Summary: Hope. We cannot live adequately without it. Dr. Emil Brunner said,"What oxygen is for the living, such is hope for the meaning of human life." Learn more about "Our Blessed Hope", in this weeks message.
OUR BLESSED HOPE
Malcolm Muggeridge was a very famous and highly respected British journalist who for many years was an ardent atheist.His opinions and thoughts were coveted by American publishers and he occasionally wrote the editorial page for Time magazine.Toward the end of his illustrious career as the Dean of British broadcasters, he became a Christian.
Several years ago he was a guest at a breakfast in Washington, D.C. where he shared his life story.When he had finished his testimony, he made a number of
comments about world affairs, all of which were
very pessimistic. One of the those present asked, “Dr. Muggeridge, you have been very pessimistic. Don’t you have any reason for optimism?” He replied, “I could not be more optimistic than I am, because my hope is in Jesus Christ alone.”
He allowed that remark to settle in for a few seconds, and then he added,“Just think if the apostolic church had pinned its hopes on the Roman Empire!”(Halverson/ The Living Body)
Hope. We cannot live adequately without it. The late German philosopher, Immanuel Kant, said that there are three questions that everyone asks:
“What can I know?”
“What shall I do?”
“For what shall I hope.?”(217/160
Ravi Zacharias said, “Hope is that indispensable element that makes the present so important. Significantly, the absence of future hope has an amazing capacity to reach into the present and eat away at the structure of life, as termites would a giant foundation.”
Dr. Emil Brunner said, “What oxygen is for the lungs, such is hope for the meaning of human life.” Take oxygen away and death occurs through suffocation, take hope away and humanity is constricted through lack of breath; despair and hopelessness set it.”
The New Testament book of Titus (2:2 & 13) speaks about our hope It says, “FOR THE GRACE OF GOD TEACHES US TO SAY ‘NO’ TO UNGODLINESS AND WORLDLY PASSIONS, AND TO LIVE SELF-CONTROLLED,UPRIGHT AND GODLY LIVES IN THIS PRESENT AGE, WHILE WE WAIT FOR THE BLESSED HOPE - THE GLORIOUS APPEARING OF OUR GREAT GOD AND SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST.”
As believers we have a blessed hope to which we look forward. It is the return of our Lord Jesus Christ to usher in His kingdom in all its fullness. We must be careful lest we misunderstand this verse and take it lightly. The Greek word that is translated ‘hope” has a different connotation than our word “hope.”
When we use our English word “hope”, we generally mean something that might come to pass. It is a word we would use when we mail in our Reader’s Digest Sweepstake’s entry.
We certainly don’t expect to win but we hope we might win. Although our chances of winning are remote yet we still “hope”. However, when the New Testament uses the word “hope” it means something that will, absolutely, positively come to pass.
Hence, when it refers to the return of Christ as our blessed hope, it is referring to something that we can count on coming to pass. It is an absolute certainty.
In Matthew 24 Jesus shares with us some signs that will precede His second coming. In vs. 3. Jesus’ disciples asked Him,“…..WHAT WILL BE THE SIGN OF YOUR COMING AND OF THE END OF THE AGE?” (Vs. 3)
Beginning in verse 6 He answered them by revealing some signs. The cumulative effect of them is, indeed, very convincing to the open mind. Continuing our study of the past two weeks, let’s look at a few more signs.
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 TO COME. NATION WILL RISE AGAINST NATION, AND KINGDOM AGAINST KINGDOM.” Jesus says that we are not to be alarmed by wars. They are to be expected It can’t be otherwise in this sin-marred world. A dramatic increase in wars is just one more sign that points to Christ’s return. It is estimated that in the last
60 years more than 100 million people have been killed in wars. Many places throughout our world are in a constant state of war. It is no longer just country against country but more often than not, it is ethnic groups within the same country fighting each other.
In addition there is now the frightening and all-encompassing war being waged against us by terrorists.
In spite of the ever increasing influence of the United Nations and a more highly educated world population, peace is as illusive as ever. That is because thee root causes of hatred and war are spiritual. Politics and education cannot even begin to solve spiritual problems.Peace will never be attained until Christ, the Prince of Peace, returns and ushers in a “NEW HEAVEN AND EARTH WHEREIN DWELLETH RIGHTEOUSNESS” (2 Peter 3:13). Until Christ returns, there will be more and more wars.