our greatest joy will come from our close relationship with Jehovah. (Matthew 5:3) We will be busy in Jehovah’s service, and we will enjoy serving him. (Psalm 37:4) So when we put Jehovah first in our lives now, we are preparing for life in the new world.
14. What goals in Jehovah’s service can young ones set?
14 How can we enjoy serving Jehovah even more? One way is by setting goals. If you are young, think seriously about using your life to serve Jehovah. Why not do some research in our publications on different types of full-time service? You can set one of these as a goal. * (See footnote.) Talk to some who have served Jehovah full-time for many years. If you use your life to serve Jehovah, you will receive valuable training. This experience will help you to serve Jehovah in the new world.
15. What other goals in Jehovah’s service can we set?
15 There are many goals that we can set in our service to Jehovah. For example, we could make it a goal to learn a new skill in the ministry. Or we could try to understand Bible principles better and learn how we can apply them in our life. We could try to improve our public reading or our talks and comments at the meetings. The point is this: When you set goals in your service to Jehovah, it will help you to have more zeal and to prepare for life in the new world.
THE BEST WAY OF LIFE NOW
16. Why is serving Jehovah the best way of life?
16 When we use our time to prepare for God’s new world, are we missing out on a better way of life today? No! Serving Jehovah is the best way of life. We do not serve him because someone forces us to do so or just to survive the great tribulation. When we have a good relationship with Jehovah, our life is better and we are happier. That is how he designed us to live. Having God’s love and receiving his direction in our life is much better than anything else. (Read Psalm 63:1-3.) We can all feel the joy that comes from worshipping Jehovah with our whole heart. Some who have served him for many years can truly say that this is the best way of life.
17. How important will personal interests and recreation be in Paradise?
17 In Paradise, we will enjoy spending some of our time on personal interests and recreation. After all, Jehovah is the one who created us with the desire to enjoy ourselves, and he promises that he will “satisfy the desire of every living thing.” (Psalm 145:16; Ecclesiastes 2:24) We need recreation and we need rest, but we enjoy them even more when we put our relationship with Jehovah first. It will be the same in the new world. So it is wise to keep “seeking first the Kingdom” and to focus on the blessings we receive from serving Jehovah.
When we have a good relationship with Jehovah, our life is better and we are happier
18. How can we show that we are preparing to live forever in Paradise?
18 In the new world, life will be better than we can ever imagine. May we show how much we want to be there by preparing for “the real life” now. Let us develop the qualities that Jehovah teaches us to show, and let us zealously preach the good news. May we experience the joy of putting Jehovah’s worship first in our lives. We have complete trust that in the new world, Jehovah will do everything he has promised. So let us live as if we are already there!
^ par. 14 See Young People Ask