Wherever we live in the world we are facing increasing problems in daily life. Due to the environment, financial problems and those caused by conflict to name just a few.
So how can the bible help us now, and in the future?
Although written many years ago the bible offers practical help in all sorts of areas – how to find true friends, how to find family happiness. By applying its principles in daily life millions of people are living happier and purposeful lives.
But the bible also answers the big questions – will evil and suffering ever end? Does God really Care about me? and, how can I get to know God?
All of these things are covered in our online bible study course, the publication – “Enjoy Life Forever” supported with online video, audio and articles.
Follow the link above or visit jw.org to request support with your bible study program form a local minister.
The comfort we find in the Bible assures all those searching for God that in the near future Psalm 37: 10 Just a little while longer, and the wicked will be no more;+ You will look at where they were, And they will not be there.+11 But the meek will possess the earth,+ And they will find exquisite delight in the abundance of peace.+
Since 1914 the modern world has been affected by warfare globally. Every continent, region and social group has been affected. Even those who do not live in war torn lands are affected by the conflicts.
We see the number of refugees displaced by the conflicts, the ravages of war through the Television and Internet reporting, we see the shortage of vital commodities that lead to food shortages and rising prices.
However, whatever the reason for the conflict and in whatever cause is promoted God does not approve of war. We know because Jesus, the son of god, gave his disciples – later labelled Christians – a new commandment at John 13: 34 “I am giving you a new commandment, that you love one another; just as I have loved you, you also love one another.35 By this all will know that you are my disciples—if you have love among yourselves.”
Love is the identifying evidence of a Christian, the absence of conflict isn’t enough but it indicates the determination to follow that command. War is brutal, carnal and fails to achieve its aim if the combatants are saying they do this in God’s name.
Jesus disciples recognised the importance of Isaiah 2: 2-4 they do not learn war anymore.
So what did Jesus say these wars are a sign of for his disciples Matthew 24: 7 “the last days”. How did he know? Simply explained he is the one who will end all warfare when the kingdom of God is a reality here on the earth. We have prayed for it in the Lords Prayer. Promoting the law of love brings peace now, and create the fertile ground to attract those lovers of peace.
We all hope for many things. Often, this involves hopes for the future, hope that everyday things will improve. But are our hopes realistic? Is there any real basis for them?
The Bibles promises of hope is different. First they come from our creator, the one who gave us life. The bible also explains why things are what they are and shows what the things are what they are, and shows what the solution will be. To believe it’s promises and to hope in them we first have to build our trust in the one who made them. This establishes the evidence to show that they have a real basis, we have to as Acts 17: 11” Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thes·sa·lo·niʹca, for they accepted the word with the greatest eagerness of mind, carefully examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.” The focus is Carefully examine the scriptures daily. We need to complete our own research and establish the truth for ourselves.
As we do so we will be able to put trust and believe in the hope the Bible offers us.
Among these are:
An end to “suffering, illness and death”
Isaiah 25: 8 He will swallow up death forever, And the Sovereign Lord Jehovah will wipe away the tears from all faces. The reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, For Jehovah himself has spoken it.
Isaiah 33: 24 And no resident will say: “I am sick.” The people dwelling in the land will be pardoned for their error.
An End to War and the trauma caused by war
Psalm 46: 9 He is bringing an end to wars throughout the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; He burns the military wagons with fire.
Psalm 37: 11 But the meek will possess the earth, And they will find exquisite delight in the abundance of peace.
Psalms 37: 28, 29 For Jehovah loves justice, And he will not abandon his loyal ones. ע [Ayin] They will always be guarded; But the descendants of the wicked will be done away with. ע [Ayin] 29 The righteous will possess the earth, And they will live forever on it.
These are just a few bible promises we can hope for with certainty of their fulfilment. To find out much more and see how the Hope the Bible gives can help everyone of us in our lives today, tomorrow and forever.
For more information please follow the link to JW.org and learn more about how we can Enjoy Life Forever Chapter 2 The Bible Gives Hope for the Future.
Many people view the Bible as simply a book, an old book, a ‘good book’ also as an out-of-date and ‘irrelevant” to modern life.
Yet the Bible has answer to the questions we all have, what does the future hold? What happens when we die? and will we ever see peace on earth?
It says of itself in Psalm 119: 105 Your word is a lamp to my foot, And a light for my path.
This describes the Bible as the Light that can guide us. As well as answering the big questions, it also gives solid advice on everyday things:-
how to find and keep a good friend
how to cope with stress
how to find a real purpose and contentment in life
It also as Romans 15: 4 For all the things that were written beforehand were written for our instruction, so that through our endurance and through the comfort from the Scriptures we might have hope. The scriptures offer us comfort that we might have hope. The hope is the prospect of being able to “Enjoy Life Forever” in a paradise here on the earth free from war, hunger and death.
For more information please visit JW.orgwhere you can request a free study of the bible – online or in your home
I recently read the Blog Perfect Chaos by Stephen Colborne the London Based philosopher – I found the title intriguing and the reasoning disturbing until I reread it. This is a post that covers the personal conclusions reached after years of study.
Interestingly, I began my personal search for understanding the reasons for Sin and the punishment, really the outcome, death. This led me to a very different conclusion.
God Does not Cause or Punish Sin!
The source material for this conclusion is not philosophy or personal enlightenment it is the product of studying the Bible. Let’s begin with the notion that God is Omnipresent not to be confused with Omniscient (all-wise).
The Bible clearly states in Hebrews 4: 13 “And there is not a creation that is hidden from his sight, but all things are naked and openly exposed to the eyes of the one to whom we must give an account.” He sees all things. However, there is no evidence to support the conclusion that God is Omnipresent – is present everywhere, in all things.
The Bible clearly identifies that God has form, is a spirit and has a dwelling place. Just start the research with John 4: 24 “God is a Spirit” The bible also identifies that there are millions of spirit creatures in heaven – the residing place of God 1 Kings 8: 30 “his dwelling place in the heavens”.
Sin had a beginning. The bible explains how it came about in 1 John 3: 8 “He who carries on sin originates with the Devil, because the Devil has been sinning from the beginning.” Sin originated not with humans but in the spirit realm with the Slanderer and Resister Satan the Devil.
James 1: 14, “But each one is tried by being drawn out and enticed* by his own desire. 15 Then the desire, when it has become fertile,* gives birth to sin; in turn sin, when it has been carried out, brings forth death.” Satan wanted something he couldn’t have and he exercised his free will to rebel. Not content with the personal separation from God he decided he would take others with him, in the heavens and here on earth.
Eve was deceived and Adam followed by taking a side against God and rebelling. Again exercising free will.
The outcome? is recorded in Romans 6: 23 “For the wages sin pays is death,..”
Sin is defined as falling short of the mark or standard, in this case, God’s standard. Therefore, we have another choice do I perpetuate the outcome of sin or do I seek salvation? Simple enough.
The disciple James came to this conclusion about God and answers the point is God the cause of our sins and our suffering? note the words in James 1: 13 “When under trial, let no one say: “I am being tried by God.” For with evil things God cannot be tried, nor does he himself try anyone.14 But each one is tried by being drawn out and enticed by his own desire.15 Then the desire, when it has become fertile, gives birth to sin; in turn sin, when it has been carried out, brings forth death.” Clearly, the half brother of Jesus understood that God neither causes sin nor tempts us with sin to test us.
Punishment for Sin
It is strange how unequivocal the Bible is about the outcome of sin. Go back to to the original response from God for both Satan and Adam in Genesis 3: 3 “But God has said about the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden: ‘You must not eat from it, no, you must not touch it; otherwise you will die.’” Only outcome death! Genesis 3: 15 “And I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your offspring and her offspring. He will crush your head, and you will strike him in the heel.”
There’s never a discussion about God punishing us, the Bible points to another being the ruler of the world in 1 John 5: 19 “We know that we originate with God, but the whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one.” This individual veils the message of salvation notice the point at 2 Corinthians 4: 4 “among whom the god of this system of things has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, so that the illumination of the glorious good news about the Christ, who is the image of God, might not shine through.”
In conclusion a study of the Bible and allowing the Bible to explain itself we can clearly determine that there is much more to the human state and we have personal responsibility for how our future looks.
The Bible describes God as Love therefore, why do we suffer, why do we have trials and problems? why do we die? those questions are answered using the Bible Study Aid Enjoy Life Forever. Download a personal copy along with a bible and start your research.
Christian Churches often promote the death of Jesus and then question the truth of the resurrection. Is this a reasonable idea? Can you both believe in Jesus as the son of God, recognise the sacrifice and then question the resurrection?
Apparently so. Yet, this is not what the Apostle Paul expressed in 1 Corinthians 15: 12 “Now if it is being preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how is it that some among you say there is no resurrection of the dead?13 If, indeed, there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised up.14 But if Christ has not been raised up, our preaching is certainly in vain, and your faith is also in vain.”
If we believe that the soul is immortal there is no need for the resurrection and certainly no need for Christ to act as our ransom. Paul continues the reasoning with these words in verse 16 “For if the dead are not to be raised up, neither has Christ been raised up.17 Further, if Christ has not been raised up, your faith is useless; you remain in your sins.18 Then also those who have fallen asleep in death in union with Christ have perished.19 If in this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are to be pitied more than anyone.
Christians without a cause and reason to remain faithful. This simple denial emboldens those who subvert the Christian teachings to water down the bible’s message. For example, we only have to accept Jesus as our saviour. The New Testament repeatedly warns us against this complacent attitude. Because we are working for our own salvation through our dedication and the evidence of this. To understand how we perform works that demonstrate our faith we need to study the Bible.
As a young person, I was pressured by peers and teachers to look hard at the reasons for my faith. They explained my parents were using religion and its rules to control my life and that I was missing out. Also, flattery played a part, being told you are intelligent and completing the challenging problems set, solving complex situations quickly led them to say I was wasting my life.
So I began to question what I had been taught to believe. Read extensively, the ancient history of the period the Bible was written, studied Archaeology, Natural History and theology.
Then I began to look at the record of modern science, the people who wrote and thought about how we arrived on the planet, our evolution and the development of society.
I began to realise there was something missing – the “why?” factor. Having reviewed the probability factors of events over billions of years we come back to the same question, if you allow for random chance, why did the cells of the body develop the way they have? How did they realise that the environment would change (sometimes rapidly) why were they able to make the transition? and why isn’t there a clear record of all the intermediate life forms that failed?
Then it came down to why do we require a moral code or set of rules? The evidence presented demonstrated a stark contrast, the Bible led moral code versus our modern approach. If I chose to follow the Bible code what damage will that do me? Set the contrast and ask the same question about none bible standards.
I came to the conclusion that God exists, we can see the works of Gods hands everywhere if we choose to perceive note the words of the Apostle Paul again to the Romans 1: 18 For God’s wrath is being revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who are suppressing the truth in an unrighteous way,19 because what may be known about God is clearly evident among them, for God made it clear to them.20 For his invisible qualities are clearly seen from the world’s creation onward, because they are perceived by the things made, even his eternal power and Godship, so that they are inexcusable.21 For although they knew God, they did not glorify him as God nor did they thank him, but they became empty-headed in their reasonings and their senseless hearts became darkened.22 Although claiming they were wise, they became foolish23 and turned the glory of the incorruptible God into something like the image of corruptible man and birds and four-footed creatures and reptiles.
The result of this dichotomy is expressed in Romans 1: 24 Therefore, God, in keeping with the desires of their hearts, gave them up to uncleanness, so that their bodies might be dishonored among them.25 They exchanged the truth of God for the lie and venerated and rendered sacred service to the creation rather than the Creator, who is praised forever. Amen.26 That is why God gave them over to disgraceful sexual passion, for their females changed the natural use of themselves into one contrary to nature;27 likewise also the males left the natural use of the female and became violently inflamed in their lust toward one another, males with males, working what is obscene and receiving in themselves the full penalty, which was due for their error. read on in verses 28 -32 many Christians who reject the resurrection and fail to put faith in Jesus as the redeemer of humanity tolerate they approve of acts that the Bible identifies as unacceptable to God.
So to accept the resurrection of Christ requires an understanding that there are answers to the big questions, however, it is up to us to decide just how we respond. Salvation is through Jesus Christ the Son of God, he died for a reason and each of us needs to understand that for ourselves.
Those who accept the bible standards and God’s right to tell us what to do can show where the evidence is but like myself you have to prove it for yourself. So starting with the resurrection of Jesus you can begin to build a real picture of what the meaning of life is and why we can be certain that all of humankind has hope for the future, including those living today.
Unlike the past, when warfare was often remote and removed from us, we now see it and its consequences in our daily lives through all forms of media.
We see clearly the pain, suffering and bewilderment caused by warfare.
What are the causes of War?
The Bible identifies two basic causes:
Human Governments – Ecclesiastes 8: 9 “All of this I have seen, and I applied my heart to every work that has been done under the sun, during the time that man has dominated man to his harm.”
The influence of Satan the Devil – 1 John 5: 19 “We know that we originate with God, but the whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one.”
The culmination of these two key causes has been described as “the last days”, “end times” where the very existence of the human family is threatened. As Paul wrote to Timothy people are not open to agreement 2 Timothy 3: 3 “having no natural affection, not open to any agreement, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, without love of goodness” Nero fiddled as Rome burned and it was everyone else’s fault, millions die because human governments set priorities that place little value on individual lives.
So what is the answer?
Only God’s Kingdom can provide the answer. A Global Government, removing national borders, political, social and economic divisions. How will this be achieved?
The Bible promises:
Psalm 72: 14 From oppression and from violence he will rescue them, And their blood will be precious in his eyes.
Psalm 72: 12 For he will rescue the poor who cry for help, Also the lowly one and whoever has no helper.
Psalm 72: 16 There will be an abundance of grain on the earth; On the top of the mountains it will overflow. His fruit will flourish as in Lebʹa·non, And in the cities people will blossom like the vegetation of the earth.
Psalm 72 is just one example of the many Kingdom promises that we are set to see in our lifetime.
The key to understanding these Kingdom Promises remains the same John 17: 3 This means everlasting life, their coming to know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ.
Find out why we know that God isn’t imposing his rulership through the Kingdom, understand that all other governments are illegitimate, established on a false premise. It is a bit like when a visitor enters your home and then pushes you out or tells everyone your rules no longer apply.
Notice the words of Romans 13: 1 Let every person be in subjection to the superior authorities, for there is no authority except by God; the existing authorities stand placed in their relative positions by God.
As guests in his home who abuse the trust, they enjoy Humans are going to be called to account. But we remember the key words of Jesus Christ the Son of God at Matthew 6: 33 “Keep on, then, seeking first the Kingdom and his righteousness,” and our own prayer (we often repeat the model prayer and the key sentiment is found at Matthew 6: 9 “You must pray, then, this way: “‘Our Father in the heavens, let your name be sanctified.10 Let your Kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also on earth.
As we pray for that kingdom we acknowledge God’s right to rule and our desire to follow his King. So explore the Bible, study its prophetic words and build your faith in our God and Creator – the reward you can live with the hope of “Enjoying Life Forever”. For assistance in understanding the bible’s promises visit JW.org (available in 1,054 languages)
This is such a common expression and this week millions of people are looking at world events and saying this.
Yet standing in solidarity with the people of Ukraine safe in a European capital does not seem enough for so many. Can the issues of countries really be resolved by individual action? Surprisingly YES!.
Want can I do?
First, find out what is really happening to this world! We can only do something with real meaning if we understand the real issues and solutions.
The media is driven by those with opinions, those who want to justify their approach to the problem and the resolution.
Is the answer to take up arms and fight in the name of freedom? That has always been a futile gesture because we have the continuous cycle of poor decision-making by governments driven by greed, or fear.
So is it an excuse to do nothing? Because while good people or the majority do nothing bad things happen!
Advocacy for something Different
The Bible points to God’s Kingdom as the solution for us all, no artificial lines on the ground or walls and fences, nothing to separate individuals ideologically, culturally or spiritually. Why? because the battle is not ours to fight. It is with God’s forces against human governments.
Does God have the right to impose his will on us? Well for 2000 years Christians have prayed Let your kingdom come let your will be done ON EARTH as it is in heaven.
The bible describes one war in heaven, it was short and decisive (Revelation 12) God’s enemy – someone who chose to oppose God’s leadership was ousted from heaven, soon the decisive battle on earth will be fought, the governments have already begun to line up against God’s Kingdom and soon they will take a stand in opposition to his King.
The End Game
The art of Chess is to understand what you really control and where the weaknesses of your opponent are exposed. Satan, the governments of the world are involved in playing the next move not realising the match is already lost.
So the Bible has predicted the next moves in this complex period, the power play by Satan and his forces failed to see that the defence he attacks is not weak but strong, it conceals the greatest offence in Universal history.
It is time to open your eyes as the spectator and realise that our only option is to wait for the End Game, it will come very quickly, like playing against my father when he would say 3 move checkmate and it was too late for me to adjust.
Look for the End Game, understand there are sides to choose and decide that you are going to back the winner.
There aren’t any links on this post because those who read it need to find their way.
I am a writer, a Christian and I serve with the knowledge that God’s Kingdom is the real salvation and right now support those suffering but remain neutral, human politics leads to failure.
Daniel 11: 40 “In the time of the end the king of the south will engage with him in a pushing, and against him the king of the north will storm with chariots and horsemen and many ships; and he will enter into the lands and sweep through like a flood”
Bible scholars have been able to track the prophetic fulfilment of Daniel chapter 11. Identifying the powers, their wars and activities, how they have different ideologies but both want and enjoy wealth and power.
Are we seeing the next stage of this prophetic fulfilment?
Russia the agressor and the democratic powers trying to hold a line in opposition but because of their material interests always giving ground. It appears to be the case.
Yet there is one thing that unites the Kings, their desire for power, which fuels their need to oppose those who advocate for God’s Kingdom.
Daniel 11: 44 Looms Large
The reports out of the east do not refer to China or Asia because the east is where he will come to his end.
If we look to the parallel prophesy in Revelation the powers of the world unite in opposition and begin a process that leads to their defeat.
Given the final book of the Bible was written in 98 A.D. we have had the time to unravel the mysteries because as Daniel 12: 4 “As for you, Daniel, keep the words secret, and seal up the book until the time of the end. Many will rove about, and the true knowledge will become abundant.” explains there is a time period when that information is known.
We are living in an unparalleled period of human history, to unite the world against a common foe the politicians are going to need an easy target. Biblically it is shown to be religion, faith in God has been replaced by jingoism and nationalism.
The riches of the religion are the initial attraction and its power over people. Envy and greed will cause the governments to turn against the structures. Leaving only those with deep-seated faith who are prepared to die for their exclusive devotion to God. We need to ask ourselves? Would I be prepared to die for my faith? Would I betray my faith or recant on my belief to save my life? Remember what the Devil taunted God with. In Job 2: 4 “But Satan answered Jehovah: “Skin for skin. A man will give everything that he has for his life.5 But, for a change, stretch out your hand and strike his bone and flesh, and he will surely curse you to your very face.” Your life for your faith.
In Russia, China, Germany, Eastern Europe, Islamic states and tyrannies Christians have been martyrs since the days of Stephen, James and Peter. 1900 years of faith but billions sold out their faith to false doctrines, philosophical religious concepts, yes they left the Bible and worked on their Creed, their acceptable gift to God. As I once heard it described as their shopping list.
Be very clear because Jesus was in Matthew 7 and Matthew 24 not everyone saying they serve God does so acceptably and they will be caught up in this conflict without protection.
Those who appear to have the least protection who advocate God’s Kingdom know 1 true Christian servant + Jehovah God forms the majority. They understand the truth of the words at Isaiah 54: 17 “No weapon formed against you will have any success, And you will condemn any tongue that rises up against you in the judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of Jehovah, And their righteousness is from me,” declares Jehovah.”
So as we look down the barrel of two opposing human government styles remember the solution isn’t with them. They are puppets, the governments are manipulated by Satanic forces and those who service Jehovah know for a certainty Romans 8: 35 “Who will separate us from the love of the Christ? Will tribulation or distress or persecution or hunger or nakedness or danger or sword?36 Just as it is written: “For your sake we are being put to death all day long; we have been accounted as sheep for slaughtering.”37 On the contrary, in all these things we are coming off completely victorious through the one who loved us.38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life nor angels nor governments nor things now here nor things to come nor powers39 nor height nor depth nor any other creation will be able to separate us from God’s love that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Jesus told us to “Keep on the Watch!” When we see the signs to use discernment and take our stand on the side of God’s Kingdom because it will be victorious.
Now you’re asking what convinces this crazed fool to write these stark words. It is simple lives are at stake, the burning building is collapsing but there is still time left for people to find the exit and find salvation.
To choose life is a positive step to do nothing or reject the words of the Bible is the convenient position but like the toad in the pan of boiling water whatever happens as soon as the lid goes on the options have run out.
God said to Israel “Choose Life!” Yes find out how to make that affirmative decision now because the water is boiling, the building is burning and the political system is sinking locate the escape routes now!
To benefit from the wonderful promises the Bible makes about our future, an end to all suffering, life on a paradise earth and real peace Jesus explains in John 17: 3 “This means everlasting life, their coming to know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ.” remain the crucial steps we must take.
But how do we get to know God?
The Bibles reveals two ways:
By looking at and studying the natural world – Creation
Reading and meditating on the things written in the Bible
Creation reveals the power, energy, design and control that surrounds us for all living things and the Universe itself. From the smallest molecule to the vast Universe we observe conforming design, arrangement and purpose. The design of the wings of birds or the honeycomb structures of bees all reveals that although complex the same principles apply.
The Bible reveals and unfolds the purpose of creation, why God created people and then his purpose for their home, planet earth. The Bible explains how our lives have purpose and what it takes to be lead a happy life now, linking this to a strong foundation for the life to come.
What do we do first?
Develop a friendship with God, acknowledge that there are many things that science and philosophy can’t rationalise, fail to explain and ridicule. Ask yourself what don’t I know and what do I want to know?
To build a friendship names are important. The Bible repeatedly reveals the name God chose because it had purpose, meaning and formed a description of his personality. Psalm 83: 18 “May people know that you, whose name is Jehovah, You alone are the Most High over all the earth”.
You may struggle to find that in the translation you use but the original Hebrew Text contains and uses Jehovah more than 6500 times. The meaning of the name “he causes to become”.
Find out more about Jehovah, get to know the God of the Bible and not the propaganda of those who hide the truth. Once you know who he is then build a relationship with Jehovah.