Summary: Over the past few years, our world has definitely experienced a massive amount of uncertain times. According to scripture there will be many more times of uncertainty in the future. During the previous century, which ended in 1999, it can be argued that w
Text: 1st Peter 3:8-16
Introduction: Over the past few years, our world has definitely experienced a massive amount of uncertain times. According to scripture there will be many more times of uncertainty in the future. During the previous century, which ended in 1999, it can be argued that we saw more fulfillment of major prophecy than all of the generations before us.
The events unfolding around the globe today are another significant step closer to the conclusion of history as described in the scriptures. I am not seeking to sensationalize the political and military actions being taken. However, I am intending to share with you my conviction that we must not overlook their significance to the spiritual climate of the world.
Many non-Christian people are sensing for the first time a genuine hopelessness. There is an anxiety as to how this escalating conflict will radically change life on this planet. There is a continued fear of increasing terrorist attacks, political fanaticism, and social unrest.
What hope can there possibly be for a better world for our children? Where can we find new hope for the present, let alone our future? Where can our friends, family, neighbors, and colleagues turn for hope?
1st Peter 3:8-16 (NASB) 8To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; 9not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. 10For, "THE ONE WHO DESIRES LIFE, TO LOVE AND SEE GOOD DAYS, MUST KEEP HIS TONGUE FROM EVIL AND HIS LIPS FROM SPEAKING DECEIT. 11"HE MUST TURN AWAY FROM EVIL AND DO GOOD; HE MUST SEEK PEACE AND PURSUE IT. 12"OR THE EYES OF THE LORD ARE TOWARD THE RIGHTEOUS, AND HIS EARS ATTEND TO THEIR PRAYER, BUT THE FACE OF THE LORD IS AGAINST THOSE WHO DO EVIL." 13Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good? 14But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed AND DO NOT FEAR THEIR INTIMIDATION, AND DO NOT BE TROUBLED, 15but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; 16and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.
I. Living in a Hopeless World
A. The Bible fully understands and recognizes that hope is vital and necessary to all living people.
B. Proverbs 13:12 (NASB) 12Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But desire fulfilled is a tree of life.
C. There are so many different ways that hope can be shattered.
1. Broken bodies
2. Broken Homes
3. Broken lives
4. Broken dreams
5. These all seem to be symptoms of our modern society.
6. Today, these symptoms are affecting millions of people, depriving them of peace, happiness, and ultimately hope.
D. We can live forty days without food.
E. We can live 8 days without water.
F. We can live 4 minutes without air.
G. However, we can only live a few seconds without hope.
II. Understanding Hope in a Hopeless World
A. What do we mean by hope?
B. What do the scriptures mean by hope in our text?
C. The word used in the Greek is Elpis and means ‘a favorable and confident expectation’.
D. It has to do with a positive vision of the unseen and the future.
E. It is most frequent use in the NT talks about the ‘happy anticipation of good.’
F. Titus 1:1, 2 (NASB) 1Paul, a bond-servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the faith of those chosen of God and the knowledge of the truth which is according to godliness, 2in the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago.
G. Hope is not dreaming, or a vague aspiration.
H. It is not just simply wanting things to turn out well, whilst remaining uncertain that they actually will.
I. Hope is the absolute certainty we have that God is good and that His promises are true.
J. Hope is actually personalized in Jesus himself!
K. He is our hope!
L. Colossians 1:27 (NASB) 27to whom 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.
III. Possessing Hope in a Hopeless World