Understanding the Gospel message is about more than good feelings. Will you be among those who heed God’s warning to the world?
Several thoughts came to mind as I was preparing to write this column. This issue of Tomorrow’s World is being sent to our largest number of subscribers ever, as we surpass the 540,000 mark. But who knows how many will read this column? Some receive the magazine, set it aside, and never read it. Others share it with family and neighbors. Whatever the exact number of readers is, it is a great privilege to have such a large audience—and not only a wonderful privilege, but also a grave responsibility.
Tomorrow’s World is a news and current affairs magazine quite different from Time, Maclean’s, or The Spectator. Tomorrow’s World discusses current events in the light of Bible prophecy. It makes sense of the world around us and reveals history in advance. As Editor in Chief, I desire to give good news to a hurting world, and the best news ever is that of the coming Kingdom of God—a message you will never find in popular newsstand publications.
But not all news is good. Sadly, mankind continues to plunge headlong into geopolitical conflicts, violent and deviant behaviors, and other dramatic departures from biblical values, all of which bring heartache, suffering, hatred, and confusion. Our mission here at Tomorrow’s World is not our own. Scripture gives us a charge to present the good news of a better world to come and contrast the self-inflicted bad news resulting from worldwide rebellion against our Creator.
Jesus the Christ (the Messiah) came proclaiming a message about the Kingdom of God. When the people of Capernaum begged Him not to leave their city, He responded, “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, because for this purpose I have been sent” (Luke 4:43). Yes, He had a mission to preach the good news—which is what the word gospel means—of a better world to come. How little this message is preached today! How few even know what it means! We hear about forgiveness of sins through Christ’s sacrifice and about the love of God—both of which are right, good, and necessary doctrines—but little or nothing about Christ’s return to set up a kingdom on this earth.
Few understand the meaning and purpose of life. Most people—even churchgoers, whether they realize it or not—compartmentalize their lives. There is the here and now—what people mainly live for. Then there is a future they are not sure about, which they consider best removed to the back of the mind as much and as long as possible. Because death is certain, they find it better to live for today with some vague hope for a good life after death. But Christ came announcing a sure reality very different from common ideas about “getting our wings,” “rolling around heaven all day,” or staring into the face of God in some kind of celestial drug high (the so-called beatific vision).
Nowhere does the Bible describe the reward of the righteous as going to heaven to become angels—not even a single scripture tells us we will “get our wings.” On the contrary, Scripture describes the saved as brothers of Christ (Romans 8:29), sons of God and coheirs with Christ (Romans 8:14–17), and sons and daughters of God (2 Corinthians 6:18). Furthermore, our reward is here on this earth, where Christ will return. For the few in this age called, chosen, and faithful, there is the reward of ruling with Christ and straightening out the problems on planet Earth. Why do you not hear these Bible verses explained from Sunday-morning pulpits?
The Scriptures declare that Christ will return to be King over all the earth (Zechariah 14:9). David will be resurrected to be king over all Israel (Jeremiah 30:9). The Twelve Apostles will each rule over one of the twelve tribes of Israel (Matthew 19:28). We who respond to God’s calling during this age will be given responsibility over cities (Luke 19:11–19). Don’t believe us just because we say these things! Read these and other Bible verses for yourself. Again, why do you not hear these scriptures expounded on Sunday mornings—or any other time, for that matter?
An important part of Jesus’ message about the Kingdom is found in the last sentence of Mark 1:15: “Repent, and believe in the gospel”—two things that most people, including most professing Christians, refuse to do. Repentance means turning around and going in a different direction. That does not only include not lying, stealing, or cheating on one’s spouse; it also means forsaking a counterfeit Christianity. “For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it!” (2 Corinthians 11:4; see also verses 13–15). Sadly, too many today put up with false religious doctrines that are clearly condemned in the Holy Scriptures.
While we preach the good news that Jesus Christ is coming back to save the world, we must also fulfill the other half of our commission—to call upon people to repent of sin, lest they suffer the consequences. This is no idle threat on the part of God. Our world is heading for catastrophe as a result of our collective rebellion against our Creator. God, through His prophet Isaiah, commands His servants, “Cry aloud, spare not; lift up your voice like a trumpet; tell My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins” (Isaiah 58:1). True servants of God do this. The mind of God is also expressed in the Proverbs, where we read this sobering command and warning: “Deliver those who are drawn toward death, and hold back those stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, ‘Surely we did not know this,’ does not He who weighs the hearts consider it? He who keeps your soul, does He not know it? And will He not render to each man according to his deeds?” (Proverbs 24:11–12).
Is our world stumbling to the slaughter? We know it is if we use our eyes to see and ears to hear! That is why Tomorrow’s World cannot focus only on feel-good, positive articles as some religious magazines do. We must hold out hope, but at the same time explain why hope is needed: “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).
There you have bad news and good news all in one short passage! God will intervene to stop us from self-extinction and set up a kingdom of peace and prosperity for all. That is the good news. But we must not fail to warn the world that mankind’s sins will bring about the greatest time of trouble the world has ever seen. Unless we repent of our violent behavior, our sexual perversions, and our selfish ambitions, our future will be more and more filled with war, famine, disease, and natural disaster, eclipsing Hollywood’s most dramatic apocalyptic films.
Humanity is flirting with disaster—and we will reap what we have sown. God is not playing games with our future, and neither should we. Our actions and our priorities matter. Dear readers, my hope is that each of you will open your Bible and cry out to God to open your mind to comprehend the incredible plan that He is working out here below. Yet I am saddened to know from experience that even if all 544,000 subscribers to this magazine read this article, only a precious few will really get it. I hope you will be one of them.