Although the Cold War may be history, many of the former U.S.S.R.’s nuclear weapons still exist. Diplomats and other government officials remind us that Russia still possesses some 20,000 nuclear weapons.
The deadly spread of weapons of mass destruction is an all-pervasive problem. Terrorist groups— generally armed to the teeth with modern weapons and living as a law unto themselves—threaten the stability of many nations.
Population growth still soars out of control in many areas of the world, stretching resources to the limit and leading to further global instability. As The Times (of London) warns, “A ballooning world population is taking such a heavy toll of the planet’s resources that it is putting the survival of humankind in jeopardy . . .”
Pollution and other problems threaten to strangle earth’s life-sustaining ecosystems. One writer warns that “the West is destroying the ecological systems upon which its economic life depends.” A frightening example is the earth’s loss of two thirds of its original forest cover. Environmentalist Francis Sullivan warned that “in one generation we are facing the almost complete loss of natural forest.” The forests are the lungs of the earth—and without lungs, we cannot breathe.
It is in just such a threatened, confused and crisis-charged age that a centuries-old organism—the Church—is called upon to do its work. Deeply sensitive to its duties and responsibilities in spreading and teaching the true gospel message (Matthew 24:14; Matthew 28:18-20), the United Church of God, an International Association, offers this Bible-study course—filling a most important need in today’s troubled world.
For many millions, God’s Word is unexplored and uncharted territory. Yet the Bible is not only designed to help human beings cope in a world caught up in all kinds of crises. It contains the good news of the coming Kingdom of God—showing how God will solve the many problems of a world edging ever closer to catastrophe.