Summary: Our hope in Christ should give us confidence to Speak Boldly About Christ, Face Despair, Approach God’s Throne and much, much more. Our hope should not be in this world, but in Christ.
Some illustrations for this sermon where found on Sermon Central.
Sermon by Mark Engler
Mt. Vernon Christian Church
Mt. Vernon, MO
“Hope In Christ”
Introduction: Talk about trip to Africa and about another ministers concern on what about to teach. My first thought, we are going to teach about Jesus.
Text: Jn 14:1-7 - “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.” 5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” 6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
Ø There is only one way to God, that is through Christ. He is our only hope!
Ø (Talk about hopes that are in this world) – more money, better jobs, better house, better cars, and better education. Nothing with any of these things, but most are putting their hope in the wrong place.
Ø Nothing wrong with any of those things, but Christ needs to be first!
Illus: Dennis said, "I don’t think I’ve ever experienced greater culture shock than what I experienced at the very first Thai village we visited. This was a village which the missionaries had not yet reached with the good news of Jesus. The people were still living with all their superstitions and fears.
"The missionaries tried to prepare us. They told us over and over again, `You need to understand, these people are very poor and very frightened of the evil powers they feel are all around them.’
"But there were no words to prepare us for what we were about to see. We expected to see poverty, but nothing like the deprivation and filth that we saw.
"We saw the most humble of dwellings made of bamboo and thatch, with none of the simplest sanitary conditions and certainly none of the modern conveniences that you and I take for granted every day.
"We saw people wearing filthy, tattered clothing, listlessly going about their tasks, with faces that were usually dirty because they had no reason to clean themselves up.
"We looked into the faces of children, with beautiful eyes and dark hair. And yet the children just stared vacantly into the distance. Yes, they were children, but already their lives had become a drudgery of work, and they had no hope of ever getting out of their present existence.
"Because, you see, the only hope that the Thai people think they have to get out of their poverty is education. But the government only provides education through the 4th grade. After that they have to pay, and the people have no money. So after the 4th grade they work in the fields or do whatever they can do, just to exist.
Dennis said, "I think that’s what hit me more than anything else. I kept wondering, ’What if I woke up tomorrow morning and found myself a member of this village? What if I should go out my front door and see those children standing there, and they’re my children? And I look into their dirty little faces and realize that we will live here all of our lives, and that their children will live all of their lives here, too.’
Dennis said, "After we came back to the missionaries’ house I felt so depressed and began to pour out my feelings. I felt like somehow I wanted to gather them all up and take them home, and wash their faces, and put good clothes on them, and give them good beds to sleep on, and good food to eat.
"But then I faced reality and said, ’There is no hope for these children. They can’t receive an education. There is no way they can get out of this awful life that they’re in. There is just no hope for them.’
"Then I heard a two-sentence missionary sermon. ‘There is hope,’ I was told. ‘Their hope is Jesus.’
Illus: What Does Hope Do For Mankind? John Maxwell from Think on These Things
Hope shines brightest when the hour is darkest. Hope motivates when discouragement comes. Hope energizes when the body is tired. Hope sweetens while bitterness bites. Hope sings when all melodies are gone. Hope believes when evidence is eliminated. Hope listens for answers when no one is talking. Hope climbs over obstacles when no one is helping. Hope endures hardship when no on is caring. Hope smiles confidently when no one is laughing. Hope reaches for answers when no one is asking. Hope presses toward victory when no one is encouraging. Hope dares to give when no one is sharing. Hope brings the victory when no one is winning.