"Times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and He shall send Jesus Christ, whom the heavens must receive until the restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His prophets" (Acts 3:19-21).
Man's Hopeless State
In drawing attention to the Bible teaching concerning the return of Christ, we call upon the reader to observe the great difference between the hope set forth therein and that of current theology. The former is practical, substantial, and well adapted to the needs of humanity. The latter is theoretical, insubstantial, and provides no real solution to personal or national problems.
All know from what the world suffers. It has inherited a state of sin and death; it has brought upon itself evils that are rapidly worsening; it is plagued with problems that defy solution, any of which could bring modem civilization grinding to a halt; it is faced with an economic crisis, a population crisis, a pollution crisis, a political crisis. And at the same time, it lacks a government with a policy adequate to solve these crises.
All forms of rule have been tried: Monarchic, Republic, Democratic, Socialistic, Soviet - but in vain. Confidence has been placed in all manner of philosophies and ideologies, but none have proved altogether satisfactory.
Where is the man, or combination of men, with the wisdom to evolve a solution to the problems of humanity or the power to implement it? Politicians cannot bring amity between employers and employed, much less solve the antagonism existing between nations. And as to individual happiness, in this age of affluence people are more frustrated, dissatisfied, troubled than ever before. At a time when every form of recreation is made increasingly easier to engage in, and even the unemployed are cared for as never before, discontent is so rampant that today suicide ranks as one of the most prevalent forms of death - particularly among young people.
This surely proves that something more than money, more than material affluence, is required. The prevalence of immorality, vice, drug-addiction, violence, rape and crime demonstrates that with all its material advantages, something serious is lacking in modem civilization.
And the further mankind drifts from God the greater become his problems.
During the past fifty years, a profound change has been witnessed in the attitude of men towards God. Where He was once recognized as the Creator, He is now ignored. Where the Bible was once revered as the Word of God, its teaching is now neglected, and its authority denied. Is it a mere coincidence that the same period of time has found the world twice embroiled in universal war? Is it just coincidence that the problems of nations and of individuals have mounted during the same period of time?
As the world blunders from one crisis to another, it is apparent to all that it is drifting towards some terrible climax, some catastrophic point in history, when the passions of men will erupt to bring civilization crashing to irreparable ruin. Never before, in times of peace, have such vast preparations been made for war as now. Never before has mankind groaned under such terrific burdens of taxation to finance governmental spending in this and other avenues, as at present. Never before have politicians gambled with such diabolic methods of destruction as today.
What is to be the outcome? We are warned by politicians and scientists that there is no hope: that the weapons being stockpiled today by the major powers are capable of involving all nations in such frightful ravages of destruction as can terminate life upon the globe.
That is the international future that mankind today faces.
The domestic scene is no less depressing. Nations are torn apart by dissension, hopelessly divided on issues small and great. Young people are disillusioned, discontented, unhappy; aimlessly wandering through life without hope; seeking "kicks" in drug-taking or viciousness. The Western World exists in an environment of permissiveness, violence, crime and juvenile delinquency. The very foundations of family living are being destroyed. A sense of insecurity pervades society which is reflected in a rising divorce rate, family disloyalty, rebellion against authority, broken homes, indolence, immorality.
Seeking A Solution
That is the world into which your children will be born, or in which they are growing up. Some believe that they can remain immune from such an environment: they can enjoy the affluence that modem life has introduced, whilst avoiding its evil. They are content to deplore conditions of growing evil, without doing anything about the problem. They observe an uprise of crime, violence and wickedness, but because they are personally untouched by these things, they believe that they can enjoy life without being affected thereby.
They may for a time. But those conditions are like a disease; they attack where and when least expected. The home that is secure and happy today can be plunged into trouble tomorrow: another victim to an environment that has been ignored.
Can anything be done to ensure the future?
It can. The Bible presents a way of hope that is both practical and satisfying. It provides the foundation for present happiness as well as for future glory. It has, as Paul taught, "promise of the life that now is and that which is to come" (1 Tim. 4:8). It points the way to more abundant living today by providing a purpose in life. It reveals how that we can get the best out of the present without abandoning the future.
It is to that way of life that Christadelphians would direct your attention. As students of the Bible they know that the present times are not mere coincidence. They are the times long foretold in the Bible, when men would be "lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God;" when selfishness and evil would abound; when the world would seethe with distress and perplexity (2 Tim. 3:2-5). God has spoken through His word. He warns men to repent. His appeal has been ignored, and the world is today feeling the effects of its folly.
The true disciple, however, has nothing to fear. To him the world's troubles are signs of Christ's return. In view of the future as outlined in the Bible, he is able to lift his head in confidence of coming redemption (Luke 21:28). He sees definite and clear signs that the coming of Christ is near at hand, and he recognizes that this event provides the only hope for a distressed world.
The Bible: True and Infallible
But you may not believe in the Bible. Unfortunately, comparatively few do so today. Indeed, belief in God Himself is out of fashion. Yet the evidence of His existence is beyond all doubt. Consider the wonderful diversity of creation; the marvelous order with which it is governed. Consider the solar system in its immensity; the mighty bodies of heaven hurling through space at tremendous speeds, and yet meticulously obeying some hidden Power which men call the forces of nature. It all is obviously the result of design, and cannot be satisfactorily explained in the absence of an intelligent Creator.
Men speak of the theory of evolution it is true, and by means of such teaching, seek to justify their repudiation of God. If that is your case, allow us to set forth the facts of the matter, and demonstrate how completely unreliable and inadequate is the theory.
On the other hand, what explanation can be given for the Bible's amazing record of prophecy? Man cannot predict ahead with any certainty, but the Bible has done so in regard to nations so plainly, as to demonstrate its divine origin.
Let us take but one example, and suggest that you follow up the subject.
We refer to the modern revival of Israel. Bible prophecy has predicted every major incident that has happened to this people, and in such a way as to resolve any doubts as to whether God is the Author of the Bible. Before Israel was a nation, it outlined the manner in which the people would fail to respond to the teaching of God, the discipline that would be exercised in scattering them among the nations, the fact that in spite of opposition the identity of the people would be preserved, and, finally their restoration back to their ancient land, and their revival as a nation.
Consider the evidence. As to the preservation of their identity in spite of continuous opposition and the most bitter persecution, God declared:
"For I am with thee (Israel), saith the Lord, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished" (Jer. 30:11).
This statement, clearly and dogmatically made, is vindicated by history.
"I will take the children of Israel from among the Gentiles, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land; and I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all. . ." (Ezek. 37:21-22).
Notice the threefold aspect of this prophecy: (1) The restoration of the people back to the land; (2) The revival of the nations; (3) The establishment of a monarchy.
This amazing prophecy, which has been vindicated by current events is fully outlined and documented in other pamphlets in this series. We can only briefly refer to its fulfillment here. However, Israel commenced to return to the land of Palestine (as Israel was then called) after World War 1, with the proclamation of the Balfour Declaration by Britain in 1917. It became a latter-day nation after World War 2, by decree of the United Nations Organization. It is not yet a monarchy, and never will be one until the Lord Jesus, styled the King of the Jews, returns to discipline and educate the people, and assume his rightful position, and status.
On the basis of Bible prophecy, a notable Christadelphian writer of over one hundred years ago, declared:
"There is, then, a partial and primary restoration of Jews before the manifestation of Christ, which is to serve as the nucleus, or basis, of future operations in the restoration of the rest of the tribes after he has appeared in the kingdom. The pre-adventual colonisation of Palestine will be on purely political principles; and the Jewish colonists will return in unbelief of the Messiahship of Jesus, and of the truth as it is in him. They will emigrate thither as agriculturists and traders, in the hope of ultimately establishing their commonwealth ... under the efficient protection of the British power" Elpis Israel, P. 144, published 1848.
The writer, John Thomas, was not a prophet, but was a man who understood the prophecies of the Bible; and this knowledge enabled him to write as he did. The last fifty years have thoroughly vindicated the prognostication above.
Bible prophecy, when correctly understood, clearly reveals the future of nations, and demonstrates both that the Bible is true and infallible, and that God has a purpose with the earth.
Christ's Return: A Basic Bible Doctrine
God's purpose with the earth is based upon the second advent of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is a doctrine plainly taught throughout the Bible, and one, too, that provides the only foundation for hope. Christ, himself, declared: "I will come again" (John 14:3). When his disciples asked him what their reward should be, he replied:
"Ye which shall have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye shall sit upon twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life" (Matt. 19: 28-29).
If the apostles are to sit upon thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel, it is obvious that the restoration of the Jewish people back to their homeland, and their revival as a nation, is a necessary preliminary to the reign of Christ on earth.
The manner of Christ's coming is also clearly revealed. The Apostles were told:
"This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven" (Acts 1:11).
The Apostles' teaching of Christianity was based upon the second coming of the Lord. In preaching the Gospel, Peter declared:
"Times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and He (God) shall send Jesus Christ, whom the heavens must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God bath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began."
Vast World Changes Impending
Christ is coming "to judge the world in righteousness" (Acts 17:31). By the mighty power vested in him, he will discipline the world, bringing all mankind subject to his rule. Setting up his power in Jerusalem, he will issue an ultimatum to the nations: "Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come; and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters" (Revelation 14:7). Those nations that accept the ultimatum will be incorporated into the Kingdom he will set up. The others will be disciplined until they submit. A further prophetic Scripture declares: "For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea those nations shall be utterly wasted" (Isaiah 60:12).
It is clearly obvious from these passages of Scripture, as from many others, that God's purpose is with the earth, and that Christ is coming to change conditions now existing thereon.
Consider the following statements of the Bible, and recognize that whether you accept its teaching or not, it does prophesy vast changes for this earth; demonstrating that the arena of God's purpose is with mankind and the nations, and not exclusively with heaven. The Bible declares:
"And the nations were angry, and Thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that Thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear Thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth" (Rev. 11:18).
"And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High whose kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom, and all dominions she serve and obey Him" (Dan. 7:27).
"The Lord shall be king over all the earth" (Zechariah 14:9).
"As truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord" (Numbers 14:21).
"Glory to God in the highest, in earth peace and goodwill towards men" (Luke 2:14).
All these statements emphasize that the earth and not heaven is the site of God's purpose with humanity and that the final destiny of nations is to be decided by Christ. The city of his administration will be Jerusalem. He, himself, called it "the city of the great king" (Matthew 5:35), and many other Scriptures endorse that it will one day be so. Open a Bible Concordance at the name Jerusalem, and notice how frequently it is referred to as the future capital of Christ's reign on earth. Among the statements, will be found the following:
"At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the Lord; and all nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the Lord, to Jerusalem; neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart" (Jeremiah 3:17).
"The Lord shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously" (Isaiah 24:33).
"The nations which came (to war) against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts" (Zech. 14:16).
"In the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths; for the Law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem" (Micah 4:1-2).
The last Scripture depicts people voluntarily turning to God, seeking to learn of His ways, and endeavoring to implement them as a way of life. It describes a vast difference to the attitude of people today, when most are in revolt against God.
What shall cause the change?
The disciplinary judgment of Armageddon, and the presence of Christ in the earth.
The social and religious changes suggested by the prophecy quoted above amazing when compared with the general indifference manifested by people towards the things of God today. They will be matched by political and national changes even more remarkable. The prophet continues:
"And he (Christ) shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nations shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."
Here is depicted a state of national wellbeing and of international unity staggering in its implications. Today, world economics is based upon the manufacture of munitions, and international diplomacy is regulated by the fear of war. But the rule of Christ will rid the world of those factors, and introduce a state of world unity, under one rule from Jerusalem, unique to history.
Bible prophecy thus predicts a world government under the reign of Christ that will dispense with the need for vast armies, formidable fleets, or frightening air-armadas that suck prosperity from the people by stupendous cost. War will be effectively outlawed, and international rivalry cease. People will live in peace and amity one with the other, and widespread respect for the divine laws that shall then emanate from Jerusalem will ensure that they will be obeyed.
But will the vision become reality?
There is tangible evidence in the world today that demonstrates beyond any doubt that it will: that evidence is found in fulfilling Bible prophecy constituting God's witness to humanity that He will bring to consummation the purpose outlined in His word. For the moment, we ask you just to consider the teaching of the Bible relating to the future; then inquire of yourself as to whether this will not solve the problems of humanity and bring about desirable conditions on earth.
The Kingdom Of God
The Bible clearly shows that God has not abdicated His right to reign over mankind. For the moment, He leaves men to their own volition that they might demonstrate their loyalty or otherwise to His will. His future intention, however, is to compel their obedience by setting up His rule on earth.
Meanwhile, free of such restraints, men use their liberty as license to gratify the flesh and please themselves. This will bring them ultimately to Armageddon, with its widespread destruction and devastation.
There is no need for this, if men would turn to God and endeavor to do His will. But this they refuse to do, and, instead, give themselves over completely to the pursuit of wickedness in all its forms. Thus punishment is self-inflicted. The very evils that society experiences today -- frustration, increase of crime, family troubles, economic and political distress, are all matters of man's making.
It is not God's purpose to leave men to the results of his own folly forever, but instead, to assert His authority over him by establishing on earth His kingdom. The Bible reveals that the Kingdom of God is a divine, political dominion to be established on the earth, on the ruins of all existing governments, for the purpose of blessing, and bringing the world into subjection to God.
The intention of God is set forth in the Bible in the following clear terms:
"The God of heaven shall set up a Kingdom which shall never be destroyed, and the Kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever" (Daniel 2:44).
Notice that this does not suggest an easy transference of power, but rather one brought about by the exercise of force and authority. Men in power will resist the demands of Christ at his coming as they did when they crucified him 1900 years ago. But they will be faced with a different Christ. Instead of "the lamb of God" prepared to submit to death for the salvation of man, he returns as the "lion of the tribe of Judah" to assert his power in order to establish his Kingdom on earth. God declared:
"I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms, and I will destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the nations" (Haggai 2:22).
God is represented as addressing Christ:
"Ask of Me, and I shall give thee the nations for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel" (Psalm 2:8-9).
Christ, in turn, is represented as offering to share this honor with those who today become his followers, thus:
"He that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations; and he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father" (Rev. 2:26-27).
The world sadly needs wise and proper restraints today.
Christ alone has the wisdom and power to implement them. Who but he has the ability to limit humanity's gross wastage of earth's natural resources so as to rid this world of the pollution that threatens to destroy life itself? Who among men has the power to control the forces of nature and so cause the deserts to blossom as the rose to provide food to feed the starving millions of earth's population as predicted? Who can bring peace to the troubled nations except by unifying them all into one universal rule as the Bible shows he will do?
The only hope for the world is the return of Christ. He as King will break in pieces the oppressor, and cause the instruments of war to be turned into implements of peace to the ends of the earth. Christ was crucified 1900 years ago because he claimed to be King. He died with the superscription over his cross: JESUS OF NAZARETH: THE KING OF THE JEWS. He is to return to take up that power and extend it until all mankind is brought under his rule.
Until he comes, there will be no peace, no universal righteousness, no true spiritual enlightenment, or real prosperity. Men and nations will continue to consume each other in the fires of vanity, until he shall re-appear to punish them for their iniquity (Isaiah 26:21), and to take to himself his great power and reign, transferring the kingdoms of men to himself and enforcing his undisputed, irresistible and righteous authority in every country on the globe.
That is the government the world needs. A government that draws the inspiration of its policy from above, and not below: that gives law by inherent wisdom and not by the consent of unenlightened multitudes - a government that cannot be influenced by popular clamor, or overthrown by popular violence, whose right is both might and right of Divine origin; whose laws will over-ride monopoly and obstruction: whose rulers will dispense righteous judgment, showing no respect of persons - a government that will be able to achieve and preserve a right distribution of the land, and property, and a right organization of human life in all concerns, occupation and surroundings: the state of towns, the hours of labor, the form and spirit of public institutions. That is the form of government Christ will establish on earth, as Bible prophecy clearly shows. It is a government that will bring God to the front; that will encourage and develop the nobleness of earnest submission to God's will, and repress and finally extinguish the blatant wickedness and immorality, the growth of crime and violence, that today overshadows society with an ominous cloud of evil. That government will give glory to God in the highest, and introduce such peace and goodwill among men, as history has never witnessed.
It is for the establishment of that Government that Christ called upon his followers to pray in the words: "Thy Kingdom come; that Thy will may be done in earth as it is in heaven."
A Practical Solution To The World's Problems
Such a Government is the only practical solution to the world's problems. What other solution is possible? What else but Divine authority will compel mankind to live in amity and peace? How else will pollution be brought under control, or peace replace the threat of nuclear war? Who else will be able to resist the rising flood of abandoned wickedness, that threatens to submerge all under its devastating influence, or halt the hopeless drifting of frustrated youth that seeks relief in drug-taking, crime, rape, or other forms of viciousness?
But is such a Government practical or possible?
It is, for when we speak of the setting up of the Kingdom of God on earth, we make reference to the restoration of a polity that has existed in past ages!
Yes, the Kingdom of God once existed on the earth, but it came to an end because of the lack of a divine ruler. Christ comes to re-establish that which existed once, and to reign himself in perfect wisdom and power.
In the past, the Kingdom of Israel, under David and his successors who reigned in Jerusalem, constituted the Kingdom of God on earth. It was God who appointed David to rule in Jerusalem (1 Sam. 13:14); the laws that governed Israel were God-given commandments; the religion that formed the basis of the theocratic government was God endorsed; the very legislation that ruled the lives of the people was dictated from above. Hence when Solomon, David's son, ascended the throne his father declared:
"God hath chosen Solomon my son to sit upon the throne of the Kingdom of the Lord over Israel" (1 Chron. 29:5).
But though Israel in the past constituted the Kingdom of God on earth (cp. Psalm 114:1-2; 1 Chron. 29:23), its earthly rulers were fallible men who departed from the ways of righteousness, and led the nation in the same direction.
In consequence, the history of the Kingdom of God in the past, is one of failure, with God punishing His people, and ultimately scattering Israel among the nations.
This, however, was but a temporary arrangement only. At the time of Zedekiah, the last king to sit upon the throne of David, God declared through Ezekiel the prophet:
"Thou, profane wicked prince of Israel, whose day is come, when iniquity shall have an end, thus saith the Lord God: Remove the diadem, add take off the crown: this shall not be the same: exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high. I will overturn, overturn, overturn it; and it shall be no more until HE COME WHOSE RIGHT IT IS: and I will give it him" (Ezekiel. 21:25-27).
Whose right is it to reign on the throne of David in Jerusalem? That of the Lord Jesus Christ alone. Just prior to his birth, his mother was told:
"Thou shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of Highest; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David; and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end" (Luke 1:31-33).
Where was the throne of David located? In Jerusalem! Where, today, is the "house of Jacob"? Some have returned to their ancient homeland, and constitute again the nation of Israel. Where is the throne of David today? It is non-existent, in ruins. But listen to the declaration of Scripture to be fulfilled in Christ:
"I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up" (Acts 15:16).
Christ's reign will not be in heaven (there are no "ruins" there!) but on earth; and the seat of his administration will be in Jerusalem, on the restored throne of David, in accordance with the promise of God made to the king himself (2 Sam. 7:10,16).
Meanwhile, the restoration of Israel to the land again in our time is the token given by God that the time of the consummation of His purpose is at hand:
"Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion; for the time to favor her, yea, the set time, is come. . . . When the Lord shall build up Zion (another name for Jerusalem), he shall appear in his glory" (Psalm 102:13, 16).
Students of the Bible, therefore, can take comfort in the fact that the fulfillment of Bible prophecy in our times indicates that the epoch of wickedness into which the world is currently plunged will shortly come to its end.
But whilst it is good to know that God has a purpose with the earth, and that He will send Jesus Christ to reign therein and relieve it of its load of misery and wickedness, that is no guarantee that we, personally, will benefit from his rule.
We must do something to "make our calling and election sure."
Christ comes primarily to reward with eternal life those who have sought to live according to his precepts. "Behold I come quickly," he declared to John (Revelation 22:12), "and my reward is with me, to give to every man according as his work shall be." "Your life is hid with Christ in God," Paul wrote to believers in his day (Colossians 3:3). "when Christ who is our life shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory."
Christ is referred to in Scripture as "the resurrection and the life." At his coming, he will raise from the dead those who have learned of his will that they might be judged according to their knowledge (2 Corinthians 5:10). The judgment will determine their destiny. If approved, they will be clothed upon with immortality; if they are condemned because they have refused to heed the admonition of Christ, they will receive "the second death" (Romans 2:7; Revelation 2:11).
Accordingly, in referring to the second coming of the Lord, the Apostle aligned it with the Judgment Seat. He declared: "The Lord Jesus Christ shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom" (2Tiinothy 4:1). In view of his own earnest efforts to perform his Master's will and in confident anticipation of the reward he will give at his coming, he declared:
"I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing" (2 Timothy 4:6-7).
Unfortunately few comprehend the meaning of the two words his appearing; whilst fewer still can be placed in the category of those who love his appearing. Certain it is that if we have not some understanding of the return of Christ and the changed conditions he will bring about on the earth consequent upon his rule, we cannot develop a love for his appearing.
But to where else, but to the Bible, can we turn for hope and comfort at such times as the present? To the many thoughtful and honest minds which are distracted by the divisions and contentions of Christendom, and made to wonder if there is such a thing as truth, there is but one remedy, and that is to return to the doctrines preached by Christ and the apostles. Their teaching is plainly revealed in the Bible if people would search its pages. The Christadelphians are prepared to help you to that end, and will gladly supply you with further literature free of charge clearly outlining its teaching.
Meanwhile, there is no ground for expecting any good time apart from Christ. The world needs no other solution than what God has purposed in him. His mission contains every element of rescue from the morass of misery into which the world is rapidly sinking. Who can destroy the antagonism of nations but he? Who has the power to enforce laws for the well-being of humanity as he? Who has the wisdom to bring peace, but he who is styled the "Prince of Peace" (Isa. 9:6)? Who has the ability to establish a strong, wise, just and kindly government, but he? Who has the capability of fusing mankind into one happy family, but he?
If he punish the world first, it deserves it; for there must be righteousness before there can be peace. If he destroys its institutions first, and enforces his own single authority on its unwilling populations, it is because it is for good, for it cannot find well-being in its own ways. Six thousand years have tragically proved the inadequacy of every form of human government; it has all been a terrible failure. The divine remedy remains and will come. The Bible teaches: "God hath appointed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom He hath ordained, whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised him from the dead" (Acts 17:31).
At that set time appointed Christ will come whether the world wants him or not and God's purpose will be established in the earth with or without the aid of men. Meanwhile, it is your opportunity to make your peace with God by accepting the conditions set forth. They are epitomized in the commission given to the Apostles by the Lord. He told them: "Go into all the world and preach the Gospel; he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; he that believeth not shall be condemned" (Mark 16:16).
Christ urged his contemporaries to "search the Scriptures" for the key to life eternal. They will reveal an antidote to the frustrations of modern life, and set forth a way of salvation providing for immortality upon the earth under ideal conditions.