THE CHRISTIAN’S HOPE
Col. 1:5 [speaks of the] … hope laid up for you in heaven, of which you previously heard in the word of truth, the gospel …
HOPE = DESIRE + EXPECTATION
The “hope” of the Christian? – HEAVEN!
Mankind has always lived in fear of dying; death looms over the heads
God shows us the concept of ETERNAL LIFE ---John 17:3 "This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
He tells us that ETERNAL LIFE is something that we can take hold of -
1 Tim. 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
But to have ETERNAL LIFE we must give up on this life----
John "He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal.
God promises ETERNAL LIFE – that means we EXPECT TO receive it---
1 John This is the promise which He Himself made to us: eternal life.
Our HOPE rests on the promises of God – and God cannot lie----
Titus 1:2 in the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago,
God Promises that if we put Him far above family and the things of this life we will receive 100 times as much ---- along with ETERNAL LIFE
Mark but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life.
For that matter Jesus Himself has gone ahead of us to prepare our eternal home-----
John 14:1-3 "Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. (2) "In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. (3) "If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.
God takes away the fear of death – and gives us the expectation of ETERNAL LIFE! –
That HOPE is what keeps us going – keeps us strong
RELIEF FROM EARTHLY WOES
Another DESIRE that we have is relief from the struggles of this life----
Paul acknowledges that this life can be very hard---
2 Cor. 5:2 For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven,
But God introduces us to a time when the pain and suffering of this life will be over --
Rev. 21:4 and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away."
God has promised us this life – free from all pain, suffering, and death – giving us hope ---
A hope that anchors our soul as we wait to be delivered
Heb. 6:17-19 In the same way God, desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose, interposed with an oath, (18) so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible
for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us. (19) This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil,
This life is in heaven – the hope of every Christian
ESCAPE FROM HELL
Without God’s intervention the only think we could look forward to is Hell – The Just punishment for sin -
2 Thess. 1:7-9 and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, (8) dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. (9) These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,
Rev. 21:8 "But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."
Matt. 25:41 "Then He will also say to those on His left, 'Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;
Rev. 20:10 And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
However, Jesus Christ gives us HOPE of heaven – even though we don’t deserve it – because He paid the price for our sins----
Paul calls Jesus not only our Savior; but our hope!
1 Tim 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus according to the commandment of God our Savior, and of Christ Jesus, who is our hope,
Col. 1:27 …. God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
And God has proven that we will survive the death of the body in the resurrection of Christ
1 Cor. But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep.
Without this hope of heaven and all that it holds for us it would be hard to go on from day to day –
However this hope is truly the anchor of the soul – we can take whatever Satan throws at us because we know that God will deliver on His promises.
Do you have this hope? Are You afraid of death? Are you burdened with the struggles of this life? Are you ready to escape from Hell (the consequences of your sin)?