Hope For The World
March 28, 2005
By Tom Barrett
The world is in terrible shape. No reasonable person would dispute that. We need help. Where will that help come from? Certainly not from the corrupt and scandal-ridden United Nations. Nor can a divided and divisive NATO solve the world's problems. Then surely the United States, the world's police force and the sole remaining Superpower can save the world - right? Wrong again.
No one will be surprised when I say that the only hope for the world is God. Not God as a vague concept: "The Universal Life Force" as I have heard some New-Agers refer to Him. Not God as a stern Supreme Being wielding a big stick. No, the Hope of the World has a name, and it is Jesus. The Son of God has a personal stake in what happens to the world. After all, He gave His life to save us.
But even among church going people you will see differences of opinion about just how Jesus has made salvation available to a lost and dying world. Around Christmas time we hear sentimental talk about salvation coming to the world in the form of the baby Jesus. There is some truth to that, for if He had not been born in the form of man, He could not have accomplished the purpose for which He was sent. But the fact that Jesus was born in Bethlehem did not bring salvation to the world.
Around Easter you will often hear people talk about how the crucifixion of Jesus saved the world. They talk about all that He suffered for us, and conclude that His suffering and death was the act that made it possible for lost men and women to be reconciled to God. Again, this is partly true. If Jesus had not obeyed the Father, and given His life freely for us, no one in the world could have been saved.
Christ was born of a virgin. He grew up and became a strong young man, having never sinned. He discipled twelve men who became apostles, or missionaries, to the world. He taught and preached to thousands, giving them hope and a personal knowledge of the plan of God for their lives. He was arrested, falsely convicted, and died a terrible death after having been nailed to wooden cross like a common criminal.
All of these are facts, supported not just by the Bible, the Word of God, but also by the writings of dozens of historians who lived at the same time as He did. But none of these facts, individually or taken together, provided the hope that the world needed so desperately at that time, and still needs today.
No, all of these aspects of Jesus life were a backdrop for His last great act on this earth. If His life were a play, we would say that all these events were the plot development that prepared the way for the grand finale.
Of course His last great act on this earth was the Resurrection. On Easter all over the world, pastors greet their congregations with the joyful proclamation, "Christ is risen!" To which the believers reply, "He is risen indeed!"
If Christ had not risen from the dead, all that went before in His life on earth would have meant nothing. Many men die. Many good and even great men die. The leaders of all the religions the world has ever seen have died. But Jesus Christ, and only Jesus Christ, rose from the dead! That is a historical fact, recorded by contemporary historians, many of whom were not His followers. That is the hope of the world.
Because Jesus rose from the dead, He lives forever. Because Jesus lives forever, we can live forever, if we accept His great gift of salvation. That is the hope of the world.
Because of His Resurrection, we can experience resurrection. Our spirits, which were dead in sin, can be resurrected. That is the hope of the world.
If you would like to personally meet Jesus, the Hope of the World, click on the link below.
GOD'S SIMPLE PLAN: