We’re beginning a series on hope, and what better day to begin than Easter! We’ll take a look at the way most of us think of hope, and then we’ll look at better way the Bible defines it. We’ll also see how secure our hopes for eternal life are when they are connected to Jesus Christ.
God’s Gift of Hope
We’re beginning a series of sermons on hope, and what better day to start than Easter!
I keep hearing things like…Just have faith. Just believe. But that doesn’t make sense to me. I need to believe IN SOMETHING or IN SOMEONE!
Same things goes for HOPE! “Have hope.” What does that mean?
I Peter 1:3 We can have hope–for our lives now, and eternity.
But we have to understand what the Bible means by hope. It’s best to define hope first by what it isn’t. We might hope that it wouldn’t snow sometime in January. That’s wishing. But to say you’re looking forward to spring–that’s hope–it’s going to happen.
When most people use the word hope, they are speaking of an uncertainty. But Biblical hope is a confident expectation! It looks forward to something it knows is going to happen! It’s connected to a certainty!
OK, so what can we have REAL hope for?
In this life, we can reasonably hope that the sun will come up tomorrow, the seasons will change, that if I keep going back to that good fishing hole, that I’ll probably catch a fish.
We’re hopeful because 1) we wish it, and 2) we have some history to look at.
We got to base our hope on something! As believers in Jesus, we have more basis for hope than anyone! We’re hopeful because of the OBJECT of our hope! We can hope with confidence because God is good, He loves us, and is always working to redeem everyone and every situation. Plus, He has given us a history of His faithfulness. We’re hopeful because of WHO GOD IS, WHAT HE HAS DONE, WHAT HE HAS SAID.
We have reason to hope in all kinds of situations and all kinds of heart desires. Today, I’m just going to speak to two of them–things we’re all hoping for, or feeling deep down.
We can find our hope in the Lord for both these things. One is deeply personal.
Titus 1:2 Everlasting life, yes. But also, LIFE FROM GOD, and LIFE WITH GOD.
Romans 6:23 Eternal life also means life with God, and suggest another eternal thing–eternal punishment.
I John 5:11-12 If you have Jesus in your life, you will end up with God in heaven. If you don’t, you won’t.
The question might be: Am I good enough? That torments a lot of people, and is the subject of lots of discussions. Heb. 12:14–we have to be holy to have eternal life?
Good news: we don’t have to place our hopes for eternal life in our holiness. Eph. 2:8-9
Hebrews 6:19 If you follow Jesus, you can rest assured your hope of heaven is secure.
Lastly, Colossians 1:27 and Titus 2:11-13 He is coming again!
Jesus secured that hope with His death and with His resurrection! Christianity covers our personal needs, and is a set of beliefs that covers the beginning of time to the end of the universe as we know it. And Jesus is at the center of it all. It’s all about Him, it’s all for Him, and He is coming back. The first time was to extend His hand of grace to people. The next coming will be in judgment. If you’re with Jesus, that’s a joy!
So go ahead, GET YOUR HOPES UP! These hopes come from knowing Jesus personally, and they strengthen us, especially emotionally, confidence and encouragement, and actually causes us to have joy.
If Jesus has been raised from the dead, then God is faithful to His word, and heaven is open, death has been dealt a death blow, Jesus will come again, and this world will come to its appointed end, with all things giving praise and glory to God.
Jesus is offering that hope to everyone today. If you already have that hope, be reminded and rejoice once again in what He’s done for you, and will do! If you don’t have that hope, you can. God’s hand of forgiveness is still being extended.
Remember, you’re not good enough now, and never will be. Jesus WAS good enough, though, and we can get the benefits of a perfect life that rose from the grave. Just ask him to forgive your sins, give your life to Him, and find the hope you’ve always been looking for!