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Summary: Despite the evil we see in the world around us, “hope” is believing this twilight period is the dawn before the new day when light overcomes darkness

IN GOD'S IMAGE 71 - THE CHURCH - HOPE

This message is part of a series of 90 sermons based on the title, “In God’s Image – God’s Purpose for humanity.” This series of free sermons or the equivalent free book format is designed to take the reader through an amazing process beginning with God in prehistory and finishing with humanity joining God in eternity as His loving sons and daughters. It is at times, a painful yet fascinating story, not only for humanity, but also for God. As the sermons follow a chronological view of the story of salvation, it is highly recommend they be presented in numerical order rather than jumping to the more “interesting” or “controversial” subjects as the material builds on what is presented earlier. We also recommend reading the introduction prior to using the material. The free book version along with any graphics or figures mentioned in this series can be downloaded at www.ingodsimage.site - Gary Regazzoli

Our focus has shifted to the role and function of the church.

• We are looking at the role of the church through five virtues, faith, hope and love as expressed in 1 Corinthians 13, and worship and service.

• The church as the body of Christ needs to be people of faith, people of hope, people of love, people of worship, and people of service.

Last time we looked at the subject of faith. This time our focus is on the subject of hope.

• I want you for the moment to imagine a world where there is no death, funeral homes, or cemeteries.

• A world where there is no sickness, disease or mental illness, and therefore no healthcare facilities.

• A world where there is no crime, accidents, or acts of nature to threaten our lives.

• A world where there is no sin, wickedness or evil of any kind.

• A world where each individual has everything he needs to live comfortably and has a purpose for his existence.

• In fact, there doesn’t seem to be anything to worry or stress about at all.

• In addition, loved ones surround him, even the ones who were hard to live with in the past, except now they seem to have improved remarkably, and are even a joy to be around.

• Everyone has a radiance and joy about them and a boundless energy which is just as well as there is no night time here to rest and recuperate.

• All this is great, but the most remarkable thing about this world is the relationship each person has with the One who has made this world possible.

• People are naturally drawn to Him and He mingles effortlessly with all and has a remarkable way of putting everyone at ease.

• Yet there is something special and unique about Him even though He is human just like us.

• In truth, He is Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, the God who became human so we could become like Him.

• Our new nature ensures all our thoughts and motives are holy and pure and a divine boundless love embraces all living creatures.

• The highlight of each “day” is when Jesus is joined by the heavenly host along with its new additions, in worship of the Father.

• Time is suspended and spirits soar to unimaginable heights as the heavenly chorus bursts forth in worship of the Father.

This world we have just imagined is the culmination of God’s plan to make us in His image.

• After many millennia of sin, pain, suffering and death, He is at last sharing the life and love that exists in the Godhead itself with a forgiven and newly created humanity.

• This is the reason for which we were created, to share intimate communion with God and one another.

• Yet we are told by scripture that even the most fertile human imagination cannot come close to conceiving what God has in store for those who will inhabit the heavenly realm of the kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 2:9 (NKJV) “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

This is the future reality Christians hope for, long for and pray for.

• “Hope” is closely related to “faith” as we read in Hebrews 11.

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

• We express hope in this future we just described even though it is not something tangible we can comprehend with our seven senses.

• Rather, “hope” is something we comprehend through our new spiritual sense of “faith.”

• What is remarkable about both faith and hope is, both will pass away when this future is realised, as there will no longer be a need for either of them.

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