Throughout history, the influence Jesus had on the lives of people has never been surpassed. No other great leader has inspired so many positive changes in the lives of his followers. People who encounter the risen Christ are totally transformed. Their outlook on life is altered forever. Staying true to their faith, they do not hesitate to face hardship, persecution and even death. Many devote their lives to serving others, minimizing their own needs and desires.
What did Jesus Christ do for the world? Two-thousand years ago, a carpenter left his home to preach in ancient Israel. His message changed the world and has shaped every corner of the globe. Statesmen, politicians, kings and queens have all followed Him, as well as the humble, the lowly, the poor and the unnamed masses.
Jesus’ legacy is so huge that it is beyond question and far exceeds our ability to discern. Queen Victoria of Great Britain, whilst ruling the world’s largest empire was asked what was the secret of England’s greatness? The answer can be found in the famous painting ‘The Secret of England’s Greatness’ which shows a humble Queen Victoria presenting a Bible to an African chief, in the audience chamber at Windsor Castle. American President Andrew Jackson said of the Bible, “That book, sir, is the rock on which our republic rests.” U.S. President Grant said, “The Bible is the sheet-anchor of our liberties.”
Christians all over the world believe that Jesus’ death and resurrection made it possible for man to be reconciled to God, forgiven, saved, healed and delivered! His great forgotten gift – is the gift of hope. His teaching made life on earth better, His message brought healing to the nations and His ministry brought the dead back to life!
The birth of Jesus Christ and the religion that followed in His name – Christianity, drew a line in the sands of time, so much so that time itself, as we choose to count it, is subject to His birth. Barack Obama became President of the United States of America in the year of our Lord (Anno Domini) 2009. The great leader Hannibal of the Alps died 182 years before Christ (B.C.). Christ Jesus is the centre of our dating system, even if our abbreviations are changed in the name of political correctness.
Christianity, in the name of Jesus Christ led to a massive expansion of hospitals, humanitarian organisations, educational institutions and charities. Education and healthcare in the West (and because of the work of missionaries all over the world) were often founded by Christians in the name of Jesus. The great nurse Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing, did her work because of the teaching of Jesus Christ and many of the great pioneer doctors and nurses did the same.
The greatest missionaries and explorers in our history went out in the name of Jesus Christ, to spread the message of Jesus. David Livingstone helped end the slave trade, whilst opening up Africa. William Carey brought the first printing press to India and ended the ritual murder of women on their husband’s funeral pyre. Back at home in the West, William Booth founded the Salvation Army to help the poor and impoverished, and George Meuller and Dr. Barnardo opened children’s homes in Jesus name, to save children from the street.
William Wilberforce ended the slave trade because he brought the message of Jesus into politics and in the United States, Christians like Charles Finney struggled to change public opinion. In Britain, Lord Shaftesbury took the Christian message into parliament and helped end the terrible abuse of men, women and children at work. He fought to improve pay, conditions and limit hours. In the U.S. Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. were inspired by the message of Jesus to fight for equality. In South Africa, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela ended Apartheid.
The message of Jesus has transformed Europe, America, Britain and the English speaking world, as well as Africa, Latin America and Asia. In the U.S., all fifty State Constitutions refer to God or a higher power and a poll from the First Amendment Center showed that 65% of Americans believe the founders intended the U.S. to be a Christian nation. In another poll, 90% of respondents voted to keep the phrase ‘under God’ in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Our universities were founded by Christians and it was Christians like Robert Raikes and Hannah More who started schools and attempted to bring education to all. Louis Braille formed an alphabet for the visually impaired and Sir Alexander Graham Bell worked on sign language. The founders of the first agencies to protect children were Christians. In July 1884, three Christian leaders, Lord Shaftesbury, Rev. Benjamin Waugh and Rev. Edward Rudolf founded what would become the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC). Also Wilberforce helped found the NSPCA, to protect animals.
All over the world where sin abounds, misery abides and humanity is crushed, there are Christian schools, hospitals and missionaries all aiming to help those that the world forgot. They, like all others mentioned here, do so because the teaching of Jesus Christ inspires them.
But there is more, Christianity was also an essential ingredient in the creation of modern democracy – as many of the leaders who fought for our freedom did so because of the Christian message. The author of Magna Carta was a Christian, the Rev. John Ball preached equality – which led to the first mass movement of people campaigning for rights. Cromwell ended the absolute rule of the king and set the stage for the creation of modern democracy and Christian parliamentarians fought to bring the vote to all!
What did Jesus Christ do for the world? The possibilities of research is endless! Christian music, art, architecture dominants the West. Christian values shaped our civilisation. Christian scientists paved the way into a new world. Christian values led to mass education, healthcare and development…the lists goes on.