He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 1 Peter 1:20 (NIV).
Have you ever considered what it would be like to live in a world without Christianity?
Peter did. He lived a large chunk of his life without knowing Jesus. Judaism’s special bond as God’s chosen people had tarnished long before. It wasn’t God’s fault: it was humanity’s. God still revered the Jews, all people in fact, and so He put into motion the plan He had designed since before He spoke it all into existence.
So, have you ever considered what our world would be like if God hadn’t done that, hadn’t sent His Son, Jesus, to live, die, and live again for our sake? It’s a historical fact that Christian monks preserved the ancient knowledge from Egypt, Greece, and Rome through the Dark and Middle Ages. Almost definitely, what we know as western traditions, respect and reverence for children, universal human rights, women’s rights, the abolition of slavery, and representative republican democracy wouldn’t exist (at least not as they do). Most likely, there would be more tyranny because, before Jesus, that was the norm. Quite possibly, our world would be far more carnal and violent and more attuned to our most base human instincts. It’s even very possible that methods of western hygiene and medicine would not have developed as they have.
This faith called “Christianity” is responsible for preserving most of the things that we hold as good and true in our twenty-first century world. It’s true there are many who think the world would be much better without religion, stating that religion is responsible for so many of the world’s woes and wars. They miss the point: people are responsible for that, not faith in God. Indeed, live in a place where Christianity is banned, say in Iran or North Korea or Communist China, and you’ll find the human spirit to be crushed and debilitated.
It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Before this world was even created, God knew what we would eventually do and that we would need a Savior. Before you or I were even born, God knew we would be both His very good creation and that we would reject Him time and again. In what may be the last epoch of our world, God revealed Himself to us personally, through His Son and through His Spirit so that we might not live apart from Him.
If He hadn’t done that, imagine the world as a North Korean gulag.
Pretty dire prediction? Maybe. None of us knows what the world would be like without Jesus. All we can know is that we wouldn’t be saved from our own self-produced damnation.
For further reading: Matthew 25:34, Ephesians 1:4, Hebrews 9:26, 1 Peter 1:21
Lord Jesus, thank You for looking ahead to see we would desperately need You, then for dying and living again to save us from ourselves.