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09/08/2019

Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?

QUESTION
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
So, I need to write a VCE English Creating and Presenting essay on the context ‘Whose Reality?’, and I need help! Are we really caught in a landslide? Can we escape from reality?

ANSWER
The Bible clearly states – this is not the “real life” at 1 Timothy 6:17-19, “Give orders to those who are rich in the present system of things not to be high-minded, and to rest their hope, not on uncertain riches, but on God, who furnishes us all things richly for our enjoyment; to work at good, to be rich in fine works, to be liberal, ready to share, safely treasuring up for themselves a fine foundation for the future, in order that they may get a firm hold on the real life.”

To most people, the expression “the real life” conjures up an image of luxury and pleasure. One Asian news magazine notes: “Those who watch films or TV learn to desire what they see, to dream of what they might have.” Many people make the attaining of riches and status their purpose in life. Many sacrifice their youth, health, family life, and spiritual values in pursuit of these things. Few stop to think that such media images are no more than a reflection of “the spirit of the world”—the dominant pattern of thinking that influences the majority of earth’s billions and moves them to act in opposition to God’s purpose for us. (1 Corinthians 2:12; Ephesians 2:2) No wonder there are so many unhappy people today!—Proverbs 18:11; 23:4, 5.

What about those who selflessly labor for the well-being of others, striving to eradicate hunger, illness, and injustice? Their noble and self-sacrificing efforts often do much good. Yet, despite their best efforts, they will never change this system of things into a fair and good one. Why not? Because in reality “the whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one”—Satan—and he does not want it to change.—1 John 5:19.

The present world “is passing away and so is its desire,” says the Bible. No part of Satan’s world, including its fame and fortune, will be exempt, “but he that does the will of God remains forever.” (1 John 2:15-17) In contrast with the uncertain riches, the fleeting glory, and the shallow pleasures of the present system, “the real life”—everlasting life under God’s Kingdom—is permanent and worthy of our sacrifices, provided we make the right sacrifices.

There is real danger, however, if we lose sight of our true purpose and loosen our hold on “the real life.” We risk “being carried away by anxieties and riches and pleasures of this life.” (Luke 8:14) Uncontrolled desires and “anxieties over livelihood” can lead to excessive involvement in this system of things. (Luke 21:34, footnote) Tragically, some have become caught up in today’s frenzied economy and have been “led astray from the faith and have stabbed themselves all over with many pains,” even losing their precious relationship with Jehovah. What a price to pay for not keeping “a firm hold on the everlasting life”!—1 Timothy 6:9, 10, 12; Proverbs 28:20.

Rather, let us use our precious days and years of life to praise Jehovah. Let us spread the knowledge that brings real happiness now and leads to everlasting life. In so doing, we will experience the truth of Jesus’ words: “There is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving.” (Acts 20:35) And we will have found true purpose in life.