Summary: Hope is a strange thing. It will give you confidence in the bleakest of times. But hope is not any good unless you have your hope in someone that will not let you down. There are a lot of things that we hope for, and a lot of things that we wish for. The
“The Proclamation of Hope”
November 30, 2008
Pastor John L. Harper
Warden Assembly of God
Introduction: Hope is a strange thing. It will give you confidence in the bleakest of times. But hope is not any good unless you have your hope in someone that will not let you down. There are a lot of things that we hope for, and a lot of things that we wish for. The hope I am talking about is the hope that we have as believers. This hope has its foundation in what Jesus did for us on the Cross, and what He will do when He takes us out of this world. When you have this kind of hope, you can face anything. Listen to what is happening in Bangladesh.
“We have never seen days like this in Bangladesh! On average, ONE NEW ASSEMBLIES OF GOD CHURCH IS PLANTED EVERY THREE WEEKS!
In 1980, Bangladesh had 12 Assemblies of God churches; today that number is more than 400! Much of the astounding growth is happening through God- called men and women who have been trained and sent out from the Assemblies of God Bible School in Dhaka, the nation’s capital.
Sentu and his wife are two of those sent. Not every new church planter faces the opposition this couple has endured. In an attack by radicals, Sentu nearly lost his life. Shot in the face, stabbed nine times, his throat slit four times-his recovery took 18 months and numerous surgeries. During that time, in spite of grave personal danger, his wife remained faithful in ministry. As soon as Sentu was able, he convinced everyone that he intended to continue serving at the same place where he was attacked.” (“Faces of Eurasia” November 2008, Omar J. Beiler)
This is the hope that I am talking about. This isn’t holding on until Jesus rescues us, this is standing as representatives of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and proclaiming His victory over His enemies!
I. OUR HOPE IS FOUND THROUGH CONFIDENCE (vs. 19-21)
A. We can enter the holy place boldly
1. By the blood of Jesus
2. By the fact that ours sins are forgiven
A little over a month before he died, the famous atheist Jean-Paul Sartre declared that he so strongly resisted feelings of despair that he would say to himself, “I know I shall die in hope.” Then in profound sadness, he would add, “But hope needs a foundation.”
Our Daily Bread, April 17, 1995
B. We can enter the holy place by a new way
1. Through His flesh (which is the veil)
(Mat 27:51) And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;
(Mat 27:52) And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,
(Mat 27:53) And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.
2. Because He is the High Priest over the House of God
Application: How do you enter the presence? Meek, mild, timid? We have the confidence through the blood of Jesus to enter into the most holy place.
II. OUR HOPE IS FOUND THROUGH CONFESSION (vs. 22-23)
A. Our heart must be right
1. Draw near with a true heart
(Psa 24:3) Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place?
(Psa 24:4) He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.
2. Draw near with full assurance of faith
3. Draw near with a clean conscience
4. Draw near with a clean body
B. Our faith must be in the right place
1. Hold our confession fast
a. Never lose the hope that is our confession
b. Never waver in believing in that hope
2. Honor the one who is faithful
a. God is faithful
(1Th 5:24) Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.
b. God will keep His promises
(Num 23:19) God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?
(Num 23:20) Behold, I have received commandment to bless: and he hath blessed; and I cannot reverse it.
Application: Is your heart right with God? Where is your faith? Is your faith in your good works or in the finished work of Christ?
III. OUR HOPE IS FOUND THROUGH CONSIDERATION (vs. 24-25)
A. We must consider one another
1. So that we are provoked to love
2. So that we are provoked to good works