JESUS CAME TO SAVE THE WORLD, but what was the world he came to save and how did he save it? How is this relevant today?
What I’m about to say may be a secret or it may be obvious. Here is it: Jesus came to the Jews but also to the Gentiles, because what he could do in coming was so huge, and the world was so decadent, that Jesus’ huge act was necessary and useful to all mankind, to the Jews first and to the rest second.
Jesus didn’t just come to save me and you, but he came to change the perspective of the world so that life would be better for everyone.
“Indeed He says, ‘It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant To raise up the tribes of Jacob, And to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, That You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.” (Isaiah 49:6)
Salvation is not only a personal revelation of Jesus as the son of God and our personal redeemer, but also a moral and civil way of life that saves us from barbarism.
Jesus’ arrival into a Barbaric World
Why did Jesus come to the earth? He came to save us. Yes, but from what? Eternal hell, yes. But what about life on earth, all the life across the whole earth.
What was the earth like when Jesus came?
The world was pagan and barbaric. Jesus taught as the Hebrews had been taught: law and order and discipline in a chaotic and violent world. Jews were the first to be introduced to the Law of God (actually better translated as the Instructions of God), when God gave them to Moses in the desert. When Jesus came, not only did the Jews need to hear again what God had to say, but the world was in such a mess, that Jesus fulfilled the way the world was meant to be as he lived out the expression of the law. In this, he revealed God’s intent to civilise the world, and also to make a way for His relationship with all people, the Jews first and the rest also.
Stay with me for a moment to see the depth I’m going to: Jesus came to give a better Way, which gave life. This was not only a Spiritual life, but also a better physical, tangible life.
You can see this in the way the Western world is reverting
On the whole, if I look at history, I see a world gradually becoming more civilised as the message of Jesus moved through the earth. And now, as Jesus is being removed from our society, I see a deterioration of it.
As the world removes the Judeo-Christian value markers, I see where those changes are taking us… back to paganism and barbarism. We see it in the violence of terrorism and murder in the streets. We are reverting — back to hedonism, depravity, lust, child sacrifice, greed and deceit. Are we not becoming like animals – the animals the evolutionists say we are anyway, with multiple sexual partners, violence against one another to site two obvious examples? Society is led by Humanists who are making or influencing the rules, rules which give freedoms that lead us away from civilised behaviour. Free yes, free from civility. These freedoms from God’s Laws create chaos and its own traps.
Jesus came to save the world, not just the individuals in it, but whole nations (Matthew 28:19-20 ) and the societies within those nations…. Looking back through history this is clear.
History reveals the development into civilisation which highlights our decline as well
Before Rome and even as Rome ruled, society was barbaric. I am getting glimpses of that barbarism now… both on the tele and in person, as we worship the romanticism of Ancient Rome. Today our entertainment is romanticising history and we copy it as we bring into reality the escapism and lust of the past. As we shift into hedonism, debauchery, paganism and depravity, in the name of freedom of expression and out of love of self, I can see in my mind’s eye an echo of society before Jesus came.
The Hebrews had inklings of how human beings were meant to live together, but they didn’t share it or practice it themselves the way God had intended them to. Their laws made them more civilised and they were healthier. Had they shared their instructions with others and remained a healthy and powerful nation, the Law would have helped to spare the world its depravity and so save the World.
But now mankind (at least in the West) is seeing the laws which were created to protect us, as too conservative and confining, too old fashioned or binding.
As we remove Judeo-Christian values from society, we see the underbelly of humanity, the truth of its self-seeking and selfishness. We are seeing humanity little different from what society was before Jesus came to earth: violent, incestuous, depraved… Well, do you see it too?
Jesus came on the scene, not only to give individual salvation, but also corporate. And not only to offer spiritual revival but also a life of physical purity and health.
Called to be Salt and Light
Today, as with Jewish society in ancient times, the Church is not intended only for worship and community, but also to impact society.
What is the Church?
But does the Church stand out, today? Is it a beacon of light that many want to steer by? Does the Church realise who and what she is?
Sadly, it seems that like the Hebrews who wanted a king so they could be like everybody else, today many who love Jesus are working to fit in, adapting to society in the name of loving thy neighbour, without having an objective sense of what love is. And in the process, they are leaving behind their purity and what Jesus stood for. They are weakening themselves and suppressing the power of God within.
“I have come that they might have life, and have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)
Jesus wasn’t talking about prosperity or happiness. He was talking about health and civilisation.
When the Church recognises itself and realises its strength, she will be a lighthouse for the lost.
The intended function of the Church is to be as a lighthouse, an aircraft carrier, a haven and a beacon. It is not a sheep pen for weak sheep, but a resting place for an army refuelling for battle. The battle is against an invisible spiritual realm where there are forces seeking to destroy the righteousness of God’s Laws, and Codes of Conduct for His people, all in the name of Freedom. In practice, theirs is a freedom that condemns, binds and ruins lives.
When the Church wakes up the battle will begin
Time is short and the LORD will soon be at hand. We who know Him must take the stand against the devil and pull down help from heaven. We who are saved are the army of God that will prepare society for Jesus’ return. We who know Jesus must be as strong in righteousness and purity as he calls us to be, so that those who are meant to see God will see Him through us.
Only faith in Jesus saves the individual. But knowledge of the right and wrong through the Law/Instructions of God allows the conscience of both Believer and Unbeliever to see the dark and the light and to choose the light.
Barbarism or Jesus
Two stark choices. Let the Church arise and shine so that those who do not yet know the Truth of the Gospel can see righteous and unrighteousness, and make their God-inspired choice. Jesus came to save, not only one person at a time, but societies as well. Let us stand so strong that our righteousness and purity shines like the sun, that all people, Jew and Gentile alike, will be drawn to it. Individuals and whole societies thus can be saved.