THE POWER OF HOPE
1 Pet. 1:3-9
1. We all know about the law of cause and effect.
2. A man arrived at the Pearly Gates where Peter stood waiting to process new arrivals. "Okay," said Peter. "Tell me one thing that you did on earth that was purely unselfish." 3. The man thought for a second and said, "That's easy. How about this? I was walking along, minding my own business, when I came upon this little old lady who was being shoved around by a huge biker-type guy."
4. "What did you do?" asked Peter. "First, I went over to his bike and kicked it over, just to distract him. Then I kicked him in the shins really hard. Then I punched him in the solar plexus with all my might, and yelled at the old lady to run for it."
5. "That's amazing," said Peter. "Exactly when did this happen?" "Oh, I'd say about 2 or 3 minutes ago."
B. HYMN, “THE SOLID ROCK”
1. My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.
2. When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.
4. When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found;
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.
C. AWESOME SCRIPTURE
1 Peter 1:3-9, “3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth
into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, 5who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”
D. THESIS: POWER OF HOPE
1. The coming of Hope is like lighting a candle in the darkness.
2. “Other men see only a hopeless end, but the Christian rejoices in [sees] an endless hope.” George Beenken.
3. “What oxygen is to the lungs, such is hope [is] for the [soul] meaning of life.” Emil Brunner.
4. The word ‘hope,’ actually refers to the beginning of faith.
5. “We…hold to the hope, the belief, the conviction that there is a better life, a better world, beyond the horizon.” Franklin D. Roosevelt
6. That’s precisely what Peter is saying in our Scripture.
A living hope! A life giving hope! A hope that sees beyond our current troubles!
7. We’re going to look at 4 aspects of our Hope in Christ: hope that transforms, is eternal, assists in trial, and that sees what is invisible.
8. The title of this message, “The Power of Hope.”
I. A HOPE THAT TRANSFORMS YOUR LIFE
“[God] has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” Vs. 3.
A. A WORLD FILLED WITH DESPAIR
1. For billions of people, life offers little hope. Few have good jobs. Millions of people have a poor education or lack experience, so they’re trapped in poverty.
2. For billions more, sickness and death are daily realities. As Job said, “Man’s…days are few and full of trouble” Job 14:1. If you only have hope for this life, old age and death are a fearful specter.
B. NEW BIRTH
1. Peter mentions “new birth.” Why? Because into the world of despair has dawned a wonderful event -- the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead!
2. With Jesus’ resurrection has come New Life! We were all born physically into this earthly realm, but Jesus said we must all be born a second time – into the spiritual realm!
3. Peter said, “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which lives and abides forever” 1 Pet. 1:23.
4. The Apostle John said, “No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God” 1 Jn. 3:9.
5. We all know the tremendous Power of the Seed. Within the seed is everything the full-grown plant will be. It contains the DNA or blueprint of what the fully grown Creature will be.
6. Think what it means when God has planted His DNA in us! Christ implanted in our souls. Only add right environment and we will grow up into Him, who is the Head, even Christ.
7. Therefore, being born again means something much more than turning over a new leaf, it means to get a new Daddy! (See Jn. 1: 12-13; Gal. 4:6; 2 Pet. 1:4).
8. The origin of our life is no longer Adam, but Jesus Christ. We become a new person from the inside out.
C. ILLUS.: ANALOGY OF BIRDS
1. The offspring of a bird displays every bird-like faculty and characteristic. The moment they are born they are miniature copies of their parents. They eat, breathe, move, think, like a bird.
2. There comes a time when, like a bird, they spread tentative wings and take to the air. The son of a bird can fly! It can also sing.
3. The offspring of an Earth-born creature (like a dog) can’t fly, nor sing. It has the wrong nature.
4. The heaven born sons/daughters of God should have heavenly characteristics.
5. God has provided in the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit, means for the reproduction of His divine faculties in His children."
1. Two ladies were trying to impress each other with how spiritual they were. Finally, one of them left.
2. The remaining one turned to her husband who’d been sitting there quietly and said, “She’s a good Christian, but I live closer to the Lord!”
3. Her husband looked over his spectacles and said, “Neither one of you are crowding Him any!”
4. We all need to be closer to God.
E. RESULT? TRANSFORMATION
1. Having a new birth is so thorough and sweeping that it revolutionizes our Nature, Motives, Lifestyle, etc.
2. NECESSITY: There’s an urgency about this. To go to heaven, we must be “born from above.”
II. A HOPE THAT INSURES YOUR INHERITANCE
“and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you” Vs. 4.
A. HEAVEN IS REAL
1. “For God so loved the world, that He gave his only
begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” John 3:16.
2. Many times during His earthly life, Jesus said, “I will rise again.”
3. IT HAPPENED! Jesus rose victoriously over death, hell, & the grave on the third day.
4. The great shout heard in heaven was, “Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed!” Rev. 5:5.
5. The Bible teaches if we trust Him as our Savior and obey His teachings, we receive eternal life.
B. JESUS TOLD US ABOUT HEAVEN
1. “Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions….I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14:1-4.
2. He told us about the Eternal City, New Jerusalem, “The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp….On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there” Rev. 21:22-25.
3. Jesus said, “BECAUSE I LIVE, YOU SHALL LIVE ALSO!”
4. The Bible says, "To be an absent from the body is to be in the presence of the Lord."
5. The Bible tells us that Heaven is a Real Place. It’s described as ‘Paradise.’ It’s a place of real cities, streets,
mansions, mountains, trees, rivers, and lots of people and angels there. Best of all – God’s there!
6. Heaven is a place of reunions. One day, we’re going to go there and we’ll be with all our missed loved ones again, forever!
C. REQUIREMENTS TO GO TO HEAVEN
1. ONLY THE REDEEMED
2. “BORN AGAIN.” Each of us need to experience personal transformation by faith in Jesus!
3. THE FAITHFUL
1. In a foreign exchange program, a Russian Rabbi came to visit America. His host took him to a Chinese restaurant.
2. It happened to be Christmas time, and the waiter, at the end of the meal, brought each of them a Christmas ornament. On the bottom, it said, “Made in India.”
3. The host observed the Rabbi wipe a tear. “Were you offended at being given the Christmas ornament?”
4. “No, I was shedding a tear of joy to be in such a wonderful country in which a Buddhist gives a Jew a Christmas gift made by a Hindu!”
5. We may have multi-culturalism, but we know there’s only One Savior of the world – Jesus Christ!
III. HOPE THAT WILL KEEP US GOING THROUGH EVERY TRIAL
“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials” Vs. 6.
A. OUR VISION IN THE NATURAL
1. In the natural, we see trials as problems, troubles, losses, inadequacies, lack of resources, etc.
But we need heaven’s perspective.
a. Have you ever gone to your parked car and found a traffic ticket on it? It doesn't make you happy!
b. For years a man parked his car in an alley near his Chicago home. It had never been ticketed. It was legal.
c. One morning he found a ticket on his car. He wondered how this could be a blessing from God.
d. A few days later, during a strong wind storm, a mammoth oak fell right across the place where he had been parking his car.
e. Had his car still been there, it would have been smashed. He humbly thanked God for the ticket!
B. VISION FROM HEAVEN’S PERSPECTIVE
1. "I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Rom. 8:18
2. "For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." 2 Cor. 4:17.
3. If you have troubles, put on heaven’s glasses and see that God will somehow use our troubles for our good!
IV. HOPE THAT’S CENTERED IN JESUS CHRIST
8Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”
A. PETER’S VISION OF THE HEAVENLY CHRIST
1. Many years before, Peter had seen Christ transfigured on the Mountain of Transfiguration.
2. Matthew says, "His face did shine as the sun and His clothing was white as the light." A "bright, luminous cloud of God’s presence surrounded Him.
3. The deity of Jesus, previously veiled, now shone through Jesus’ earthly form.
4. Two great prophets who’d appeared -- Moses and Elijah -- suddenly disappeared, and Jesus alone remained.
5. Peter realized that NO Law or Prophet can save; no doctrine, no teaching can redeem us: Only Jesus can!
6. After all is said and done, Jesus stands alone! No one else is like Him. Don’t look to other men. Jesus, as God, is in a class by Himself.
B. UNIQUENESS OF JESUS
1. ONLY JESUS:
a. Quiets the winds and waves;
b. Has the Words of eternal life;
c. Died on the cross for your sins;
d. Rose from the dead;
e. At the End of Time -- only Jesus will stand!
2. Remember Nebuchadnezzar's vision of the "Image" and the Rock cut out without hands that broke it up and became a great mountain that filled all things. That Rock was Christ!
A. ILLUSTRATION: PLEASE LEAVE INDIA!
1. When missionaries first went to India, an old Hindu priest sat on the ground with a large group of people listening to the story of Jesus.
2. He became increasingly restless as the word picture developed. So this Christ, who came to save the world, had been seized and mocked by the very persons He had sought to help -- had endured the trial, the judgment, the cross.
3. Finally as the Hindu heard the words spoken by the suffering, deserted Savior: "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do," the old man could stand it no longer. Rushing forward, he fell prostrate, exclaiming, "We want you to leave India! We want you to leave India!"
4. When the speaker asked why, the Hindu implored, "Because we have no story like this -- no Savior who lived a sinless life, died for His enemies and prayed for those who took His life. If you keep on telling this story to our people, they will forsake our temples and follow your Savior."
5. You see, the story of Jesus is one of such drama and heart- rending sacrifice, that it's shocking when you first hear it.
B. ALTAR CALL
1. Do you need Hope this morning? How many of you have some kind of trouble in your life or family?
2. The Hope that Jesus offers will:
a. Transform you;
b. Is eternal in scope;
c. Will help you through Trials;
d. Is centered in the Person of Jesus!
3. If you would like God’s Hope, stand to your feet.