Archive for the ‘hope’ Category

A FACTUAL & HISTORICAL FAITH

(Luke 2:1-5 & 3:1-2)

Luke 2:1-2 – “And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)” & 3:1 “Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene,”

Notice the appeal of the writer to time, places, people, and events that actually existed, took place and are verifiable. Christians are commanded to be ready to give an answer (I Peter 3:15) and we can give an answer about an actual, factual and historically verifiable faith.

INTRODUCTION: I Peter 3:15 – “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:” Christians are to be ready to make a defense of the hope that is within us. Now more that ever we need to be ready to make that defense of our faith. The word translated as “answer” in I Peter 3:15 has the meaning of a plea or a defense or making a speech in defense of an action or a truth. We as Christians have a factually based faith. Jesus did exist, He was born, He did die and He did rise again. There is an empty tomb. He did ascend up to heaven and He is sitting on the right hand of God. “Ready” in I Peter 3:15 means to be prepared and to be fit or knowledgeable. We are to be prepared to defend our faith. We therefore need to go about preparing ourselves and be willing and bold about the defending when the time comes.

OUR FAITH IS RATIONAL AND INTELLECTUALLY SOUNDThe Christian faith appeals to the mind as well as appeals to the heart. God wants and expects us to use our minds. It has been said by those who want to degrade and insult those that live by faith in Christ, that in order to do so one has to commit “Intellectual Suicide” – this statement could not be further from the truth! Jesus tells us and wants us to involve our minds in our faith. (Matthew 22:36-38 – Master, which is the great commandment in the law?  Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. & John 8:32 – And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.)

Our hearts need to believe and our minds need to accept Jesus Christ as our Savior by faith. One cannot reject Christ in his mind and accept Him in His heart. Therefore, we need and are blessed with having a rational and intellectual faith we can rest in.

We need to have a strong faith; and having a strong faith requires both heart and mind. So it is important that we present reasons as to why we believe what we believe in an intelligent, logical and thought out manner. God is not the author of confusion and we should strive to not create confusion in our manner of defending of our faith and in how we share and witness of this faith with others. (I Corinthians 14:33a – For God is not the author of confusion, & I Corinthians 16:13 – Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.)

Christianity’s most powerful cognitive weapon in a pluralistic world —- (is) the factually attestable sword of the Spirit, the Word of God.” – John Warrick Montgomery

Do we have 100% proof? – No, but there is virtually nothing of which it can be said that there is 100% proof. We often make 100% commitments without being given 100% proof. Driving in a car for instance. We cannot have 100% proof we will make it to our objective or make it there safe, but by statistical evidence and personal experience of ourselves or perhaps someone else sharing a personal experience, we can be certain enough to make that 100% commitment to traveling in the car and expecting to arrive at our destination and arrive there safely.

We don’t have 100% proof but this is where faith comes in. We ultimately believe in and accept Christ by faith, not by proof. (Ephesians 2:8 -9 – For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.)

OUR FAITH IS A HISTORICAL AND FACTUAL FAITH (I Corinthians 15:3-8) – This passage gives us a historical and factual account of the many witnesses of the resurrected Christ. We have a faith that is as historically verifiable as other historic events that historians take for granted as fact but then they go and doubt the resurrection accounts and other Biblical accounts with as much or more factual evidence to back them up as the historical accounts they take as fact.

Christianity is a historical faith that appeals to certain historical facts and events, not to man’s philosophical proclamations, not to myths, not to legends not to men who claimed a level of deity and are still in their graves; but to a historically provable risen Savior that died for the sins of all mankind.

“The facts backing the Christian claim are not a special kind of ‘religious’ fact.  They are the cognitive, informational facts upon which all historical, legal, and ordinary decisions are based.” – Charles Pinnock

The New Testament does not try to prove Christ or prove what it is saying. It definitively presents the Christian faith as a matter of concrete, cognitive truth. (John 14:11 – Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.)

OUR FAITH IS AN OBJECTIVE FAITHOur faith has an object; our faith is in the Son of God, Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Historical facts about Christ: He was born in Bethlehem; He was the earthly son of Joseph and Mary. Joseph was a carpenter so Jesus would have trained and worked as one too. He lived to the age of about 33 & 1/2. He died in Jerusalem by crucifixion. While hanging on the cross the sky turned dark at noon and stayed dark for three hours (Luke 23:44-48), the veil in the Temple ripped in two (this alone is a miracle the veil was made very thick there is no way it just rips in two on its own), there was an earthquake. All these facts are historically verifiable by the many accounts of them. (II Peter 1:16 – For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.)

We have faith in who Jesus of Nazareth is and what He did – The Son of God, the Christ, the Savior of all who would believe and accept what He has done for all by His death, burial and then resurrection the third day by faith. How He has paid the sin debt of all mankind and all we have to do is repent and accept this payment on our behalf by faith in His shed blood and death on the cross. (Romans 6:23 – For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.)

Just having faith is not the most important thing. Muslim’s have faith in Allah, Buddhists have faith, Atheists have faith in nothing (which is actually faith in a conclusion that faith is not necessary) Evolutionists have faith in their theory; faith in and of itself is not the important part but eternal life and death, joy and torment is based on what you place your faith in. Is your faith placed in the Solid Rock of Christ or a “cunningly devised”, by man, object of faith such as Muslims, Buddhists, Evolutionists, Atheists and others believe in? Jesus said in John 8:24 “I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.”The object of our faith must be Jesus or we will die in our sins and face an eternal torment in hell.

OUR FAITH IS BASED ON TRUTH NOT FALSIFICATIONUnlike other faiths such as Mormonism and Jehovah’s witnesses, the Christian faith is open and honest, nothing is kept hidden and it is based on solid truth; it invites others to examine it and consider it. (Acts 26:24-26 – And as he thus spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad. But he said, I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak forth the words of truth and soberness. For the king knoweth of these things, before whom also I speak freely: for I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him; for this thing was not done in a corner.)

The Christian faith invites examination of it. If you use the same criterion, the same processes, the same verifying “tools” historians use on other “facts”, you cannot come to any other conclusion accept that Christ did exist, He was born, He did perform many miracles, He was crucified and He did rise from the dead the third day. Christianity is not just a matter of feeling or even action, but it is a religion of factual belief (the Biblical accounts really happened) this factual belief, if tested with the same historical means as which other historical events are examined, would yield even better results than other historical facts already accepted as such.

Christianity in the New Testament is presented as the truth; belief in Christ is presented as the only means of redemption and eternal life in heaven. (John 14:6 – Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.) Christ’s resurrection, for example, can be examined by non-Christians as well as by Christians. The factual character of it, when considered with the claims of One raised from the dead, does not point to a multiple of different possibilities to explain it; but points to a single “best” interpretation of the data available to lead any objective examiner of the facts to that Jesus really did die and really did rise from the grave the third day. (John 2:18-22 – Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things? Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?  But he spake of the temple of his body. When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.)

OUR FAITH IS OFTEN REJECTED OR DISMISSED BY OTHERS – WHY?Why do people reject Christ? It can often be broken down into 3 main areas, though there are other reasons.

Ignorance or a lack of information about Christ. This reason can be their own personal fault for not wanting to listen to information about Christ, it could be the fault of false religions or false so called “Christian teachers or teachings” or this could be the fault of Christians. It could be our fault for not going out and sharing the Gospel like we are commanded to do by Christ in Matthew 28:19-20 “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”

Pride. (John 12:42-43 – Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.) – They cared more about how they looked to their peers than where they would spend eternity. Pride can be stronger than common sense sometimes. Pride can also cause people to dismiss Christ entirely because they feel they have no need for Him because they feel they are superior in some way to Christ. Pride may cause someone to think they only need to rely on themselves and no one else, not even Christ.

Moral problems. (John 3:19-20 – And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.) – Some people reject Christ because that would mean they would have to give up their pet sins or leave their sinful lifestyle.

CONCLUSION: We have just seen how the Christian faith is a rational and intellectually sound faith. It is a faith that invites people to use their minds, to examine the Bible, to examine its teachings to examine its historicity and let the Spirit lead them into faith in Christ as their Savior. We’ve seen how the Christian faith is a factual faith. It is based on real people, real events, real places the accounts actually took place and our part of the history of the world. We have seen how the Christian faith is an objective faith. With the object of it being the person of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. How He is the Son of God, how He is the Savior of “whosoever will”. The Christian faith is based on truth not falsifications like other religions. It is based on truth not myths or made up stories; unlike how the world likes to sometimes paint the Christian faith as being. Yet despite all of this, the Christian faith is often rejected my men. It is rejected for many reasons including ignorance or a lack of knowledge of Christ (this reason may be partly the fault of Christians) they also reject the Christian faith because of their own pride and because of moral failings.

We as Christians need to rest assured that our faith is based on true historical accounts; many of which if held up to the same criterion and standards as other historical “facts” would come out looking stronger and more reliable than them. We as Christians need to understand we have a faith that we need to be ready to defend. We need to have at least a general understanding and knowledge of the pressing issues, questions and challenges to our faith today and how to give that Biblical stance to those issues, that Biblical answer to those questions and that Biblical defense to those challenges. We need to boldly stand for Biblical truth while doing so with a meek and humble spirit. (I Peter 3:15 – But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear)

Judge Not!

Posted: November 5, 2016 in Divorce, hope, The Bible
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James 4:11 “Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.”

A friend came to me the other day so very upset. This friend is getting depressed looking for a church that “accepts” divorced people. This friend was actively serving the Lord in a couple of ministries in the church, they found out about the divorce and made this person step down from all their ministries. How dare any church treat anyone like this. Divorce happens for different reasons and for one did the Lord put the “exception” there for . Matthew 19:9a says “And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication….God hates divorce, and the divorced person hates it. But when it’s because of no fault of the innocent spouses because of fornication , God does recognize that, and in my opinion, and what I read about what the Bible says, that person is allowed to serve and minister in the church. Putting a limit on what one can or cannot do because of a divorce is shaming and belittling that person; you’re judging that person and that on so many levels is wrong!! God is the one who calls someone in a ministry NOT man!!(Romans 11:29)

There are so many different views on divorce. Study this topic and search out what God says in His word, it’s very simple. If you believe the Bible, you do not adjust the Bible to suit your belief on what you think it says, you need to adjust your beliefs to fit the Word of God. II Timothy 2;15aStudy to shew thyself approved unto God.…” Scripture does not contradict Scripture, it fits together like a puzzle. If the Bible doesn’t say it, you better be real careful about believing something the Bible doesn’t say!!

Divorced people need love and hope from family and friends and their church family. Church is not the place to judge, it is a place to demonstrate true Christian love. They need guidance ; they need pointed in the right direction. They don’t need to hear “man’s tradition” or the “way it’s always been taught”, they need real truth about what the Bible (God) says. God’s Word should be our guiding standard in our lives. Some “believers” insert their own clauses or exceptions into the reading of God’s word, while ignoring God’s clauses or exceptions. Please read Deuteronomy 4:2 and Proverbs 30:6.

So please Christian friends, don’t judge divorced people, have empathy , encourage them in the Lord; they have a story , divorce is not their identity, their identity is in Christ (Galatians 3:26). Divorce doesn’t make a person “bad”, just as you not being divorced makes you a good person (Romans 3:23). Don’t make a divorced person feel like a failure , don’t give them more to deal with by using “select” scripture to condemn them by your words and actions or attitude, love them and accept them as God loves you and accepts you!! (Matthew 7:1-2Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.)

Heaven

Posted: July 1, 2016 in hope, Quotes

John 14:1-4 “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. 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 ye may be also.And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.”

“It becomes us to spend this life only as a journey toward heaven… to which we should subordinate all other concerns of life. Why should we labor for or set our hearts on anything else, but that which is our proper end and true happiness? – Jonathan Edwards

God’s Enabling

Posted: June 1, 2016 in hope, Ministry, Quotes
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I Timothy 1:12 “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;”

God enables His servants and puts them into the ministry; but they have to be willing, faithful, and surrendered vessels. Be a willing vessel and don’t miss out on what God intended you to do with your life.

“Those whom He puts into the ministry He fits for it, whom He calls He qualifies” – Matthew Henry

“ABOUND IN HOPE”

(Romans 15:7-14)

Romans 15:13 – “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”

We can abound in hope because we have trust in a risen Savior. We can abound in hope because we have the Holy Ghost within us. We can abound in hope because we have a merciful and gracious God that will enable us to abound in the Hope only He can provide.

INTRODUCTION: Christians are to live a life abounding in Hope. Are you abounding in Hope right now? Do you have the hope of God living in you right now? Have you accepted the only source of this true hope as your personal Savior?

Notice in verse 13 “Now the God of Hope” – God is the foundation on which our hope is built; and He is the Builder of that hope. God is both the object of our hope and the Author of it.

Now man can have earthly hope of things to come. A child can hope to get a certain present, a young man can hope to get his driver’s license or a car; an adult can hope to get a nice house; but this kind of hope is man based, man centered, and man built. Hoping for all these things is not wrong necessarily; but Christians should also have a heavenly minded hope, this heavenly minded hope should be the predominant hope of our life. We should not worship at the altar of earthly things but we should be worshipping at the altar of the Author of our eternal hope – Christ Jesus! Psalm 39:7 says “And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee.”

Is your hope in the Lord tonight? Or is it in your ability? Or is it in your plans? Or is it in your dreams? Or is your hope where it should be, in the Lord?

To help get a better understanding of what Biblical hope is and how we get it, how it is defined, how it is described in the Bible, how we develop it in our lives, how we demonstrate it, and how we act in out in our lives, I am going to ask a series of questions about hope and try to answer them as we go along.

 WHAT IS HOPE? – It is joy and peace and not sorrow and stress! (Proverbs 13:12 – Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.)

  • What is hope? – Hope is anticipating or trusting in something to come to pass that we can’t yet see. (Romans 8:23-25 – And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.)
  • What is hope? – It is something worth defending; it is something we should be prepared to defend. (I Peter 3:15 – But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:)
  • What is hope? – Trusting in God to always work out for the good the events that transpire in our life. (Romans 8:28 – And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.)

HOW DO WE GET HOPE?

  • By believing patiently and without wavering in God. (Hebrews 6:11-12 – And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.)
  • By the Word of God. (Romans 15:4 – For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.)
  • By the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13b – …that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.)
  • By being a Christian. By making sure you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. (Romans 15:13a – Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing,…) – You need to make sure you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior by faith in order to have access to true Biblical peace and hope.

HOW IS HOPE DEFINEDThe Greek word translated as hope in Romans 15 is “el-pece” which means to anticipate with pleasure, an expectation either concrete or abstract, or a confident faith or expectation. It has the meaning of dealing with the unseen or the future.

  • Hope as found in the Scriptures is not just a wish for something but a strong confidence that is placed in God.
  • According to its proper Biblical meaning in is inseparable from faith. (I Peter 1:21 – Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.)

HOW IS HOPE DESCRIBED – what are some descriptions of true Biblical hope?

  • We have The Hope of Righteousness – Paul writes of the hope of righteousness in Galatians 5:5 “For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.”
  • The context of this verse involves justification. Galatians 5:4 says “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.”
  • Justified” and “Righteousness” in these verses come from the same root Greek word which means to render just or innocent, free and righteous.
  • Paul is talking about the hope of being made righteous or being made not guilty of sin.
  • This hope, spoken of here, is a strong desire and expectation of being declared guiltless before God. Amen!
  • We have The Hope of Revelation.
  • The revelation or the appearing of Jesus when He returns. (I Corinthians 1:7 – So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:)
  • The Hope of revelation in which we will receive praise, honor, glory and joy. (I Peter 1:7 & 13 – That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; & 4:13 – But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.)
  • The Hope of revelation whereby we too are revealed the sons of God. (Romans 8:19 – For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.)
  • This hope, spoken of here, is a strong desire and expectation of Jesus’ revealing and ours as well.
  • We have The Hope of Resurrection. (Acts 23:6 – But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question. & Acts 24:15 – And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.) – You need to make sure you are part of the resurrection of the Just and not the unjust. You need to make your salvation sure if it is not.
  • The resurrection of our mortal bodies and the putting on immortality. (I Corinthians 15:42-44 – So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. & 50-54 – Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.)
  • The hope of resurrection is made possible by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Philippians 3:20-21 – For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.)
  • This hope, spoken of here, is a strong desire and expectation of being raised from the dead to eternal life!

HOW IS HOPE DEVELOPED – How do we develop our hope? How do we develop hope in our life?

  • We develop it Through Grace – it is God that loved us and gives us good hope by His grace. (II Thessalonians 2:16 – Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace,)
  • We develop it Through the Word
  • The Old Testament provided hope. (Romans 15:4 – For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.)
  • The Gospel of Christ provides hope. (Colossians 1:5 – For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;)
  • The Apostles wrote that we might know the hope of God’s calling. (Ephesians 1:18 – The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,)
  • We develop it Through Experience – Experience involves tribulations. Experience involves trials, experience involve unpleasant circumstances, experience involves things not going the way we would like them to go, experience involves problems. (Romans 5:3-4 – And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope:)
  • Experience can produce perseverance in the Christian and this can lead to confidence. (James 1:2-4 – My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.)
  • Our hope strengthens the longer we live for Christ.
  • We develop it Through the Spirit – We through the Spirit eagerly wait for our hope. (Galatians 5:5 – For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.)
  • Heavenly pointed hope does not disappoint. Because it is the consequence of God’s love poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. (Romans 5:5 – And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.)
  • Because of this we can abound in hope. Our hope is strengthened by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Look at Romans 15:13 again “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”

HOW IS HOPE DEMONSTRATED – How is hope demonstrated by the Christian? How is hope demonstrated in your life?

  • By Christians who are eagerly awaiting for the coming of Jesus. (I Corinthians 1:7 – So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:) – A vibrant hope is one with a strong desire for what is to come! – How is your hope level? – Is it strong or is it weak? – Are you looking forward to the coming of Christ?
  • By Christians who are patiently working for Christ. (I Thessalonians 1:3 – Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;) – A vibrant hope is one in which work is being done for Christ. – I ask again, how is your hope level? – Are you demonstrating a good hope level by your patient and consistent working for Christ?
  • By Christians who are rejoicing in their current state. (I Peter 4:13 – But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. & Philippians 4:11 -Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. ) – A vibrant hope is one filled with joy. – Again how is your hope level? – Do you rejoice in your circumstances whatever they are?

HOW IS HOPE ACTED OUT – How does a Christian act out the living Hope that is within us? (I Thessalonians 4:13-18)

  • We as Christians have hope and Paul exhorts us to act like we do. He says to not act as if we have no hope, but act out what we say we believe. Act out our hope in Heaven, act out our Hope in the resurrection, act out our hope of seeing loved ones again who have fallen asleep in Jesus. Act out our belief in God’s Word! And in so doing we will comfort those around us.
  • Act as if we have hope; because if you truly are a Christian you truly do have the greatest hope of hopes. You have a living hope. You have the hope of living eternally with Christ and all of your saved loves ones in heaven. – Now that is some Hope!!!
  • That is some hope we want to possess that is some hope we want to have and this is some hope we should be sharing with those around us.

IN CONCLUSION:

So what is the hope of a Christian? – It is the Desire and expectation of…

  • The righteousness found only in Christ
  • The revelation of Jesus and our glory with Him when He comes
  • The anticipation of spending eternity with Jesus and our loves ones in Heaven

So what is the hope of a Christian? – it is the Desire and expectation made possible by…

  • The grace of God
  • The Word of God
  • The experience of Christian service
  • The empowerment of the Holy Ghost

So what is the hope of a Christian? – It is the Desire and expectation manifested by…

  • Our eagerly waiting
  • Our patiently working
  • Our rejoicing all the while

So what is the hope of a Christian? – It is truly the helmet of our salvation. (I Thessalonians 5:8 – But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.)

Hope is the anchor of our soul. (Hebrews 6:19 – Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;) – For which we should praise God.

If you are born again in Christ you are a partaker of a lively hope, a living hope, and an eternal hope through the death and shed blood of Jesus Christ. (I Peter 1:3-7 – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ;)

Are you a possessor of this true Biblical hope? – Have you ever admitted you are a sinner, in need of a Savior? Have you ever accepted the gift of salvation and eternal life from Jesus Christ? Romans 6:23 says “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

If you have not accepted this gift of salvation why don’t you accept it today?

Are you abounding in hope?

If you need to renew your eager anticipation, if you need to refresh your hope in Christ why don’t you do that today?

If you need to ask God to give you peace and hope to face your current circumstances make sure and do that today too.

If you are feeling convicted because your life does not always demonstrate the hope you should have as a Christian why don’t you get that right today?