Hope Srings Eternal
Tuesday, February 9, 2010

 

“We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints – the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that have already heard about in the Word of Truth, the gospel that has come to you.”  (Col. 1:3-5)

                Do you remember seeing the posters during the last political campaign (above) with the bold letters across the bottom -- HOPE.  And the background of the picture was our current President.  When I first saw  that poster, I cringed -- not because of differences of political parties or cultural ideals, but because it was clear evidence that we had a candidate running for President of the United States who clearly was leading us into hopelessness.  The reason -- we were being asked to place our hope in a human being instead of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.    Let me explain.

               Notice Paul’s prayer for the Church at Colossi.  Paul thanked God for them because of their faith in Christ and their love for one another.  I just finished writing a series on the 10 Commandments.  And in that writing I pointed out that loving God and loving others were the essence of the commands.  In Paul’s prayer, he senses that the commands of faith (loving God) and the outflow of that faith (loving others) is the essence of life.  And this faith and love springs open the door of hope.

                So, a natural outflow of obedience is a kind of hope that the non-Christian world knows little of.  They can only hope for those things which make life a little better.  Maybe they hope for a new job, a pay raise, or even winning the lottery, or just the right presidential candidate.  But we all know that even when we achieve those things, the happiness is only temporary.  There is nothing eternally satisfying of getting anything material.  But hope is something entirely different.  If you spend any time at all in church, you know that Christian hope is something far different from worldly hope.  Christian hope is being sure of what we don’t yet have.  It is yearning for that which God has promised; He has stored up for us in heaven.  And when we have that kind of hope, it makes a world of difference.

                You see, having Christian hope frees us to have faith.  If we can see something and see its reality, it is not faith at all.  It is merely acknowledging what is apparent.  When we look at the wonders of nature around us, with faith we can see God, but there are billions of people on this earth who look upon the wonders of nature and see science.  And science requires no faith (voodoo science such as the science upon which our creation theories are based is really not science at all, but merely political correctness crammed down our throats) because science is based on empirical evidence and proof.  But faith comes differently.  It springs from what God has stored up for us in heaven – hope [being sure of what we do not see]. 

                But where does this hope come from.  It comes from hearing the Word of Truth.  Without hearing the Word of Truth, the world cannot begin to have the kind of hope that we have.  And people hear the Word of Truth when it is proclaimed unashamedly from the pulpits and missions posts.  The world is hopeless because it does not know the Word of Truth.    Because you see, the Word of Truth is the Gospel.  And the Gospel is not a nice story in the Bible.  The Gospel is the only thing in all of Creation that has the power to eliminate death.  Remember Paul’s words, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of life. . .”  The Gospel is the reason we have hope.

                So it makes sense that Paul would give thanks for his church’s hope.  Because that hope causes faith and love of one another.  You see, the reason we have wars, the reason we have family feuds, the reason we have lawsuits, the reason we have church splits is because we don’t have the gospel in our hearts.  Without the gospel there is not hope.  Where there is no hope there is no lasting love.  And where there is not lasting love all we have left is chaos and tragedy.

                We don’t have time to teach and preach the touchy-feeling because it does not good.  It lasts only from the pulpit to the first argument, defeat, or unexpected bill.  It carries with it only a quick fix.  But the gospel releases for our people that hope which God has stored up for us in heaven.  And when the gospel is our possession, hope is made sure, joy is complete, and the world experiences the love of Christ.


Kingdom Road Ministries
PO Box 503
10 South Main, Suite 201
Victor, ID 83455
903-262-5088
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