A time is soon coming when our troubled planet will be at peace, under the millennial rule of Jesus Christ in the Kingdom of God. Are you despairing over the sad condition of today's world? You can take heart in knowing God's wonderful plan for you—and for the whole world!
Our world is suffering from constant economic and military troubles. The threats of nuclear war, terrorism, disease epidemics—and more—may cause you to wonder about your future. Did you know that your Bible promises a new world—coming soon—in which there will be peace and joy for all, and a special role for today's faithful Christians?
In the last hundred years, humanity has suffered two world wars. World War I resulted in ten million deaths; World War II saw 55 million deaths. More recently, Western military alliances have continued to suffer casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan. Genocides have claimed millions of lives under the regimes of Nazi Germany and Communist Kampuchea. Dictators from Stalin to Mao have murdered millions of their opponents. The Middle East has been a "powder keg"—and Bible prophecy reveals that it will be so until Jesus Christ returns, except for a short-lived 3½-year temporary "peace" near the end of this age.
Can humanity solve the world's conflicts, wars and problems? United States President Woodrow Wilson, at the end of World War I, proposed a League of Nations that would work together for world peace. That organization failed, and after World War II the United Nations was formed in 1945 for the same purpose. More than 60 years later, its 192 member-states have not found the way to lasting world peace.
How many years of peace has the world experienced? When we survey the history of the world, it appears that human beings have not learned their lessons. Historians Will and Ariel Durant examined our record of war and peace, and concluded: "In the last 3,421 years of recorded history only 268 have seen no war" (The Lessons of History, p. 81).
Is there hope for humanity? On the one hand, Bible prophecy reveals a coming World War III that will destroy major portions of humanity. But Bible prophecy also gives us hope beyond Armageddon! Notice: "For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened" (Matthew 24:21–22).
Yes, those days will be shortened! The Savior of the world, Jesus Christ, will intervene. He will prevent total destruction to the earth and all life upon it. There is a new world coming that gives us all hope and comfort. One of the most encouraging scriptures is found in Revelation 11. At the end of the prophetic time period known as the Day of the Lord, God Almighty gives this awesome announcement at the seventh trumpet: "Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, 'The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!'" (Revelation 11:15).
How will the nations respond to this announcement? Will they welcome the Messiah? Notice: "The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints, and those who fear Your name, small and great, and should destroy those who destroy the earth" (Revelation 11:18).
How amazing! The nations will not welcome the Messiah, Jesus Christ. They will even attempt to fight against Christ at His Second Coming. The world's armies will gather at Megiddo for what is commonly called the "Battle of Armageddon"—which your Bible actually calls "the battle of that great day of God Almighty" (Revelation 16:14). Who will win that battle? Scripture describes Christ's descent to earth, accompanied by the saints—true Christians—to fight: "And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS" (Revelation 19:14–16).
Those who fight against Christ in this climactic battle will be killed. "And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh" (Revelation 19:19–21).
Yes, we look forward to the good news of Christ's return! The King of kings will defeat the enemies of peace. Revelation 20 describes God setting the stage for a thousand years of peace following Christ's return. Satan the Devil will be bound and cast into the bottomless pit. During the Millennium, while Satan is confined, he will no longer be able to deceive the world with false religions and vile practices. Notice: "Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while" (Revelation 20:1–3).
The Millennium will begin with a new world government—a new world order that will produce lasting world peace! But what is that new world order? How will the Millennial government be organized? The new world government will be directed by the King of kings and Lord of lords, Jesus Christ. Notice this important fact: He will appoint the saints, faithful Christians, to rule under Him. "And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years" (Revelation 20:4).
Your Bible reveals the future, and it guarantees a thousand years of world peace. But what will that world be like? How will the new world government operate? How can we be sure that generation after generation will enjoy great peace and prosperity?
First of all, Christ, the King of kings, will have the power to stop nations and individuals from rebellion and war. Read this encouraging prophecy: "He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore" (Isaiah 2:4).
Christ will rebuke warlike people and nations. The weapons of war will be turned into instruments of peace and productivity. Some of you may have seen the sculpture outside of the United Nations in New York, depicting a man beating a sword into a plowshare. Imagine how the world will be transformed from destructive methods to productive methods. Today, nations spend billions of dollars on military weapons. The Wall Street Journal's MarketWatch posted this headline on June 8, 2009, "Global military spending hits a record in 2008, U.S. wars in Middle East lift the world's top military contractors." The article states: "Global spending on military armaments and services hit a record in 2008, driven by the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and helped by sharp increases in Chinese and Russian defense budgets. For 2008, countries around the world spent $1.5 trillion on weapons, vehicles and intelligence and reconnaissance services, according to a Monday report from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, or SIPRI. The amount represented a 4 percent increase from 2007. The year 'saw increasing threats to security, stability and peace in nearly every corner of the globe,' the Swedish group said in a statement. 'The effects of the global financial crisis will be likely to exacerbate these challenges as governments and nongovernmental organizations struggle to respond effectively.'"
The nations of the world are not disarming. They are spending more and more money and resources on military armaments and services. How will we ever have peace on earth? The good news is: the King of kings will enforce peace among nations. He will rebuke those nations and peoples who would like to fight and kill. Think of the trillions of dollars spent on military weapons. In the Millennium, human beings will use those resources to benefit nations for increased productivity and peace.
For thousands of years, fanatical religions and superpower nations have taught strategies of war. But, the Messiah, Jesus Christ, is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). The nations must be re-educated in the way of life that produces peace. They must learn the way to peace, not the way to war.
At the end of World War II, General Douglas MacArthur focused on the key to world peace. Aboard the U.S.S. Missouri, as the Japanese formally surrendered, he warned: "We have had our last chance. If we will not devise some greater and more equitable system, our Armageddon will be at our door. The problem basically is theological and involves a spiritual recrudescence and improvement of human character that will synchronize with our almost matchless advances in science, art, literature and all material and cultural developments of the past two thousand years. It must be of the spirit if we are to save the flesh."
General MacArthur clearly saw that a transformation in human character is the key to peace among nations. He said, "It must be of the spirit if we are to save the flesh." That change will come only when the world learns its lesson. The good news is: that change of spirit will come during the Millennium, when Jesus Christ sets up the Kingdom of God here on earth. Finally, then, our peoples will desire to live by the Bible and the Ten Commandments. But you, individually, can today learn the way to peace.
God is now calling His people to train as kings and priests. Yet very few professing Christians today understand the glorious calling and future that God is preparing! What will the saints—true Christians—be doing in the coming Kingdom? Notice this song of the saints: "You [speaking of Christ] 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).
Yes, God will establish righteous government on this earth, and today's converted Christians will in that day assist Jesus Christ in administering that government. What will it be like? Read this inspiring prophecy: "Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and peoples shall flow to it. Many nations shall come and say, 'Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.' For out of Zion the law shall go forth, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem" (Micah 4:1–2).
Here is wonderful news. Not too many years from now, Jesus Christ will return to transform a world of war, chaos, and carnality into a world of peace, prosperity, fulfillment and joy! God's Kingdom is coming to this earth soon. There is hope for you and your family. The Prince of Peace will teach the way to peace and prosperity. Jerusalem will be the capital of the earth. "Thus says the Lord: 'I will return to Zion, and dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Jerusalem shall be called the City of Truth, the Mountain of the Lord of hosts, the Holy Mountain.' Thus says the Lord of hosts: 'Old men and old women shall again sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each one with his staff in his hand because of great age. The streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in its streets'" (Zechariah 8:3–4).
Instead of urban violence, gang murders, and the early death of children, families will live safely and securely. Elderly men and women will live in peace and no longer experience so many kinds of abuse. Farms will prosper with sustainable agriculture. Notice this inspiring prophecy: "'Behold, the days are coming,' says the Lord, 'When the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him who sows seed; the mountains shall drip with sweet wine, and all the hills shall flow with it. I will bring back the captives of My people Israel; They shall build the waste cities and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and drink wine from them; they shall also make gardens and eat fruit from them. I will plant them in their land, and no longer shall they be pulled up from the land I have given them,' says the Lord your God" (Amos 9:13–15).
Our polluted planet will be renewed! Your Bible reveals our glorious future in many prophecies. Here is one inspiring description of our renewed earth under Christ's loving rule: "The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose; it shall blossom abundantly and rejoice, even with joy and singing.… For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert. The parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water; in the habitation of jackals, where each lay, there shall be grass with reeds and rushes" (Isaiah 35:1–2, 6–7).
In God's coming Kingdom on the earth, Christ will heal people of all their infirmities. Remember, when Jesus preached the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, He healed thousands. We read, "And great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them all" (Matthew 12:15). Isaiah tells us: "Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb sing" (Isaiah 35:5–6).
There is hope for the future of the world—and there is hope for your future! Today's faithful Christians, the true saints, will be in the first resurrection to assist Christ in ruling the world. They will usher in the Millennium of world peace. The glorious Kingdom of God on earth will produce beauty and productivity such as the world has never known. In the Millennium, God will make His knowledge available to all—unlike our present age, in which only a relative few of the billions on the earth understand His true Gospel being preached to them as a witness (Matthew 24:14). Working with Jesus Christ, today's faithful Christians will assist their Savior in preparing the world for a coming "Great White Throne Judgment"—in which all those who never before heard the true Gospel preached will have their first opportunity to learn and live God's way!
May God speed the coming of His Kingdom! It is coming soon! You need to pray, "Your Kingdom come!" You need to be watching the prophetic trends and signs heralding Christ's return!