Young and old will enjoy robust physical and mental health in tomorrow's world. There will be exciting sports and games, intriguing hobbies and a host of other challenging and invigorating recreational activities for everyone. Happiness and well-being will abound. This article tells what it will be like.
IMAGINE a world where everyone will grow up with a strong, healthy body fit for hard work and play. Imagine a world where everyone will possess a sound, balanced, happy mind capable of clear, disciplined thought. Sound too good to be true? Well it isn't! Such a world is coming — soon! It will be a world where infectious, crippling, paralyzing diseases will disappear. It will be a world where degenerative, debilitating sicknesses will vanish — along with ailments caused by malnutrition and dietary deficiencies. In tomorrow's world "civilized" diseases caused by high tension, pollution and wrong living habits will no longer exist. Human blights, from birth defects to venereal diseases, will be wiped out. Cancers, tumors and heart problems will be ailments of the past. Flu, fevers and colds will be rarities — together with poor eyesight and blindness, hearing loss and deafness, dental problems, back troubles, obesity and scores of other major and minor ailments, disorders, sicknesses and diseases. Even accidents will virtually disappear. And mental illness and emotional disturbances will be as rare as physical disorders. What a healthy, happy place tomorrow's world will be! But how will these wonderful conditions come about? Will it be through the achievements of medical science?
The Future Envisioned by Medical Science
Staggering though some feats of medical science may seem today, they are just the beginning of what is envisioned for the years ahead. For example, in the area of "preventive" medicine, frequent and exhaustive examinations by means of complex automated instruments are being planned. We are told that heartbeat, blood and urine chemistry, temperature change, metabolism, blood pressure, skin and muscle tone, brain waves, soundness of bone and nerve tissue and many other factors will be able to be measured by utilizing a variety of ultra-sophisticated techniques from electrochemistry to lasers. It is anticipated that before the end of this century, all mechanisms of health and disease — along with methods of treatment — will be analyzed by computer programs. In less than five minutes a three-dimensional picture will be put together of how the 60 trillion cells are working throughout the body. When this automatic and computerized examination is completed, the information will be put on tape and compared by computer with the last examination. This way any irregularities or danger signals can be noted so that computer-prescribed treatment can be given. A hospital anywhere on earth could be linked by computer to an international data-processing center which has medical researchers from around the globe constantly feeding the results of their work into it. This up-to-date information could be used for the best possible treatment. This complex machinery will give rise to a whole new breed of biomedical technicians and engineers.
For emergency and surgical purposes, machines have been or are being built which can duplicate virtually any of the body's essential functions while it is undergoing repair. The pencil-like "tyro-probe" with its tip cooled to 110 degrees below zero to kill diseased cells by freezing them to death, laser and other high-energy beams that can flash for 1/1000th of a second several times to vaporize a tumor, the "plasma scalpel" with its super-hot 20,000-degree cutting point that does bloodless surgery — these techniques are already being used, though not yet perfected. In the future it is expected that their use will expand greatly. When it comes to replacing tissues and bones rather than removing them, it is hoped that transplants — including animal transplants into humans — will be the answer. Some visualize vast freezer vaults which would preserve for years such spare parts as lungs, eyes, hearts, nerves and other vital tissues. However, unless the "rejection response" which occurs when tissue from one body is transplanted into another can be overcome, many doctors feel that artificial organs and parts hold more promise. Because there is no rejection problem with one's own tissue, others feel that when a person is born, some of his cells should be grown and stored in a cell bank until needed for repairs later in life. Battery-powered electronic devices to assist damaged organs are already used by many thousands of Americans. The possibility of minute devices which would use nuclear or other types of power is being investigated. In the future, researchers envision devices which will enable the movement of artificial limbs with much the same flexibility as that supplied by nature. Some feel that by the end of this century sensing devices will be available that will give some sort of sight to the blind and hearing to the deaf. Not even the enzymes and hormones which are involved in some 100,000 chemical reactions have escaped man's scrutiny. Laboratories around the world are feverishly at work synthesizing, or artificially making, these chemicals so that problems caused by their absence or malfunction can be "corrected." There is even talk of going deeper into the life process, down to the level of the genes, to gain some control over problems of heredity. By performing surgery on "defective" genes it is hoped that perhaps some of the sixty or more genetic disorders that can produce mentally retarded children will be prevented. The brain has not been excluded from man's probing either. It has been discovered that certain areas of the brain control specific emotions and that stimulating a particular area causes a definite response. This leads man to believe he can control certain mental problems by using electrochemical treatment based upon the manipulation of electricity and chemicals in the brain. Mind drugs for changing one's mood or mental state may be just a matter of a prescription, we are told. By understanding the electrical patterns of the brain, some feel it may be possible to use electrical learning methods to feed large amounts of knowledge into the mind in just a matter of minutes. Others talk of "get smart" pills which would speed up or improve the learning process. Aging — what it is and how to prevent it — is another problem that is destined to receive a lot more attention and research. (Source of information in this section is The World of Tomorrow by Goldstein)
Facing the Facts
But as spectacular as all this sounds, where does it leave us? For the answer we might ask where present medical science has left us. Impressive though a few isolated feats have been, medical science has been utterly incapable of coping with today's worsening health crises. What makes us think that the dreams of medicine of tomorrow — even if they could become a reality — would have a better effect on human health? And who would want to get "health" by the methods just described anyway??? It's high time we shake off the delusion of man's dream world and wake up to the reality of what is happening around us! With our exploding population and its attendant problems of increasing malnutrition and starvation comes the macabre threat of disease epidemics of massive, worldwide proportions. Already officials warn of the threat of vast epidemics of cholera, typhoid, tuberculosis, flu and even the dread "black death" (bubonic plague) that took the lives of millions in Europe during the 15th through the 17th centuries, and ravaged England in the 1660's. Bible prophecy reveals that very shortly this threat will become a fearful reality. It will result in the death of fully one fourth of mankind! (Rev. 6:8) When that time comes, man's medical and surgical accomplishments are going to look awfully inadequate. And the glowing predictions we have just read are going to look awfully irrelevant. But how, then, will the picture of health and well-being described at the outset of this article ever come about? The answer is: by the intervention of Almighty God and the establishment of His Kingdom on this earth.
Sickness and Disease Finally Conquered
In tomorrow's world sickness and disease will finally be conquered — but not in the way man is attempting today. Man ignores the CAUSE of disease and then seeks to treat only the EFFECT. He continues to break laws which God has made to operate in the human body and then tries to prevent these laws from exacting their penalties. How foolish! How much better to simply quit breaking these laws! That way the CAUSE of the problem is removed. How do you get rid of the "filth" diseases? You get rid of the CAUSE of these diseases — you clean up the filth that allows these diseases to flourish. How do you get rid of the many sicknesses and ailments caused by pollution? You take away the CAUSE — quit the use of cancer-causing tobacco, forbid the use of pesticides, insecticides, and poison sprays; alter, replace or outlaw the internal combustion engine and other power sources that befoul air and water; and stop industry which belches all kinds of poisons into the air. How can venereal diseases be eliminated? Wipe out the immoral, illicit and wrong uses of sex which cause them. How can diseases of deficiency and malnutrition be eradicated? Practice natural methods of farming which build up the soil, make wholesome foods available, and educate people about proper diet. God designed certain foods for good health. Some things that grow are not designed for food. Some are poison. EDUCATE people to properly utilize sanitation, hygiene, fresh air, pure water, required amounts of sleep, sunshine, exercise, proper diet, etc. As a result the vast majority of our health problems will disappear! People need to be taught that God did not design the human physical body so that it must be getting sick all the time, catching continual diseases. It is not natural to be sick — it is Unnatural. Yet it is utterly amazing how totally uneducated most are today about even the most elementary health laws. Dr. Richard L. Wilbur of the American Medical Association says: "The myth is that doctors can keep alive people who smoke two packs a day and drive fast cars and get exercise only when they change TV stations." A sad predicament faces today's medical profession. As one doctor put it: "We physicians have been kept so busy treating sicknesses and diseases that we haven't had much time to do extensive study and research into the CAUSES of these troubles." In today's world it is impossible to remove many of the root causes of sickness and disease because to do so effectively would require a drastic change in every facet of society — in industry, agriculture, education, business, the social order, government, etc. In TOMORROW'S WORLD, however, God will have swift and sure control over ALL of these areas. He will make sure that the entire society is geared to human health and happiness.
When people, in spite of education and counsel, do get sick or catch a disease (due to their own negligence), there will be healing — God's way. Actually, Christ's healing is forgiveness of sin. But does God, then, prevent His laws of nature from working — from exacting their penalty? Oh, no — not at all. Upon repentance and faith, God forgives the sin and removes the penalty. How? Why? Because Jesus Himself "took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses" (Matt. 8:16-17). And Peter explains that by His stripes we are healed (I Pet. 2:24). Before Jesus was crucified (paying the death penalty for spiritual sin in our stead), He submitted to being beaten. thus paying in our stead the penalty of physical sin. God does not prevent His laws from working. Christ paid the penalty for us. In God's way the penalty was paid — not nullified. Christ said, when He observed the faith of some friends of a man with palsy, "Son, thy sins be forgiven thee" (Mark 2:5). When the people didn't understand Christ's statement, He said: "Why reason ye these things in your hearts? Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins . . ." (Mark 2:8-10). When Jesus Christ becomes the great Ruler of this earth, He will use that power for the benefit of all mankind. The combined force of right education about true health, and instant healing of all sickness (when its cause is repented of) will mean perfect, utopian health. Speaking of tomorrow's world, the Bible says: "Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing . . ." (Isa. 35:3-6). "And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick: the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity" (Isa. 33:24). "Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily . . ." (Isa. 58:8). God promises, "For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the Eternal . . ." (Jer. 30:17). Why should we be so willing to believe such a perfect state of health and joy is impossible?
No Mental Illness
Today one in ten is expected to spend some time in a mental institution. Half of all hospital beds are filled with mental patients. Why? Once again the answer is that laws are being broken — in this case laws of mental health. There is a physical basis for a number of mental problems. We have already seen how such physical problems will be taken care of. Also, a number of mental problems are caused by the evil influences of Satan and his demons. In tomorrow's world this factor in mental illness will be removed by removing Satan and his evil helpers (Rev. 20:1-3). Further, many worries, fears, frustrations, tensions, etc., which lead to emotional disturbances and mental problems could all be solved if people understood the purpose of life and applied themselves to getting in line with it. In tomorrow's world everyone will know the purpose and meaning of life for "the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea" (Isa. 11:9). Only God's Holy Spirit can generate a "sound mind" (II Tim. 1:7). Without it, a man cannot really be mentally whole. The human mind is truly sound only when it has God's Spirit added to it. In tomorrow's world, it will be freely available to all (Ezek. 36:25-26; Acts 2:17; Joel 2:28). When that happens, mental health problems will disappear! With physical and mental health assured, the sports, games and recreational activities of tomorrow's world are a sheer joy to think about.
Physical Education and Sports
How can we know there will be sports, games and physical activity for children and adults in tomorrow's world? The answer is simple. First, we already know that man's physical makeup will be the same as it is today. And second, we know that the mind and body are closely related. In the last few years knowledge has become available to demonstrate that coordination and the ability to perform certain physical skills are important — not only to intellectual performance but also to balance, enjoyment, learning to work with others and leading a full life. So in tomorrow's world, games and activities that are wholesome and helpful to development will be used. Everyone ought to know that because of man's makeup, movement and activity are essential for proper development. Yet, unfortunately, too many in this age do not seem to have this realization. Many educators today tend to regard physical activity as a frill rather than a basic human need. The result of this attitude is that many schools have an inadequate physical education program from the standpoint of the overall student body. A school may have thousands of students, but usually the only ones who are receiving rigorous systematic training are the few gifted athletes who are fighting for the glory of school and coach. But common sense should tell us that the least exercised are the ones who need it most. Then, many give up active participation in sports and games entirely when they become adults. They would rather pay to watch others play.
And the athletes? They exercise and develop their bodies — but often not in a balanced fashion. They tend to spend far too much time in sports activities to the neglect of other types of education and training. Yet when their school or professional days are over, these same athletes too often forget conditioning entirely and become terrible physical specimens. And then there is the competition of today's sports and games. Needless to say, it is fierce. There are several reasons: Huge sums of money are often involved. Then there is the matter of glory and vanity — being "the greatest" no matter what ideals are sacrificed. And finally, today's spectators like their sports to be violent and bloody. These wrong principles all need to be changed — and in tomorrow's work they will be changed. However, this does NOT mean that the FRIENDLY struggle between two men or teams on the athletic court is wrong Far from it. It is rather the underlying motive — the spirit of competition —which will be altered. Because the friendly contest between two teams on the athletic court is certainly one of the best ways to develop courage, desire, perseverance and determination — characteristics of critical importance for a successful human life. Children should enter school with healthy bodies and proper attitudes toward physical activity — passed on by the parents. Once in elementary school, systematic physical training should begin and continue all the way through college. Physical education on the average should probably consist of about one hour a day of formal training, which would include those activities that are appropriate for a child's particular age group. This is above and beyond the normal recreational activities of the family. It is very important that the teacher set the proper example. Today, coaches and teachers often smoke and are overweight and out of condition. Many are more concerned with theory and methods than with actual doing. They are unexcited about rolling up their sleeves and actually getting involved with real physical improvement of children. Though the emphasis should first of all be on physical education training for ALL the students, this does not mean that the athletically gifted should be neglected. After all students have been systematically trained, those with special talents should be encouraged to develop their abilities. Successful athletes should receive appropriate rewards and recognition. Success in any field should be worthy of recognition and sports are no exception.
Total Sport Accent Wrong
Children should not be forced into sports competition, however. Today many children are pressured into competition by parents who try to make their children extensions of their own egos. Many arguments have been advanced for "little league" sports. But the plain fact is that they often do more harm than good. Parents get so emotionally involved that they scream at the officials and at their own children. And the youngsters often walk away from a game crying out of frustration and disappointment. Some of these sports also have a high risk of serious bodily injury. Intense competition for growing children can be bad because it produces muscular and emotional tensions that are not relieved by the game itself. It is especially bad when parental goading causes a child to push beyond his limits. This lays a child open to injury. Under these conditions, the child is playing under tension before the game even begins. Sports activity for children should be designed to build confidence, not tear it down. Children grow at different rates, and a young child should improve without always comparing his performance with another. Then, after about twelve, competition could be encouraged when it buds spontaneously. All these important factors will be considered in the physical education and sports programs of tomorrow's world.
Sports in Balance
In the future, the three annual Festival seasons will be high points in the year. These times will be special in many ways. Though the Bible says nothing directly about it, there seems to be no reason why there could not be special tournaments at these times to add to the enjoyment and excitement of these festive occasions. And such tournaments would not need to be restricted only to those in the prime of life. Separate competitions and prizes could be awarded for those in different age groups. Naturally, those games for older people would need to be considerably less active. Speaking of tomorrow's world the Bible says: "There shall yet old men and old women dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, and every man with his staff in his hand for very age. And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof" (Zech. 8:4-5). People will age in tomorrow's world, and when they become very old, they will be a little slower in getting around. But this does not mean that they will be sickly and in pain and suffering. They will still be able to walk about and enjoy life. Until quite late in life the elderly will be able to enjoy hiking, swimming, tennis, golf, volleyball and other activities which might seem strenuous for older people by today's standards. We personally know a number of men in their 70's today who still play a fine game of tennis. There is even a tournament bracket at Wimbledon for those 70 and older. Obviously, one doesn't take up a new, vigorous sport at age 70, but simply continues an activity developed in youth. Today many older people don't know that they are allowing their bodies to atrophy and deteriorate more rapidly than necessary through lack of movement. In tomorrow's world, all of the elderly, even if not inclined toward more active sports, will certainly understand that they should at least walk regularly and do certain minimal activities that help maintain flexibility and strength. As for the type of games which might be played, again the Bible does not give particulars. It does, however, give principles. We know that sports and games will be played "with your might" (Eccl. 9:10). We also know that no sport will be allowed which is so violent and rough that there is a high risk of bodily injury. But don't think that athletic activities will be dull and spiritless. There will be plenty of excitement and challenge for young people. Further, the emphasis in games will be on doing your best, in competing with yourself (which is what overcoming is), rather than concentrating on the defeat of the other team. Track and field events, swimming, golf and tennis are examples of sports based on these principles, and many more could be created. Many present-day sports could be made more wholesome and interesting by modifying the rules. A big problem with sports today involves the spectators. Spectators need to be trained how to view a sport. They should know the subtleties of the game they are watching so they can enjoy the strategy of the game more and appreciate it when good moves are made and real skill is displayed. One of the reasons for overemphasis on winning is that people often despise and refuse to support a loser. Spectators should not be at games to see blood and violence, to "boo" and harass the officials, and to stir up feelings of strife and the wrong kind of competition. Their attitude should be to encourage and inspire those playing to greater heights of achievement.
Other Recreational Activities
Sports are not the only means of exercise. Take the dance, for instance. Some types of dancing can be as physically demanding as many types of sports. Dancing doesn't have to be just an excuse for indulging in various thoughts and actions related to sex. As you will see below, the Bible specifically says there will be dancing in tomorrow's world. And all recreation doesn't need to be in the form of physical exercise. "Recreation" means to restore, to refresh, to renew. This can often be accomplished by activities that are simply diversions from the regular routine. Indoor games with the family, singing and playing instruments with friends, laughing, telling jokes and just plain talking — these can all be recreational and refreshing. God says that out of tomorrow's cities "shall proceed thanksgiving and the voice of them that make merry" (Jer. 30:19). Television has killed many such wholesome activities today. And what about painting, gardening, photography, arts, crafts, models, etc.? In tomorrow's world people will have sufficient leisure time for such recreational activities. Horseback riding, bowling, fishing, hiking, skating — the list is virtually endless — and in tomorrow's world healthy, happy, prosperous people living "the good life" will enjoy them all to the full. Here is how the Bible describes it: "Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow together to the goodness of the Lord, for wheat, and for wine, and for oil, and for the young of the flock and of the herd: and their soul shall be as a watered garden; and they shall not sorrow any more at all. Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, both young men and old together: for I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow" (Jer. 31:12-13).