Summary: Christian Hope is one of life’s most liberating forces.



Sermon Objective: Christian Hope is one of life’s most liberating forces.


>>This sermon begins with a video titled “Hope.”<<

There are three things that I have observed lately that have the capacity to hinder and paralyze human beings. I am sure there are more but these three have been, shall we say, “front and center” lately. They are guilt, fear, and despair. These are real enemies of the soul. They have the capacity to render God’s people powerless and paralyzed.

Let’s read Rev. 14:1-14.

1 Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. 2 And I heard a sound from heaven like the roar of rushing waters and like a loud peal of thunder. The sound I heard was like that of harpists playing their harps. 3 And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders. No one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. 4 These are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they kept themselves pure. They follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They were purchased from among men and offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb. 5 No lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless.

6 Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation, tribe, language and people. 7 He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.”

8 A second angel followed and said, “Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great, which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries.”

9 A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: “If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, 10 he, too, will drink of the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. He will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or for anyone who receives the mark of his name.” 12 This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God’s commandments and remain faithful to Jesus.

13 Then I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.”

14 I looked, and there before me was a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was one “like a son of man” with a crown of gold on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand.

Christ is risen! {He is risen in deed}. And never forget … NEVER FORGET … the resurrection changes everything!

Florence Chadwick, noted for swimming the English Channel in both directions, decided to swim the 21 mile stretch of icy water between Catalina Island and the coast of California. It had never been done by a woman, and at age 34, she was determined to be the first. The chosen date was 4th July, 1952, a holiday, and much of the country was watching on television. At several points during the swim, rifles had to be blasted over the waves to fend off the sharks. After nearly 16 hours in the water, she complained of numbness. She squinted to see the shore, but the fog reduced her visibility to almost zero. She called out to her mother and her trainer in the rescue boat that she couldn't go on. They encouraged her to continue, but when she looked to where she thought the shore should be, she could see nothing. She gave up and was pulled out from the water. Imagine how she felt when she discovered that she was only half a mile from shore. She knew she physically could have done it. Later, she told reporters that she wasn't making excuses for her failure, but "if only I could have seen land, I know I could have made it."

I have been using the Book of the Revelation lately to talk with you about the nature of Christian hope. Christian hope is, as you may recall, inherently positive. It sees a bright future coming; not based upon human potential but upon the promises of God. The resurrection of Jesus Christ gives us assurance that God can and will fulfill His promises to his children and, thus, gives us holy optimism and anticipation.

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