Modern-day Christianity seems confused about Jesus’ real purpose and mission in this world. Your Messages concerning His life and teaching seem different. Could you please explain to me what you believe Jesus’ real purpose was here on planet Earth?
We have to agree that there is much confusion today on this subject. But the Bible is explicit as to the role of Christ.
Jesus is at the very center of the plan of God for this earth. With respect to earth’s government, Jesus will be the eternal King. With regard to God’s people, Jesus is the perfect pattern of the life that pleases God. With regard to the people who will inhabit His eternal Kingdom, He is the Saviour, the One who will dispense salvation, the One to whom God has given life in Himself so that He may have it to give to whoever He will (John 5:27).
When Jesus was before Pilate, Pilate asked Him, “Are you a king?” Jesus’ stated definitely that this was the purpose of His coming: “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth” (John 18:37, NIV).
Jesus came to tell and show men what God wanted them to do, how He wanted them to live pleasing to Him. In fact, His whole life was a pattern. He was born and grew to maturity, just as we do. He learned the law of His Father and obeyed it, just as we must do; then He died, was resurrected, and finally was taken to heaven, where He was judged and rewarded with immortality, thus completing the pattern. Each one who will be saved must go through these same basic steps.
Jesus Himself recognized the centrality of His position. He said of Himself, “I am the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6). He said also, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me shall never hunger; and he who believes in Me shall never thirst” (John 6:35). Bread sustains natural life; just so Jesus’ words sustain spiritual life, as He Himself said, “The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63).
The prophets had foretold Jesus’ work, and the authority He would have. Wrote Moses, “The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear” (Deut. 18:15). And the 18th verse reinforces this point, “And [I] will put My words in His mouth; and He shall speak to them all that I command him.” Acts 3:20-22 confirms that this prophecy was fulfilled in Jesus.
Jesus’ parable of the Vineyard (Matt. 21:33-43) is helpful in understanding His role in God’s plan. A “certain landowner planted a vineyard, hedged it, dug a winepress in it, and built a tower for its defense.” He did everything to make its operation a success. Then he “rented his vineyard out to some farmers and went away on a journey. When the harvest season approached, he sent his servants to the tenants to collect the produce due him. But they seized his servants, thrashed one, killed another, and stoned a third. So he sent other servants, this time a larger number, and they treated them in the same way. Finally he sent his Son. ‘They will respect my son,’ he said. But when they saw the Son, the tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir: come on, let us kill him and get his inheritance.’ So they seized him and flung him out of the vineyard and killed him” (NIV).
For many years God sent prophets to show His people the way to salvation, but they ignored them, persecuted them, even killed them. They did the same to His Son. But this did not defeat God’s plan. God raised Jesus from the dead, He was taken to heaven, and will soon return to take charge of the vineyard–the whole earth. He will be the King all glorious, reigning over one worldwide nation. “The Lord shall be King over all the earth” (Zech. 14:9), with headquarters at Jerusalem. As Jesus Himself said of Jerusalem, it is the “city of the great king,” and He Himself will be that great King (Matt. 5:35).
The common idea that because of the sin of one man about 6000 years ago the whole human race is condemned, and that by the righteousness of the Son of God some 2000 years ago the whole race is justified is without Biblical support. If such were God’s plan, where is there any individual responsibility? If all are condemned apart from any fault of their own, and if all are justified by the merits of Christ, where is there any motivation to upright living? If all of us are mere puppets in the hand of God anyway, why not enjoy life as best we can and forget the future?
But no, God has promised that to those “who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor and immortality” He will give “eternal life” (Rom. 2:7). The blessings of the new world are promised “to him who overcomes,” to those who “do his commandments” (Rev. 2:7; 22:14), and Jesus is at the very center of that plan–as the bestower of immortal life and as the Eternal King of the earth. Do we wonder why the angel revealed to Mary that “He will be great, and…the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David: and He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of His kingdom there will be no end”