Cooperation or competition.
What do you suppose is God's ideal way for families, groups, and societies to survive ?
The Bible Book of Acts tells us, by describing how Jesus' followers lived after Jesus was raised from the dead and ascended to Heaven.
Of course, a reading of the Gospels (the Bible Books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) leads us to conclude that Jesus' disciples learned how to live well with one another even earlier, from Jesus Himself, as they followed Him and lived with Him during His earthly Ministry.
From the Book of Acts: (emphasis added)
And with many other words he (the Apostle Peter) testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.” Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.
So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.
Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need.
And Joses, who was also named Barnabas by the apostles (which is translated Son of Encouragement), a Levite of the country of Cyprus, having land, sold it, and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
Of course, that was quite an amazing group, trustworthy in their willingness to live according to God's Word. The only time trouble came was when two of them, who were not strong in the Faith, chose to be selfish instead, and met their untimely deaths by the hand of God for being covetous and deceitful to His True Believers (Acts 5:1-11). But the rest, from the top to the bottom, were Believers of one heart and one soul in God and His Way, who gave all they had to the common good, and were each given to as anyone had need.
From this, we should note a couple of things.
First, the leaders of this group - the Apostles of Jesus Christ - were perfectly trustworthy. And being perfectly trustworthy to God (and thus, to everyone else), they were therefore wise in the distribution of the common means to meet the needs of all.
Second, the rest of the people in the group were also perfectly trustworthy. Each gave what they could, and received according to their need. Nowhere does it suggest that the honest people held back what they had, or that any took (or were given) beyond what they needed. Covetousness, excess, or waste simply were not part of it; food, clothing, and shelter were enough.
"For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition." - 1 Timothy 6:7-9
We can also be sure that each person put forth the effort they could toward the group's reasonable survival needs, because the Bible also teaches in 2 Thessalonians 3:10, "If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat," which, of course, is only right for those who are able. In addition, 1 Timothy 5:8 states, "But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever." And from 1 Timothy 5:16, "If any believing man or woman has widows, let them relieve them, and do not let the church be burdened, that it may relieve those who are really widows." So it is apparent that we shall make all necessary effort to provide for our own family, including any who might live alone and have need. And this is how Jesus' followers lived also, as family in Christ.
"For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother." - Jesus in Matthew 12:50
From all this, it is obvious that to live God's Way is to live unselfishly, as trustworthy people in cooperation, not as untrustworthy people in competition.
(Yes, I know... everyone thinks they are trustworthy. But self-righteousness is not God's Righteousness. If one's behavior goes against the Standard of God's Commandments, their behavior is not of Him, and is not trustworthy, regardless of the words they speak.)
So, let's ask: Is there any nation who lives God's Way today ? Do we even see one nation that is truly of God, completely trustworthy, from its leadership to the vast majority of its citizens ? No. Among the nations, we see no such thing. Yes, there are some hypocrites with lots of words, including the Grandest Hypocrite of all (that would be you, my USA). But truly of God ? Not even close.
Okay. But could this form of "group government" work today ?
Not if those who can give, whether means or effort, refuse to.
And not if anyone takes more than what is needed to live simply.
In either case, selfishness, a root of all sin, kills.
Not only that, but selfishness also produces more selfishness in the process !
Can we be continually killing the group among which we live, and have it thrive at the same time ? No !
This is why, as we see the same old sins being repeated continually, there is less and less joy or peace (Life) to be had.
Because God is rejected among the nations and too many of their peoples, for every step forward, there are two steps back.
And so it is, for every increase in supposed-knowledge, we still decline further in sin, continually increasing damage to life on Earth.
To be certain, Bible prophecy assures us that the End will come because of man's choices. And at this point, it's not even that far away.
There is no way to keep both sin and Life forever.
"If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.
And if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand." - Jesus in Mark 3:24-25
"There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death." - Proverbs 14:12
So, my Grand Hypocrite USA, it's either God's Way, or continued misery and eventual Spiritual death. We can choose trustworthiness in God according to His Standards (the Commandments), along with cooperation; or our own way of selfishness and self-righteousness by which we remain unrepentant, unforgiving, untrustworthy, and in competition that destroys ourselves, others, and the Earth.
Will we ever learn ?
Until Next Time, In Love and Truth,
Born and Raised in the USA