Will Return SignWalking into a clinic on the University campus is rather like walking into another world. On campus, you are very used to seeing young people in the bloom of health, walking to class, or talking in groups, or smoking. All of them walk unhindered. All appear young and strong. But walk into a clinic, and you see quite a different world. The majority of those there are elderly. You see people in wheel chairs and using canes. It just plain makes you stop and think.

As I was sitting in a waiting room, a woman was wheeled into the clinic. You could not imagine a more sorry sight. Besides her wheelchair, she had a contraption next to her that could best be described as a “coat rack.” On it were hung about a dozen different bags of fluid, each one with a tube leading down to her wheelchair, where they disappeared, no doubt to discharge their life-sustaining substance into the woman’s body. But this was not the really grim part of the picture. Such a contraption would be a terrible burden to live with, no doubt, but what was really sad was the woman’s face. She looked about as sick and sad and hopeless as you could imagine. Surely death would only be a welcome release for a person with such an empty outlook on her life! But is there no other hope for such a one?

I could not help but think about what the Bible says about the kingdom of God. In speaking of Jerusalem, the prophet Isaiah says, “And the inhabitant shall not say, ‘I am sick:’ the People that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity.” (Isaiah 33: 24) And if God does this for Jerusalem, will not He also give healing to the rest of the world as well? This speaks of a time when “the LORD is our Judge, the LORD is our Lawgiver, the LORD is our King; He will save us.” The only time that this could possibly happen is the Kingdom (that is, the Government) of God. For this passage speaks of God taking over all three branches of government: Judicial, Legislative, and Executive. When this is accomplished, God will apparently also take “health care” into his hands, with the result being that no one is ill! Can you imagine an earth ruled by God Himself, under His absolute authority, and with no hint of illness present in anyone? Oh, that such a time would come soon, even in our day! Imagine hospitals being no longer necessary, ill health no longer a curse upon anyone, no growing old, and no dying! Christians speak of heaven in this way, but do we never think about the fact that this will be true upon the earth as well? Surely Isaiah 33 is enough to persuade any Bible student who is interested that this will be true. Consider some other passages and some of the wonderful promises they hold for this earth that we live on.

And He shall judge the world in righteousness, He shall minister judgment to the peoples in uprightness.” Psalm 9:8
Because He hath appointed a day, in the which He shall judge the world in righteousness by that Man Whom He hath ordained; whereof He hath given assurance to all men, in that He hath raised Him from the dead.” Acts 17:31
Arise, O God, judge the earth: for Thou shalt inherit all nations.” Psalm 82:8
He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth: He breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; He burneth the chariot in the fire.” Psalm 46:9
And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.” Isaiah 40:5
All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.” Psalm 22:27
I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh.” Joel 2:28 (quoted in Acts 2:17)
But the meek shall inherit the earth, and delight themselves in the abundance of peace.” Psalm 37:11
They shall not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” Isaiah 11:9
I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.” Isaiah 41:19
And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.” Isaiah 30:21

I have found that most Christians see no hope for this world in which we live. They are certain that God has terrible wrath stored up for this world and the people upon it, and the only hope for us Christians is to be snatched away from it before this can happen. Heaven, they are certain, is the only place where such blessings as those listed above could happen. Yet we can be sure that those who believe such a thing do not know the Scriptures, for every one of the above passages speaks of blessings that will come to men upon this earth, not in Heaven. It is the declaration of John 3:16 that God loves this world so much that He gave His only begotten Son for it. Will God rain horrible destruction upon that which He loves? Or will He deliver and greatly bless the world, as is stated in the above passages?

At any rate, I could not help but wish as I sat in that waiting room that God would even at that moment rain healing upon the earth, so that every one of those patients in that waiting room could walk out of that hospital and never return again. Imagine the earth being full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea! No wonder Christ instructed His disciples to pray, “Thy Kingdom come.” He was not instructing them to pray for a terrible judgment to fall upon the earth, but rather a great blessing.

The more I consider the way our world shall be in that day, the more I consider life in our day to be a “chasing after the wind,” as Solomon put it, and yet, the more easy I find to bear it, for I know that life on earth will not always be this way.