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The Christian Hope

   Many people put their trust in the here-and-now.  Things like money, housing, family, and friends, to name a few.  These things aren’t evil, they can however be unfulfilling.  Let’s be frank, to trust means to have confidence in and reliance on something or someone.  Material thing are not always dependable, and relationships (even with family) can fall short at times.  (I know there’s someone out there that’s saying, “not my family.”  I’m addressing those who live on planet earth.  Every relationship has its ups and downs, even family). 

   So, where can we put our trust?  I mean, is there something out there that’s 100% trust worthy?  I’m excited to say, yes there is!
 
   As a follower of Jesus Christ I can say he has never let me down, never.  I wish I could say the same about my faithfulness.

    Christ has taught me to look beyond this life filled with sickness, sorrow, death, and pain, to a brighter day when all things will be made new (Revelation 21:4, 5).  I put no confidence in thing of this world.  I know people get sick and die, bad things happen to good people, and pain abounds.  I don’t blame God for things I’ve done or allowed, I do however look forward to the Second Coming of Christ and the annihilation of offensive things. 

   That brings me to the primary purpose of this paper.  The Christian hope has always been in the Second Coming of Christ.  Titus 2:13 states, “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ.”  At the conclusion of what we call the “faith chapter” in Hebrews 11 the writer says, “And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, RECEIVED NOT THE PROMISE: God having provided some better thing for us, that WITHOUT US SHOULD NOT BE MADE PERFECT”  (emphasis added).  The question begs to be asked.  When will we be made perfect?  1 Corinthians 15:51-54 “Behold, I show 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’” (emphasis added).  Also, Isaiah 25:8.  Consider 1 Thessalonians 4:16 “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, AND WITH THE TRUMP OF GOD: and the dead in Christ shall rise first” (emphasis added).  Also, 2 Timothy 4:8 “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me AT THAT DAY: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love HIS APPEARING” (emphasis added).

    At the Second Coming of Christ death will be destroyed.  1 Corinthians 15:24-26 “Then comes the end, when he [Christ] shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.  For he must reign, till he has put all enemies under his feet.  THE LAST ENEMY THAT SHALL BE DESTROYED IS DEATH” (emphasis added).  This tells me two things, one, death is an enemy, two, the Second Coming of Christ will destroy death. My hope is not in death, I don’t trust in death.  I trust in Christ, who will obliterate the enemy death. 

   Someone will say, “What about 2 Corinthians 5:1-8?  The gift of immortality, the “clothing upon” occurs when mortality is swallowed up of life (verse 4).  As a Christian, I desire to be clothed with immortality; I dread the nakedness of death.  As a Christian, I walk by faith; faith that is seen is not faith.  Faith is the assurance of things hoped for.  I hope for the Second Coming of Christ so I may bear the image of the heavenly. As a Christian, if I die before Christ returns, I will be raised a spiritual body (1 Cor. 15:44).  No where in Scripture do we find spiritual bodies given at death.

    Of course someone will say, “What about Philippians 1:21-23 where Paul said, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.  But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labor: yet what I shall choose I wot not.  For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better.”  Paul knew that after death, the next thought he would have would be the Coming of Christ.  Paul, a student of the Word, believed David when he said, “As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, WHEN I AWAKE, WITH THY LIKENESS” (Psalm 17:15). (Also Acts 2:29-34).  Paul the scholar believed Job when he said, “So man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, THEY SHALL NOT AWAKE, NOR BE RAISED OUT OF THEIR SLEEP.  O that thou wouldest hide me in the grave, that thou wouldest keep me secret, until thy wrath be past, that thou wouldest appoint me a set time, and remember me!  If a man die, shall he live again?  All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come.  Thou shalt’ call, and I will answer thee” (Job 14:12-15a).  (Also, Isaiah 26:19-21; Daniel 12:2).

   So, where do I put my trust?  Only in the Word of God that was made flesh.  For the Word says, “Forever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven” (Psalm 119:89).  Confidence in anything else will prove to be ill placed. 

   I frequently hear people blame God for things we as humans have brought upon ourselves.  Our disobedience to God has brought every unwanted problem to planet earth.  Will we ever learn that our sins have separated us from the Creator and all the blessings that follow that relationship?  “Blessed are all they that put their trust in him [God]” (Psalm 2:12b).  Then there are those who would lead us to believe, that as bad things continue to occur it only substantiates their doctrine of agnosticism, or even worse atheism.  “The fool has said in his heart, there is no God” (Psalm 14:1).

   We foolishly continue to place our confidence in man and things created by him.  There is no help in man.  “Thus saith the LORD; ‘Cursed be the man that trusts in man and makes flesh his arm, and whose heart departs from the LORD’” (Jeremiah 17:5).  Lasting peace comes from God.

   Soon our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will return.  His Second Coming will right the many wrongs produced by sinful man.  Hebrews 9:27 “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.”  Presently, Christ is not judging us for our sins.  Today Jesus is the mediator between God and men (1 Timothy 2:5).  “[Christ] is the propitiation for our sins: and not for our’s only, but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2).  Some think the absence of judgment in matters of gross injustice proves a disconnect between God and man.  Nothing can be further from the truth.  “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).  The first advent of Christ offers salvation; Jesus said, “For I came not to judge the world, but to save the world” (John 12:47b).  The Second Coming of Christ will bring judgment; “Because he has appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he has ordained; whereof he has given assurance unto all men, in that he has raised him from the dead” (Acts 17:31).  Christ, “will judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom” (2 Timothy 4:1b).

   Returning to my original thought, Christ remains to be the hope of this world.  He, and he alone, can save fallen man.  Trust in anything other than the eternal godhead is foolish. 

   I am excited about the Second Coming of Christ. What a day that will be!  The concluding question is this; Am I trusting in vain things or in the only Savior of this word?  The Bible states, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).

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