Summary: A sermon examining the hope that is possessed by those who are born again.
The Christian's Hope
In the Scriptures, the word Hope is used over 200 times. But hope in the Bible is not the same as the word "hope" in our modern English vernacular. We use the word "hope" to describe our wants, desires and dreams. We hope that it will rain... We hope that the weather cools off soon... We hope the preacher isn't longwinded today. But as Christians we have another kind of hope. In fact we have a better kind of hope. The hope that I speak of is not wishful thinking, rather it is a firm assurance of things to come. Hope is faith in the future tense. When faith looks to the future, it's called hope.
The reason that we can have full assurance of what is to come, is because of the source of our hope. Our hope comes from the Lord. God alone has the right to promise hope and the power to keep the promise. I would like to take some time today and examine the hope that we possess in Christ and preach on "The Christian's Hope".
There are many things that we can have full assurance of as a result of our relationship with Christ. I would like to start in verse 1 and see that as Christians:
I. WE HAVE THE HOPE OF A REFUGE - v1
A refuge is a place of shelter, a place of protection, a place that we can run when the storms of life begin to rage. This was exactly what the Lord's disciples needed at this very moment in their lives. In the previous chapter Jesus told them that He would soon die. They also learned that one of them (Judas) would betray Christ. Peter was told that he would deny Jesus 3 times before the rooster crowed. Their lives had just taken a devastating turn and their hearts were greatly troubled.
Jesus knew how devastated they were and He was concerned about their "troubled hearts". He said "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me". - He speaks words of comfort to them and He encouraged them to trust in Him.
In this life we will face times of great trouble. Problems will come and as a result we will possess "troubled hearts". Maybe you are at that point as we speak. I want to remind you of the hope you possess as a child of God. You have a refuge... When trouble comes...TURN TO JESUS!
Jesus made it clear that His followers would face trouble. But HE also reminds us that HE has the power over any circumstance that we face. John 16:33 "In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world". - If you heart is troubled today... you have a refuge and His name is Jesus!
Not only do we have the hope of a refuge... Jesus tells us in verse 2 us that:
II. WE HAVE THE HOPE OF A RESIDENCE - v2a In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you.
Though the Disciples were facing the toughest time of their lives, Jesus promised them of a better day and a better place. As His followers we can cling to that same promise today. We are given a glimpse into that residence in Revelation 21. There we are told of Golden streets, Jasper walls, Gates of pearl and a crystal river. The foundation of that city is made up of precious gemstones.
The beauty of our Heavenly Home is literally indescribable. Our finite minds cannot comprehend the brief glimpse of this place provided in the scriptures. The indescribable beauty of Heaven is summed up in the story of A little girl who was taking an evening walk with her father. Wonderingly, she looked up at the stars and exclaimed; "Oh, Daddy, if the wrong side of heaven is so beautiful, what must the right side be!" (Source:Charles L. Allen in Home Fires.)
My friend, you may live in a home that creaks and leaks, rust and rot may have taken its toll but you can rest assured that there is a home waiting for you on the other side!
Some of you may never own a home of your own in this life, but if you Have been born again YOU HOLD A CLEAR TITLE TO A MANSION! No landlord will ever bother you for the rent, there will be no mortgage to pay and no one will ever foreclose on that home that is waiting for you. The Bible also tells us that we have the hope of rest in that residence that is waiting for us. - Revelation 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. - What is not going to be in that land is just as exciting as what is going to be there!