Summary: A sermon telling us of the hope we have in the Lord Jesus; to not despair or give up, but to persevere and keep our focus on the hope of Him. (Another sermon I did from one I found on Sermon Central.)
There have been many prestigious people throughout the years who have been atheists, but have come to the Lord and ended up saying and doing great things that helped others see Jesus more clearly.
Malcolm Muggeridge was a British journalist who was an atheist. He was so good, that he was occasionally asked to write the editorial page for Time magazine. And many consider that the crowning point in his life came towards the end of his career when he became a Christian.
He was a once guest at a breakfast in Washington, D.C. where he shared his life story. When he had finished, he made a number of comments about world affairs, all of which were very negative. One of those present told him that he was very negative, and asked if he saw any reason at all to be positive. He replied, “Sir, I am very positive because my sole hope is in Jesus Christ alone.”
Hope. That is what we all desperately need. That is what we all desperately search for in this world. The hope of tomorrow. I said last week that the problem with searching for happiness or peace of mind is that we too often only look in the worldly things for them, and they can only be found in the Lord Jesus.
Hope. We need hope in order to live peaceful and happy lives. The absence of hope for our future will completely destroy the present we live in today. What oxygen is for our lungs, hope is for the very meaning of our lives. If you take oxygen away from us, it will result in our death. And, if you take any hope of our future away from us, we also shall die.
In case you missed it, today we are going to be talking about the future we have as Christians. The future in Jesus Christ, our blessed hope.
TITUS 2:12 tells us that it is the grace of God that enables us to say “NO” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and in VERSE 13, it says we are to do that while we await the blessed hope of the glorious appearing our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Sometimes, our English language leaves a bit to be desired. When we use the word ‘hope’, we are saying that we look forward to something that might or might not come to pass. For example, we might say that we hope it rains. That means that we want it to, but we are not sure it will. We say that we hope more new visitors come to our church on Sunday, but again, that is our desire, not our guarantee.
In the original Greek, the word ‘hope’ means waiting for something that will definitely come to pass. It means to bide your time in the anticipation of the guarantee of something that is to come.
So, the blessed hope refers to something that we can absolutely count on; something that will certainly happen.
In MATTHEW 24:3, the disciples were sitting on the Mount of Olives with Jesus, and they asked Him what the warning signs would be to announce the Second Coming. Beginning with MATTHEW 24:6, Jesus tells them what will precede His Second Coming.
Let’s take a look at some of those signs.
FAMINES & WARS
In verses 6-7, Jesus said,
‘You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still t come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.’
I think the closer we get to the His Second Coming, we will see a marked increase in wars, famines, and earthquakes. But, even though we see more and more of these things, we are told to not be afraid.
This world is full of sin, and the return of Jesus will be the greatest spiritual event in history. But it will also be one of the biggest events in spiritual warfare that has ever occurred. It only stands to reason that the enemy is hating the thought of Jesus’ return, and since the devil is a being of hatred and violence anyway, he will make sure that hatred and violence spew over into as much of the world has possible.
In the last 60 years, it is estimated that over 100 million people have been killed by some kind of war. Millions have been killed by their own leaders, just because they were of an ethnic group the leader did not like.
In today’s world, we see a different kind of warfare, don’t we? It is different that any other kind of war that has ever been waged. It is called terrorism, and that name defines it clearly. It is a war waged on terror; on evilness; on hatred; and it is run by the devil against those on the side of Jesus.