would have difficulty in expressing clearly any hope you may
have concerning the future. You do not often think about it or
talk about it to your friends. Yet definite information concerning
the future can be obtained in the pages of the Bible.
You may think
that it does not matter whether you know about the Bible hope
or not, so long as you try to follow what are the generally accepted
rules of a good life. If so, you are making a grave mistake.
The hope set before us in the Bible concerning a future good
provided by God has been made known for men to accept with earnestness
and sincerity. God cannot be pleased with a light-hearted indifference
about what He has promised; neither will He bestow His gift of
a future life where men are not interested in His purpose.
the following facts:
depends upon our acceptance and permanent holding of the
hope preached by the apostles.
are saved by hope -- in the original "the hope" (Rom.
8:24). "Whose house are we if we hold fast the confidence
and rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end" (Heb.
3:6). "If ye continue in the faith, grounded and settled,
and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel" (Col.
1:23). "The gospel ... is the power of God unto salvation
to every one that believeth" (Rom. I :16).
is only one hope shown in apostolic teaching, and not several
various or conflicting hopes.
are called in one hope of your calling" (Eph. 4:4). "The
hope of the gospel" (Col. 1:23). "Looking for
that blessed hope" (Titus 2:13). "Whereof ye heard
before in the word of the truth of the gospel" (Col.
1:5). "If any man preach any other gospel, let him
be accursed" (Gal. 1:8).
one hope is the hope of Israel, or the hope established
in the Jewish nation, ages before Christ appeared, by the
Promises made to the fathers of that nation.
the hope of Israel, I (Paul) am bound with this chain" (Acts
28:20). "And now I stand and am judged for the hope
of the promise made of God unto our fathers: unto which
promise our twelve tribes instantly serving God day and
night hope to come: for which hope's sake, King Agrippa,
I am accused of the Jews" (Acts 26:6). Jesus Christ
came "to confirm the promises made unto the fathers" (Rom.
15:8). "To whom (the Jews) pertaineth ... the promises" (Rom.
9:4). "Salvation is of the Jews" (John 4:22).
4. It Presents
for faith, the Prospect of certain good things to come,
to be hoped for on the strength of the promise of God, whom
we honour by believing His word.
is the substance of things hoped for" (Heb. 11:1). "Hope
to the end for the grace (or favour) that is to be brought
unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ" (1 Peter
1:13). "We have here no continuing city, but we seek
one to come" (Heb. 13:14). "Strong in faith, giving
glory to God; being fully persuaded that what he had promised,
he was able also to perform" (Rom. 4:21).
5. It includes
the hope of eternal life, and inheritance of the Kingdom
hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised
before the world began" (Titus 1:2). "This is
the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life" (1
John 2:25). "Heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised
to them that love him" (Jas. 2:5). "So an entrance
shall be ministered to you abundantly into the everlasting
kingdom of our Lord and Saviour" (2 Peter 1:11). "Come,
ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom" (Matt.
a belief in it -- a hearty and joyful belief -- we cannot
faith (which is the substance of things hoped for -- see
verse 1) it is impossible to please God" (Heb. 11:6). "He
that believeth not shall be condemned" (Mark 16:16). "He
that hath this hope purifieth himself" (1 John 3:3).
We must "hold fast the confidence and rejoicing of
the hope" (Heb. 3:6). "We are saved by hope" (Rom.
security can be found for future good than the assurances God
has given in His Word. It is reasonable that men should believe
His promises, sincerely, enthusiastically, joyfully, to be well-pleasing
to Him. We may share in glorious benefits to be brought by Jesus
Christ at his return -- but not if we are ignorant of them. Follow
not the crowd in its indifference, but make yourselves acquainted
with the Bible's message. Other hopes are without foundation,
but the hope of the Bible will be certainly realized by those
who in faith and patience look for it.
8. Have We Eternal Life Now?