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Summary: Believers have a living hope because the death and resurrection of Jesus guarantees their salvation.

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Title: Hope That Lives

Text: 1 Peter 1:3-13, 18-21

Truth: Believers have a living hope because the death and resurrection of Jesus guarantees their salvation.

Aim: to give people hope based on the certainties of salvation.

INTRODUCTION

Hope is central to our lives. Our life is filled with hope. Most singles hope to be married. The married hope their marriage will be loving and lasting. Children hope to be picked first for the playground team or classroom spelling bee. Michele Bachmann, a former 2012 Republican Presidential candidate, wrote of her hope to be asked to the high school prom her senior year. She went to work after school not having been asked but still held out hope someone would ask her before the prom started that evening. The hope that we can accomplish what we want, find the love we desire, or that our future will be bright fuels our pursuits in life. Dante described hell as having a sign over the entrance that said, “Abandon hope all ye who enter here.” Until then we hope.

One of our favorite hopes is economics. When our hope is in money we see all our human problems as one of economic disadvantage. Some think that if they could just level the playing field or establish the right market conditions everyone would be happy. The problems are the economy is fragile and vulnerable. It moves up and down with the whims of government actions or environmental conditions. Hurricane Sandy overnight impoverished some very well-to-do Americans. Even if they have plenty of money, people still have problems regardless of how much they amass. The jewelry of actress Elizabeth Taylor’s was auctioned last year. It was estimated to be worth $20-50 million. It certainly didn’t help her in her seven marriages or keep her from death. A report said that after most NFL or NBA athletes retire, they are broke within two years!

For some their hope is politics. The “Arab Spring” in the Middle East had been hoped to bring democracy in the place of dictatorship. Many people tied their hopes for our country resolving many of its problems to electing the right man for President. Half the country is discouraged and the other still holds on to hope. Politics is important but we are tying our hopes to people just like you and me. They have the same inner problems, needs, and sins.

Some put their hope in pleasure. Maybe it is great excitement or travel or good food, anything that brings some excitement to what is perceived as a dull, insignificant life. The only problem with our hope being based on pleasure is that it begins to run dry. Sometimes the pleasure backfires and destroys us. So where can we find lasting hope?

We need a hope that is bigger than we are, a hope that is not limited to human boundaries, or flawed by human nature. We need a hope that really delivers on its promises and doesn’t let us down. Only Jesus Christ offers that kind of hope. Jesus promises to forgive our past, give us meaning in the present, and make our future secure no matter what happens on this earth. For 2,000 years millions upon millions of followers of Jesus Christ have found his hope real enough to endure trials and death. I can’t think of anything on this earth that people hope in with that kind of track record. (Stuart McAlister)


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