You may have heard that many were disillusioned when the end did not come close on the heels of 1975, because these had sold their property in expectation of coming events. I include the following for your thoughtful consideration and reply. Please feel free to PM me if you like, I would like to know your thoughts on these 4 points. This KM is on the 2003 WT Library CD-ROM, if you would like to peruse the entire article in answering.
*** km 5/74 pp. 3-6 How Are You Using Your Life? ***
IS IT not apparent that most of mankind are living their lives for themselves? They are using their lives as they see fit, without concern for others. But what about us? The apostle Paul wrote to fellow servants of Jehovah, saying: “None of us, in fact, lives with regard to himself only, and no one dies with regard to himself only; for both if we live, we live to Jehovah, and if we die, we die to Jehovah. Therefore both if we live and if we die, we belong to Jehovah.”—Rom. 14:7, 8.
This is something for all of us to give serious thought to: It would be entirely inappropriate for us, while professing to be Jehovah’s people, to try to live our lives with regard to ourselves only. As the apostle Paul wrote: “You do not belong to yourselves, for you were bought with a price. By all means, glorify God.”—1 Cor. 6:19, 20.
Are we not thankful that Jehovah God has purchased us and that we now belong to Him? He has bought us with the life of his own dear Son so that eternal death does not have to be our lot, but we have before us the opportunity to enjoy everlasting life. (John 3:16, 36) How are you affected by this loving provision of God? Does it not cause you to want to show Jehovah your deep appreciation? The apostle Peter noted that if we have the proper mental disposition we will be moved to “live the remainder of [our] time in the flesh, no more for the desires of men, but for God’s will.”—1 Pet. 4:2.
Is that what you are doing? Are you living no longer simply to satisfy personal ambitions or desires, but to do God’s will? Are there ways in which you could share more fully in doing the will of God?
God’s Will for Us
Jehovah makes clear in his Word that his will for us today includes accomplishing a great work of Kingdom-preaching before the end of this system comes. (Matt. 24:14) Jesus Christ did a similar work. He said: “Also to other cities I must declare the good news of the kingdom of God, because for this I was sent forth.”—Luke 4:43.
Jesus did not hold back, but was whole-souled in his service to God. When we read the historical accounts of his ministry in the Gospels, how impressed we are with his energy and zeal in doing the Kingdom-preaching! Jesus knew that he had only a short time, and he did not spare himself in finishing his assignment. Should we not today be imitating his example, especially since we have such a short time left now in which to complete the Kingdom-preaching?
Yes, the end of this system is so very near! Is that not reason to increase our activity? In this regard we can learn something from a runner who puts on a final burst of speed near the finish of a race. Look at Jesus, who apparently stepped up his activity during his final days on earth. In fact, over 27 percent of the material in the Gospels is devoted to just the last week of Jesus’ earthly ministry!—Matt. 21:1–27:50; Mark 11:1–15:37; Luke 19:29–23:46; John 11:55–19:30.
By carefully and prayerfully examining our own circumstances, we also may find that we can spend more time and energy in preaching during this final period before the present system ends. Many of our brothers and sisters are doing just that. This is evident from the rapidly increasing number of pioneers.
Yes, since the summer of 1973 there have been new peaks in pioneers every month. Now there are 20,394 regular and special pioneers in the United States, an all-time peak. That is 5,190 more than there were in February 1973! A 34-percent increase! Does that not warm our hearts? Reports are heard of brothers selling their homes and property and planning to finish out the rest of their days in this old system in the pioneer service. Certainly this is a fine way to spend the short time remaining before the wicked world’s end.—1 John 2:17.1 — Were Jehovah's Witnesses encouraged to sell their homes? Some say no. This was in the 1974 Kingdom Ministry, in May of 1974. What do you say the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society encouraged 31 years ago?
Circumstances such as poor health or responsibilities in connection with your family may limit what you can do in the field ministry. And yet, the pioneer ranks include many who have health limitations, as well as some persons with families. But these brothers and sisters are able to regulate their lives so that they can care for their responsibilities and still put in the 1,200 hours a year, an average of 100 hours a month in the field ministry, required of pioneers.
Therefore, do not be too quick to dismiss the possibility that you, too, may be able to pioneer. Give it careful and prayerful consideration. Perhaps an analysis will reveal that your life is encumbered with needless weights that can be put off so that you can pioneer. Particularly may this be the case if you are single, or are married but have no children.—Heb. 12:1.2 — (a) Was a house and property a "needless weight" that "encumbered" some so that they were prevented from pioneering? (b) In article context, what is being encouraged here?
So, then, ask yourself: How am I using my life? Can I make adjustments that will enable me to pioneer? If I can, will failure to do so indicate to Jehovah that I am living to satisfy personal desires, rather than to do His will? Every one of us wants to be able to say, as did the apostle Paul, “Indeed, the life that I now live in flesh I live by the faith that is toward the Son of God, who loved me and handed himself over for me. I do not shove aside the undeserved kindness of God.” Gal. 2:20, 21.3 — In article context, were Witnesses being asked to consider that Jehovah might view them as "living to satisfy personal desires, rather than to do his will" if they did not sell their home to pioneer? If not, what is being indicated by this article?
Real blessings await those who can adjust their affairs to pioneer. First, there is a certain added contentment in sharing full time in the preaching work that God purposes all his servants now to do. Pioneering enlarges your opportunity to “save” yet scattered prospective members of the “great crowd.” (1 Tim. 4:16; Rev. 7:9, 14) Also, there may open up to you the privilege of being sent as a special pioneer into territory that is not often worked. And for those pioneering, there is the possibility of the opportunity of training at Gilead School and then going on to foreign missionary service.
So do not delay in giving serious consideration to this matter of how you are using your life. See if you can arrange your affairs to pioneer. Why not discuss the matter with persons already pioneering or with elders in your congregation?
As you probably are aware, to qualify as a regular pioneer you should have been baptized for at least six months, and have participated in the field service each month for the past six months. Also, it is vital that you have a reputation for fine Christian conduct.
Encourage Others to Full-Time Service
Perhaps, though, you are not able to engage in the full-time service as a pioneer or at Bethel, because of having a family to support or due to old age and poor health. Why not, then, urge others, especially the younger ones, to seize hold of such special privileges? Help others to analyze their goals in life. Ask them what they are going to do when they graduate from school? Reason with them to see that the dying old world has nothing to offer. Help them to show Jehovah that they truly appreciate his undeserved kindness by volunteering to serve where his organization needs them the most, especially ‘in the days of their young manhood.’ Help those who now qualify for Bethel service to say, in effect, “Here I am! Send me,” by filling out and sending in their application. Eccl. 12:1; Isa. 6:8.4 — Apparently, as history has shown, such ones will proceed to become 53 years old in this system. In article context, do you suppose that is what they were encouraged to think about when they graduated?