A little more than two generations ago, on January 20, 1961, in his only inaugural address, United States President John F. Kennedy called on his audience to support him in advancing the ideals of freedom and common prosperity. A little more than 50 years later, how have the U.S. and other Western nations fared in achieving President Kennedy’s goal?
In his address, President Kennedy stated:
“To those new states whom we welcome to the ranks of the free, we pledge our word that one form of colonial control shall not have passed away merely to be replaced by a far more iron tyranny. We shall not always expect to find them supporting our view. But we shall always hope to find them strongly supporting their own freedom—and to remember that, in the past, those who foolishly sought power by riding the back of the tiger ended up inside. To those people in the huts and villages of half the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery, we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves, for whatever period is required—not because the Communists may be doing it, not because we seek their votes, but because it is right.”
Where do we stand today? Have some of the things noted in past assessments by political analysts been resolved or have they gotten worse? Has the Arab Spring yielded more stability or less? What is ahead for Europe and the E.U.? China? Russia? And, on just about everyone's minds recently, the United States under an unexpected new President? Key political events are gearing up to shape 2017, where voters will go to the polls in many nations, referendums will be held, etc. Will nations and their citizens the world over be able to shape our world any better now than five years ago?
The grand ideals put forth in President Kennedy’s address are worth pursuing. However, they are not new, as mankind has always sought their fulfillment. Nearly two millennia ago, One came as a messenger from the Author of peace and richness. He came to a world then as now that has not known the way of freedom and prosperity for all. Jesus Christ stated that He came “that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).
Jesus Christ exemplified by His life the only sure way to freedom and prosperity. He came to show the path of benevolent leadership and personal sacrifice. He said, “You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet” (John 13:13–14). Even now, He is training today’s Christians to assist Him in the management of a future that will be wonderful beyond mankind’s dreams: “And they sang a new song, saying: ‘You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth’” (Revelation 5:9–10).
In his inaugural address, President Kennedy made another famous request—one that called on his listeners to make personal sacrifices for the good of others: “And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world, ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man…”
Christians today are being trained to serve all of humanity in the coming Kingdom of God, in which they will rule under Jesus Christ to bring peace, prosperity and the knowledge of God to the entire world. To learn more about the amazing future God has planned for mankind, read our booklets Your Ultimate Destiny and The World Ahead: What Will It Be Like? You can read them online, or request your own printed copy, absolutely free of charge. Also be sure to watch the exciting telecast, "After the End of the World..." today!