Summary: Thank God for the Protecting, Positive, and Purifying hope of the Lord’s return.
THE GLORIOUS HOPE OF THE CHRISTIAN
The ‘Glorious Hope Of The Christian’ is the near return of our Lord Jesus Christ, coming to receive those who are His own that they may be with Him in Glory.
We look for this great event because of the promises of God’s Word, and also because of the amazing events taking place around us in the political world, and religious world.
As the Wise Men of old saw the Star and read its meaning, so we can read the signs around us, and see in them the foretelling of the nearness of our Lord’s return. This is a ‘Blessed Hope’ for all who are willing to see it, and who are watching for it.
I want to centre our attention on
‘The Blessed Hope Of Our Lord’s Return’.
I. IT IS A PROTECTING HOPE
I Thessalonians 5:8 [NIV] But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.
In the context of this chapter, this hope refers to the realisation of a complete salvation at the rapture of the church when the Lord comes again. Paul speaks of the hope as being a ‘Protecting Hope’, in the same way as a helmet protects a warrior in the battle. Just so this hope is able to protect us as we look on with earnest expectation to the fullness of our salvation, which is only complete when we are taken away from the presence of sin and temptation, into the presence of the Lord.
Titus 3:7[NIV] so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.
[BBE] So that, having been given righteousness through grace, we might have a part in the heritage, the hope of eternal life.
II. IT IS A POSITIVE HOPE
Hebrews 6:19 & 20a 19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, 20 where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf.
The symbol is of the ‘Anchorius’, a small boat propelled by oars. When a sailing boat seeking to enter harbour met a very strong offshore wind, so making it impossible to enter the shelter of the harbour, the ‘anchorius’ would row out and take the ship’s anchor on board, and returning to the harbour would cast the anchor inside the harbour, so securing the ship.
We have this hope, we are not anchored in the world, our anchor is in heaven, where Jesus has gone before. We may be in the stress of the storm, but our anchor is secure in heaven! One day, very soon, Jesus is coming again to take us to be with Him. Until then we have this wonderful positive hope. No need to get disturbed by the storms of life. No need to get ruffled by the winds of adversity. Our anchor is within the veil!
III. IT IS A PURIFYING HOPE
Titus 2:12 - 14 12 It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.