To Save The World

According to some who do not understand the nature of God, salvation is only available to a select few. When Jesus came to Jerusalem and presented Himself as the Messiah, the leaders of Israel believed that only a Jew could find salvation. What we discover by reading the hundreds of prophecies about the Messiah, is that God wanted to save the whole world. This chapter explores some of these ideas and presents Jesus as the One who has the power to save all people.

The Messiah shall also call the Gentile nations to salvation.

Old Testament Prediction:

Isaiah 55:5 Surely you shall call a nation you do not know, And nations who do not know you shall run to you, Because of the LORD your God, And the Holy One of Israel; For He has glorified you.

New Testament Fulfillment:

Matthew 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.

Acts 11:1, 18 Now the apostles and brethren who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God. When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified God, saying, “Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life.”

Matthew 22:41-46 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42 saying, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?” They said to Him, “The Son of David.” 43 He said to them, “How then does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord,’ saying: 44 ‘The LORD said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool” ’? 45 If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his Son?” 46 And no one was able to answer Him a word.

Matthew 8:5-13 Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented.” And Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.” The centurion answered and said, “Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel! And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew 21:43-45 “Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it. And whoever falls on this stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.” Now when the chief priests and Pharisees heard His parables, they perceived that He was speaking of them.

From Every Tribe, Tongue, Nation, and People

From this verse in Isaiah 53:5, we see that it was always the plan of God to save the Gentile nations, as well as Israel. Jesus came as the Messiah for all people, for all time. This was most likely a surprise to the Jews living in Israel at the time that Jesus spoke these words. It was assumed that when the Messiah came to Jerusalem and was announced as the Messiah, that He was coming to redeem the nation of Israel.

Acts 10:45 And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also.

The Jews who were alive at the time that Jesus came to Israel, believed that the Gentile nations existed as nothing more than fodder for the fires of hell.[1] They were certain that salvation was for the Jews alone. When the disciples began to announce that God was offering salvation to the Gentiles as well as Israel, there was great objection to this pronouncement from the leaders of Israel.

Acts 13:46 Then Paul and Barnabas grew bold and said, “It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first; but since you reject it, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles.”

Acts 14:4 But the multitude of the city was divided: part sided with the Jews, and part with the apostles.

What is surprising when we study the responses of the chief priests and the Pharisees, is their ignorance of their own scriptures, particularly the area of prophecy. Appointed as “teachers of the law,” these men should have been aware of this verse from Isaiah 55:5 that speaks of the Messiah, bringing salvation for the Gentiles as well as the Jews. Today, there are still many Jews who have not understood the purpose of the Messiah’s first arrival on earth as a servant to die for the sins of the world. They also fail to recognize that the Messiah will be both the Son of God and the Son of David.

The Messiah will be the Son of David and LORD.

The Jews did not understand that Jehovah-God and Jesus, are One and the same, although they are described as two separate and distinct members of the Godhead. Jesus asked the Pharisees how David’s son could be called “Lord” (Messiah) and “his son,” at the same time. They were unable to answer—because they did not comprehend their own scriptures.

The fact that Jesus is both David’s Son (future descendant) and his Lord (Messiah), is confirmed by Jesus’ question to the Pharisees. “How can the coming Christ, the Messiah, be both David’s Son and his Lord?

Psalms 110:1a The LORD said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.”

When Jesus asks this question of the religious leadership of Israel, no one was able to answer Him.

Matthew 22:41-45 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, saying, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?” They said to Him, “The Son of David.” He said to them, “How then does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord,’ saying: “The LORD said to my Lord, ‘Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool’ ”? If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his Son?”

The leaders of Israel, and many people today, do not understand the nature, nor the need of salvation. All that God requires of any person is a sincere sorrow for their sins and a desire to turn from those sins—to Jesus and believe upon Him for their salvation. The reason that God gave His only Son to save us is because there was no other method by which we might be saved.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Acts 4:12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

Once the Messiah arrived on earth and died upon the cross, salvation was available to the whole world. Those who died before the Messiah arrived, trusting in His future sacrifice for their sins, are saved in the same manner as those who died after He came and completed His work of salvation. The sins of the whole world were fully and permanently discharged by Jesus death and resurrection.

Those who will be saved, have a sincere sorrow for their sins and an earnest desire to have those transgressions removed. Any person who comes to God in repentance for their sins—relying upon Jesus sacrifice, will be saved.

Acts 10:43 To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins.”

John the Baptist began his ministry by preparing the hearts of people to find true sorrow for their sins and a sincere turning to God for forgiveness. When Jesus arrived at the Jordan river, John turned to the people and said: “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”[2]

This Lamb did not have His beginning two thousand years ago. Jesus is described as “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”[3]

God’s plan to save the world originated before the world. Jesus volunteered to be the single method by which God could justly punish our sins while allowing us to receive a full pardon.

Romans 8:29-30 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified…

God’s knowledge in determining an outcome, in advance of its actual occurrence; is based upon His knowledge of all things. God knew who would exercise their freedom of choice and receive Jesus as their Savior, therefore, He can speak of them in the eternal realm as being chosen before the foundation of the world. This all-knowing wisdom of God does not negate the responsibility that each human being has to make the right choice; nor the consequences of choosing poorly.

In this way, both the sovereignty of God and the responsibility of man, work together side by side, to accomplish the determined will of God in all things.

Acts 2:23 Jesus, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death…

Here, we see that God had a determined purpose and foreknowledge of Jesus’ death, but also allowed evil men to act, themselves, and crucify Jesus. We observe both the sovereignty of God and the free will of men working together. God, knowing that evil men would seek to put Jesus to death, also ordained that He should be put to death to accomplish our salvation.

[1] From: Zohar in Gen. fol. 104. 3. Vid. Bechinot Olam, p. 178, “he that studies not in the law in this world, but is defiled , “with the pollutions of the world”, what is written of him? and they took him, and cast him without.”
[2] John 1:29
[3] 1 Peter 1:20 He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you
Revelation 13:8 …the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.