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Biblical Hope

"And now these three remain, faith, hope and love."
1 Corinthians 13:13

Faith, hope, and love, are the only things that have the power to change your heart. They are the only things that are eternal.

It is easier to understand exactly what hope is by first examining hopelessness. When we have no hope we are left with despair. Hopelessness, is purposelessness, loneliness and isolation. Hopelessness leads to depression. Without hope the human spirit spirals down to destruction.

Hope is the force, or drive that causes us to press on until we have obtained. Hope is a force that works on the human heart, or subconscious mind--your driving force.

Hope is equally powerful whether it springs from error or from Truth. What I mean is, that false hope can motivate a person to action, just as powerfully as hope that comes from God's promises. However, only hope gained from the eternal is eternal. Hope in the world's promises parishes with your body, leaving you eternally hopeless--a chilling thought.

The primary purpose of God's word, that is, the Bible, is to give you hope.

Hebrews 6:13-20

When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, 14 saying, "I will surely bless you and give you many descendants." 15 And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised. 16 Men swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument. 17 Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. 18 God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. 19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, 20 where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek. (NIV84)

What this passage is saying is that because we know that it is impossible for God to lie and that he promised salvation to those that never give up seeking him, that that knowledge coupled with the promise gives us the hope to go on seeking. This hope; imparted because we know who made the promise, would not, and cannot, lie; brings us all the way to him in heaven.

It can be clearly seen in the above passage, (verses 19 and 20), how it is in the heart that hope works. We see that the hope enters the inner sanctuary, the human spirit or heart, the place where the soul resides, and this located behind the curtain, that is, the body. Notice too, that this passage says that our high priest, Jesus, has passed through our flesh, (the curtain), and has entered into our heart. This is really rather an amazing passage to me.

Hebrews 10:19-23

Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. (NIV84)

Whereas in the previous passage we saw that Jesus passed through our curtain of flesh to enter our inner sanctuary, we see in this passage that Jesus opened a new way for us to come into God's presence, and that is through the curtain of his flesh into God's inner sanctuary.

This same promise is found in John 17:20-23:

John 17:20-23

My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: 23 I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. (NIV84)

Do you see it? God in Jesus, Jesus in the Father, Jesus in us, and we in Jesus, and that puts us in the Father.

It is the promise of this relationship that serves as an anchor for the soul, that is, the hope spawned because of this promise.

1 Peter 1:3-5

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade--kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. (NIV84)

Notice that Peter says that the, "born again," experience results in a living hope. The hope we have received is living because the Spirit of Christ is living inside of your spirit and he is constantly fanning into flames the hope that we have received. Praise God! It is the hope that keeps on hoping.

Something else we should note from this passage in Peter is that we really don't get the salvation promised us while we yet live in our flesh and blood bodies. Now we receive the hope of the coming salvation.

Romans 8:23-25

Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. (NIV84)

You see, we believe the promise from the Father of the salvation of our souls, and because we believe from the heart we press on to obtain the goal, and because we press on and never shrink back, we shall get that which God has promised us. It is hope that we get while we live in our physical bodies.

Philippians 3:10-16

I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. 12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. 15 All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16 Only let us live up to what we have already attained. (NIV84)

My friends, you must consider the hope held out to you that was secured at such a high cost. Jesus Christ offered his life as a sacrifice to God for you. From the time of his birth until the time of his death he lived his life as a sacrifice of atonement for you. He never once considered his own situation above that of his Father's. It grieves my heart when I consider what our salvation cost him and how with such lightness people consider it today.

People today treat our salvation as though it cost nothing. They tell one another,. "It's free, take it." They encourage people to pray the "sinners prayer" and attend church. They sit around and agree with one another that they are saved by the blood of the lamb, but my friends, we must press on each and every day to take hold of the goal in which we hope.

1 Corinthians 9:24-27

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. 27 No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. (NIV84)

Do you think, my brothers and sisters, that only Paul had to beat his body and press on, lest he be disqualified? You who treat Jesus' sacrifice as though it cost nothing should be afraid. If you weren't strutting around telling one another that you are saved, and looked closely at the Holy Scriptures you would see that you are in great danger. You are not at this time "saved," but instead you now have the hope of salvation, if you press on to the end.

God has promised salvation to those who have sought him out and have come to love him. These people have demonstrated their love for him by giving up their lives and living to please the one they love.

God's promise gives us hope. Because of the hope held out to us we press on to obtain the prize. Our hope is in God and in his promises, and because of our faith in the hope, we, with a sincere heart, seek to know the love that transforms us.

Acts 26:6

And now it is because of my hope in what God has promised our fathers that I am on trial today. (NIV84)

 

Romans 5:1-5

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. (NIV84)

You see, we must endure suffering because it produces perseverance; and perseverance builds character, and the person with character has the hope needed for salvation. This idea that you say the magic words, "Jesus is my Lord," and you got your ticket to heaven is wrong. God knows your heart. He knows if you love him, and are seeking him. God is offering you salvation in Jesus Christ; you must believe and put your hope in him. God is expecting you to hope in his promise of salvation and not in anything of this world. The only thing that matters is our relationship with him in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 5:5

But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope. (NIV84)

We are actively waiting for the salvation in which we hope.

Colossians 1:3-6

We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints-- 5 the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel 6 that has come to you. (NIV84)

Notice that our faith and love spring from the hope we have. These promises that God has made to those who seek him are so wonderful that we will endure anything to get them. We die to the world, because we have such great promises of things in heaven.

Colossians 1:21-23

Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation-- 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant. (NIV84)

This hope of living with God as his very own son, motivates me to stop striving to make something of myself in the world, and to please him. It motivates me to forsake the world, and live a life of love.

Friends, if you really believe the promises of the things that await you then you will give yourselves over to God.

Conclusion:

My friends, please bear with me a moment while I explain something about this article. I have made a point about our not actually receiving salvation now, but rather the promise of salvation, which we will inherit if we continue in the faith. There is a great deception in what is called the church today concerning this topic. I am greatly concerned that many people, who think that all is well, will find themselves in great trouble when they wake up dead someday. This article is not intended to make you angry, or to frighten you without reason, but to show you that God has something wonderful for us, if we will just forsake this world, and hope in that which is to come. We must put all our faith in him, and seek him, obey him, and in every way, try to become like him. This is what God wants, this is what any parent wants. Now I am not talking about personality, but in our moral outlook.

I was not raised in the church, so I believe it is easier for me to see that people today have put far too much emphasis on church and not enough on God. They are far more faithful at attending church, than the are faithful at living a completely Christ-like life in this world. Nothing of this world is going to remain. The only things that will remain are the things we hope for, things not of this creation. Everything that you can see, touch, smell, or taste, will pass away. Any amount of energy that you expend in pursuit of earthly things is totally wasted.

Matthew 10:38-39

...and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. (NIV84)

I just want people to realize what is at stake here. God has promised us wonderful things, but now we only see the promise, not the things. Do you believe God's promises? Are you willing to lose this life to gain the eternal? Or is your faith in God's promises so weak that you feel that you must hold back and cover your bases, that is, make sure that you get the most out of this life, because this may be all there is?

My brothers and sisters, when I first sensed God's call on my life, I begged the Lord, "Please do not to send me to the church people." I wanted to speak to people who did not claim any knowledge of God. Those people almost always listened to the gospel message. They might not believe it, but they were usually very surprised at the message. Church people would always get angry with me, and become frightened of me. I hated it. But it is the Lord's will that I speak to the church.

It is the holiness and obedience of the Church that eventually brings down Satan, and then the Lord will return. The time is now for the church to abandon the ways of the world and seek God fully. We have the promises of eternal heaven, so let us press on and obtain the promises. Let us forsake this world and get on with the program. I know God's promises are worth it, and I know that he will make good his promises. I have the hope of all this right before me, so I step out of all worldly ways and walk the obedient walk of love and faith, which springs from the hope I have received from God.

We are quickly approaching the end of the age of grace. So the Lord will bring to fulfillment his warning to those whose faith is lukewarm.

Revelation 3:15-16

I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm -- neither hot nor cold -- I am about to spit you out of my mouth. (NIV84)

Do not be one whom the Lord tolerates, but one whom he loves greatly.

 

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