A Warning of Hope

Christ said to preach “good news.” So why is the Trumpet so full of the bad?
From the August 2005 Trumpet Print Edition

The word gospel means good news. And what fantastic news it is. Peace and prosperity are about to fill the Earth. The knowledge of the Lord will cover the Earth as the waters cover the sea. Jesus Christ will set up His government, and Satan will be locked away where he can do no further harm to anyone.

Christ told us to preach the gospel, the good news of His coming Kingdom, to every creature (Mark 16:15).Why, then, does the Trumpet so frequently focus on the problems of the world? Why write about the seemingly limitless evil that exists today? Why dwell on the horrible times just ahead of us? Wouldn’t our time be better spent telling about the wondrous times that are coming, shining a spotlight on the glorious Kingdom of God?

It would be nice to be able to do only that. It would, undoubtedly, be a popular message—but it would also leave the world without hope!

God gives the command to warn for a reason: He wants people to repent. In His loving mercy, God will do anything possible to spare us from the terrible times that are coming. A warning is the only hope anyone has of being spared.

The book of Jonah tells the story of a city named Nineveh that was about to be destroyed because of its sins. God sent a prophet, Jonah, to the city to warn of coming destruction. Initially, Jonah fled from that duty. Who would want to carry such an unpopular message? But as Jonah’s example shows, if God’s warning is not given—if the messenger does not deliver the warning God gives him—he just might end up in the belly of a whale. God requires that His warning be delivered.

Imagine if God had allowed Jonah to shirk his duty. What if Jonah had just given a message that talked only about the glorious future ahead, ignoring the warnings God had given? Nineveh would have been utterly destroyed, with every inhabitant looking for this fabulous future that God’s prophet had told them about, but finding only the most terrifying destruction they had ever seen.

But what amazing results Jonah’s warning had. The entire city’s inhabitants, under the direction of their leaders, humbled themselves in sackcloth and ashes, fasted before God, and truly repented. The city was spared the horrible fate they had been warned about. This was—and remains to this day—the only time in history that a Gentile city has repented before God. What an example of hope they left for our time today. What beautiful results God’s warning brought about in Nineveh. Please write for a free copy of our booklet about Jonah.

The nations of the world today are in the same situation that the city of Nineveh was in nearly 2,800 years ago—filled with sin, and on the brink of destruction. The warning is being delivered. If even one nation would repent, God would spare it as surely as He did Nineveh. But the world has, unhappily, become so immoral that the chances of even a single nation turning away from its present course of destruction are pitifully low. Although they are being given the chance to repent, the nations of this world probably will not. The world’s leaders will almost certainly reject the forgiveness that God is offering them. But what about you?

The Bible gives only one example like that of Nineveh, but is filled with examples of individual repentance. And if we look to God for deliverance, He can protect us just as surely as He protected Daniel from the jaws of the lions. He can bless us in our individual lives as He did Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and so many others. The warning that you are receiving today fills your life with hope!

The Kingdom is coming. Imagine how much different things will be when God’s laws are obeyed. Swords will be beaten into plowshares. There will be no more war or poverty. Children will be able to play in the streets without fear, and the desert will blossom as the rose. Everyone will live the way of give, so competition, wrong business practices and other evils will be things of the past. Religious instruction will flow out from Jerusalem, given by Jesus Christ Himself—religious bickering will be eliminated, and the Church will finally have perfect unity. All nations will obey the King of kings.

At that point, there will no longer be a need for a warning.

But in order for this time of peace and prosperity to come, the sin that is on this Earth now must be wiped away. Mankind must see what dreadful results our 6,000 years of self-rule have created. The evil that exists today must be removed for mankind to truly live the abundant life—for the godly way of life to cover the Earth.

The horrors of the Great Tribulation will lead into the millennial rule of Jesus Christ, the greatest time of peace and prosperity that has ever been. Until then, both the message of God’s soon-coming Kingdom and the warning simply must go out, as they did in Jonah’s day. This warning is filled with hope!