“Just as you are in fact walking, . . . keep on doing it more fully.”—1 THESS. 4:1.
HAVE you ever entertained the thought of how wonderful it must have been to be alive when Jesus was on earth? You might think of the prospect of being healed by Jesus and thus spared the distress of some troublesome physical affliction. Or you might consider the sheer pleasure of being able to see and hear Jesus—to be able to learn from him or to see him perform some miracle. (Mark 4:1, 2; Luke 5:3-9; 9:11) What a great privilege it would have been to be present when Jesus did all those works! (Luke 19:37) No generation since then has witnessed such things, and what Jesus accomplished on earth “through the sacrifice of himself” will not be repeated.—Heb. 9:26; John 14:19.
Our present era, though, is also momentous. Why so? We now live in what the Scriptures foretold as “the time of the end” and “the last days.” (Dan. 12:1-4, 9; 2 Tim. 3:1) During this period, Satan was cast out of heaven. Soon, he will be bound and thrown “into the abyss.” (Rev. 12:7-9, 12; 20:1-3) It is also during this time that we have the grand privilege of declaring the “good news of the kingdom” worldwide, telling people about the hope of the Paradise to come—a never-to-be-repeated work.—Matt. 24:14.
Just before his ascension to heaven, Jesus told his followers: “You will be witnesses of me both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the most distant part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) That work would involve a global teaching activity. The goal? To make disciples—additional followers of the Christ—before the end comes. (Matt. 28:19, 20) What must we do if we want to succeed in fulfilling Christ’s commission?
Note this exclamation of the apostle Peter: “What sort of persons ought you to be in holy acts of conduct and deeds of godly devotion, awaiting and keeping close in mind the presence of the day of Jehovah!” (2 Pet. 3:11, 12) Peter’s words emphasize the need to keep close watch during these last days to make sure that our life remains centered on deeds of godly devotion. Such deeds include the preaching of the good news.
What a joy it is, therefore, for us to observe the zeal with which our brothers worldwide are carrying out Christ’s preaching commission! At the same time, we realize that we need to be careful that the daily pressures from Satan’s world and from our own inherited fleshly tendencies do not diminish the zeal with which we are carrying out God’s service.