Is There Any Hope of Salvation?
The 20th century has been called one of the bloodiest centuries humanity has ever known. Crime, wars, ethnic strife, drug abuse, dishonesty, and violence have been especially rampant during the last few decades. Add to this the pain and suffering that have been the result of sickness, old age, and death. Who does not long for liberation from the enormous problems that exist in the world today? As we look to the future, is there any hope of salvation?
CONSIDER the vision that the apostle John was entrusted with some 2,000 years ago. He wrote: “Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his peoples. And God himself will be with them. And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:3, 4) The prophet Isaiah likewise foretold: “He will actually swallow up death forever, and the Sovereign Lord Jehovah will certainly wipe the tears from all faces. And the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for Jehovah himself has spoken it.”—Isaiah 25:8.
Just imagine what the fulfillment of God’s promises will mean! Mankind will be rescued, or delivered, from oppression and violence, from the causes of suffering and distress. Why, even sickness, old age, and death will not plague us! God’s Word, the Bible, promises everlasting life under perfect conditions on earth. (Luke 23:43; John 17:3) And it is available to all who desire it. “[God’s] will is that all sorts of men should be saved and come to an accurate knowledge of truth.”—1 Timothy 2:3, 4.
To benefit from God’s promises, though, we must understand the role Jesus Christ plays in our salvation and exercise faith in him. Jesus himself said: “God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son, in order that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) Pointing to the central role of Jesus Christ in this matter, the apostle Peter said: “There is no salvation in anyone else, for there is not another name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must get saved.” (Acts 4:12) The apostle Paul and his associate Silas urged a sincere inquirer: “Believe on the Lord Jesus and you will get saved, you and your household.”—Acts 16:30, 31.
Yes, Jesus Christ is “the Chief Agent of life,” and salvation is possible only through him. (Acts 3:15) But how can one man be such a key figure in saving us? Having a clear understanding of his role in this regard should strengthen our hope of salvation.
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Page 3: Bombers: USAF photo; starving children: UNITED NATIONS/J. FRAND; burning battleship: U.S. Navy photo