This may surprise you—but when the World Tomorrow begins, it won’t look anything like the picture above. In fact, it will look like something out of a horror movie. The most common sight will be that of dead bodies. Not bodies in caskets—but rotten, smelly, fly-infested bodies lying on the streets. God refers to the time just before Christ’s return as the “day of slaughter” (Jeremiah 12:3). In America, only ten of every 100 people in the cities will still be alive (Amos 5:3). Many of those will be sick or injured. Many areas that were once great cities will be uninhabitable because of the nuclear fallout. Of course, even if the cities could be inhabited, there wouldn’t be much reason to go there. Houses and businesses will be nothing more than piles of rubble.
But wait—isn’t the World Tomorrow supposed to be utopia? Isn’t it supposed to be a time of peace on Earth? A time when all pain and suffering and crying will cease? Absolutely! But it won’t start that way—and it won’t become that way overnight, either. Yes, utopia is coming! You can stake your life on that. But it will take hard work, over the course of generations, to turn the world around.
And that’s where you enter the picture.
Even among the comparatively few people who are left alive and healthy, there will be lingering effects of all the sins committed in the past. There will be people addicted to pornography. There will be homosexuals, drug addicts, murderers and child molesters. There will be people suffering from the lingering effects of dysfunctional families, child abuse and rape. There will be those who come from Third World countries—who can’t read—who are malnourished—who lived in filth and squalor.
God is certainly merciful—but the Bible says He visits the “iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation …” (Exodus 20:5). There is a cause for every effect. Children who grew up in homes that rejected the true God, and in a world with no regard for God’s law, are not going to immediately be able to live God’s way perfectly. Even into the third and fourth generations of the World Tomorrow, people will be suffering from the lingering effects of 6,000 years of sin. In Mystery of the Ages, Herbert W. Armstrong (the man our college is named after) said that sickness and disease will become a thing of the past during the World Tomorrow, but only after the third and fourth generations.
Think about this. If we assume a new generation begins at age 25, that means it will take 75 to 100 years to get to the third and fourth generations. It will take that long before all the evil will be weeded out so there can be real utopia on Earth. Of course, when compared to eternally, 75 to 100 years is barely a blip on the radar. Still, to go from the “day of slaughter” to centuries of utopia is bound to take time.
But again, what does this have to do with you—with teenagers—now?
The first three or four generations of the World Tomorrow will be perhaps the most critical transition period ever in the history of the world! Of all the people left on Earth, only a tiny few humans will have prior knowledge of God’s way! Those few humans will not be your parents! If your parents are in God’s Church, they will be spirit beings in the World Tomorrow. You will be left as the only humans on Earth who know and understand God’s way of life. You will be the physical beings the rest of the world will look to as examples! Your role in the World Tomorrow will be critical. No one else in the history of the world will get to play the special part you will get to play as God’s new civilization begins!
Parents in the Priesthood
When Jesus Christ returns, all those who have been truly converted will be immediately changed into spirit beings (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). Your parents will thus be made into immortal kings and priests, or teachers (Revelation 5:10). Another prophecy about the World Tomorrow brings out that as priests they will not spend time on any of the physical duties on Earth, but will devote all their time to the priesthood (Isaiah 61:5-6).
Your parents’ primary duty in the World Tomorrow will be that of educating mortals still living. If the World Tomorrow were one big school, your parents would be the teachers, Jesus Christ the Principal, under God the Father, Superintendent. You will be among the students—but you will not be just any student. You have a special role.
With all converted adults changed into immortal spirit teachers, that leaves a vital task for you.
In Acts 6, the ministers in the first-century Church were having a difficult time keeping up with the many physical demands of their job. Therefore, God established the office of the deacon to help with the many physical details that had to be attended to in the body of Christ, so that the ministry might give themselves “continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word” (Acts 6:4). This is the same way it continues to work in God’s Church today. God provides a way for members to assist the ministry with some of the physical demands placed upon them. But in the World Tomorrow, the adults will be come those ministers—kings and priests! The physical details, for the most part, will be attended to by you!
When you think about the Millennium, realize that a lot of what you think about is not for your parents—it is for you! Scriptures that talk about every man having a vine and fig tree, or about tame lions and bears (Isaiah 11) are for you! It is you who will be able to take advantage of those physical blessings.
Plus, on the physical level, in the World Tomorrow, you will be the leaders! For practical, everyday examples of how to live, the young people and adults in the World Tomorrow will be watching you! The whole world will have just gone through the worst time of suffering ever. They will have also witnessed the magnificent, trumpet-blaring return of Jesus Christ. They will want to live God’s way! But on a practical, day-to-day level, they will not know how.
Of course, the spirit beings will be teaching them God’s way. But you teens, and those younger than you, will be the examples the other humans can look to—at school, in sports, at the store, in everything. You will be who they seek to emulate. After all, you will have a parent who is a God! This is a tremendous level of responsibility God wants to place on your shoulders. But at the same time, it is an inspiring and unique opportunity that no one else will ever have.
Notice Ezekiel 14:19-20: “[I]f I send a pestilence into that land … as I live, saith the Lord God, they shall deliver neither son nor daughter; they shall but deliver their own souls by their righteousness.”
What God is offering you truly dazzles the mind! But with such an incredible opportunity also comes a heavy responsibility. When the next worldwide destruction comes, your parents will not be able to save you. God wants to know what you, individually, will do.
Realize—if you have a converted parent, you are not like other teenagers at school. In an article called “Your Children—Future Gods?” Mr. Armstrong wrote, “While other people—not members of the true body of Christ—and all other children are cut off from access to God, your children—if you are a truly converted member of God’s Church—can believe in Christ—are not cut off from God …. [T]hey are a special treasure to God!” (Good News, September 1979).
The passage in Ezekiel continues: “Yet, behold, therein shall be left a remnant that shall be brought forth, both sons and daughters …” (verse 22). There will be sons and daughters numbered among the faithful remnant that God protects and brings into the World Tomorrow! In other words, there will be people just like you—faithful teenagers and children who stayed the course until Christ’s return.
Will you be one of those people?
God wants you to be! But you have to make the choice yourself. Unlike anyone else, you have the unique opportunity to come to God if you wish. God considers you to be in a special, unique category. In 1 Corinthians 7:14 the
Apostle Paul says, “For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.” Sanctified means set apart—but in this case, God says that children of even one converted parent are not just set apart—they are holy! Children of those in God’s Church have a special opportunity to learn God’s way in this life. God holds you accountable for what you know!
Your parents do have a responsibility to teach you, but you can’t ride in to the World Tomorrow on their coattails. God expects you to do your own part.
If you do, you have an incredibly unique future. Jude 14 is a prophecy about the time of Christ’s return: “And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints.” That word saints is the same Greek word as the word holy in 1 Corinthians 7:14. What does that mean? It means that even if you are not converted and baptized at the time Christ returns, if you will chose God’s way, then you can be numbered among the saints! That’s an incredible opportunity! Out of over 6 billion (that’s 6,000,000,000) people on Earth—you can be one of only 10,000!
Princes and Princesses
Of course, your parents have a big part to play in this as well. A parent in the Church helps teach his or her children how to live God’s way so that they will be equipped to set the right example in the World Tomorrow. Psalm 45 talks about your parents and about Jesus Christ’s return. Verse 10 describes a beautiful bride (composed of the Church) who is admonished to forget about her own people and instead identify herself solely with the interests and objectives of a righteous King (Jesus Christ). Verse 15 describes the wonderful marriage of Christ to His bride. Then, in verse 16, you are mentioned: “Instead of thy fathers shall be thy children, whom thou mayest make princes in all the earth.” Remember, God told this woman to forget about her father’s house—her predecessors—and to instead focus on her offspring. This is where the real glory and fame resides—in her children: you.
Editor in Chief Gerald Flurry wrote in a booklet titled The Key of David, “We must continually remind our young people that they are God’s princes and princesses of the Earth. But they won’t remain princes and princesses. They are to become God’s kings of the universe! The most exalted calling in all eternity! They must be taught and encouraged to uphold that royal standard—act like God’s royalty today.” You, if you will choose God’s way, will be numbered among the 10,000 saints, and will step into royal positions in the World Tomorrow! You are, even now, princes and princesses. When you are changed to spirit, you will step into the office of kings! There is no indication that reward will be offered to those who did not know God’s way prior to the World Tomorrow. God places you in an entirely unique category!
To prepare for your exalted leadership potential, you need to learn to live the rich and abundant life now. Then you will be able to teach the whole world!
Mr. Flurry continued in his booklet, “This world is full of glitter and glamour and sinful ‘fun.’ But it is only ‘fun’ temporarily—not truly joyous living. When Jesus Christ returns and sets up the Kingdom of God, abundant living will begin for the whole world. No human being can truly imagine what life will be like in the Millennium, unless we let God show us ….” Life in the World Tomorrow will be full of joy! It will be unlike anything anyone on Earth at that time will have experienced—anyone, that is, except for you, if you choose to live God’s abundant life now.
The Greatest Generation
Micah 4:3 illustrates the contrast between the future in the World Tomorrow and this present world: “And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off , and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” As the World Tomorrow begins, our cities will have been laid waste by nuclear destruction. Even the outlying agricultural areas, while maybe not destroyed by bombs, will have suffered from generations of damaging farming practices. On top of that, millions of acres of desert wasteland will need to be converted into usable farmland with rich soil.
At the same time there will be all these physical needs, the adults will be resurrected, glorified, king-priests in the Kingdom of God. When God says that every man in the World Tomorrow will sit under his own vine and fig tree (Micah 4:4), He means just that—every human being. The converted adults will be spirit beings. They will not need physical things or physical places to live in. But you will likely remain as physical, flesh-and-blood human beings.
You will be the only beings in the physical realm with any prior knowledge of or training in God’s way of life.
You will be the only human beingsever to have lived God’s way on both sides of the tribulation. Can your mind conceive the tremendous responsibility God is about to place on your shoulders?
“Thus saith the Lord of hosts; It shall yet come to pass, that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities: And the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the Lord, and to seek the Lord of hosts: I will go also” (Zechariah 8:20-21). This is the way it will be in the World Tomorrow, when everyone, from all nations on Earth, will go up to Jerusalem from year to year to worship God.
But now notice your role: “Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the Lord. Th us saith the Lord of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold … of the skirt of him that is a [spiritual] Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you” (verses 22-23). When you walk down the street, people will point and whisper—“Look! There goes a son of a God!” People will grab on to you, desiring knowledge and understanding about how to live! They will watch you intently to see how you act—and they will follow your example.
Are you ready for that kind of responsibility? Are you preparing, now, to be the right kind of example? When people look to you, do they see a model of a teenager living God’s way of life?
Paradise on Earth
Do you realize the importance of the role God wants to offer you? When God created Adam and Eve, He gave them the opportunity to have eternal life. But He didn’t force them to take it. Adam rejected God’s way (Genesis 2-3). The result has been 6,000 years of mankind going its own way, cut off from God. It will all culminate in the worst time of suffering ever. It will end when Christ intervenes to save a shattered world on the brink of destroying itself (Matthew 24:22).
At that point, you will be the first generation since Adam and Eve with the opportunity to build a perfect society! You have the chance to make the choice Adam and Eve did not make—the chance to choose God’s way. And if you choose that way, you will lead, on the physical level, in constructing and forming this fantastic new society! In three to four generations, the world will witness utopia! All people will begin to live as you have.
Understand, when God called your parents, He intended for you to join this work as well. God wants to call you! The door to God is wide open—will you walk through it?
“Hear the word of the Lord, ye children of Israel: for the Lord hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land” (Hosea 4:1). This is the way he world is today. There is no truth or knowledge of God. The weight of rampant sin and ignorance is even now too much for this world to continue much longer. Even many of God’s people have forgotten His way of life (verse 6). Will you be different?
If you will—if you will be one of the few, one of the 10,000 out of 6 billion—then God says He wants to use you! He wants to use you as a leader in the wonderful World Tomorrow.
God wants to use you in an integral role—He wants your help in turning a disgusting, injured world around. He wants you to set the example for those whose lives have been shattered by sin. With your help, the barren wasteland that will exist at the beginning of the World Tomorrow will turn into a Garden of Eden—paradise.
Will you be one of those few, special members of the greatest generation?
God wants you to be. The decision is yours.