The world needs a Savior

The world has been looking for a savior since the very beginning. The natural consequences of sin on our world create an environment filled with problems from which people desire a rescue. Man’s problem through the ages, however, has been looking in the wrong places for that salvation.

History reveals a long and pitiful record of mankind’s search for salvation in all the wrong places. False religions and idols abound. But one institution we never quite seem to equate with idolatry is government. Man’s trust in the king, the empire, or the state to raise him up from his hopeless situation is just as prominent in history as his trust in made-up gods, superstition, and golden statues.

In ancient Rome the emperors were worshipped as gods. In the middle ages kings claimed the “divine right of kings” and ruled as if they were acting on god’s behalf. Of course in the 21st century we like to think of ourselves as a little more sophisticated than that. Surely we don’t believe mere men to be our means of salvation. I call your attention to the presidential campaign of Barack Obama. Not because I oppose his candidacy (although I do) but because of the messianic tone his campaign has taken.

I’ve long maintained that American politicians, as a class, are an arrogant bunch. They think they know better than the rest of us how things should be run. They think, because of their elevated intellect, they are entitled to special standing. I’ve often suspected politicians of secretly having a messiah complex. But, to their credit, they’ve all denied it.

Until now.

Obama has embraced the messianic tone. In his speeches he has claimed his election would reverse natural phenomena and end poverty. He has spoken of leading the world (not just America) into a new age of prosperity. He has even publicly said that many people would experience an epiphany, whereby a light from heaven would descend and they would be “compelled to vote for Barack.”

It’s bad enough that he believes his own hype. But Obama’s savior-speak has an entire generation looking to him for something he can’t deliver. In a letter to the editor to the East Illinois Journal Gazette-Times Courier, Steve Davis wrote:

“I’m taking a special look at Barack Obama because he’s a lot closer to a Jesus-type than the other candidates, by quite a bit. What if God decided to incarnate as men preaching ‘hope and change.’ And what if we didn’t recognize them, because we are so dull, and let them slip away, not availing ourselves of the opportunity to be led by God!”

God has come to Earth as a man. His name is Jesus. Only he did not seek to defeat sin and death through political means. In fact, when Jesus was brought before Pilate prior to his crucifixion, he explained his kingdom wasn’t of this world.

“Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.” — John 18:36

Jesus didn’t come to save the world the way the world thought it ought to be saved. The ancient world was seeking salvation by other means. The modern world seeks salvation by other means.

The church still has an opportunity — and a responsibility — to share with a lost and dying world where true salvation lies. We need to tell people that they don’t need a savior, they need the Savior.

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About Chip
Chip is a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, AR and Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Memphis, TN. He served more than five years on the staff of the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana as Director of Communications and Public Relations, editor of the Indiana Baptist newsjournal, and regular contributor to the Baptist Press, the official news service of the Southern Baptist Convention. He currently earns his living as a writer. He serves his local church as a teacher and deacon and his local Baptist Association as a Seminary Extension instructor and supply preacher.

One Response to The world needs a Savior

  1. David Kjos says:

    “What if God decided to incarnate as men preaching ‘hope and change.’ And what if we didn’t recognize them, because we are so dull, and let them slip away …”

    … because we didn’t realize that God didn’t really mean what he said about sodomy and murder. Duh, I feel so stupid!

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