Is biblical ‘hope’ just wishful thinking or is it something more? Can we wishfully think of eternal life or can we hope in assured expectation of attaining eternal life? The bible offers a type of Hope that the world, a part from Christ, can only wish for. What is this Hope that only the Christian faith offers?
Hope of The Bible
“Saved” is past tenses so it is in a specific hope that then brings us into salvation. But “This Hope” is not something we see in this life time but IS something we can expect to see in the future. Thus we can patiently wait because it is for sure coming.
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of ethings not seen.”
It takes faith to believe that there is something to hope for, of which, is for certain coming. So “This Hope” is something we are assured will come and know to be true despite it’s current non-tangeble qualities.
Noah was told by God that his family will be saved from a coming judgement. He was given Hope of salvation and had faith in God that this was going to happen without question. He then obeyed God; assured that he and his family were going to be saved despite not seeing anything to support the future. He had faith in God and thus had Hope in his future. The great flood came, killed all living creatures on earth, except him and his family. This Hope was true, even when it was not tangible and in the future (Heb 11:7).
Without This Hope, life has a lesser inherent value (Job 7:6); then life eventually loses its value (Isaiah 38:18; Job 17:15). But those who have This Hope are encouraged, supported, and given value (Psalm 28:7). And just like Noah, This Hope is long term value (Isaiah 49:23) even eternal in its value (Romans 8:24). The most out of context verse assures those who have This Hope of a good future (Jeremiah 29:11) but that does not mean it will be in this world because This Hope is about a supremely and ultimately positive thing after this world. So with all that said;
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WHAT IS THIS HOPE?
This Hope is our physical Resurrection (Acts 23:6) and Eternal Life with Jesus Christ (Matthew 12:21, 1 Peter 1:3). Our Hope rests in the truth of The Gospel message and the result of faith in it (Titus 3:5-7). This Hope is being reunited and reconciled to God for all eternity. In This Hope we will be made holy and perfect so we can be in perfect harmony and union with God. In This Hope we are made right before God and receive the righteousness of Christ because we are justified by Christ’s atoning death on the cross (Galatians 5:5).
The Hope of salvation through The Messiah, Jesus Christ, is what Israel was waiting on since their beginning (Acts 26:6-7). Jesus Christ is The Hope that all the world and all humanity needs; that Jesus Christ is specifically our Hope (1 Timothy 1:1). But The Hope encompasses other areas as a result of the person and work of Jesus Christ.
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The Hope of The Resurrection from the dead
We can Hope in the fact that we will not permanently decay in the ground. That we will be also raised from the dead and given new glorified physical bodies (Romans 8:23-25; Acts 23:6). Our bodily death will be nothing more than temporary sleep.
The Blessed Hope of Christ’s return
We were given and drawn to Jesus by God the Father (John 6) and born again and brought to faith by The Holy Spirit all by faith alone in Christ Jesus alone. Since that moment our spirits are growing in faith and more like Christ lead us to the point of being ready for his return (Titus 2:11-14).
The Hope of Holiness and Right-ness
We can Hope in the day that everything that pollutes us and corrupts us will be gone. We will be made holy and righteous like Christ so we can remain the presence of The Lord for eternity (1 John 3:2-3).
The Hope of The eternal Glory of Heaven
We can Hope in the fact that after being raised from the dead, we will experience the glory of Heaven and the Glory of God and live with him for all eternity (Colossians 1:4-5, 27).
THE GUARANTEE OF THIS HOPE
The Holy Spirit indwelling in us (Colossians 1:27; Romans 8:23-25) and the resurrection of Jesus himself (Acts 2:26) are God’s guarantees of His Hope for us. The empowerment and ability to withstand suffering and the growth from it shows that we HAVE The Hope for sure (Romans 5:2-5; 1 Thessalonians 1:3; Hebrews 6:11). And in This Hope we honor and glorify God with our lives. There is nothing in this world that can take away This Hope (Philippians 1:20). We also know that God’s promises are true and thus we see his guarantee of This Hope in his unbroken promises (Hebrews 6:18-19).
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THE EMPOWERMENT OF THIS HOPE
We can be so sure and so confident in This Hope that we can boast in This Hope (Hebrews 3:6). We can be very bold and fearless in proclaiming The Gospel of Jesus Christ and explaining without fear or shame The Hope that is in us (2 Corinthians 3:12)! This Hope encourages and empowers us to strive to live Godly lives and lives that glorify him (Titus 2:11-14, 1 John 3:3).
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What about those who do not believe in The Gospel Message?
God is very clear and this is a tough statement. Those who do not believe in the person and work of Jesus Christ, simply have no hope; except for the less valued limited pseudo-hopes in this world that will eventually come to an end anyway (Ephesians 2:12, 1 Thessalonians 4:13).
This Hope is an essential element of Christian Life
Hope is one of the essential virtues of Christian Life (1 Corinthians 13:13). It is not possible to not Hope in God’s promises and yet trust him as Lord and Savior. It is just not possible because Love for God and others springs from This Hope (Colossians 1:4-5). Hope leads to joy and the ability to remain in joy even during hard times (Romans 12:12; 15:13)
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This Hope is in the person and work of Jesus Christ and the assured and actual coming future of our sanctification, bodily resurrection, glorification of our bodies and souls, and eternal union with God in Heaven for all eternity. This essential Hope gives ultimate value to life and fearless purpose in this life and should foster a desire and love to proclaim the Gospel and Hope in us to those who have no true hope.
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