It was the year that our family moved from the Pacific Northwest back to the farm near the Black Hills of South Dakota. I turned 15 that summer—close to the current median age of Vertical Thought readers. The drug and sexual revolution was raging, epitomized by "Hippie" culture. Drunken—or drug-induced—irresponsibility combined with militant immorality. What a destructive combination!
The nuclear Cold War between the United States and the former Soviet Union had heated up then. That was also the summer in which surrounding nations attacked the state of Israel and were defeated in less than a week. While driving our pickup truck from the ranch house to the hayfield that day in June, I remember hearing on the radio the news that the Six-Day War had ended. But that Middle Eastern conflict—which was, among other things, about the control of Jerusalem—spawned phenomenal international tensions within the context of the Cold War.
I realized that summer that the educators and business, political and military leaders of all the nations have no idea about how to bring world peace. It dawned on me that the main way man found peace was to win a war. But then there would always be another war, usually worse than the one before. As a Star Wars character once said, "There's always a bigger fish."
At 15, I also understood that, from the Garden of Eden forward, human beings have lived without a plan that would solve the personal and societal problems of dishonesty, sexual immorality, greed, hatred and lust for power. But here's the good part: That was also the year I clearly realized although humanity hasn't got a clue, God's got a plan!
Man's sad history will end when God intervenes
Our world is in a terrible fix. During the several thousand years human beings have existed, we've managed to destroy every civilization we've built. At best we can unite as small groups or as nations for a while. Then somebody gets selfish, starts a war and pow, zap, boom—it all falls down!
The direct purpose of militaries, it's been accurately assessed, is to kill people and break things. Nations thereby defend themselves because they can't trust their neighbors. They invent bigger, more terrible weapons to match the big, terrible weapons of other nations!
A chilling thought: So many of the amazing electronic gadgets we use daily in our 21st-century lives are spin-offs of weapons technology in one way or another. Via the "bigger fish" mentality, with their modern nuclear and biochemical land- and space-based weaponry nations can kill each other and everybody else in new and improved ways that didn't exist a few short decades ago. Result: tragedy.
Jesus Christ forewarned that a time of unprecedented trouble would come at the end of this age: "For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be" (Matthew 24:21 Matthew 24:21For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
American King James Version×).
But He also revealed God's grand plan and ultimate solution: divine intervention. "If these days of trouble were left to run their course, nobody would make it. But on account of God's chosen people, the trouble will be cut short" (verse 22, The Message). Tough times now, but peace looms on the horizon.
Start at the beginning
What is the purpose of life? Why are we here? Where did we as the human race come from—and where are we going? These are big questions that need answers.
The Bible informs us in John 1:1 John 1:1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
American King James Version×, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." God we know as God the Father. The Word we know as Jesus Christ (see verse 14), who is also God along with the Father, being another member of the divine family, the ultimate sense of what the Bible calls the Kingdom of God. Long before His human birth Jesus acted on the Father's behalf as the Lord God of the Old Testament who actually created Adam and Eve (the first two human beings), led Israel out of Egypt at the Exodus and spoke through the biblical prophets.
The reference to the "beginning" in John 1:1 John 1:1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
American King James Version×was a way of describing supernatural eternity into the past. The beginning of the physical universe—including mankind—came later. "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth," Genesis 1:1 Genesis 1:1In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
American King James Version×tells us. Before this beginning there was nothing physical. In the course of time, God created humanity and the world as we know it today.
Why create others?
God and the Word always existed. If we think about that statement long enough it makes us dizzy—because our tiny, finite minds can't fully comprehend even eternity into the future, let alone envision the eternal past. But why did God make us now (give or take a few thousand years)?
Consider this parallel on the human level. Why do thinking husbands and wives want to have children? They want to give life to others—their children—and to love them, sharing the joy of life with them. God did likewise. That's why He built that longing into the divine institution of marriage.
God and Christ presently constitute the God Kingdom family, named God after the Father: "For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named" (Ephesians 3:14-15 Ephesians 3:14-15  For this cause I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
American King James Version×, emphasis added).
Why did God create you, me and everybody else? Because God is love (1 John 4:8 1 John 4:8He that loves not knows not God; for God is love.
American King James Version×, 16), and God desires to express love to a vast multitudes of others, ultimately by sharing with them the ability to love on the same level. God intends to raise us from physical, human existence to spirit existence as divine children in the very God family. That's the plan!
Our crooked world made straight
I could see the world's problems and injustice in 1967—and deeply wished that something would be done to help straighten it out. That's part of God's plan. The Father and Christ do not leave any loose ends.
God is a god of justice, and justice will be done. The crooked behavior and culture of human history must be corrected, and it will be—when God enables people under His direction to right the wrongs of the past. Man must prove that he can under God live in peace. All the protest marches and donations to causes on earth will not bring justice and peace. Only the direct rule of God through Jesus the Messiah can do that.
In powerful poetic language, Scripture presents God's promise to heal and make fair every corner of human experience:
"Every valley shall be exalted and every mountain and hill brought low; the crooked places shall be made straight and the rough places smooth; the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken" (Isaiah 40:4-5 Isaiah 40:4-5  Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:
 And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD has spoken it.
American King James Version×).
God's got a wonderful plan to do all this for 1,000 years after Jesus Christ returns to the earth (Revelation 20:5-6 Revelation 20:5-6  But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
 Blessed and holy is he that has part in the first resurrection: on such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
American King James Version×). Those assisting the true Messiah will then help stop war, stop crime, stop immorality and establish law (God's law) and order, joy and laughter. These last four elements go together hand in glove. Human life and love will become what it should have been all along. Human civilization will then reach its apex under Christ when multitudes of God's human children at last become His divine, spirit children in His eternal Kingdom!
You can learn much more about God's plan by subscribing to our free Bible Study Course, which will guide you from passage to passage in the Bible until God's plan for humanity becomes your aim too!