(1) Today many world leaders and others are trying their best to solve man’s problems and bring about better conditions upon this earth. But it seems that no matter where we look, we are constantly confronted with disheartening troubles. Not only do we have our own personal heartaches, but as we watch T.V., listen to the radio, or read the daily newspaper, we are bombarded with the international, national, and local distresses that the world is in. But will man ever find any lasting solutions to the age-old problems of war, sickness, disease, crime, and the more modern problems of pollution and mental breakdown of society? But, of course, man’s greatest enemy is death. For man to completely be ideal, he would need to have continuous hope for the future. Can we ever expect our scientists and doctors to overcome our greatest enemy death?
(2) Only the Bible holds out the true hope for man. There we read about coming blessings for all mankind that will more than counterbalance his present distressful state. The Bible tells us that one night in Judea many years ago, some shepherds were watching their sheep in the fields. But this was no ordinary night, for on this night these shepherds were to see and hear something very unusual. We can read about what happened to them in the Holy Bible, at Luke 2:9-11. There we read that an angel of God appeared to them, and the glory of God “shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them: ‘Be not afraid! For look, I am bringing you good news of great joy which will come to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.'”You may recognize this passage as Luke’s record of the birth of Jesus. Thousands of people have thrilled at this story for almost two millennia. Very few, however, have ever grasped the full meaning of the angel’s message that night. How does this good news that the angel gave that night affect you, your family, your neighbors, and all other peoples on earth?
People Need the Good News!
(3) What do the peoples on the earth need to make them happy? The Bible tells us that the whole creation, that is, all mankind, is groaning and travailing in pain, ignorantly waiting for the these promises. Not only is the world waiting in pain, but also those who are truly serving God are also waiting in hope of new and better conditions to come. (Romans 8:19-26) But God hears the groaning cries of His creatures and will bring them to their desired haven. (Psalm 107:26-30) What will be the better conditions to come which all peoples everywhere desire?
God Fulfills Man’s Earnest Desires
(4) One thing that people everywhere desire is to be free of sickness. Can you imagine a world where no one will say “I am sick”? Yet this is part of the promises of the good news contained in the Bible. (Isaiah 33:24) While doctors of today are trying to alleviate some of the suffering of mankind, God has the power and ability to totally eradicate sickness from the earth. And he will do so and much more. Hear the promise as recorded by an apostle of Jesus Christ: “And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying: ‘Look! the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there will be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying; and there will be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.’ Then He who sat on the throne said: ‘Look! I am making all things new.’ And He said to me, ‘Write, for these words are true and faithful.'” (Revelation 21:3-5) Does this mean that people will actually live and never die? Yes, this is exactly what God has promised. — Isaiah 25:8; Psalm 37:29.
(5) But, someone might say, I would not like to live forever with all of life’s problems that we have upon this earth! There is further good news from the Bible! The prophet Isaiah tells us that when the blessings arrive upon the earth, people will “not work for nothing, nor bring forth children for trouble.” (Isaiah 65:23) Nor will bad people be allowed to destroy these blessings as often happens now. Then “the inhabitants of the earth will learn righteousness.” (Isaiah 26:9) Aren’t these blessings what mankind really wants, what he really yearns for?
(6) But wait, what about war? How will all of these blessings come if man cannot get along with each other? Today man is learning the lessons of war. But when God blessings all mankind, the whole earth will be taught the ways of peace. Isaiah tells us that through the worldwide governmental agencies that will be operating then, all nations will be taught how to be at peace. As a result all wars will cease. The implements of warfare will be destroyed and remolded into instruments of productivity. (Isaiah 2:2-4; See also Psalm 46:8-11; Micah 4:3,4) Picture in your mind a world without soldiers and the destructive weapons of today. Won’t it be a sigh of relief to see these gone?
(7) But there is one more thing. What about our loved ones who have died? Have they missed out on these blessings? No, for Jesus promised that all in the graves will come forth, some to life, some to judgment (Greek, krisis). They will be given an opportunity to partake of these blessings. (John 5:28,29; Isaiah 25:6-9) Wouldn’t you like to see your loved ones alive again, and happy?
How Will These Blessings Come?
(8) Man has been trying for six thousand years to bring about better things upon this earth. But each new invention, each government, each new development, has brought fresh problems resulting in revolutions, insurrections, and dissatisfaction. To illustrate, during the nineteenth century it was generally believed that man would gradually bring about peace and security by new technology and knowledge. But the outbreak of World War I in 1914 brought in a new era of unparalleled insecurity and distrust. As more and more knowledge is gathered and dispersed on secular topics, it has also spread distrust, fear and dissatisfaction, leading to turmoil and worldwide trouble. And, now, it appears, from the standpoint of man alone, that the world is involved in never-ending war with terrorism. These things are foretold in the Bible as marking the time of the end of the kingdoms of this world. (Daniel 12:1,4; 2:44) All such divisions amongst man will be done away with, allowing for peace to finally come. When the kingdoms of this world are finally removed, then God’s own kingdom will fill the whole earth, bringing about the conditions mentioned earlier. This is spoken of as the “good news of the kingdom.” — Matthew 9:35; 24:14.
(9) When will these things occur? We believe in the near future. Prophecies that are now being fulfilled give us reason to believe that God’s kingdom will soon bring peace and security to all the world. Jesus foretold that in the time of his second coming there would be “distress of nations, with perplexity, men’s hearts failing them for fear” (Luke 21:25,26), as they see things “coming upon the face of the earth.” The apostle Paul tells us that the last days would be marked by a great increase of wickedness and selfishness. (2 Timothy 3:1-5,13) Indeed, these very conditions are what we are experiencing in the earth today! Especially with constant threat of terrorists, the nations are becoming more and more distressed, as the cost of fighting terrorism increases, affecting the economies of the nations.
(10) Without a doubt, the nations today, with their nuclear weaponry could completely obliterate all life upon the earth! Likewise, with other methods of warfare, such as germ and gas warfare. If man is permitted to continue in his mad race to self destruction, this could indeed be his doom! How, then, can we expect hope for the future? Because man will not be permitted to destroy himself, neither by nuclear warfare nor by any other means. Jesus said: “For then there will be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever will be. And except those days be shortened, there should be no flesh saved. But for the chosen’s sake, those days will be shortened.” (Matthew 24:20,21) In other words, Jesus tells us that things will not be allowed to continue to the point that “there should be no flesh saved.” To his followers in this time he said: “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your deliverance is approaching.” — Luke 21:28.
Faith in the Promises
(11) How can a person believe this? How can we know for a certainty that these things will come to pass? How can we be sure that all these promises aren’t nothing more than the passing fantasies of the writers? The Bible describes faith as “the reality of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1) What evidence is there that these promises will come true? One of the major evidences we have is fulfilled prophecies. We can build faith in God’s Word if we can see how the prophecies recorded in the Bible have been accurately fulfilled in the past.
(12) To illustrate, let us see how we build faith in everyday occurrences. We generally have faith that tomorrow will come. We make our plans for the next day, next week, next month, and even next year. We have faith that the next day will come, for if we didn’t have that faith, there would be no need to make plans for those days. But there are reasons for having such a faith. One reason we have this faith is because we have seen the cycle of day and night continue each day since our birth. Had we suddenly been placed into our environment fully developed we might have experienced anxiety as we saw the first evening bring darkness, not believing and not knowing that another day would follow. And if someone who had seen the cycles before had told us that another day was coming, we may have hesitated to believe him until we actually saw it for ourselves. But as it is, having seen these cycles, we have confidence in them for the future.
(13) Likewise, it is the same with the Bible. It may be hard to have confidence in the Bible if we have not seen how accurately it has foretold events hundreds, even thousands of years before they occurred. Additionally, many peoples minds have been turned against the Bible as there is an increasing flood of material that would claim that the Bible is untrustworthy, self-contradictory, etc. Nevertheless, through a careful examination of fulfilled prophecies, verified by history books, we will gain confidence in God’s promises, as we will eventually realize that “God … cannot lie.” (Titus 1:2) While there are other sources of prophecy, many of the prophecies from these sources do not come true, whereas not one of the one of God’s words have failed, nor will they fail in the future. — Joshua 23:14.
(14) The Bible alone shows us what will be the outcome of the present unrest, selfishness and dissatisfaction. The Bible tells that those who think they can bring in the Messianic blessings by carnal weapons are deluding themselves; they have, instead, brought upon themselves, the poor as well as upon the rich, the great and awful trouble which the Scriptures foretold “a time of trouble such as was not since there was a nation.” (Daniel 12:1) Jesus quoted this passage and added to it the words: “No, nor ever shall be.” (Matthew 24:21) Thank God! that this great, awful “time of trouble,” in which every man’s hand will eventually be against his neighbor and against his brother, will not last. (Ezekiel 18:21; Haggai 2:22) What do the scriptures say to one today who desires to do God’s will? “Seek righteousness, seek meekness. It may be that you will be hidden in the day of Yahweh’s anger.” And we can only find righteousness by putting faith in and obeying Jesus as our Lord and Savior. — Zephaniah 2:3; Romans 3:10-13,23; 5:1,8,9; 10:9; John 3:16; 15:14; 17:3; 1 John 3:23,24.
We hope you will read some of the other Bible studies of Restoration Light Bible Study Services. God willing, we hope to present studies of many of the prophecies of the Bible that may enable one to see and understand, if willing to do so. For those with a hearing ear, through the holy spirit one can know that the Bible is truly the “word of God”. (1 Thessalonians 2:13) We can have reason to believe that God used men to write the words of the Bible, but their writing was done under the direction of God’s holy spirit. You will “know that every prophecy of Scripture did not come into being of its own interpretation, for prophecy was not at any time borne by the will of man, but being borne along by the holy spirit, holy men of God spoke.” — 2 Peter 1:20,21.