Some mistakenly think that when Christ begins His reign on Earth that everyone will be glad. But not so. Its regulations will exact righteousness and justice. The liberties of people will be restricted to behaving only righteously. This will be galling to many now demanding more liberty. Liberty to deceive, to misrepresent, to overreach and to defraud others, will be entirely cut off. Liberty to abuse themselves or others in food or in drink, or in any way, will be totally denied to all. Liberty or license to do wrong of any sort will not be tolerated. The only liberty that will be granted to any will be the true and glorious liberty of the sons of God – liberty to do good to themselves and others in any and in every way. Nothing will be allowed to injure or destroy in all that Holy Kingdom. (Isaiah 11:9; Romans 8:21)
That rule will consequently be felt to be a severe one. It will break up all their former habits and customs. It will break up present institutions founded upon these false habits and false ideas of liberty. Because of its firmness and vigor, it is symbolically called an iron rule – “He shall rule them with a rod of iron.” (Compare Revelation 2:26-27; Psalm 2:8-12 and 49:14.) Thus will be fulfilled the scriptures, “Judgment will I lay to the line and righteousness to the plummet. And the hail [righteous judgment] shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters [truth] shall overflow the hiding place,” and every hidden thing shall be revealed. Isaiah 28:17; Matthew 10:26
Many will feel rebellious against that perfect and just rule, because they will be accustomed in the past. They lived by lording it over people wholly at the expense of others. They did not pay an equitable wage or they withheld wages. which Their present life of self-indulgence and gratification will naturally require many severe disciplines. These lessons will teach kingdom principles – equity, justice, righteousness. (Psalm 89:32; Luke 12:47-48) The lesson comes first to the living generation, and is very near. (James 5)
But, blessed thought! when the Prince of Life will establish the law of righteousness with an iron rule, mankind will learn that “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.” (Proverbs 14:34 ESV) They will learn that God’s plan and laws are best in the end for all concerned, and ultimately they will learn to love righteousness and hate iniquity. (Psalm 45:7; Hebrews 1:9) All who under that reign have not learned to love that which is right will be unworthy of lasting life. They will be cut off from among the people in second death. Acts 3:23; Revelation 20:9; Psalm 11:5-7
Many people have a great sense of fear when they look at world conditions, but the Scriptures give us reason to hope for a better world, and for everlasting life. This booklet explains how God’s promises are a great source of comfort.
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