The World Today
Today we live in a world that is more scientifically and technologically advanced than ever before. Even so, the world today is faced with the same problems that have affected all generations, such as violence, crime, wars, diseases, famines, poverty to mention just a few. Yet, despite all its knowledge, it seems unable to deal with these issues effectively. These problems only appear to be getting worse rather than improving. So what does the future hold and will these problems ever be resolved?
We can look to the Bible for answers to these questions. The Bible speaks of a marvellous hope, incomparable to anything this present world has to offer. The Bible tells us that God will not leave things to chance but has a plan and purpose with the world.
“For this is what the LORD says – he who created the heavens, he is God: he … made the earth, … he did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited.” (Isaiah 45 v18 NIV)
He has also promised that it will never be destroyed
“One generation passes away, and another generation comes; But the earth abides forever.” (Ecc 1v 4)
So what has gone wrong and how has the world got into such a state?
In the Beginning
In the beginning God created a wonderful world and “God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good.” (Gen 1 v 31) However, instead of obeying God, men and women chose rather to please themselves and so God punished them for their disobedience. Man’s sin brought pain and death into the world. God found a faithful and obedient man called Abraham and promised to make of him a great nation and that through his seed all nations of the earth would be blessed. (Gen 12 v 2) This seed grew into the nation of Israel and were God’s special people. However, they too disobeyed God through their faithlessness and sin, so God put an end to this Old Kingdom and its unfaithful kings. God therefore sent his only son Jesus to be the true and righteous King. To King David, God promised:
“… I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be his Father, and he shall be my son…” (2 Samuel 7 v12-14)
Jesus preached to the Jews the hope of this kingdom, which would be ruled in peace and righteousness to be established in the future. After he was crucified and then raised to life again by his Father, his disciples asked him when this kingdom would be.
“Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1 v 6)
Jesus told them that they first had to preach the “good news” of the kingdom to all nations and teach them that they needed to repent of their sins and be baptised in order to be granted the opportunity to be in God’s kingdom. After this commandment Jesus then ascended to his Father in heaven waiting the time when God would send him back to the earth to establish this kingdom.
The Future Kingdom
So when will this kingdom be established and what will it be like? The prophet Isaiah in the Old Testament paints a wonderful picture of this future kingdom age.
“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, The leopard shall lie down with the young goat; The calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little child shall lead them… They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, As the waters cover the sea.” (Isaiah 11 v 6-9)
Unlike the political rulers of today Jesus “shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, Nor decide by the hearing of His ears: But with righteousness He shall judge the poor, And decide with equity for the meek of the earth…Righteousness shall be the belt of His loins, And faithfulness the belt of his waist.” (Isaiah 11 v 3-5) Jesus will rule as king in God’s kingdom until death itself has been destroyed, and with this accomplished will hand over all things to his Father, “that God may be all in all.”
(1 Corinthians 15 v 28)
God has left us many clues in his word which gives us indications of the time of the return of Jesus. The many problems that we see in the world today gives us great confidence that we are living in this time and that his return will be very soon. God in his mercy has given us this opportunity now to change the way we live our lives and follow him so that when Jesus does return we, through his grace, may be found worthy of a place in his glorious kingdom.
“And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
( Revelation 21 v 3-4)
Gareth & Helena Edwards