Friday, December 17, 2010

“Good News of a Great Joy”

It was indeed “good news of a great joy” for humankind when the angels announced the birth of “a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10, 11) This child was to be the Messiah, the great Prophet and Ruler that God’s people had long been expecting. (Deuteronomy 18:18; Micah 5:2) His life and death on earth would be central to the vindication of Jehovah’s universal sovereignty, so that the angels could say: “Glory in the heights above to God.”—Luke 2:14.

Jesus, whom the Bible calls “the last Adam,” showed that it is possible for a human to be faithful to Jehovah under even the severest test. (1 Corinthians 15:45) He thus proved Satan to be a wicked liar. This was reason for joy in heaven among faithful angels.

Let us, though, return to the question, “Is there any realistic hope that the angelic proclamation on the night of Jesus’ birth will ever be fulfilled?” The answer is an emphatic yes! Peace is an essential condition in the outworking of the divine purpose for the earth, which includes the restoration of paradisaic conditions. When that is accomplished earth wide, all people will be motivated by love and loyalty. Hence, the accomplishment of Jehovah’s purpose also means the elimination of all resistance to his sovereignty. This is not good news for any who side with Satan in asserting that Jehovah’s standards are bad. For them, it will mean destruction.—Psalm 37:11; Proverbs 2:21, 22.

Please note that the angels did not tell the shepherds of peace and goodwill to all men. Rather, they announced “peace among men of goodwill.” That is to say, among those who are approved by God and have his goodwill. Those who express genuine faith in Jehovah become faithful followers and imitators of Jesus. Such men and women are willing to manifest generosity and understanding toward others, not just a few days each year, but every day.

A Christian Spirit All Year Round?

The power of the good news that Jesus preached has touched the lives of countless individuals. Many have adopted Christian principles in every aspect of their lives. People who were once basically self-centered have begun to ask what Jesus might have done had he been in their situation. Some who had centered their lives on possessions and pleasures have come to recognize the importance of spiritual values and of sharing these with their neighbors. People who do this strive to show generosity and kindness all year round. Is that not what you would expect of true Christians?

If all sincere individuals paused to consider what lies beneath the angelic message of peace and acted in harmony with such considerations, the world would surely be a different place.

The prophecies surrounding Jesus’ birth assure those who have God’s goodwill that they can enjoy genuine peace forever. Is that not what you desire? We can be certain that the glorious prophetic announcement of peace made by the angels at Jesus’ birth will be fulfilled without fail. Far from being empty words at Christmastime, peace is certain to become an everlasting reality.
A Christian spirit can and should be manifested all year round.

Watchtower December 15, 2006

Ghost, OUT!

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