The Christian's Hope
The plan of God for His people is for them to prosper, to have hope and a future Jeremiah 29:11
Life without Hope, is like a body without food. Humanity needs a hope that transcends this world and the limitations of human existence. Hope that is based on better promises and possible fulfilment than we have from most of the world’s leaders.
Surely there is more purpose to our existence than being conceived in a woman’s womb and ejected into this world with its predators of disease, famine, war, disasters and all manner of troubles, waiting to engulf us.
To live a life which may be ended almost before it is started. To live under the shadow of death with its many ways of performing that last act, and then to have as an epitaph “Amen” (so be it). Is this the purpose of life? Is this for real or is this life a transitory existence preparing us for a greater experience?
If it is, then we have a wonderful Hope. Life here takes on a new meaning, a new purpose. There is reason for our being here. If not, then let us “eat, drink and make merry” as do those who have no hope. If this life is the beginning and end, then let us enjoy it to the uttermost. However, if there is another life beyond this experience, then why not search for it, live for it, Hope for it?
The Resurrection of Jesus and His promise to come again, gives this life new meaning to the Christian. A realization that this life is a probationary period in which to prepare for the new eternal life that Christ has to offer.
Therefore, the Christian’s Hope is based on the resurrection of Jesus and His promise to come again.
The Resurrection of Christ
In 1st Corinthians 15 the Apostle Paul writes that Christ died and was raised again, according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by hundreds of people. Some of these people were still alive some twenty five years after the event, and therefore were able to confirm Paul’s statement (Verses 3 – 7)
Further, in verses 12-18, Paul concludes that if Christ was not raised, his preaching was useless, as was the faith of the believers. In fact, their faith was futile, they were still in their sins and those who had died in Christ were lost.
Paul concludes by saying, “If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.” (verse 19). Also, in verse 32, he writes about the futility of fighting wild animals in the arena at Ephesus, and dying, just for human reasons. There would be no gain. If there is no resurrection of the dead, then forget about it, go and enjoy the full pleasures of life, for you are going to die, anyhow.
The Second Coming of Christ
The Second Advent is essential to complete the work of the First Advent. The First was to save sinners, the Second is to save saints. The Old Testament is particularly concerned with the First Advent, and the establishment of the Kingdom of Grace. The Second Advent will establish the Kingdom of Glory.
The promise of Christ’s return is found in John 14:1-3, and confirmed by the angels in Acts 1:10,11 at Christ’s ascension. They added information concerning the manner of His advent, but not the time. In Matthew 24:36 Jesus said, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”
Paul writes of his confidence in the return of Christ in Hebrews 9:28. Peter’s testimony if found in 1st Peter 5:4
The early Christian church believed in the Resurrection and the return of Jesus, and thousands were converted in a day (Acts 2: 31) and more were added to the Church daily (V.47)
Under the power of the Holy Spirit, poured out on the few believers, on the day of Pentecost, the Christian church has become a world wide influence numbering hundreds of millions from all nations.
Since it was written, the Bible has been attacked by its critics, who have unsuccessfully tried to break down it’s integrity and discuss it like “junk mail”. However, it has prevailed against great odds, because God is it’s Author and He does not lie. (Titus 1:2)
“The glorious appearing of our Great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ,” is “the Blessed Hope” to those who wait patiently for Him. (Titus 2:13). And in this Hope we were saved, Romans 8:24, and will be saved.
*All tests used are from the New International Version of the Bible*