We have all heard jokes such as the one about the tribal chief returning from the hunt. “I have good news and bad news. The good news is that the hunt yielded much meat for the winter. The bad news is that all we got was skunk!”
Our work at Tomorrow’s World is a good news/bad news message for humanity without a funny punch line. The bad news truly is bad news, and the good news truly is good news—but unlike this humorous anecdote, the bad news comes first.
Anyone with eyes to see knows that our world is in trouble. This quote from the November 2, 2017 Washington Post reveals the current state of affairs in the United States: “The attack left a staggering hole in a Texas town of fewer than 700 people and, for some, reinforced a sense of unease that no place could be considered immune from possible violence after a concert ground in Las Vegas, a Walmart in Colorado, a Nashville church and a bike path in New York all became scenes of death and bloodshed over the past six weeks.”
Vehicular homicide seems to be the prime means of terrorizing citizens in the United Kingdom and Europe, although guns and bombs have recently brought death and destruction in Paris, Brussels and Manchester. Car bombs explode routinely in the Middle East as religious and political factions vie for power, and school children are abducted by militants in Africa. Who knows what new atrocities will occur before this article reaches you?
Drug abuse is a never-ending plague on society (discussed in more depth in our article on page 12). Producers, distributors, and corrupt officials disrupt cities and nations, and users destroy both themselves and others around them. Abuse of the Internet runs rampant: identity theft, fraudulent investments, pornography, fake news that can destroy reputations and cripple companies, routinely stolen military and corporate secrets with dangerous potential—just to name a few!
North Korea and the United States continue rattling sabers, as do Iran and Saudi Arabia. Libya, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Somalia remain in chaos as rival factions strive for dominance. Modern weapons make it possible to annihilate humanity. Only human nature has remained constant.
Bad news abounds. Relations between men and women are troubled. Birth rates in some nations are so low that immigrants are needed for jobs that millions of babies aborted in the last few decades would have grown to fill. Drug abuse, coarse political discourse, the inability to work together—all contribute to what is increasingly seen as the death of Western culture.
These things are happening before our eyes, but the real bad news remains ahead! All indications point to our entering what the Bible describes as the “end of the age” (Matthew 24:3), “time of the end” (Daniel 12:4), and “time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7). (Order our free publication The United States and Great Britain in Prophecy for a fuller understanding of these scriptures.)
Jesus describes this time as marked by false Christianity, ethnic violence, wars and rumors of wars, famines, pestilences and natural disasters (Matthew 24:4–7; Mark 13:5–8; Luke 21:8–11). We also learn that these are only the beginning of sorrows. There is good news, but our world will get much worse before getting better! Jesus predicted another trend that rises as you read this—those who choose His way will be hated by all nations in the end time. True Christians will be persecuted, even put to death (Matthew 24:9)! How can this happen in civilized societies?
I once wondered about this, but no longer. In various Islamic states, it is already dangerous to claim the name of Christ. But what about our Western democracies? Political correctness (censorship and the death of free speech) is rapidly making it illegal to express truly biblical points of view. Some of the Bible is already declared “hate speech” in Canada! Businesses in America and the United Kingdom are targeted and destroyed by modern “thought police.”
So where is the good news? How can we change this picture? The answer is that we cannot, but God can! A new world is coming, and as the old song goes, “it’s just around the bend”! The same source that predicted mankind’s fall into this mess predicts hope for the future. To most people, this sounds too good to be true. But is it?
Jesus Christ, the greatest Prophet in history, warned that humanity would annihilate itself unless He directly and divinely intervened (Matthew 24:21–22).
The prophet Zechariah describes the climax of mankind’s misrule. We learn that Jerusalem will be at the heart of the final conflict. “Behold, the day of the Lord is coming, and your spoil will be divided in your midst. For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem…. Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations…. And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east” (Zechariah 14:1–4). The prophecy then describes the mountain cleaving in two, creating a large valley from which water flows. This clearly describes a future event, as no such thing has ever happened there. A great battle will then take place between the world’s nations and the returning Jesus Christ. He will defeat these armies—“And the Lord shall be King over all the earth” (v. 9).
After quelling this rebellion, Jesus will command the surviving nations to do something many professing Christians refuse to do: keep the biblical festivals and Holy Days. “And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles” (v. 16). The prophecy warns that any nation that does not keep this Feast will have no rain, and will eventually be plagued if it continues to rebel against the command (vv. 17–19). The returning Christ will get mankind’s attention and prevent human extinction (Matthew 24:21–22).
The Bible describes this wonderful time in many passages. One scripture inspired Evgeniy Vuchetich to create a gift from the Soviet Union to the “United” Nations in 1959. It is a bronze statue of a man beating a sword into an agricultural instrument and is titled, “Let Us Beat Swords into Plowshares.” The origin of this phrase is found in Isaiah 2:4.
Benjamin Franklin, one of America’s “Founding Fathers,” is reputed to have skeptically said, “Those who beat their swords into plowshares usually end up plowing for those who kept their swords.” It is easy to understand why many today share such skepticism. Peace cannot coexist with our current human nature, but what if human nature were to change? And how could it?
After His enemies are defeated, Christ will remove a powerful spirit influence that has deceived humanity since our first parents lived. Few understand the reality and power of this cunning being known as Satan the devil. The Bible calls him “the god of this age” (2 Corinthians 4:4), and the “prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience” who directs “the course of this world” (Ephesians 2:2). The Day of Atonement, one of the biblical Holy Days, reveals that we can only be “at one” with God and one another if Satan is put away (Leviticus 23:27; Revelation 20:1–3). The deception and rebellion we see today will rapidly subside after his removal. Only then can a new age of peace, prosperity, good health and harmony become reality.
To learn more about this time of good news, order your free copy of our booklet, The World Ahead: What Will It Be Like?