"THE BLESSED HOPE"
I. THE IMPORTANCE OF HOPE.
A. The signs in Copenhagen. No Hope.
1. Paul said to the Ephesians
That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
2. That is true of the world outside of Jesus Christ today, they have no hope.
B. The experiments with the Norwegian wharf rats that demonstrated the importance of hope.
1. Placed in vat of water with a constant spray that prohibited them from floating on their backs.
2. The average length of survival was 37 minutes before drowning.
3. In the control group just as they were going under they were rescued and dried off and nourished back to full health. They were again placed in the same conditions and the average time of survival was 32 hours.
C. In the psalm that we read this morning as the psalmist spoke of his depression and worry, "Why are you cast down, O my soul, why are you disquieted within me?"
1. His response to the depression and worry was to hope in the Lord, and His deliverance.
D. Hope can sustain you in the darkest hour.
1. In the dark hour of our Lord as He was about to drink the cup of death as the result of your and my sins "Who for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame."
2. He had the hope of the resurrection, for He had the promise of the Father. The promise is recorded in Psalm 16:9
Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.
For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
II. WHAT IS THE BLESSED HOPE OF THE BELIEVER?
A. In Titus 1:2
Paul speaks of the hope of eternal life. Again in 3:7 he speaks of the hope of eternal life, in 3:7 he said,
That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
1. The Bible declares that the fear of death had brought men into bondage. Heb. 2:15
2. It speaks of death as the last enemy to be destroyed.
3. Writing to Timothy, Paul speaking of the power of God,
Which has saved us, and called [us] with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:
4. Jesus through His resurrection triumphed over death.
a. Jesus had said, "Because I live, you too shall live."
b. Peter wrote,
Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his abundant mercy has begotten us again unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
B. Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life, he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live, and he that liveth and believeth in Me shall never die."
1. That is a radical statement that is either true or false.
2. This immediately divides men into two categories, those who believe and those who do not believe.
3. Those who have a hope of eternal life, and those who have no hope for eternal life.
C. Our hope is bound up in the promises of God.
1. How firm a foundation ye saints of the Lord is laid for your faith in His excellent word.
2. Peter speaks of the exceeding rich and precious promises by which we have become partakers of the divine nature.
3. In chapter one Paul says,
In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;
4. John wrote,
He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. Again in his first letter he wrote,
And this is the promise that he hath promised us, [even] eternal life.
And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
He that hath the Son hath life; [and] he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
III. WE ALSO LOOK FOR THAT GLORIOUS APPEARING OF THE GREAT GOD AND OUR SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST.
A. Jesus is coming again.
1. We have His promise. He said to His disciples just before the crucifixion, "Let not your hearts be troubled, you 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 prepare a place for you I will come again, that where I am there you may be also."
a. He promised to come again.
B. I believe that His coming is very soon.
1. I do not see how God can wait much longer.
2. The signs that the Bible predicted for the last days before His return are all around us.
3. Jesus said, "As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be at the coming of the Son of Man."
a. What was happening in the days of Noah?
1. Population explosion. "Men began to multiply on face of the earth."
2. Every imagination and the thoughts of his heart were only evil continually.
3. The earth was filled with violence. Gen.6:11
b. What is happening in the world today?
1. Population explosion.
2. The corruption of man's mind.
3. The violence all over the world.
4. Just before His return everyone will be given an assigned mark and no man will be able to buy or sell without that mark. Money will become obsolete.
c. One of the credit card companies advertised, "In the beginning there was money, and that was good, but now we have advanced to credit cards, and that is much better."
d. At the end of the year, my credit card company will send me a record of all my expenditures on that card this past year.
e. We are seeing the use of the automatic bank cards more more. Every time I go in the market, I see people using the little relay as they are using their card and their private pin number to automatically pay for their groceries without having to write a check.
f. I spoke about this back in the early 70's as a thing of the future, and it is now a thing of the present.
g. One of the next things will be identifying a person by the hand print, or the eye print.
h. It looks like we are getting close to that day when as the Bible predicted when, the man of sin
will cause all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
5. The bible declares that the nations of Europe would be united to form the last great world empire,
And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, [but] it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.
6. Looking at our world today, it would seem that the stage is set, and the time of the Lord's return is at hand, and we who believe in Jesus Christ are looking for that blessed hope of eternal life and the glorious appearing of the great God and Savior, our Lord, Jesus Christ.