Sunday, October 4
God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son, in order that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life.
In this context, “the world” refers to humankind. Yes, Jehovah’s most generous gift is open to all who choose to accept it. Those who exercise faith in Jesus will receive life in abundance—everlasting life! How can we imitate Jehovah’s generosity? Jehovah “furnishes us all things richly for our enjoyment”; hence, we should want to be “ready to share” with others, thus contributing to their joy. We gladly use our resources to give gifts to our loved ones and to help those in need. What can help us to remember to be generous? Some Christians take this practical approach: Whenever they receive a gift, they look for an opportunity to give someone else a gift. The Christian congregation is blessed with countless brothers and sisters who cultivate a spirit of generosity.
The generosity of Jehovah’s Witnesses will be put to the test in the near future. That is because it is relatively easy to give when there is an abundance. But how will we respond to the needs of others in times of scarcity and hardship?
Soon this entire civilization will be turned upside down. Then the judgment will begin. On what basis will people be judged? Jesus explained that those who do good to his brothers when they are naked and hungry and homeless will have ministered to him personally. So, it behooves Jehovah’s Witnesses to cultivate a spirit of generosity now, as the Watchtower exhorts.
But is it really likely that those whom Christ considers his anointed brothers will ever find themselves in that situation — being in prison, naked, hungry and homeless? Yes, absolutely.
(On a side note: The WT now claims that the separation of the sheep and the goats takes place in the future, which is surely true. However, they still maintain that the sheep and goats – although not separated yet – are judged based upon whether or not people support the preaching work sponsored by the Watchtower now. That is because it is inconceivable to Jehovah’s Witnesses presently that the brothers of Christ will ever be literally homeless and hungry. However, the beginning of the day of Jehovah will change everything. )
Just consider a not-unlikely scenario of all anointed persons who currently reside in Bethel being put out on the street when the Watchtower collapses, or the very real possibility that criminal charges may at some point be brought against those in leadership positions. During a time of war younger Christians will no doubt face conscription and imprisonment. Then Christ’s brothers will quite literally be hungry, thirsty, naked and chained.
Jesus forewarned his brothers that the day will come when those who kill us will imagine that they have rendered a sacred service to God. Thus, the growing legions of exJehovah’s Witnesses will quite likely be in the forefront of the coming persecution, imagining they are doing their duty.
But by that means the sheep and the goats will be separated — the sheep on the right and the goats on the left. Then what? Jesus explains: “Then he will say to those on his left: ‘Go away from me, you who have been cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the Devil and his angels. For I became hungry, but you gave me nothing to eat; and I was thirsty, but you gave me nothing to drink. I was a stranger, but you did not receive me hospitably; naked, but you did not clothe me; sick and in prison, but you did not look after me.’ Then they too will answer with the words: ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying: ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of these least ones, you did not do it to me.’ These will depart into everlasting cutting-off, but the righteous ones into everlasting life.”