Our Incredible Hope in a Hopeless World!
What Should Motivate Us to a Positive Outlook On Life?
When we look around us each day it is so very easy to become dejected and demoralized by what we see and hear. The news media paints a continually negative view that so easily can depress us: news of the latest wars, crime in the neighborhood, hurricanes battering coastlines, nuclear Armageddon just around the corner, political agendas to destroy the president and our Constitutional Republic, broken homes and child delinquency … on and on the list goes. There seems to be so little we can really be thankful for in this society of ours that is rapidly losing what little remains of its moral compass.
It is so easy to be dragged down with the rest of society by this cultural collapse, especially if you are a younger person who wonders just what life might be like in another 10 or 20 years if things keep going as they are. In fact, if they continue the way they are we might have a society like that of the Ik tribe of northern Uganda. A fellow named Colin Turnbull lived among this tribe from 1964 to 1967, and wrote a book about his experiences called The Mountain People. His dedication in the book said the following: “For the Ik, whom I learned not to hate.”
Turnbull experienced a society of about 2,000 members that had forgotten how to be human. They had lost the ability to love, hope, and help. They had abandoned any semblance of living the give way.
In the Ik, Turnbull believed he saw the end result of what was happening in Western societies. He wrote that the Ik “had cultivated individualism to its apex.” Their only concern was working to fill their own stomachs and to keep everyone else’s empty. While they existed in a group in terms of proximity, each member lived in total emotional isolation. They lived a life of utter selfishness.
He asked members of the tribe what their native word for “good” was. The world translated basically as “food.” And he learned that a “good man” was a man with food — in his own stomach. The younger Ik literally stole food out of the mouths of the elderly, waiting until they had chewed it. Young men hoarded excess food for themselves while their fathers died of starvation a few feet away.
Not much is known about the tribe, but apparently they had not always been this way. At one time, it appears they held together in families, but eventually they abandoned this. Turnbull witnessed many disturbing examples of what happened when family structure is absent.
In one instance, he witnessed the Ik having to quickly move a village. The young left the old, stepping over them without concern. “There was a sudden exodus from the village, distant shouts of laughter,” he wrote. “I went to see that the excitement was about. It was someone else whom I had never seen before, dead Lolim’s widow. She too had been abandoned and had tried to make her way down the mountainside. But she was totally blind and had tripped and rolled to the bottom … and there she lay on her back, her legs and arms thrashing feebly, while a little crowd standing on the edge above looked down at her and laughed at the spectacle.”
No one cared to help this old widow. Turnbull intervened, giving her food and medicine. He hoped the extra food would motivate her family to allow her into the new village.
“So we gave her more food and made her eat and drink all she could, put her stick in her hand and pointed her the way she wanted to be pointed, and suddenly she cried. Thinking she was afraid or wanted us to go with her, I asked, and she said no; she was crying, she said, because all of a sudden we had reminded her that there had been a time when people had helped each other, when people had been kind and good.”
The Ik in a matter of about two generations, had forgotten how to give, how to care, how to love.
They were in a vicious cycle. The Ik would kick their children out of their homes when they turned three. The children would band together, not in friendship, but for survival. The leader of the pack, who was the oldest and largest child, could eventually be pushed off a cliff by one seeking to replace him. The spirit of competition was rampant.
After a childhood without being loved or cared for, the Ik children grew to adulthood and returned the favor by beating or starving the elderly. In Ik culture, children were not good for anything and neither were the elderly. The only value was in the strong, who could get for themselves.
In the case of the old widow trying to enter her new village, the Ik became angry at Turnbull for wasting food and medicine on her. In their thinking, the old die, so let them die and don’t squander time or resources on them.
Seen how the Ik had surrendered completely to their basest self-desires, Turnbull wondered about the sexual relationships within the Ik tribe. Here too he found complete selfishness.
“Lolim and others of the older people told me, for instance, of how in the old days adultery had rated equal to incest as a crime …. But when I mentioned [his daughter’s] flirtatious life to him and asked if he was not afraid for her, he laughed and said that the Ik had dropped all that kind of thing; now anyone could sleep with anyone …. This was yet another indication of how completely family values had broken down.”
Turnbull wrote that the Ik had created a monstrous society that was a “passionless … feelingless association of individuals that would spread like a fungus, contaminating all it touched.”
In his conclusion, Turnbull made this startling statement: “The symptoms of change in our society indicated that we are heading in precisely the same direction.”
How much is “advanced” Western society, having cast off moral restraint, losing its humanity and approaching the Ik way of life? As Ik society showed, the descent can happen alarmingly fast.
Let’s look at just a bit of our own society for a moment, and examine the situation with teenagers. Some experts say teens seem to feel more hopeless than in previous years. Tony Jurich, a professor of family studies and human services at Kansas State University, said “Teens think they are invincible, so when they feel psychological pain, they are more apt to feel overwhelmed by hopelessness and the belief that they have no control over their lives.” Jurich calls these feelings of hopelessness and helplessness.
A new study at San Diego State University finds that five times as many high school students are dealing with anxiety and other mental health issues as youth of the same age did that were surveyed back during the era of the Great Depression. Jean Twenge, who is the author of Generation Me: Why Today’s Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled — and More Miserable Than Ever Before, analyzed the responses of over 77,000 college students surveyed from 1938 through 2007.
A common theme amidst all of this depression among young kids is hopelessness and helplessness. A big part of this hopelessness can be tied to social media and the use of smart phones. As Nicholas Carr said in a Wall Street Journal article (October 7, 2017) entitled “How smart phone hijack our minds,” “Our devices have an unprecedented grip on our attention — and research suggests that as we grow more dependent on them, our intellects weaken.” We have smarter phones and weaker minds, and the phone is an attention magnet unlike any we have had to grapple with before … and get this incredible fact: American adults under 45 years old send and receive an average of 2,550 messages a month, or about 85 text messages per day! Of course, many of them deal with business, but for younger people the vast majority are simply social contacts.
Note these facts.
l The median reported prevalence of cyberbullying was 23.0%
l Ten studies found a statistically significant association between cyberbullying and report of depression.
l Message boards, social networking sites, blogs, and Twitter were the most frequent platforms for abuse.
l Girls were more frequent targets of abuse than boys.
l Victims reported loss of self-esteem and withdrawal. Grades dropped, and absences and behavioral problems increased.
l Depression levels increased significantly.
l In some cases, cyberbullying was associated with self-harm or suicidality.
(Hamon, M.P., et al., Prevalence and effect of cyberbullying on children and young people: a scoping review of social media studies. JAMA Pediatrics 2015; 169: 770-777.)
I mention these things to emphasize the state of our society and why so many of us, especially young people, are laboring with a lot of hopelessness nowadays. Let me tell you that this feeling is not necessary, and can be wiped out of our minds if we but latch unto the reality of what is coming, and coming very soon.
What is coming soon is the millennial reign of Jesus Christ, and I want to take just a bit of time to zero in on some of the facets of this new age. What will this new age be like? What do we have to look forward to?
We need to understand that we are here at this Feast of Tabernacles to celebrate the coming Kingdom of God, or the government of God here on the earth for 1,000 years
A. This will be a renewed Eden on the earth, but not just in a specific small area, but this time a worldwide Garden of Eden.
B. Jesus Christ spoke about this coming realm on many occasions, especially in the parables, but in other places as well:
1. The Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13:3-23)
2. The parable of the Marriage Feast (Matthew 22:1-14)
3. The Great Supper (Luke 14:15-24)
4. Mark 1:14-15. “Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying ‘The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent you, and believe the gospel [good news].’”
5. See also Matthew 2:2, where John the Baptist preached this same message.
6. Matthew 4:17. This was Christ’s major message after the temptation in the wilderness: “Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
7. Matthew 4:23; 9:35; 24:14.
8. John 12:12-15. Christ entering Jerusalem on a donkey as King.
9. Acts 1:6-7. The disciples asked if Jesus would restore the Kingdom of Israel, but Christ said only the Father knew when.
C. I could go on and on to show that the major message of the Scriptures is to assure us that the Eden of God will be restored to this earth, and that the resurrected saints will rule with Christ and bring this about.
IV. We need a vision of what is coming; we need to see our brilliant future as it will really be! What we see in the world now is not worthy to be compared with what we will experience in the times on ahead.
A. Prov. 29:18. vision (Strong 2377) = chazoun, “a sight, a mental picture”; from chazah (Strong 2376), “to gaze at, to mentally perceive, to contemplate (with pleasure).”
Proverbs 29:18. “Where there is no revelation, the people perish; but happy is he who keeps the law.”
B. Hebrews 12:2. Christ endured the crucifixion because of the hope set before Him!
Hebrews 12:2 ”Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the stake, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
C. Romans 8:18-23. The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that will be revealed in us.
D. Acts 3:18-24. The times of refreshing and restoration.
Acts 3: 18-24. “But those things which God foretold by the mouth of all His prophets, that the Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled. Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began. For Moses truly said to the fathers, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear in all things, whatever He says to you. And it shall be that every soul who will not hear that Prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.’ Yes, and all the prophets, from Samuel and those who follow, as many as have spoken, have also foretold these days.”
E. There are two sources by which we can gain insights into this coming new world:
1. The created world
2. The Holy Scriptures
a. Heb. 8:5. What was revealed on the mountain was a type of heavenly things.
Hebrews 8:5. “… who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, ‘See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.’”
b. II Chron. 3:15-16. The temple on Solomon’s day had pillars, flowers, fruit, cherubim, etc.
VI. Let us take a look at the nature of this wonderful world that is coming, and see just how beautiful it is going to be. It will literally be Eden restored to this earth.
A. Acts 3:18-24. A restoration of Eden on earth. Rev. 20:1-3. Satan will be removed from the world’s scene; he is the cause of sin and disruption and is responsible for influencing mankind throughout this entire eon.
B. Government in the new age
1. The primary problem in today’s world is improper government, which is based upon Satan’s rulership … a hierarchy.
a. Satan is the “god of this world” (II Cor. 4:4; Eph 2:2), and is the motivator of all governments today.
b. He has been deposed by Jesus Christ in the Wilderness confrontation, but still controls events on the earth by working in and through men.
2. Because of Satan’s control over rulers, the “basest of men” rule (Dan. 4:17).
Daniel 4:17. “This decision is by the decree of the watchers, and the sentence by the word of the holy ones, in order that the living may know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He will, and sets over it the lowest of men.”
3. Rather than having the worst of men ruling, we will have the best of men ruling.
4. Today’s rulers “exercise dominion” over others, and rule by fear and force (Luke 22:25-26), but the opposite is to be true of God’s people, who are to lead in lovingkindness, humility, and service to others.
5. These rulers of the world in general run roughshod over the poor, infirm, helpless, and destitute, and are so often cruel in their judgement, serving themselves first and those high on the pyramid (Jer. 5:25-31).
C. Agriculture is the heart and basis of the economy of any civilization on earth — from this sector of society most new wealth is generated — but tomorrow’s agriculture will be very different than today’s agriculture. Man is made of the dust of the earth, and he will always need “dust” [food] to sustain himself (Gen. 3:19), but there will be no agriculture in the next age as we know it today.
1. Love forms the basis of this new economy, for Jesus Christ and the saints will form the heart of it (Matt. 11:30; 22:37-39; Gal.5:22-23).
Galatians 5:22-23. “But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”
2. Hard work, but not overwork, forms the core of a Godly society (II Thess. 3:10; Eccl. 9:10). Man is to “tend and keep” the creation (Genesis 2:15).
3. Giving is better than receiving (Acts 20:35), and serving than being served (Gal.5:13).
4. Debt is to be forgiven (Matt.6:12), and help is to be provided for those in genuine need (Deut. 15:6-11). This help is to be given without a requirement of repayment (Luke 6:35).
Luke 6:35. “But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is king to the unthankful and evil.”
5. There will be no need for a money system at all in the next age, for money merely represents something you need and can exchange for real goods and services (Isa. 55:1). If goods and services are boundless and without charge, then why should money be needed? Did Adam and Eve need money to live? I think not! There will be no merchandising as we now have it in our industrialized society, but this is a Babylonian invention. Recall that Satan’s first sin was that of merchandising (Ezekiel 28:15-18), and the great men of this Babylonian system at the end time are the merchants of the earth (Revelation 18:15, 23).
6. The Land Sabbath is a type of the millennial age, the seventh year, like the weekly Sabbath is a type of the millennium as well.
a. The weekly Sabbath is a time of no servile work, a time of joy and delight, and a time for doing God’s pleasure, not one’s own ((Isa. 58:13-14).
Isaiah 58:13-14. “If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on My holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy day of the LORD honorable, and shall honor Him, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words, then you shall delight yourself in the LORD; and I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth, and feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father. The mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
b. The land is to rest, with no tillage, planting, or reaping, and no pruning of vineyards (Lev. 25:1-4).
Leviticus 25:1-4. “And the LORD spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai, saying, ‘Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: When you come into the land which I give you, then the land shall keep a sabbath to the LORD. Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard, and gather its fruit; but in the seventh year there shall be a sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a sabbath to the LORD. You shall neither sow your field nor prune your vineyard.’”
c. One was to eat what grew of itself, and partake of one’s herds, but there was to be no harvesting and storing away of the produce (Lev. 25:5-7).
Leviticus 25:5-7. “What grows of its own accord of your harvest you shall not reap, nor gather the grapes of your untended vine, for it is a year of rest for the land. and the sabbath produce of the land shall be food for you; for you, your male and female servants, your hired man, and the stranger who dwells with you, for your livestock and the beasts that are in your land — all its produce shall be for food.”
d. Thus, the millennium will involve no tillage or pruning, none of the usual hard work to grow food, store it, and transport it hundreds or thousands of miles, none of the sweat-provoking work experienced in today’s age, and there will be no weeds, no floods or drought or storms, and no curse on the soil any more (Gen. 3:17-19). Tillage is the worst possible practice in treating our soils, and causes more erosion, runoff, compaction, and loss of soil fertility than any other practice. A mist will water the earth rather than rain.
e. All debts were to be released, and debt will be unknown in the new age except the debt of love people will owe to one another (Deut. 15:1-4). Debt will be difficult to incur without a money system and when everyone is supporting his neighbor in time of need.
f. No usury will be charged, so there will be no banks and financial institutions … no money system (Deut. 23:19; Lev. 25:35-37).
Deuteronomy 23:19. “You shall not charge interest to your brother — interest on money or food or anything that is lent out at interest.”
7. The Garden of Eden teaches us much of what the millennium will be like.
a. Perennial crops, not annuals (Gen. 2:8-9). Thus, tilling and replanting will be unnecessary, and we will have food and fiber-bearing tree and shrub crops, and perhaps perennial corn, wheat, barley, potatoes, and cotton. Seed companies will be gone. There will be no Monsantos and DuPonts!
b. With a “mist” watering the earth (Gen. 2:6) there will be no soil erosion, and since nutrients will be recycled locally there will be no need for fertilizers like today.
Genesis 2:6. “but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground.”
c. The basic function of people will be to tend and keep (serve) the creation (Gen. 2:15).
Genesis 2:15. “Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.”
d. Man is to have dominion over (serve) the animals and creatures (Gen. 1:26-28).
e. No hybrids and genetically engineered crops will be present; those were never intended to be developed, and were not present in Eden.
D. The millennial landscape and climate
1. Great tectonic disruptions at the end of the age will level mountain ranges and expose large areas of the seabed to habitation, greatly altering atmospheric weather patterns (Rev. 16:17-20; Isa. 40:4).
Revelation 16:17-20. “Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple of heaven, from the throne saying, ‘It is done!’ And there were noises and thunderings and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the earth. Now the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. And great Babylon was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath. Then every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.”
2. At this time of the end the water canopy will be restored (Acts 3:21). This will cause the climate to moderate from pole to pole, so all of the earth can be inhabited. A “mist” will water the earth once again (Gen. 2:6), not pounding rainstorms and blizzards.
3. In short, the living conditions will be delightful (Isa. 35:1-7; Joel 2:21-26). No longer will sunburn, or excessive heat or cold plague men’s bodies. Sleeping outdoors without protection will be not only possible, but probably the norm.
4. Oxygen pressure of the atmosphere will be higher, and likely gravity will be reduced; dinosaurs lived at a time on the earth when gravity had to be quite a bit less than today or they could not have gotten onto their feet, much less hold up long necks and tails.
5. Productivity will be remarkable (Micah 4:1-4; Amos 9:13-15).
Micah 4:1-4. “Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established on 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. He shall judge between many peoples, and rebuke strong nations afar off; 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. But everyone shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree, and no one shall make them afraid; for the mouth of the LORD of hosts has spoken.”
Amos 9:13-15. “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.”
E. Animals and other creatures in the millennium.
1. Predation will be gone, animals will be friendly, and none will be dangerous (Gen. 2:19; Isa. 11:6-9).
Genesis 2:19. “Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name.”
Pain and affliction from biting insects and animals will be a thing of the past: no mosquitoes, ticks, and flies! The lion, initially a grass and plant eater (Gen. 2:30), will undergo considerable internal and external genetic changes, as will many, many creatures on earth, and revert to eating grass and plants once again (Isa. 11:7).
Isaiah 11:7. “The cow and the bear shall graze; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.”
2. After the Flood animals and birds and fish became fearful of mankind (Gen. 9:2), showing that before that time they were not afraid.
3. Animals will most likely not be slaughtered for food in the new age, since the dietary requirements with the reinstitution of perfect fruits and other crops, as well as excellent water, air, climate, sunlight quality, and gravity will be restored to the earth (Gen. 1:29).
4. Many species of animals, birds, and fish will most surely be created at the beginning of the millennium to replace the countless species lost during 6,000 years of man’s misrule.
5. Fences to keep animals in will be gone, unless there might be a need to keep animals out of one’s home.
F. Food, health, and lifestyle in the coming age
1. There is every indication that people will be disease-free, and longevity unlimited in the next age (Isaiah 65:19-22).
Isaiah 65:19-22. “I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in My people; the voice of weeping shall no longer be heard in her nor the voice of crying. No more shall an infant from there live but a few days, nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days; for the child shall die one hundred years old, but the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed. They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. They shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat; for as the days of a tree, so shall be the days of My people, and My elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.”
There will no longer be distress through conflict within families and with neighbors, no wars to kill young men and women and complicate and waste lives, no worry about an 8 to 5 job and making money, and no worry about wayward mates, divorce, abortion, delinquent children, and crime.
2. If someone was cursed he would live 100 years; if not cursed, why not 1,000 years (Isa. 65:17-25)? The whole scene here is one of great joy and harmony, of young and old living together in peace, of no wars or lawsuits to disrupt lives and move people from their inheritances, or of diseases and trials like today. The law and medical professions will be gone!
3. No diseases will strike people because God’s laws of health will be practiced by all (Ex. 15:26).
Exodus 15:26. “and said, ‘ If you diligently heed the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the LORD who heals you.’”
The Tree of Life will be accessible to all (Revelation 22:1-2, 14). The laws that lead to superb health — diet, exercise, sunlight, fresh air, a positive frame of mind, proper hygiene, and freedom from injuries — will be universally practiced, and aging factors will be eliminated. Besides, the earth’s soils and fertility will have been restored by volcanic ash and raised seafloors, plant varieties and proper foods will be reinstated, the atmosphere will have a higher oxygen pressure, and gravity will be reduced. Pathogenic organisms that cause cancer, infections, and various diseases cannot survive when adequate oxygen and minerals are present in our body’s cells.
4. Foods will be eaten fresh rather than cooked, and they will be of optimum quality for health, many foods probably coming from recreated species (Gen. 1:29; 2:9). Cooking is harmful to the nutritional quality of all foods and leads to disease.
5. No refined, adulterated, and stale food will be available; it will all be fresh and wholesome beyond belief to nourish both body and mind. Food stores and chains will be gone, since food will be available everywhere all year long right outside one’s dwelling, free for the taking whenever one is hungry, and wonderfully nutritious beyond belief!
6. Drugs will never be used or needed; pharmakia is condemned by God (Rev. 22:14-15).
Revelation 22:14-15. “Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.”
Thus, the drug problems of today will be utterly removed, as will the pharmaceutical companies and poppy and coca fields that supply them.
7. Cities as we know them will not exist. Dwellings will have lots of room between them (Isa. 5:8), so peaceful living and meditation will be easy.
Isaiah 5:8 “Woe to those who join house to house; they add field to field till there is no place where they may dwell alone in the midst of the land!”
Waste places will be rebuilt (Isa. 61:4), but not according to Babylon’s specifications, which pile people together in cities like rats in cages, without adequate room for trees, plants, and animals.
8. People and families will have secure, permanent possessions throughout this period, as typified by land owners returning to their possessions during the Jubilee Year (Lev. 25:8-10).
Leviticus 25:8-10. “And you shall count seven sabbaths of years for yourself, seven times seven years; and the time of the seven sabbaths of years shall be to you forty-nine years. Then you shall cause the trumpet of the Jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement you shall make the trumpet to sound throughout all your land. And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a Jubilee for you; and each of you shall return to his possession, and each of you shall return to his family.”
9. There will be no war and no military, for people will live at peace with one another, even as the Eternal’s spirit is peace (Micah 4:3; Isa. 2:2-4).
Isaiah 2:4. “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.”
10. People will be at peace in their spirits, and not be moving to and fro across the earth in search of new jobs, to find a peaceful and better place to live, or because of famine or military deportation (Dan. 12:4).
G. Education and music
1. Families and friends will pass along the Eternal’s knowledge and culture in every locale throughout the earth, for the earth will be full of God’s knowledge as the waters cover the sea (Isa. 11:9; Deut. 6:6-7).
Isaiah 11:9. “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.”
Fathers and mothers, grandparents and friends will take on the responsibilities of education that they are ordained by God to fulfill.
2. All knowledge that God desires will be taught, not the knowledge of humanism [“man is god”] that leads to conflict and error as in the present age. Thus, the public school and university system of the present age will be gone.
3. Music will be harmonious, uplifting, and full of joy to bring one closer to the Eternal’s frame of mind (James 5:13; Eph. 5:18-19; Col. 3:16).
Ephesians 5:18-19. “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.”
God gives no evidence that the raucous, discordant, heavy “jungle beat”, jangling music of today is acceptable to Him, not to mention the lyrics. Music has powerful effects on us, and the types produced will exemplify God’s character.
H. Entertainment in the new age
1. Competition throughout society and the natural world will be gone, so sports as we know them will be a thing of the past: no more football, hockey, soccer, and basketball played in a gladiator-type of setting, where fans watch the few physically gifted players “slug it out” while the masses watch and vicariously put themselves into the players’ places.
2. Television will be totally unnecessary in an age where news will always be good and where the perfect knowledge of God will fill the earth, and be accessible to all.
3. Games will be of a cooperative nature, not competitive.
4. Fulfillment in serving others and in enjoying one’s work will replace the 8 to 5 type of “job” in today’s world (Eccl. 2:24). In a real sense, one’s work will comprise one’s entertainment.
Ecclesiastes 2:24. “Nothing is better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and that his soul should enjoy good in his labor. This also, I saw was from the hand of God.”
I. Transportation in the millennium
1. Cars and aircraft that travel at breakneck speeds, beyond the rhythm of the creation, and which are inherently dangerous will be replaced by walking and running, and possibly some novel forms of transport for traveling long distances in short times. The accent on love and vibrant, abundant living (John 10:10) does not cooperate with impatience inherent in high speed travel.
2. Roads and runways for vehicles and airplanes consume incredible areas in today’s world, and need not exist once autos, trucks, and planes are gone. Beautiful and safe roadways for foot and animal traffic will be a lovely change.
J. Science and technology
1. Only the type of science and technology that adds to a Godly life, and to building peace, strong families, and healthful living will be present in the next age. Technology, in whatever forms it emerges, will aid labor and love to our neighbors, not replace them.
2. Bodies were meant to be used, not to waste away with luxury and disuse, nor were they to be overused like slave labor, but muscles and minds were meant to be exercised regularly and in moderation (I Timothy 4:8; I Thessalonians 4:11; Philippians 4:5).
I Timothy 4:8. “For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.”
We have an incredibly beautiful, healthful, and productive world to look forward to, green and lush from pole to pole, and with joy, peace, and love as we cannot imagine. This discussion has touched only on some of the high points of the nature of this rapidly approaching new age; much more could be said.
We need a vision of the coming age, and God gives it to us through His word: “As in heaven, so on earth” (Matthew 6:10. “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”). The earth will become like the heavenly realm, as God intended it should be, as the perfect environment for mankind, made in God’s image, to live and prosper as intended.
What should we do in the face of a world gone amok, in which the saints have not certain dwelling place?
(1) Reject the society in which you live as being pathological and misled, which it is!
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).
(2) Be convicted to follow the ways of God, in the footsteps of Jesus Christ. There you will find hope unending, for His promises are sure. Our heavenly Father really cares for us (I Peter 5:7). Following in the ways of God gives automatic rewards to those obedient to His Laws.
(3) Resolve to build a future in this age in the likeness of Adam and Eve living throughout the entire earth. That involves examining your diet, the clothes you wear, the friends you have, how you treat your parents, your prayer and Bible study habits, and so forth … so you will bring your thoughts, words, and deeds more and more into conformity to your Creator (II Corinthians 10:5; I Thessalonians 5:23).
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:1-2).
Come to understand that the Creator has great plans for you if you will but walk in the footsteps of Jesus Christ. He has stated in John 14:1-3,
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe in Me as well. In My Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and welcome you into My presence, so that you also may be where I am .…”
A room [mone], or place in the heavenly city, is reserved for you, and not just a dwelling place but a great responsibility, for “… behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be” (Revelation 22:14). As the Parable of the Talents reveals (Matthew 25:14-30), whether you gave been given one talents, two talents, five talents, or even more He will grant you rewards far beyond you can imagine, for when He says, “Well done, good and reliable servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will appoint you over much; enter into your Master’s joy,” you can be absolutely sure that your reward will be incredible! Let’s all strive for that place, that room in the heavenly city!