Posts Tagged ‘Vance Havner’

‘Blessed’ Hope

28 July 19

People hope about a lot of things for their lives. Is there one hope that ‘supersedes’ all others?

When asked the question, “What is your greatest hope for your future,” people answer in many different ways. They say that they hope for:

– World peace
– No poverty or homelessness
– Healthcare for all
– Save our planet from environmental problems
– People caring for one another/being a spervice to all
– Become united—not separated by beliefs, cultures, politics, religion, or country
– Being happy and joyful
– Being loving and supportive
– Being the best person I can be/giving it my best
– Being a survivor
– To die without any regrets
– Love others as we love ourselves
– Leave the world in a better condition than I found it
– Determine the meaning of life

 

The Beatles frontman, Paul McCartney, recently wrote a song titled “Hope For The Future,” in which the lyrics posit that humanity will “build bridges up to the sky” (outer space), “Lighting undiscovered places no one’s ever been,” and “From out of the darkness our future will come if we leave the past behind, we’ll fly beyond the sun.”

[ This song is the soundtrack for the 2014 video game “Destiny,” which players take on the role of a “Guardian,” protectors of Earth’s last safe city, as they wield a power called “Light” to protect the City from different alien races. Guardians are tasked with reviving a celestial being called the “Traveler,” while journeying to different planets to investigate and destroy the alien threats before humanity is completely wiped out. ]

[ Link to video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=163_C5UVU-I ].

 

Hope is the ‘feeling’ of positive expectation, the ‘longing’ for a certain outcome, and the ‘trust’ for the possibility of something to occur. It has been said that hope is one of the most potent and powerful human emotions one can feel.

On the ‘physical’ level, having a hopeful outlook can, according to evolving research, literally help safeguard our bodies from illness and to heal injuries.

On an ‘emotional’ level, feeling hopeful can help predispose our outlook for positive confirmation, many times leading to real-world outcomes that are positive.

On a ‘spiritual’ level, it is possible that feeling hope can help connect individuals to some type of ‘grounding’, helping them to feel less alone, less isolated, and more secure about their existentialism.

 

However, on the other hand, loss of hope can have equally-as-powerful negative effects. For those who have lost hope and have, perhaps, fallen into rhythms of chronic negative thinking, neural structures in the brain are reinforced that can lead to a cascading of further physical, emotional, and spiritual effects that include resentment, chronic negativity, and even depression.

Loss of hope and the resultant physical, emotional, and spiritual effects are not a conscious choice that most of us choose when we’re going through a tough time or life crisis.

By making a practice of nurturing hope—of positive expectation and trust in possibility—one can feed that part of themselves that longs to feel good, grounded, and ‘connected’ to life.

 

A “LIVING” HOPE
Well, my answer for my greatest hope for my future would be an ‘extension’ of what I mentioned in last month’s post: a “living hope” in the God of the Bible.

The believer’s hope is a “living hope” because of the confident expectation or assurance that there is NO DOUBT about that they are going to Heaven after they die—to be with God eternally!

It is called a “living hope,” because it brings life and comfort into the soul—flowing from living causes, namely, the Holy Spirit, with the believer living with great expectation. The Apostle Peter said, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” [ 1 Peter 1:3 ]. God will ‘fill’ the believer with hope, and ‘drive away’ the dreadful feelings of doom and discouragement.

A living hope can see light through darkness, smile through frowns, and glory through misery. It holds life and soul together, and makes a believer able to stand and triumph over all afflictions, oppositions, and temptations (Hebrews 11:10, 14, 16, 25, 32). It also keeps the soul from dashing upon the ‘rocks’, because its ‘anchor’ is in Heaven! (Hebrews 6:19-20).

The believer’s living hope is grounded upon the firmest of ‘foundations’, namely, the promises of God (Proverbs 10:28). It ‘lives’ in sweet anticipation of what it ‘possesses’ by faith—Heaven (Matthew 6:20-21; Philippians 3:20; Colossians 3:1).

 

THE BELIEVER’S “BLESSED HOPE”
So now let me posit the same question, this time specifically to the believer: “What is your greatest hope for your future?”

Well, I’ve heard many say essentially, in different words, “My hope is Heaven.” Well, the thing is, nowhere in the Bible is Heaven ‘specifically’ cited as THE hope for a believer—and neither does it present “salvation,” or even “eternal life” as the believer’s hope!

Well then, what does the Bible say IS the believer’s ‘greatest’ hope? It’s not “Heaven” per se, it is what’s ‘IN’ Heaven. Let me ‘flesh out’ the difference for you.

The Apostle Peter says that “since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in Heaven” [ Colossians 1:4-5a ]. See the ‘focus’ on what’s ‘IN’ Heaven?

 

Biblical hope is a ‘REALITY’ and not a ‘feeling’—a sure foundation upon which we base our lives that God ALWAYS keeps His promises—with the ‘greatest’ hope being JESUS, COMING BACK to earth. The Apostle John said: “He who believes on Me has everlasting life” [ John 6:47 ].

The “Me” in that verse is Jesus—He IS the believer’s “living hope” since He ‘resides’ ‘IN’ Heaven, is our ‘Advocate’ in front of Father God, and has promised to “COME BACK” to get the believer and take them to Heaven with Him—for eternity!

Heaven is just a great ‘perk’ to the most important thing, being with Jesus (just as being made LIKE Him will be a great ‘fringe benefit’!).

This has been called the “Rapture,” as well as the “Blessed Hope.”

 

THE “RAPTURE”
The promise of Christ’s coming again is no ordinary hope. Believers do not hope for it as they hope for sunshine on the day of a picnic, or for their home team to win the Superbowl. No, believers are actually QUITE CERTAIN of Jesus’ return.

“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires, and to live sensibly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope, even the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus; who gave Himself for us that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good works” [ Titus 2:11-14 ].

 

So, believers are to be actively, anxiously, eagerly, and continually looking for the “Blessed Hope,” which most Bible commentators feel is the event described as the “Rapture” [ The Greek word used here, “harpazo,” means “caught up” and “snatched away,” whereas it’s the Latin word “Rapere” that we get the “Rapture” from ].

“But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord” [ 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 ].

Now, an important aspect of all this is that there is nothing that must be prophetically fulfilled before this happens. The Rapture is a ‘signless’ event, in contrast to the “Second Coming,” which has seven years worth of ‘signs’ beforehand. It’s no wonder that the Apostle Paul said, “The hour has come for you to wake from sleep for salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed” [ Romans 13:11-12 ]. James also said that, “The coming of the Lord is at hand” [ James 5:8 ]. The fact that the Rapture can occur any moment should spur all believers on to live righteously, right now!

English preacher Charles Spurgeon said this related to the ‘focus’ passage I just previously cited (Titus 2:11-14): “No one can hinder his coming! Every moment brings him nearer; nothing can delay his glory. When the hour shall strike he shall appear in the majesty of God to put an end to the dominion of sin, and bring in endless peace. Satan shall be bruised under our feet shortly; therefore comfort each other with these words, and then prepare for further battle. Sharpen your swords, and be ready for close fighting! Trust in God, and keep your powder dry. This is always our war-cry, ‘He must reign.’ We are looking for the appearing of the great God and Saviour Jesus Christ.”

Spurgeon continued saying: “The coming of the Lord lies the great hope of the believer, his great stimulus to overcome evil, his main incentive to perfect holiness in the fear of the Lord.”

Spurgeon related this passage to a section of “The Pilgrim’s Progress” (which he read through every year!): “We hurry through this Vanity Fair: before us lies the Celestial City and the coming of the Lord who is its King. Just as voyagers cross the Atlantic, and so pass from shore to shore, so do we speed over the waves of this ever-changing world to the glory-land of the bright appearing of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”

 

[ Note: There are four primary views of the Rapture: “Pre-Tribulation,” “Mid-Tribulation,” “Pre-Wrath,” and “Post-Tribulation.” I believe in a “Pre-Tribulation” Rapture for many reasons, and have put some resources for this below. FYI: Prophecy expert Ron Rhodes gives these six primary reasons: 1) The Tribulation focuses on Israel and unbelieving nations, not the Church; 2) The Church is noticeably absent from all Tribulation passages; 3) The Church is promised deliverance from the coming wrath; 4) God’s consistent pattern to protect/rescue His people before His judgment falls; 5) Revelation 3:10 says that God will keep believers from the hour of trial; and 6) The “Restrainer” (Holy Spirit) will be removed ].

 

THE “SECOND COMING”
The Second Coming is when Jesus Christ will return to earth in fulfillment of His promises and fulfill the prophecies made about Him. Jesus Himself promised that “At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory” [ Matthew 24:30 ].

“I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but He Himself.” [ Revelation 19:11-12 ].

After seven years of horrendous ’Tribulation’ on the earth—with an ‘intensity’ that has never been seen before—Jesus will literally return to earth as King in power and glory to rule for a thousand years (Revelation 20:1-6).

Why is it important? Well, foremost of all, is our hope and confidence that God is in control of all things and is faithful to His Word and His promises.

The Second Coming of Jesus is the hope of believers that God is in control of all things, and is faithful to the promises and prophecies in His Word. In His first coming, Jesus Christ came to earth as a baby in a manger in Bethlehem, just as prophesied. Jesus fulfilled many of the prophecies of the Messiah during His birth, life, ministry, death, and resurrection. However, there are some prophecies regarding the Messiah that Jesus has not yet fulfilled, and Jesus will return to fulfill these remaining prophecies. In His first coming, Jesus was the suffering Servant. In His second coming, Jesus will be the conquering King. In His first coming, Jesus arrived in the most humble of circumstances. In His second coming, Jesus will arrive with the armies of heaven at His side.

It is also important because it will come at the time when the world is most in need of a righteous King. Revelation chapters 6-18 describe the end times prior to the Second Coming of Christ. The world will be devastated, millions of people will perish, and the evilest person in all history will be the ruler of the entire world. The Second Coming of Christ puts all this to an end.

The greatest detail about all this is in Revelation 19:11-16, “I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. ‘He will rule them with an iron scepter.’ He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”

 

TWO DIFFERENT EVENTS
To help you clearly understand that the “Rapture” and the “Second Coming” are two different ‘events’, the following is a summary of a document created by talk show host and Baptist minister John Ankerberg, that shows eight differences—demonstrating that these are two different events, separated by the seven-year “Tribulation” (which are all agreed to by all ‘respected’ pre-tribulation theologians and Bible teachers):

RAPTURE >>> SECOND COMING

1:
Christians will meet the Lord in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)
>>>
Christ descends to earth, to the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:2-4)

2:
CHRIST HIMSELF comes and takes believers out of the world (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)
>>>
Christ sends HIS ANGELS to gather (wicked) people to judgment (Matthew 13:41, 49; 24:38-41)

3:
BELIEVERS are TAKEN on the earth while UNBELIEVERS are LEFT (1 Thessalonians 4:17)
>>>
BELIEVERS are LEFT on the earth while UNBELIEVERS are TAKEN (Matthew 13:41-42, 49-50)

4:
Jesus comes to rescue Christians BEFORE the hour of trial, the tribulation, and the wrath to come (Revelation 3:10; 1 Thessalonians 1:10, 5:9)
>>>
Jesus comes AFTER the tribulation, to inflict final punishment, conquer his enemies and to begin to rule the world from Jerusalem (Matthew 24:29-30; Daniel 9:26-27)

5:
There are no signs given which must take place before the Rapture can occur. Rather, what we have is “Imminency.” It could happen at any moment (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10; James 5:9; Revelation 3:11; Philippians 3:20)
>>>
Detailed signs are given that must take place before Christ will come to earth (Matthew 24:4-13)

6:
There is no mention made of God’s judgment or trial taking place — only promises connected with looking for His return (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18; Revelation 3:10)
>>>
Tribulation and judgment do take place (Zechariah 14:2-4; Matthew 25:31-32, 46)

7:
A resurrection of the dead in Christ takes place during the descent of Christ (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18)
>>>
A resurrection of the righteous dead who died during the Tribulation takes place only after Christ has descended to earth…(Revelation 19:11-21; 20:1-5)

8:
Believers are given glorified bodies (1 Corinthians 15:51-53; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17; Luke 20:36)
>>>
Believers who are alive (who make it through the Tribulation) will enter the Millennial Kingdom and marry and bear children (Isaiah 65:22-25)

[ FYI: Download the PDF for more details:
https://www.jashow.org/articles/8-differences-rapture-second-coming/ ].

 

Scripture suggests that the Second Coming occurs two “stages.” First, the rapture, when Jesus comes for the Saints and they are caught up to meet him in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:14-17), and the second, Jesus’ actual return to earth, when he comes with His saints (Jude 14) to execute judgment against His enemies.

For those who are wondering how all this ‘fits in’ with the greater end times ‘scenario’, here’s a “premillennial” view of it:

The entire Church will be removed from the earth before the Tribulation begins (kept away from the horrors of it). Scripture indicates that during Daniel’s “70th week“, national Israel, not the Church, will be the focus of God’s earthly ‘program’. The whole Tribulation is a prelude to the national redemption spoken of in Romans 11:26, when “all Israel will be saved, as it is written, ‘The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will banish ungodliness from Jacob.’” The Rapture—the removal of the Church that ends the “Church age”—signifies that “the fullness of the Gentiles has come in” (Romans 11:25), and the onset of the Tribulation then marks the start of the painful process by which national Israel will be “grafted back” into the ‘olive tree’ (Romans 11:24). Then, after the “Tribulation” period, the Bible teaches that God’s ‘children’ will experience a period of perfect peace and prosperity for 1,000 years—referred to as the “Millennium”—where Jesus will set up His Kingdom on this earth, and He will reign as our benevolent King.

[ FYI: For more details about Heaven, read this previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post: https://markbesh.wordpress.com/a-place-to-retire-v221/ ].

 

For more details about how these are two ‘events’, the following video, by Nathan Jones of the “Christ in Prophecy” ministry, shows 20 ways that the Rapture and the Second Coming differ:

[ Link to video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJOb6OtFPP4 ].

 

‘SIGNS’ OF THE “END TIMES”
From recent hurricanes and earthquakes to the rise of ISIS and this year’s total solar eclipse, many people are asking whether these specific events are signs of the end times. Well, the short answer is we really don’t know but I’m thinking we are in the “11th hour.”

More than 10 years ago, Billy Graham wrote, “We see the storm clouds gathering and events taking place that herald the second coming of Jesus Christ.”

So, the following list is from the video below that does a great job in discussing the top 10 ‘signs’ to look out for to determine if we are in the “last days”:

1: False Messiahs (Luke 21:8)
2: Wars (Luke 21:9-10)
3: Earthquakes (Matthew 24:7)
4: Famines (Mark 13:8)
5: Pestilences (Luke 21:11)
6: Fearful events (Luke 21:11)
7: Signs in the sky (Luke 21:11)
8: Persecution of Christians (Luke 21:12-19)
9: Jerusalem surrounded by armies (Luke 21:20-24)
10: Return of Jesus (Luke 21:25-29)

[ Link to video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14S2X7FQ9h0 ].

 

We cannot know the exact day and hour of Jesus’ return. He stated point-blank: “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of Heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only” [ Matthew 24:36 ]. However, since the previous 10 signs—and many others Jesus provided throughout the Gospels—are happening more frequently and with increasing intensity, the believer can know that they are now living in the ‘season’ of His return! “Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door” [ Matthew 24:33 ].

 

CONVERGENCE
The thing is, many more ‘signs’ that the Bible tells us to look for that will signal the Lord’s soon return—in addition to the ‘major’ ones I just mentioned—are ’converging’ today as never before. All of the different end times ‘signs’ are coming together for the first time ever—clearly indicating that we are living in the ‘season’ when Jesus will return to take all His believers, past and present, back with Him to the “place” He has prepared for them in His Father’s ‘house’ (John 14:2-3).

Jesus prophesied that the Jews would be dispersed from Jerusalem and be led captive among all the nations (Luke 21:24). But, then He added that one day they would return to re-occupy Jerusalem, and when that happens, the end-time events will occur that will lead to His return. The even more amazing thing about this is that the prophet Isaiah foretold of this 700+ years before Jesus lived: “In that day the Lord will extend his hand yet a second time to recover the remnant that remains of his people, from Assyria, from Egypt, from Pathros, from Cush, from Elam, from Shinar, from Hamath, and from the coastlands of the sea. He will raise a signal for the nations and will assemble the banished of Israel, and gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth” [ Isaiah 11:11-12 ].

The worldwide regathering of the Jews began in ‘earnest’ at the beginning of the 20th century. In 1900, there were only 40,000 Jews in Palestine, but by the end of World War II, their number had risen to over 600,000. Today, there are more than 7.1 million in the Land who have come from all over the world. This means that there are now more Jews in Israel than were killed in the Holocaust. The prophet Jeremiah said twice that when history is completed, the Jewish people will look back and conclude that their worldwide regathering was a greater miracle than their deliverance from Egyptian captivity!

Intricately linked to their regathering is what most experts say is the end times’ “cornerstone’ prophecy”—a “great phenomenon” that happening just 70 years ago—the re-establishment of the State of Israel, which occurred on May 14, 1948.

Again, the prophet Isaiah tells of this, too: “Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall a land be born in one day? Shall a nation be brought forth in one moment?” Well, as we saw in 1948, yes it can!

Also, the fact that Israel has been ‘reborn’ in the EXACT SAME piece of real estate that it was scattered from 2,000+ years ago would be amazingly significant, but it’s even more so since the Bible says, “You know when this happens, this is going to begin the generation that’s going to see all these things come to pass” [ Matthew 24:34 ]. Even though there are a few interpretations of the word “generation” (“race,” the Jews or “sinful humanity”), most scholars think that it means that within the lifetimes of the actual people who are experiencing all of the end times ‘signs’ will experience His return.

In addition to returning to the Land, Ezekiel tells us that the physical land would go from desolation to bounty (“On the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will cause the cities to be inhabited, and the waste places shall be rebuilt. And the land that was desolate shall be tilled, instead of being the desolation that it was in the sight of all who passed by. And they will say, ‘This land that was desolate has become like the garden of Eden, and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are now fortified and inhabited” – Ezekiel 36:33-35). If you don’t know, Israel it is like a ‘garden’ over there today, with them being THE experts worldwide on soil reconditioning and water conservation.

Another amazing thing, that has never happened before is that the Hebrew language, that was ‘dead’ for over 1,800 years, has come back again (Zephaniah 3:9). The only known language to ever have been ‘resurrected’ and put into daily use!

This tiny nation (no bigger than New Jersey), so happens to be the ‘focus’ of world politics. All the nations of the world are coming against Israel over the issue of the control of the nation’s capital, the City of Jerusalem. Even though the United States has put its embassy there and is encouraging other nations to do the same, the Vatican wants the city to be put under its control, the United Nations wants it to be internationalized, the European Union is determined to divide it between the Arabs and the Jews, and the Arabs want all of it. Israel says they will never surrender any of it.

The thing is, this was also prophesied by Zechariah in 520 BC: “And it shall come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; and all who lift it will be severely injured. And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it” [  Zechariah 12:3 ].

 

These and many other signs that relate to Israel are really important, since the Jews are God’s prophetic ‘time clock’. What I mean by this is that the Bible often ties a prophesied future event with something that will happen to the Jews. The Bible instructs us to watch the Jews, and when a prophesied event concerning them occurs, then we can be sure that the next prophesied event will also occur.

Dr. David Reagan, of “Christ in Prophecy Ministries,”  has come up with six categories that he says indicates we are “living on borrowed time”:

– The Signs of Nature (Most intense earthquakes, storms, and famines in history)
– The Signs of Society (Increased humanism, materialism, hedonism, and sexual perversions)
– The Spiritual Signs (Increase in cults, false christs, heresies, skepticism, apostasy, and occultism)
– The Signs of World Politics (Increase in wars, and the desire of a global government)
– The Signs of Technology (Nuclear weapons, computers, and the Internet)
– The Signs of Israel (Returning to its land and become a State)

[ For all the details of Dr. Reagan’s thoughts on this, consider getting his book, “Living on Borrowed Time: The Imminent Return of Jesus.” Details for it are in the “Resources” section below ].

 

Add to all this the tremendous increase in a global economy in the past 30-40 years (which global government and global religion can’t be far behind) and the meteoric increase in technology (which the Bible prophesies all will happen in the last days), it really looks like we are in that final ‘season’ of this earth the ‘way’ it is now.

To me, it seems that the evidence is overwhelming. We are living in the days when all of these things have even been possible in the past 2,000 years, let alone actually happening concurrently. It seems to me that God is ‘shouting’ from the heavens, “Jesus is coming soon!”

[ Link to video: https://vimeo.com/49709699 ].

 

THE ‘SEASON’ OF JESUS’ RETURN
With all these ‘signs’ that were just mentioned converging, I hearken back to what Jesus told us about His return: “And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near” [ Luke 21:25-28 ].

 

When the disciples asked Jesus for a sign that would signal His return, He told them to learn from the fig tree (which is used in both the Old and New Testaments as a symbol of Israel): “Now learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its branches bud and its leaves begin to sprout, you know that summer is near. In the same way, when you see all these things, you can know his return is very near, right at the door” [ Matthew 24:32-33 ]. As I just mentioned, this is happening right now!

[ Note: The ‘cursing’ of the tree was a symbolic prophecy, because Israel had rejected Him as Messiah, and God was going to pour out wrath on them and ‘set them aside’ for a while under discipline, because they were not ‘bearing fruit’ at that time ].

 

IMMINENCE
So, you might say, “How can you believe that after 2,000 years the Rapture could happen at any moment?” Well, from a human perspective, that’s a really long time, but the Apostle Peter reminds us that, “with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” [ 2 Peter 3:8b ]. To the eternal God, what’s a ‘piddling’ 2,000 years? That’s only like 2 ‘days’!

You may then say, “What’s He waiting for?” Well, “He is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” [ 2 Peter 3:9 ]. God is ‘gathering’ His redeemed people, and the Rapture/Second Coming won’t begin until He has ‘assembled’ His ENTIRE redeemed Church!

 

Prophecy expert Dr. David Reagan said it well: “The signs listed by Jesus in Matthew 24 are those events that immediately precede Jesus’ Second Coming and since we are witnessing the appearance of many of those signs today. And since the Rapture of the Church precedes the Second Coming by seven years then the only conclusion that makes any sense at all is that the coming of Jesus for His Church is imminent.” It is imminent and will happen quickly!

The Apostle Paul told the church in Corinth, “Behold! I tell 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 trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed” [ 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 ].

 

Now, let me suggest something: Don’t waste your time trying to guess the exact time Jesus will return—many have tried, and failed in the past—because Jesus said, “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only” [ Matthew 24:36 ]. The believer is to live with their eye on the sky (anticipating), but their feet on the earth (working).

Bible prophecy teacher Elbert Peak said it well: “I am no longer looking for signs. I am listening for a sound; the sound of a trumpet.” I say, “Amen” to that!

 

EXACT ‘TIMING’
The purpose of Bible prophecy is not to alarm the believer but rather to alert them to the times so that they can prepare for the return of Jesus—it’s a waste of time to get stuck in the quagmire of religious ‘trivialities’ (date setting and such). The Bible is a book of majestic outlook, telling us of the future in great ‘brush strokes’ much like an artist painting.

The Bible also does not give us a prophetic ‘schedule’ that, similar to a train schedule, gives out the name of every ‘stop’, the time it will arrive, and when it will leave again. Even though the believer is not sure of the time schedule, as long as they are on the ‘train’, going in the right direction, it does not really doesn’t matter what the schedule is. Just enjoy the ‘ride’ for as long as it lasts!

 

So, instead of ‘worrying’ about determining all that will happen—and many very smart theologians have not all agreed on exactly what will happen when—the believer should just be ‘worried’ about getting the message out to those who do not know—that Jesus IS coming back and they need to get ready! (Exactly what I’m trying to do with this post!)

Theologian A.W. Pink said of this: “The fact of the Second Advent is certain because it is expressly revealed in Holy Writ: the date of the Second Advent is uncertain because it has not been made known by God.” The Apostle Matthew warned: “Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming” [ Matthew 24:42 ].

No one knows the exact time of Jesus’ appearing, so the believer must just have an attitude of constant expectation and watchfulness. What the Bible does say is that Jesus will return UNEXPECTEDLY, and if the faithful and wise servant is found to be occupied with ‘godly’ work at the time of Jesus appearing, that they “shall be richly rewarded” [ Hebrews 10:35-36 ].

 

SO, BE STEADFAST!
The Bible says that steadfastness of hope of the afflicted Thessalonian believers reflected their certainty that Jesus would return and deliver them from God’s coming wrath.

It is noteworthy that the truth of Jesus’ imminent return to rapture His ‘bride’ (the Church) is such an important ‘plank’ in the scaffolding of a believer’s life of hope that the Apostle Paul alludes to it at the end of every chapter of the book of First Thessalonians! This repetition clearly underscores the encouraging and stabilizing effect of the hope of Jesus’ return. Because believers now have this sure hope, they are ‘empowered’ and enabled to wait for it with steadfastness. In short, future hope fosters present patience!

The prophet Isaiah said this to the believer in his time about perseverance: “they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint” [ Isaiah 40:31 ]. It so happens that the Hebrew verb for “wait” (steadfastness) Isaiah used is derived from a root word meaning to “look for with eager expectation.”

 

John Newton, the author of the song “Amazing Grace,” wrote a friend this encouragement about being steadfast: “May the prospect of this blessed hope set before us revive our fainting spirits, and make us willing to endure hardships as good soldiers of Jesus Christ! Here we must often sow in tears, but there we shall reap in joy, and all tears shall be wiped from our eyes forever.”

Anglican cleric and theologian W. H. Thomas Griffith said that the Blessed Hope was a “vital part” of the believer’s life, and then showed how it is ‘connected’ to faith and love:

“Faith rests on the past, love works in the present, and hope presses toward the future; or, faith looks backward and upward, love looks outward, and hope looks forward. These three constitute the true, complete Christian life and not one of them should be omitted or slighted. We are only too apt to emphasize faith and love and forget hope but, inasmuch as hope is invariably connected with the coming of the Lord, ‘that blessed hope’ [Titus 2:13], it is a vital part of our Christian life. Faith accepts, hope expects; faith appropriates, hope anticipates; faith receives, hope realizes; faith is always and only concerned with the past and present, hope is always and only concerned with the future. We know that faith comes by hearing; we shall find that hope comes by experience. Faith is concerned with a person who promises, hope with the thing promised; and faith is the root of which hope is a fruit.”

 

THE ‘BASIS’ FOR A “BLESSED HOPE”
God’s faithfulness is the ‘grounding’ for the believer’s sure hope. Firmly ‘established’ they can “hold fast the confession of our hope [not of despair] without wavering” [ Hebrews 10:23 ].

A true believer’s faith and hope are never in vain, because they are based in a God who has been faithful to His promises. “Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass” [ 1 Thessalonians 5:24 ].

God’s answers may seem to be a long time in coming, and our waiting may be uncomfortable or even painful, but He always has done just as He has said He would do. This is the reason the believer can hold fast to their hope without wavering.

 

Concerning the subject of faith, the “Second Coming” is the most dominant subject in the New Testament. For every time in the Bible the first coming (Jesus’ incarnation) is mentioned, the Second Coming is mentioned eight times. For every time the “atonement” is mentioned once, the Second Coming is mentioned twice. Jesus refers to His return 21 times, and more than 50 times He exhorts people to be ready for His return.

There are over 1,500 Old Testament passages referring to the Second Coming (out of a total of 23,145), and over 350 in the New Testament (out of a total of 7,957). That means about one out of every 25 verses refer directly to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ! At least for me, it seems that it’s a pretty important ‘concept’ that God wants the believer to know about. (An overwhelming ‘indication’ for me!)

Then Jesus made a promise to the apostles (and to us) that, even though He was leaving them now, He was going to go to Heaven and “prepare a place” for them. He said that, “In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also” [ John 14:2-3 ]. He then ‘promised’ to come back again for them and take them back to Heaven with Him.

 

In addition to all the previous items, the fact that Jesus ‘fulfilled’ all 300 “First Coming” prophecies 100% gives me GREAT CONFIDENCE that ALL the “Second Coming” promises will also be fulfilled as well! A pretty reliable ‘foundation’ for a believer’s Blessed Hope don’t you think?!

 

THE ‘BLESSING’ OF A BLESSED HOPE
The Blessed Hope also stimulates present joy and enables the believer to live their daily lives with “the eagerness of a pilgrim going home” (Romans 5:1-5).

The Apostle Paul warned us against remaining content with earthly joys, and Reformed theologian John Calvin commenting on Paul’s book of Romans said, “He bids us rather raise our minds to heaven, that we may enjoy full and solid joy.” The reality and certainty of that Blessed Hope brings a believer present joy.

Theologian and biblical commentary author Matthew Henry also reminds the believer of the relationship between their Blessed Hope and their ability to rejoice, writing that, “The joy and peace of believers arise chiefly from their hopes. What is laid out upon them is but little, compared with what is laid up for them; therefore the more hope they have the more joy and peace they have…Christians should desire and labor after an abundance of hope.” This hope is the most effective way of producing patient endurance under sufferings. So, believer, let the “Blessed Hope” keep you joyful!

 

The thing is, Scripture tells the believer that they were not ‘made’ for the present, and the present was never intended to ‘satisfy’ them. “If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied” [ 1 Corinthians 15:19 ]. When considered in relationship to eternity, life is VERY, VERY short. What really must be considered is our eternal destiny. What will it be and ‘where’ will it be? The Apostle Paul tells us “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us” [ Romans 8:18 ]. When the believer considers that it is for the future that they exist, not the present, it will be less difficult to endure trials with patience.

 

Charles Spurgeon talks about how the believer is blessed here on earth because of their belief in the return of Jesus: “We have here a statement which we have personally tried and proved: resting in the Lord, we know a happiness which is beyond description, beyond comparison, beyond conception. O how blessed a thing it is to know that God is our present help and our eternal hope. Full assurance is more than heaven in the bud, the flower has begun to open. We would not exchange with Caesar; his scepter is a bauble, but our bliss is true treasure.” [ Referring to Hebrews 6:11 ].

 

A HOPE BUILT ON SOLID ‘ROCK’
The believer’s hope is built upon THE “Solid Rock”—Jesus. The writer to the Hebrews said it this way: “so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek” [ Hebrews 6:18-20 ].

In the time that the New Testament was being written, the anchor was often used as a symbol of hope—firmly settled on the ocean bottom, and being of high quality, it would not tear away from an unsubstantial mooring, nor would it break because of internal ‘flaws’. It was something that was steadfast and ‘for sure’.

When the believer lives with biblical hope, they have an ‘anchored’ life. They are held steady in the midst of any ‘storm’. As a ship is safe when at anchor, their life is secured by hope which ‘binds’ them to Jesus. Stated another way, what an anchor is to a ship, hope is to the soul of the believer. They both stabilize whatever needs to be held steady amidst the storms of life. Every believer has been given a secure ‘anchor’ in the Person of Jesus!

Puritan theologian, John Owen said it well: “We have an anchor that keeps the soul, steadfast and sure while the billows roll. Fastened to the Rock which cannot move, grounded firm and deep in the Savior’s love.”

 

CAN ONE BE CERTAIN?
Biblical hope is not finger-crossing. It is a ‘CONFIDENT’ expectation of good things to come. The writer to the Hebrews emphasized this by saying, “And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end” [ Hebrews 6:11 ].

So, why is this hope so certain? Well, one reason is because God said it and He is incapable of lying: “God, who never lies, promised before the ages began” [ Titus 1:2b ].

Pastor and author John MacArthur explains this further: “The hope of eternal life is the believer’s deepest longing for that which is affirmed and unalterably guaranteed by God’s own Word” (cf. John 6:37-40). The indwelling Holy Spirit is God’s “down payment” or “earnest money” as it were, by which God guarantees their future glory (2 Corinthians 1:22).

The Greek word “Elpis” is used here—which is translated “hope”—means something whose fulfillment is ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN, and that there’s no doubt about it!

The thing is, 100% of all prophecy in the Bible has occurred exactly like God ‘said’ it would! I’m thinking He is absolutely ‘reliable’!

 

HOW HAS THIS BEEN ‘COMMUNICATED’?
Just after Jesus ascended into Heaven, two angels appeared, and one of them said to those gathered on the Mount: “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into Heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into Heaven, will come in the same way as you saw Him go into Heaven” [ Acts 1:11 ].

So, the Bible says that just as Jesus physically and literally left this earth 2,000+ years ago, He will physically and literally come back in the same manner!

Believing as I do that all Scripture is given by ‘inspiration’ of God, I want to be careful to distinguish between the different words used by God when speaking of the “hope” of His people. The Greek word most often used is “parousia,” that is usually translated “coming,” is found in the following major passages that talk directly about the return of Jesus (Rapture) and His “Second Coming”:

– “What shall be the sign of Thy COMING, and of the end of the world (age)?’ [ Matthew 24:3 ]
– “The COMING of the Lord” [ 1 Thessalonians 4:15 ]
– “The COMING of our Lord Jesus Christ” [ 2 Thessalonians 2:1 ]
– “They that are Christ’s, at His COMING” [ 1 Corinthians 15:23 ]
– “The COMING of the Lord draweth nigh” [ James 5:8 ]
– “The promise of His COMING” [ 2 Peter 3:4 ]
– “Not be ashamed before Him at His COMING” [ 1 John 2:28 ]

To me, these passages are undoubtedly clear that Jesus is coming back!

 

A COMFORTING TRUTH
Years later after Jesus’ ascension, when there was much persecution of Christians, the Apostle Paul wanted to ‘comfort’ the Thessalonian church about the truth that Jesus WILL RETURN, so by the ‘inspiration’ of the Holy Spirit said: “For the Lord Himself will descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up [“Rapture”] together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord” [ 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 ]. Paul goes on the say, “Therefore comfort one another with these words” (v. 18).

Professor and minister Marvin Vincent emphasizes how the Blessed Hope should comfort every believer and motivate them to thanksgiving: “The Christian is suspended between blessings received and blessings hoped for, so he should always give thanks.”

Pastor and author A.W. Tozer also said it well: “The Blessed Hope is for the believer, and it brings comfort, assurance and confidence to the heart of the believer in the midst of this world’s turmoil. Our focus is not on the calamity around us, but on His glorious coming.”

The Apostle John, writing to the Church in Philadelphia said that the believers will be saved from the unparalleled wrath to come (Revelation 3:10). God is not just going to see them ‘through’ the Tribulation and protect them, He is going to keep them ‘out of’ that time period, kept out of that time of trial! To me, VERY, VERY comforting!

 

PREPARATION
Author and Bible teacher Lehman Strauss said of how a believer should prepare for Jesus’ return:

“Every Christian I have ever known, who believed in the Lord’s Return and who gave serious thought to His Coming, also made serious preparation for it. Paul’s exhortation on the blessed hope emphasizes this matter of purity [Titus 2:11-14]. Peter likewise linked Christ’s Second Coming with a challenge to moral cleanliness [2 Peter 3:10-14]. This blessed hope is an incentive to patience [James 5:7-8], sincerity [Philippians 1:10], charitableness [1 Corinthians 4:5], and considerate-ness [Philippians 4:5]. Nothing could possibly have a more sanctifying effect on the behavior of a child of God than the thought of the imminent Return of our Lord Jesus Christ. Heart occupation with the Savior’s Return is a strong force in weaning Christians away from the world. ‘Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come…Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh’” [Matthew 24:42, 44]. (Note: Scripture references were inserted by me to increase your understanding).

Strauss ends his observation that every believer should be ready at a moments notice—because Jesus’ return is ‘imminent’!

 

A HOPE EAGERLY AWAITED FOR
So, as the Apostle Paul is writing to the Romans about eagerly awaiting while having perseverance, he said: “And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons the redemption of our body. For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it” [ Romans 8:23-25 ].

The Greek word used here is “anamenein,” which literally translates to “wait up for.” It’s like you’re expecting someone to arrive at your home and you’re waiting up for that ‘special’ person, that you have not seen for a long time, to arrive—and you continue to wait up with excited anticipation because you know that they could arrive at any moment. That should be the believer’s same attitude of ‘imminency’ while they wait for Jesus to return! “Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed” [ 1 Corinthians 1:7 ].

The “adoption as sons” in the foregoing verse equates with the believer’s earthly physical body being ‘redeemed’ into an ‘incorruptible’ heavenly body, so that hope in future redemption promotes perseverance (Romans 5:1-3), which in turn, “develops strength of character in us” (Romans 5:4). This then comes full circle to undergird hope! In other words, as the believer’s character is tested, their hope is strengthened. Then they know, for sure, that they are a ‘genuine’ believer!

[ For more details on how to determine if you are a ‘true’ believer, view this previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/knowing-assurance-v243/ ].

 

The Blessed Hope is something that makes life worth living. Not the timing, or even its imminency, but the wonderful assurance that there is a day coming when believers will see the Lord Jesus Christ face to face!

Carrie E. Breck had all of this in mind when she wrote this hymn:

“Face to face with Christ, my Savior,
Face to face—what will it be,
When with rapture I behold Him,
Jesus Christ who died for me?

Refrain:
Face to face I shall behold Him,
Far beyond the starry sky;
Face to face in all His glory,
I shall see Him by and by!

Only faintly now I see Him,
With the darkened veil between,
But a blessed day is coming,
When His glory shall be seen.

What rejoicing in His presence,
When are banished grief and pain;
Death is swallowed up in vict’ry,
And the dark things shall be plain.

Face to face—oh, blissful moment!
Face to face—to see and know;
Face to face with my Redeemer,
Jesus Christ who loves me so.”

 

ALWAYS LOOKING FOR JESUS’ APPEARING
Nothing in Scripture promises Jesus will to return by any chronological deadline known to the believer. Faithful believers need to remain patient, even if Jesus delays longer than they think possible. They should remain prepared, continue preparing for the future, and go on living life while they wait…patiently. While they wait, they are to go about doing their ‘business’, and spread the Gospel to all the earth (Mark 16:15).

Persistently looking (present tense; as one’s lifestyle) for Jesus will (or certainly should) motivate the believer to live passionately (sensibly, righteously, and godly) in this present age.

Jesus’ delay does not mean there is no urgency about His coming. The believer should dare not grow lax or lazy, and above all, not lose their sense of watchful expectancy. Jesus IS coming and He should find the believer alert, prepared, and steadfast.

 

The parable at the end of Matthew 24, and the parable at the start of Matthew 25 make an interesting contrast between each other. They teach opposite but complementary lessons.

The parable about the servants (Matthew 24:45-51) teaches us to be prepared for Jesus in case He comes sooner than we think He will, and the parable of the virgins (Matthew 25:1-13) teaches us to be prepared in case He delays longer than expected. Both attitudes are absolutely essential to a ‘BALANCED’ biblical hope.

In the parable of the five foolish virgins, it epitomizes people who will be caught unaware by the judgment that will send them to Hell! In the parable of the servants, it also warns about short-term or superficial faith (Matthew 13:18-22), a reminder that many people who fancy themselves followers of Jesus and profess to know Him, will ultimately be shut out of Heaven!

Imagine the sheer terror that will fill the hearts and minds of people who thought they were eternally secure because they ‘professed faith’ in Jesus, did certain ‘works’ on His behalf, or ‘associated’ with His people via church membership or some other external attachment, when Jesus says to them: “Not everyone who says to me “Lord, Lord, shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven” [ Matthew 7:21a ]. It still gives me ‘chills’ every time I read that passage!

 

Now, Jesus gives a third parable about the talents (Matthew 25:14-30). The parable teaches us to show our readiness for Jesus’ return with an attitude of expectantly watching for Him. This parable teaches us to remain ready for Him by diligently ‘working’, whereas the parable of the virgins urges us to prove our readiness for Jesus by patiently ‘waiting’.

The challenge for the true believer is to maintain the proper balance of all three perspectives—watching, waiting, and working. By aking God about these (in prayer), He will ‘lead’ you in balancing them.

 

ANTICIPATION
Believers need to get serious and to live in the light of eternity, knowing that our citizenship is in Heaven (Philippians 3:20). Like Paul, they need to set aside their personal agenda, obey God’s will and discipline themselves, for the incorruptible crown will be given to all who love His appearing (2 Timothy 4:8).

Living with an “anxious” (in a positive sense) longing and anticipation of the Blessed Hope of Jesus’ return should motivate the believer to live sensibly, godly, and righteously in this present age (Titus 2:12).

Biblical hope focuses attention on God and fills the believer with eager expectation. Those who learn to hope in a biblical way will be much less likely to be overwhelmed or disappointed, and more likely to be filled with patience, encouragement, and zeal for the glory of God.

Author and Bible teacher Warren Wiersbe gives this exhortation: “It would be good for us to examine our hearts to see if we are ready to meet the Lord. One mark of a true Christian is his eager looking for the coming of Jesus Christ. As we grow in the Lord, we not only look for His appearing, but we love His appearing. Because we have this hope in Him, we keep our lives pure so that we may not be ashamed at His coming.” [ Referring to 1 Thessalonians 1:10, 2 Timothy 4:8, and 1 John 2:28 –1 John 3:3 ].

 

Presbyterian preacher Robert Murray McCheyne used to ask people: “Do you think Jesus will return today?” Most of them would reply, No, not today.” He then would say, “Then, my friend, you had better be ready; for He is coming at such an hour as ye think not” (Luke 12:40).

Death is a fact of life, and the ONLY way to ‘escape’ it is to be alive when Jesus returns. Death is not an accident—it is an ‘appointment’. “And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment” [ Hebrews 9:27 ]. If you should die today, do you know ‘WHERE’ your soul would go?

There is an inscription on a gravestone in and lot British cemetery not far from Windsor Castle that reads:

“Pause, my friend, as you walk by;
As you are now, so once was I.
As I am now, so you will be.
Prepare, my friend, to follow me!”

Well, I read a story about a visitor to the cemetery that read that epitaph and added these lines:

“To follow you is not my intent,
Until I know which way you went!”

The ‘true’ believer HAS the wonderful assurance and hope that they are going to Heaven because of the resurrection of Jesus and His promised return for them! Do you have that hope today? Do you know, for sure, which ‘way’ you are going?

[ For more details on whether or not you are going to Heaven, read this previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/saved-from-death-v219/ ].

 

Author and Bible teacher Vance Havner gave the following advice regarding anticipating the return of the Lord: “The early Christians looked for His return. Preparation was accompanied by expectation. It is true that Jesus did not return during their lifetime, but no one is mistaken when he lives as though He might come anytime. It is always proper to live, looking for that blessed hope, and remembering that unto them that look for Him, He shall appear the second time without sin unto salvation. These believers [early Christians] lived in the light of the Lord’s return.”

What good does it do to speak much of Jesus’ appearing? Well, when believers are anticipating Jesus’ appearing, they make good witnesses, missionaries, and evangelists. All one needs to do to prove that is to check the list of God’s past ‘servants’ who have been most greatly used as ‘ambassadors’ of Christ and “fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19). [ One resource for this would be “Foxe’s Book of Martyrs” ].

 

CHANGED MINDSET
God is fully committed to everyone who places their faith in Jesus. So, have you fixed your hope on this certainty? Such a mindset can radically impact your reaction to current events and/or uncomfortable/uncontrollable circumstances.

The Apostle Peter says that what we fix our hope on with how we conduct ourselves in this life (1 Peter 1:13-16)—how we set our hope (or our “hope so”) on the things of the ‘world’ and our how one’s conduct reflects that. Peter, however, commands believers who have the mind of Christ—to hope fully in the revelation of the grace of God—to exhibit a conduct reflecting this “future grace” mindset.

 

UNBELIEVERS HAVE NO ‘REAL’ HOPE
The unsaved sinner is “without hope” and if he dies without Christ—they will be hopeless forever! The Italian poet, Dante, in his “Divine Comedy,” penned this inscription over the gate of Hell: “Abandon all hope, you who enter here!” I think evangelist Bill Bright paraphrased Dante’s dismal declaration well: “With God life is endless hope. Without God, life is a hopeless end.”

I pray that if you are one of those who have never ‘embraced’ Jesus, that TODAY would be the day of your salvation! That Jesus would break through your ‘blindness’, make the glory of the Gospel clear to you, and that the Holy Spirit would ‘indwell’ your ‘heart’ today!

[ Note: For help with this, either read the “Prayer of Repentance” below, read this blog post from “Grace To You”: https://www.gty.org/library/blog/B180124/repent-and-believe, or read this post from Ligonier Ministries: https://www.ligonier.org/learn/devotionals/true-repentance-and-prayer/ ].

[ Link to video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtCLdfC6ClU ].

 

A ‘TEST’
So, here’s a ‘test’ to determine if your eschatology (doctrine of the end times) is ‘healthy’: Is your hope a sanctifying influence in your life? Are you filled with hope and expectation? Are you eager and watching, knowing that Jesus is coming back soon?

If you answered “yes” to all of these, you have ‘passed’—and have an attitude to which the Scripture ‘calls’ the believer to. However, if you can’t honestly say yes to all of these questions, might I suggest reading the Book of Romans, then Ephesians, then First John.

 

Belief in the Second Coming is not supposed to make a believer stop what they are doing just to wait ‘on the couch’ for Jesus’ return. Instead, it should ‘direct’ the believer’s heart toward Him: “Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand” [ James 5:8 ], and ‘work’ at telling others about His coming.

The Apostle Peter echoed the same expectation when he wrote, “The end of all things is that hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers” [ 1 Peter 4:7 ] (for yourself and the others that He has ‘placed’ in your life).

The believer should live soberly, righteously, and godly, “looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” [ Titus 2:11-13 ].

 

WRAP UP
All true believers long for the day when Jesus will return to earth, “loving His appearing” (2 Timothy 4:8), and fulfillment of this Blessed Hope IS closer than it has ever been—and there are no second chances! (One must be ‘saved’ in this life!)

The Apostle Paul give us a good, practical expectation of Jesus’ return: “Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The night is far gone; the day is at hand” [ Romans 13:11-12a ]. This tells the believer that they should ‘wake up’, ‘throw off’, and ‘put on’.

All of us need to ‘wake up’ since time is short and opportunity is fleeting (Romans 13:12a), and the event draws nearer every moment. We all then need to ‘throw off’ all unrighteousness and ‘put on’ Jesus’ righteousness “Put on the armor of light…Put on the Lord Jesus Christ” [Romans 13:12, 14].

 

Time is short; opportunity is fleeting. Jesus is coming soon, and the event draws nearer every moment. The time to REPENT and BELIEVE is now since there is NO GUARANTEE of more time! Then “Let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light” (Romans 13:12) and “Put on the armor of light…Put on the Lord Jesus Christ (verses 12 and 14).

We don’t know precisely when Jesus is coming, but a world that seems to be spinning out of control, I’m thinking that the believer’s deliverance is coming soon!

 

I believe that the ground is now being prepared for the emergence of the Antichrist. As global unrest increases, people are crying out for somebody to take control and to make peace in this world. The ‘stage’ is being set for the emergence of ‘someone’ who will promise to do just that! But guess what? The believer will be raptured BEFORE the Antichrist is manifested!

The passage 2 Thessalonians 2 ‘proves’ that the Rapture has to happen first. So, let this be your Blessed Hope, don’t let this be just an ‘intellectual’ thing in your head, but let it ‘affect’ the way that you live your life. Deliverance is coming, and although we are not told ‘WHEN’ it’s going to happen, it ‘WILL’ happen—and I believe it’s going to happen soon!

 

Prophecy expert and author Dr. David Reagan (host of “Christ in Prophecy” TV show) made this great all-encompassing comment about what I’ve been discussing:

“The world today people just scoff at Him. But let me tell you something it’s going to be different when He returns. When He returns it’s going to be completely different because His Second Coming is not going to be like the First Coming. The first time he came as a baby, but He is returning as a mighty warrior. The first time He came, He came in humility, but He returns in majesty. The first time He came, He came as a suffering lamb, but He is returning as a roaring lion. The first time He came, He came in compassion, but He is returning in wrath. The first time He came, He came as a servant, but He is returning as a king. The first time He came, He came humbly on a donkey, but He is returning on a white war charger which is the symbol of a victorious general. The first time He came, He came to be judged. But He is returning to judge all the nations of the world. The first time He came, He was given a crown of thorns, but when He returns He is going to take all the crowns of all the nations of the world. The first time He came, He came to die, but when He returns, He is coming to reign.”

 

God leaves the believer here on earth such that they can be His ‘hands and feet’, and until Jesus comes and they should be about His ‘business’—preaching the Gospel and saving people from Hell.

As has been shown, all the ‘signs’ are CONVERGING, which is a clear indication that we are living in the ‘season’ of Jesus’ return. Since God does not wish that any should perish, but all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9), He wants the believers to pay attention to those signs. He is ‘shouting’ from the heavens that Jesus is returning very soon!

Biblical author Ray C. Stedman encouraged believers in this by saying, “God, in His Word, has called us to remind ourselves and each other of the coming of the Lord. How many times did Jesus say, ‘Watch and be ready for that hour.’ We must live daily in the hope and anticipation of that triumphant moment.”

 

Jesus IS COMING BACK, and it all begins with the believer’s “Blessed Hope,” Jesus’ return for His “RAPTURE.” It is a sign-less ‘event’ and can happen at any moment. Based on prophecy and ‘convergence’, it is ‘IMMINENT’!

So, are you ready to face Jesus without ‘shame’, to appear as John puts it, with confidence before Him? (1 John 3:18-24). Are you PROPERLY PREPARED to be ONE OF THOSE who Jesus comes back for?!

The time to think deeply about your destiny is NOW! The time to prepare for judgment is NOW. Those who wait until Jesus returns will find it already TOO LATE!

It’s time for you to GET READY!

“Therefore stay awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning—lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake.” [Mark 13:35-37].

 

True readiness for Jesus’ return must include an assurance that your past guilt is forgiven, and that your present standing before God is secure. Fortunately, Scripture clearly reveals how we can have such assurance.

[ For more details on how to determine if you are a ‘true’ believer, view this previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/knowing-assurance-v243/ ].

 

If you are certain about your reconciliation with God, that is wonderful! However, there is more to do while awaiting Jesus’ return. The believer must stay busy serving Jesus until He comes (That was the whole lesson of the parable of the talents). What activities should occupy the believer while they wait? Well, Scripture suggests worship, fellowship and encouragement, evangelism and discipleship, prayer, Bible study, and ministry to others. Only if we stay busy in all these ways while we wait for Jesus to come back will we can we expect to hear from Him, “Well done, good and faithful servant” [ Matthew 25:33b ].

[ For more details on what a believer should be doing while they are waiting for Jesus’ return, read this previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/outworkings-of-grace-v241/ ].

 

However, if you are an ‘unbeliever’ that has not come into the ‘knowledge’ of Jesus Christ and isn’t ready for the time when Jesus returns for His own, might I strongly suggest that you ‘cry out’ to God and ask Him to ‘save you’!

[ For more details on becoming ‘saved, read this previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/saved-from-death-v219/ ].

 

I believe the Blessed Hope is the ONLY HOPE anyone can realistically have for their future, and is a hope that is ‘BACKED UP’ BY GOD’s PROMISES!

The purpose of this post on the “Blessed Hope” is that you might be lifted up from the “slough of despond” [ The deep ‘bog’ in “The Pilgrim’s Progress” into which the protagonist Christian sinks under the weight of his sins and his sense of guilt for them ] and to be encouraged as a believer to persevere in finishing the ‘work’ you were here on earth to do, and to hold on to the promise that Jesus made to take all believers ‘home’ with Him.

 

The crucial question is: “Do you have this BLESSED HOPE?” Will Jesus return as your “Blessed Hope” or as your “Holy Terror”? It will only be one of the two, because there are only two ways that God ‘deals’ with sin: by His grace (Jesus’ perfect righteousness as ‘payment’ for all your sins when you were saved) or by His ‘appropriate’ wrath (presenting your ‘wretched’ unrighteousness as some kind of ‘restitution’ for all your sins).

[ FYI: For more details on what the Bible says about our ‘wretchedness’, view this previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/amazing-grace-v239/ ].

 

Have you put ALL YOUR HOPE in the ‘ONE’ (Jesus) that ‘SUPERSEDES’ all other hope?

I pray you have, or will do so…SOON!!!

 

[ Excerpts from: Jack Hibbs; John Piper; Annie Wright; A.W. Pink; John MacArthur; A.W. Tozer; David Reagan; Nathan Jones; John Ankerberg; Jimmy DeYoung; Gary Frazier; Ronald Showers ]

 

 

RELATED POSTS:

Knowing ‘Assurance’”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/knowing-assurance-v243/

‘Outworkings’ Of Grace”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/outworkings-of-grace-v241/

Amazing ‘Grace’”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/amazing-grace-v239/

A ‘Place’ To Retire”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/a-place-to-retire-v221/

‘Identity’ From Death”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/saved-from-death-v219/

The Purpose of ‘Tests’?”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/the-purpose-of-tests-v213/

 

‘PRAYER’ OF REPENTANCE
In the Bible, there is a parable that Jesus told about a Pharisee and a tax collector praying in the Temple. He notes that the tax collector didn’t even dare to lift his eyes toward Heaven as he prayed. Instead he “beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner’”—and Jesus said that the tax collector “went home justified,” he had been “born again” and ‘reconciled’ by God. (Luke 18:9-14).

If you are ‘sensing’ something like that right now, let me strongly encourage you to HUMBLE YOURSELF, CRY OUT to God, and PLEAD for Him to mercifully ‘SAVE’ YOU! None of us have a ‘claim’ on our salvation, nor do we have any ‘works’ that would cause us to deserve it or earn it—it is purely a gift of Divine grace—and all any of us can do is ask. So, CONFESS YOUR SINS and acknowledge to God that you have no hope for Heaven apart from what He provides through Jesus.

There is no ‘formula’ or certain words for this. So just talk to God, in your own words—He knows your ‘heart’. If you are genuinely sincere, and God does respond to your plea, one will usually have a sense of joy and peace.

Jesus said, “He that comes to Me, I will not cast out” [ John 6:37 ].

[ FYI: This is a great sermon on the “Call to Repentance” by John MacArthur from his book “The Gospel According to Jesus”: https://www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/90-22/the-call-to-repentance
(Transcript: http://www.spiritedesign.com/TheCallToRepentance-JohnMacArthur(Jul-27-2019).pdf) ].

[ NOTE: If you have ‘tasted the kindness of the Lord’, please e-mail me—I would love to CELEBRATE with you, and help you get started on your ‘journey’ with Jesus! ].

 

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RESOURCES:

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The Second Coming: Signs of Christ’s Return and the End of the Age
By: John MacArthur (Author), Arthur W. Pink (Contributor)

“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.”
John 14:3 ESV

Jesus Christ was very clear: One day he will return-and none of us knows when. Vocal fanatics claim to know the details of the second coming, causing many Christians to all but ignore the good news that Jesus is coming again. Yet God’s own Word commands us to know the signs of the times, to remain watchful, and to be ready-whenever Christ comes.

This book is a straightforward, in-depth exploration of the key biblical texts regarding the second coming; most notably, Christ’s longest and most important eschatological message, the Olivet Discourse. As you study what the Word of God says about these matters, it will stir in your heart an earnest longing for Christ’s return-as well as a certainty about how to live expectantly until he comes again.

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Preparing for Jesus’ Return: Daily Live the Blessed Hope
By: A.W. Tozer (Author), James L. Snyder (Editor)

Just as in our day, people under the teaching ministry of A.W. Tozer wondered about the end times. How should we read the book of Revelation? What does it mean for how believers live? In this never-before-published book, today’s Christians can learn from one of the twentieth-century church’s most profound thinkers and pastors. Tozer’s teaching on Revelation offers a fresh and timely perspective on the purpose of prophecy, which the renowned writer believed was to lift our gaze from the immediate to the eternal. Preparing for Jesus’ Return offers readers a panoramic view of what is to come and explores what it means for individuals, churches, and the world.

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It Could Happen Tomorrow
By: Gary Frazier

Christ spoke of impending wars, rumors of wars, ethnic conflicts, spiritual deception, famines, pestilences and earthquakes in various places. Most people are ignoring these warnings, but all are signs that we are in the last days.

– Discover emerging technologies and the global efforts toward a new World Order
– Separate fact from fiction about the end of the world and America’s place in biblical prophecy
– Consider the dramatically prophetic rise of Islamic dominance leaving Israel imperiled.

With earthquakes trembling the Midwest, America also endured a record-breaking number of weather-related disasters: severe floods, persistent drought – 2011 was a year of truly unimaginable upheaval around the world.

What makes our generation different? What signs have already been fulfilled? It Could Happen Tomorrow is about how events like these in biblical prophecy will impact the world. It includes a powerful message of hope for people today – the ending is simple, powerful, and inevitable – God and His love will prevail. Are you ready….if it happened tomorrow?

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Living on Borrowed Time: The Imminent Return of Jesus
By: David Reagan

Dr. David Reagan answers the following questions and many more concerning the signs of the times that point to the soon return of Jesus. Can we know the date when Jesus will return? Can we know the season of His return? What are the key biblical signs of His return? What signs, if any, have already been fulfilled? Are there any signs that are unique to our day and time? What is the most convincing sign of the Lord s soon return? A unique feature of the book is a prophecy forum composed of 22 Bible prophecy experts who reply to 11 questions concerning the biblical signs of the times that are supposed to signal the imminent return of Jesus. Experts included are: Daymond Duck, Gary Fisher, Jim Fletcher, Ray Gano, Al Gist, Phillip Goodman, J.R. Hall, Mark Hitchcock, David Hocking, Ken Humphries, Terry James, Nathan Jones, Jack Kinsella, Tim LaHaye, Jan Markell, Caryl Matrisciana, Don McGee, Dennis Pollock, Ron Rhodes, August Rosado, Bill Salus, and Brian Thomas.

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Reviving the Blessed Hope of Thessalonians
by Douglas D Stauffer (Author), Andrew B Ray (Author), Rick Quatro (Editor)

The question for all ages: Does the Bible conclusively prove that God will Rapture the Church before, during or after Daniel s Seventieth Week, commonly referred to as the Tribulation period? As the controversy rages and debaters rant and rave, Dr. Stauffer and Dr. Ray methodically, systematically, and scripturally consider many of the end times details concerning the timing of the Rapture. This concise commentary on the prophetic events of First and Second Thessalonians provides definitive and undeniable proofs showing that the scripture holds the answer when freed from private interpretation. It is important to understand the timing of the Blessed Hope since it serves as a primary impetus for godly living. With so many contrary voices, the Church s spiritual survival hangs in the balance.

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The Rapture: The Blessed Hope of the Church
By: Don Stewart

When will the Rapture of the Church take place? At some future time, believers in Jesus Christ will be caught up to meet Him in the air when the Lord descends from heaven. Those who have died in Christ will be raised at that time. This is what the Bible says will take place. However, Christians are divided as to exactly when this will happen. In The Rapture of The Church, Don Stewart looks at the various views about the timing of the rapture. He presents the strengths and weaknesses of each position and then concludes that the pre-tribulation rapture view best explains all of the facts. He answers questioning such as… Why should we study the subject of the rapture? What are the best arguments for each rapture position? How should we live in light of the coming of the Lord? This is an important book for all those who seek to understand what the Scripture has to say about the subject of the rapture.

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The Blessed Hope: A Biblical Study of the Second Advent and the Rapture
By: George Eldon Ladd

Jesus Christ is coming again! That is the Blessed Hope which has since the earliest days of the church energized biblical Christians looking for the full revelation of God’s redemption But even among those who have most devoutly looked forward to the second coming of the Lord there have often been disputes about its nature. At their sharpest, these disputes can lead to the breakdown of fellowship among those who should be standing firmly together against unbelief. Through its many printings, this book by George Eldon Ladd has proved to be a helpful guide for Christians who want to discern clearly the basic biblical teachings about the Blessed Hope. Writing not for his fellow scholars as much as men and women in the pews, Ladd, whose numerous studies of New Testament interpretation earned him the reputation of being one of contemporary evangelicalism’s leading thinkers, sketches the history of interpretations of Christ’s second coming and then carefully and lucidly examines the biblical passages on which this doctrine is based. Ladd’s conclusion is that the blessed hope is the second coming of Jesus Christ, not a pretribulation rapture of believers in a secret coming of Jesus. Yet he concludes, too, that there should be liberty and charity within the Christian community for all who hold to the expectation of “the blessed hope and appearing in glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.”

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The Redeemer’s Return
By: A.W. Pink

Table of Contents:
1. Introduction
2. The Necessity of the Redeemer’s Return
3. The Hope of the Redeemer’s Return
4. The Fact of the Redeemer’s Return
5. The Time of the Redeemer’s Return
6. The Imminency of the Redeemer’s Return
7. The Signs of the Redeemer’s Return
8. The Beneficiaries of the Redeemer’s Return
9. The Churchward Results of the Redeemer’s Return
10. The Worldward Results of the Redeemer’s Return
11. The Consummation of the Redeemer’s Return
12. Conclusion
Appendix

https://www.themillennialkingdom.org.uk/TheRedeemersReturn.htm

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Be Ready: Living in Light of Christ’s Return
By: Warren W. Wiersbe

Experience eternity. Today.

During His life and ministry, Christ assured the apostles that He would one day return for His people. But how should this future event affect our lives today? In Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians, he reveals that the promise of Christ’s return is more than a doctrine of our faith. It is a remarkable truth that can shape how we live, how we connect, and how we view ministry.

Part of Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe’s best-selling “BE” commentary series, BE Ready has now been updated with study questions and a new introduction by Ken Baugh. A respected pastor and Bible teacher, Dr. Wiersbe balances the prophetic with the practical, and shares how Christ’s powerful promise can impact every aspect of life. So be encouraged. Be revived. And BE Ready.

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The Certainty of the Second Coming

Revelation 1:7-8; 2 Peter 3:1-9; 2 Peter 3:10

[ John MacArthur ]

https://www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/66-3/the-certainty-of-the-second-coming
https://www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/61-24/the-certainty-of-the-second-coming-part-2
https://www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/61-25/the-certainty-of-the-second-coming-part-3

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The Book of Signs: 31 Undeniable Prophecies of the Apocalypse
By: Dr. David Jeremiah

“The apocalypse.” “The end times.” “The day of judgment.” Terms such as these are both fascinating and frightening for any student of God’s Word. They point to key questions people have wrestled with for centuries, including:

– What does the Bible tell us about the future?
– Why is biblical prophecy relevant for Christians today?
– What signs and signals will precede the end?
– Which of those signs have already come to pass, which are we experiencing now, and which are still to come?

Drawing from decades of experience as one of the world’s most-respected Bible teachers, Dr. David Jeremiah once again brings his signature wisdom, depth, and compassion to the discussion of biblical prophecy—a discussion that becomes more and more critical with each passing day.

Join Dr. Jeremiah as he lays out the signs of the end times and helps you prepare for the days ahead in thirty-one easy-to-understand chapters. Filled with engaging illustrations and practical application, The Book of Signs is a must-have resource for Christians seeking to navigate the uncertainties of the present and embrace God’s promises for the future.

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The 8 Great Debates of Bible Prophecy: Understanding the Ongoing Controversies
By: Ron Rhodes

You’ve heard about the tribulation, millennium, rapture, and antichrist, but you may wonder, what’s all the debating about? Do most Christians agree on the big issues? And what about other topics―dispensationalism, interpretive views, timing of events…are they too complex for most folks to understand?

Not at all! In this concise and easy-to-read review, respected Bible teacher Ron Rhodes identifies eight of the most important end-times discussions. Avoiding complex arguments, he highlights the most important biblical passages, summarizes a few of the most popular interpretations, and provides succinct conclusions. He demonstrates that the Bible’s end-times teaching is intended to be a blessing for every believer.

As you compare and contrast the various viewpoints, you’ll be able to enjoy constructive conversations with other Christians and support your own informed convictions. You’ll also enrich your reading of the Scriptures and see how passages fit together in God’s great plan for the ages.

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The End Times in Chronological Order: A Complete Overview to Understanding Bible Prophecy
By: Ron Rhodes

Bible prophecy expert Ron Rhodes offers an easy-to-understand yet detailed chronology and explanation of end-times events.

The chapters are arranged around the major end-times themes: the rapture, the tribulation, the millennial kingdom, and the eternal state. Each chapter begins with a list of the specific events it covers, making this an extremely user-friendly chronological guide to end-times biblical prophecy.

Rhodes allows for various interpretations among Christians. Yet the sequence he describes is faithful to the biblical text, based on a literal approach to prophecy, and held by many Bible scholars.

As readers discover that they really can understand Bible prophecy, they will come to love and trust the Scriptures like never before.

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Escape the Coming Night
By: Dr. David Jeremiah

There’s no doubt the world is in trouble. We see tragedy in the streets and violence in the news. We hear increasingly divisive political debates that spotlight the deep and bitter divisions in our society. We feel the pain and confusion of a culture that seems to be coming apart at the seams.
How do we explain so much chaos? How do we live with such turmoil? And is there any hope for peace in our time?
As one of the world’s most beloved Bible teachers, Dr. David Jeremiah is the perfect voice to help answer these questions. And in Escape the Coming Night, Dr. Jeremiah walks through the perfect Scripture for these uncertain times: The Book of Revelation. In Dr. Jeremiah’s hands, this exploration of Revelation is shocking and eye-opening, but also consistently uplifting—and a vital message for our time.

 

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THE SEARCH FOR MEANINGWEBSITE

This site presents discussions on the 12 most commonly asked questions about the Christian faith.

The 12 discussions are accessed by the “tabs” at the bottom of the page. The tabs are numbered 1-12. Roll your mouse over them and you will see the question displayed at the right. Click on the number to select that question.

Within each question (i.e. tabs 1-12), there are subtopics (or dialogues) to select that appear as smaller tabs underneath the numbered tabs. Roll your mouse over them and the title of these topics is also displayed to the right. Click on the open rectangle to select that dialogue.

For each question (1-12), a link to related resources and an optional flowchart is provided. To access this material, click on the respective words, “Related Resources” or “Options Flowchart.”

To play a more detailed discussion of the subject, between two people, select the desired dialogue and click on “Play Audio Dialogue.”

In the upper right-hand corner of the page, there is an icon that looks like binoculars looking at a question mark. Click on this icon to return to the homepage.

In the upper right-hand corner of a “Related Resources” page, there is an icon that looks like some books. Click on this icon to get to an “overview” page that has links to all of the resources for all of the questions. There also are additional “appendices” for most of the questions.

In the upper right-hand corner of a “Flowchart” page, there is an icon that looks like an Org chart. Click on this icon to get to an “overview” page that has links to all of the flowcharts.

http://4vis.com/sfm/sfm_pres/sp_q1_d1_1of10.html

[ Content by: Bill Kraftson and Lamar Smith; Website by Mark Besh ]

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“FRUITS OF THE BEATITUDES” WEB SITE
(The ATTITUDES of Jesus that produce the CHARACTER of Jesus)

CLICK ON THE LINK to view:
http://fruitsofthebeatitudes.org/

FACEBOOK PAGE:
https://www.facebook.com/FruitsOfTheBeatitudes/

[ Mark Besh ]

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[ P.S.: If you would like to investigate further about fulfilled prophecies, visit the following link:
http://www.4vis.com/sfm/sfm_pres/sp_q4_d4_1of10.html ].

 

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ARTICLES:

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“Why People with Hope are Happier”

I don’t know how it happened, but it seems the older I get, the more optimistic I am. When I was younger, at times I’d swirl in tornadoes of negativity about issues big and small.

I don’t know how it happened, but it seems the older I get, the more optimistic I am. When I was younger, at times I’d swirl in tornadoes of negativity about issues big and small. But now? Unintentionally, I seem to have adopted a don’t-sweat-the-small-stuff philosophy and can generally find bright sides in places I used to think there were none.

That’s a good thing according to Paul Frijters, a professor at Australia’s University of Queensland. After all, recent research from Frijters, one of the lead authors of an enlightening duo of studies on hope and happiness, concluded that the more hopeful we are, the happier we are. As Frijters notes a sampling of 10,000 people, over a nine-year period, showed that people who had high hopes and expectations for the future seemed better off from a happiness perspective overall. We asked Frijters to share more on the study.

Q: What’s the thinking behind the notion that people who have hope are happier?

A: Self-esteem is very important to people. Part of that self-esteem is the belief that we have, and will, get what is deemed important in our society, i.e. material and physical goods. So we tell ourselves we are beautiful and soon to be promoted and fit. The link between hope and happiness is thus very much via a sense of self-worth: our fantasies of a good future make us feel better about ourselves today.

Q: You noted in your paper that people “systematically overestimated their rosy futures.” An optimism which was crucial to their well-being. Can you elaborate?

A: Psychologists have looked a lot at self-esteem and all kinds of cognitive biases to do with the future. So its been known a long time that people tell themselves things will work out even though its unlikely.

What has been somewhat unclear until now is just how important optimism is. The psychologists don’t give it much special consideration, whereas we find it to be far more important than some other things, like regret. The rosy future is taken by people as a reflection of how great and good they are already. Hope is like a self-induced drug that gives us a greater sense of current self-worth.

Q: What can we take away from this and apply to our own lives? Any practical advice?

A: Tell yourself the future is looking good for you. Do not adopt the strategy of telling yourself things will be bad, so that reality is better and you don’t have regret. For most people that alternative strategy is not the happiest one to have. Telling yourself life will be great and ignoring most of the evidence to the contrary is the way to go. And if you really love others, you will err on the side of optimism when it comes to their lives too. Don’t tell others their life will be terrible unless there is something they could do about it and it really would be inevitable otherwise.

[ Astrid Van Den Broek ]

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“Why Is Hope Important In Life?”

Hope is one of the most important mental traits in life. Without doubt, it is one of the most important traits of positive people.

According to 20 years of scientific research conducted by positive psychology founder Martin Seligman, hope reduces feelings of helplessness, boosts happiness, reduces stress, and improves our quality of life.

Hopeful people are able to face even the most negative times with a positive attitude. And because of the many health benefits of optimism, hope significantly improves our mental health.

In a moment I’ll share some amazing research that pinpoint the importance and benefits of hope.

But first, just what is hope, anyway?

A definition of hope
To be hopeful is to look on the future positively, to see opportunity in challenges (rather than challenges in opportunities), to “look on the bright side of life.”

Hope is the ability to see the possible good in future events, especially when those events are potentially negative.

With hope we can see the positive in negative times.

What hope is NOT:

Hope is not blindly expecting every positive thing to fall into your lap, nor expecting yourself to magically avoid every potential danger. This mentality can lead to inadvertent self harm (for instance, not going to the doctor about a pain in your chest because you’re blindly optimistic everything will be okay could potentially lead to your death).

It’s this idea of “false hope” or “blind hope” that has given hope a bad name in recent years.

People often think that hopeful people are naive, even foolish, and that they believe good things will happen when in truth they never will.

Heck, many of my own friends think I am naïve and foolish for pouring countless hours into this website in the hope that it might someday pay off big time. Is that smart hope or stupid hope?I It can be hard to tell.

Pro Tip: Don’t force hope. Don’t be fake-positive. Use mental contrasting instead.

Why hope is important in life
There’s a huge debate about what is better between realism, optimism and pessimism (read my article Become healthy through positivity).

Realism, optimism and pessimism all play an important role. And the debate is still undecided.

What we know for certain, however, is that hope benefits our health and happiness.

Psychological research proves that some attitudes are imperative in life.

For instance:
Compassion is so important in life that THE DAILY MEDITATION recommends going through compassion-training.

Courageous people have an advantage too.
And you need forgiveness.
But one of the most important strengths in life is hope.

Hope has been shown to:
– Make you wake up feeling positive.
– Hope helps you control your emotions
– Boosts your immune system
– Improves general health
– Reduces stress
– Reduces joint pain (pessimism causes stress which makes us hold the body in the ways that produce pressure, worsening joint pain)
– Improves respiration
– Hope is essential for creating self worth
– Reduces anxiety
– Improves social relationships
– Motivates positive action that leads to real life success.
– Hope motivates positive actions that will lead to positive results
– Hope helps strengthen the immune system
– Hope improves social relationships (you’ll get more friend being an optimist)
– Hope makes you happy
– Hope broadens and builds your mind (for more on this read the work of Kenan Distinguished Professor of Psychology Barbara Fredricks)

Of course, one of the main reasons why hope is important is that life is hard and will kick you in the butt if you let it.

We all face setbacks. We all wonder at times whether we’re going to get by. We all know what it’s like to feel like you’re right on the brink of disaster. And many of us knows what happens when we are not hopeful at such times.

Research into the benefits of hope
Research proves how important hope is in life.

In one study, researchers looked into the affect that hope had on college students.

The research shows that hope is imperative to academic achievement . Students with high levels of hope are more likely to succeed at school, more likely to have high quality friendships, and less likely to suffer anxiety and depression. It’s easy to see why. When you are hopeful that hard work will pay off, you are more likely to go the extra mile to succeed. Hopeful students put more time into studies because they believe they can succeed. And because of this, they achieve higher results than students with low levels of hope.

Hope is the motivating factor.

When you do not believe your work will pay off (when you’re hopeless) you quite logically won’t try very hard. Imagine going to the gym every day genuinely believing that you would never get fit. What a downer. Now imagine that you’re going to get the toned body, you’re going to look and feel amazing. That hope would make you genuinely want to workout harder, and as a result you will be more likely to succeed in your goal.

The opposite of hope is hopelessness. And this is a serious threat to health and happiness.

How my life turned awful when I lost hope
I previously wrote about how I lost all hope and had to fight to reclaim my self worth.

I learned the hard way. It was the worst time of my life. It was during a period of my life while I was living in Canada, thousands of miles away from home with no family and very few friends there.

I went through a break-up. And I was rocked to the core.

I lost hope.

Without a home, I thought it was the end. And because I did not have hope I suffered a lot, mentally. I went through depression. Fell to pieces.

For six months I was in utter despair. I was hopeless.

That time cost me a lot, in terms of my health. I suffered a severe stress reaction, had chronic eczema (caused from stress) and I spent most of my time thinking all manner of debilitating thoughts. It could have been avoided. I could have chosen to have hope, to believe that everything would come right in the end and that I would land back on my feet (which I eventually did). And had I thought like that I would have saved myself a great deal of mental suffering.

Maybe you’ve been through a similar time of hopelessness. And if so, I’m sure it affected you greatly.

Hope is like a safe-guard. It tells you, even when you’re going through hell, that there is that light at the end of the tunnel.

Winston Churchill said, “When you’re going through hell, keep going”. Hope gives you the strength to keep going.

Hope gives you motivation
The most hopeful people in the world are also the most motivated.

If you were absolutely without hope, you wouldn’t bother to even attempt to do anything positive because… well, you’ll fail, right? So why would you even both? Why bother working hard when it won’t pay off? Why bother going to the gym when you’ll never be fit anyway. Why bother? Without hope it all seems so completely pointless. So you’ll never achieve anything.

Hope gives you the motivation. Hope is that voice inside that says, “Yes, you can.” And it’s that voice that makes you work hard, that makes you learn new things, that gives you the impetus to actually try. In Hope Theory, which is a psychological view of hope, it’s believed that when we are hopeful we are given the motivation to make positive choices and to take positive actions that will move us along the path to success. A lot of research backs this claim. But forget the science. We can all feel, inside, what it is like to be hopeful and why we need hope so much.

How important is hope compared to other mental traits?
Okay. So we know that hope is important. But is hope as important as other mental traits? For instance, spirituality is important in life.

Is hope more or less important than spirituality? What about sense of humor? That’s important too. Perseverance is very important. And Fairness.. I could go on.

How does hope compare to these other mental traits?

Well we know that hope is more important than self-efficacy (your belief in your own ability) and optimism. We know that because psychologists ? Philip R. Magaletta and J.M. Oliver measured the affects of both and compared them. And they determined that hope was by far the most important of those three.

But hope might not be as important as some other character strengths. One study shows that when it comes to well-being, gratitude and love of learning are most important. (Source: Scientific American). And another fascinating study showed that if you want to be in the military the most important character strengths are Leadership, Teamwork, and Open-Mindedness. (Source: Research Gate)

How to be more hopeful
Be Mindful of your Expectations
Whether you are an optimist or a devout pessimist you will have certain expectations of the future. To begin developing your hope, become aware of the fact that you CHOOSE the way you view the future. You can look on the bright side or the dark side. You can choose to be hopeful. Find the opportunities where you can turn pessimism to optimism.

Challenge Pessimism
Pessimists tend to think that looking on the negative side of things is being “realistic.” Somehow, it seems more realistic that things will turn out bad, but in reality there’s no more self deception in looking on the bright side than the dark side. Think of something you feel pessimistic about. Whatever your subject is, you will know certain facts about it and have some uncertainties. Now consider how you are using those facts and uncertainties to falsely create a negative and how you could instead use them to create a positive.

Understand what causes your pessimism
Continuing from the above; there will be a reason why you are choosing to be pessimistic at times. More often than not it’s because you are afraid to look positively at something and end up being hurt.

To counteract this, tell yourself that even if you do end up disappointed you will then turn that disappointment to a positive. To illustrate this: imagine you’re awaiting your university degree exam results. You know you could pass, you know you could fail, but you’re going to choose to believe that you’ve failed simply to save yourself from disappointment (this is the pessimistic outlook). You can, however, look optimistically and still avoid disappointment. To do so, realise that you’ll likely pass the exam (optimism) but that even if you don’t you will turn failure to a positive, for instance by learning lessons from the experience that strengthen your character and set you up for future success (optimism that safeguards you from disappointment).

Conclusion
Hope is incredibly important in life for health, happiness, and for success.

The research shows that optimistic people are more likely to live fulfilling lives and to enjoy life. Plus, by relieving stress, hope helps to reduce the risk of many of the leading causes of death (high blood pressure, heart attack).

What do you think about this?

Leave a comment and remember to subscribe to our newsletter.

[ PM Harrison ]

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“Making Hope Happen: Create the Future You Want for Yourself and Others”
[ Part of the college’s Polsky Personal Enrichment Series ]

“We are so pleased to have you here with us for tonight’s Polsky practical personal enrichment series lecture, “Making Hope Happen,” featuring Dr. Shane Lopez. In a few moments, Dr. Lopez will join us to talk about hope and how our capacity to hope impacts our overall well-being, our health, our happiness, and our success in academics and relationships.” [ more…]

[ Dr. Shane Lopez is senior scientist in residence at Gallup, research director for the Clifton Strengths Institute and a professor of business at the University of Kansas. He will reveal the results of his research on the psychology of hope along with new findings from around the world.

Lopez recently published a book with the same title as his presentation. It is a practical guide on how to create, use and share hope. It offers proven strategies and techniques for building a high-hope mindset and for setting goals.

Lopez’s mission is to help people of all ages exercise some control over what their future can become and to teach them how to aim for the future they want in school, work and life.

“Hope is necessary for happiness,” Lopez explained ].

Presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_2w0PMqsqxk

*****************************
“How Do We Know That Jesus Is Coming Back Soon?”

Jesus provided 10 signs that point to His soon return. Join Nathan Jones of Lamb & Lion Ministries as he proves that Jesus Christ is coming back very soon.

[ Christ in Prophecy – Nathan Jones ]

Presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14S2X7FQ9h0

*****************************
“Questions About Revelation”

Do you believe we are living in the season of the Lord’s return? Find out as Dr. David Reagan interviews a panel of Bible prophecy experts on television’s “Christ in Prophecy.”

[ Christ in Prophecy ]

Season of the Lord’s Return: https://vimeo.com/49709699
Tribulation Salvation and Babylon: https://vimeo.com/48024166

*****************************
“50 Reasons We Are in the End Times”

Are we living in the season when Jesus is going to return? Find out with Dr. David Reagan on the show Christ in Prophecy.

Presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRL83VxZTSI

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“50 Reasons We Are in the End Times

Let me conclude now by specifically listing 50 of
those prophecies: 1) Increasing instability of nature.
2) Increasing lawlessness and violence.
3) Increasing immorality.
4) Increasing materialism.
5) Increasing Hedonism.
6) Increasing influence of Humanism.
7) Depraved entertainment.
8) Calling evil good and good evil.
9) Increasing use of drugs.
10) Increasing blasphemy.
11) Increasing paganism.
12) Increasing despair.
13) Signs in the heavens.
14) Increasing knowledge.
15) Increasing travel.
16) The explosion of cults.
17) The proliferation of false christs.
18) Increasing apostasy in the Church.
19) Increasing attacks on Jesus.
20) Increasing attacks on the Bible.
21) Increasing persecution of Christians.
22) Increasing occultism.
23) Wars and rumors of wars.
24) Weapons of mass destruction.
25) Increasing famine.
26) Increasing pestilence.
27) Computer technology.
28) Television.
29) Satellite technology.
30) Virtual reality.
31) Unification of Europe.
32) Far Eastern military powers.
33) Movement toward world government.
34) Regathering of the Jews.
35) Re-establishment of Israel.
36) Reclamation of the land of Israel from desolation to
abundance.
37) Revival of Biblical Hebrew.
38) Re-occupation of Jerusalem.
39) Resurgence of the Israeli military.
40) Re-focusing of world politics on Israel.
41) Russian threat to Israel.
42) Arab threat to Israel.
43) Denial of the Second Coming.
44) Denial of creation by God.
45) Outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
46) Translation of the Bible into many languages.
47) Preaching of the Gospel worldwide.
48) The revival of Messianic Judaism.
49) The revival of Davidic praise worship.
And number 50) The understanding of Bible prophecy.

Folks, this list could be greatly expanded, but the 50 examples I’ve just given you should be sufficient to show that we are living in the season of the Lord’s return.

The Bible clearly teaches that God never pours out His wrath without warning for He is a just and loving God who does not wish that any should perish. That’s why He has provided so many signs to alert us to the fact that we are living on the threshold of the Tribulation.

Believe it or not, after listing all those signs of the times, I still have not mentioned the most important sign of all. Collectively, the Signs of Israel are the most important category. But there is one sign that does not fit into any category because it overreaches all the categories, and it is the most important sign of all. What I have in mind is the Sign of Convergence; the fact that all the signs are coming together for the first time ever.

Folks, the bottom line message of all these signs is that we are living on borrowed time, and the crucial question for every human being is Are you ready? Are you ready for the return of Jesus?

Will He come as your Blessed Hope or your Holy Terror? It will be one or the other, for God is determined to deal with sin, and He does so with either grace or wrath. And if you have put your faith in Jesus as your Lord and Savior, then you are under God’s grace. Your sins have been forgiven and forgotten, and you can look forward with confidence to that glorious day when Jesus will appear in the heavens.

But if you have never received Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you are under the wrath of God, and you have nothing to look forward to except the terror of His wrath.

The choice is yours. I personally cannot understand why anyone would turn their back on God’s free gift of grace through faith in His Son. I have placed my faith in Jesus, and I therefore am able to look forward to His soon return with great anticipation and expectation. Accordingly, all that is within me cries out, “Maranatha! Maranatha! Come quickly Lord Jesus!”

[ David Reagan ]

*****************************
“The Imminent Rapture”

Scholars often speak of the Rapture as an “imminent” event, but what does this mean? In this week’s John Ankerberg Show, the discussion will focus on this important term that describes the teaching of the Rapture happening at “any moment” along with the biblical passages that emphasize this aspect of the Rapture.

[ John Ankerberg Show ]

Show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mmpSxRQHYU

*****************************
“Dr. Gary Frazier ‘It Could Happen Tomorrow’”

[ Dr. Gary Frazier ]

Teaching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ID2eEc_eKsA

*****************************
“35 Most Asked Questions Concerning Bible Prophecy” [Series]

[ John Ankerberg Show – Dr. Renald Showers ]

Selected ‘Snippets’:

The rapture and the day of the Lord: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xavuW-oo4A&list=PLEBEC6929556C957C&index=43

The Rapture of the Church: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5Ss_D2FnF8&list=PLEBEC6929556C957C&index=44

The Rapture and the Second Coming: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X7SLtrm7_a8&list=PLEBEC6929556C957C&index=65

Are the Rapture and the Second Coming two events?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htqRSIb4Vo0&list=PLEBEC6929556C957C&index=66

Matthew 24 – Jesus Rapture or Second Coming?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSYhflbg21E&list=PLEBEC6929556C957C&index=69

The imminent return of Christ: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXvsqu4TgA8&list=PLEBEC6929556C957C&index=77

*****************************
“Encouraging Words Concerning the Rapture”

What are the passages in the Bible that actually address the Rapture? One of the most important is the passage in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. Upon describing the event and what will take place, Paul concludes that believers were to encourage one another with these words. In this program, we’ll take a closer look at this and other passages to be encouraged at the Bible’s details on this important topic.

[ John Ankerberg Show ]

Show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdMpuVncVVI

*****************************
“Ron Rhodes on End Times Chronology”

What is the chronology of end time events? Find out with guest Dr. Ron Rhodes on the show Christ in Prophecy.

[ Christ in Prophecy – Ron Rhodes ]

Show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bj2eQSVoo6o

*****************************
“Ron Rhodes on the Rapture”

What is the chronology of end time events? Find out with guest Dr. Ron Rhodes on the show Christ in Prophecy.

[ Christ in Prophecy – Ron Rhodes ]

Show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7fzpkvsxOI

*****************************
“Signs of the Last Days”

The Bible is clear that there will be certain signs that take place during the last days. However, the signs described are different in the passages that take place at the Rapture and at the Second Coming. At the Rapture, no signs must first take place. At the Second Coming, there will be many. In this session, guests Dr. Renald Showers and Dr. Jimmy DeYoung along with Dr. John Ankerberg look at the fifth difference between these two events—a difference between the number of signs that are given for each event—and why this difference matters.

[ John Ankerberg Show – Dr. Renald Showers and Dr. Jimmy DeYoung ]

Show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QlZ9at7vVyA

*****************************
“Six Reasons for Desiring the Lord’s Return”

What are six reasons why Christians should be desiring the return of Jesus? Find out with Dr. David Reagan on the show Christ in Prophecy.

[ Christ in Prophecy – David Reagan ]

Show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_YxhVdmh7zU

*****************************
“Unraveling the Mystery of the Rapture”

Join Dr. Ankerberg as he interviews theologian Dr. Renald Showers and Middle East journalist and prophecy scholar Dr. Jimmy DeYoung in a fascinating discussion of what the Bible teaches regarding the Rapture, its timing, and how it impacts our lives today.

[ John Ankerberg Show – Dr. Renald Showers and Dr. Jimmy DeYoung ]

Show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjZ89jD5LEI

*****************************
“Jesus Is Coming”

Revelation 22

[ John MacArthur ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSlwryNgG2A

*****************************
“What Does The Bible Say About The Rapture?”

[ John MacArthur ]

Sermon Snippet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mazBvsuKN_c

*****************************
“The Rapture”

[ John MacArthur ]

Teaching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekATabodO6s

*****************************
“The Lord Comes As A Thief (Rapture)”

[ Paul Washer ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MCV8BnjtrIg

*****************************
“What Is the Rapture?”

Will Christians be raptured before the tribulation? Or will we rise to meet the Lord only at his final coming?

[ John Piper ]

Teaching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4UkAQOi3QPg

*****************************
“What is the ‘Blessed Hope’ of the Second Coming of Christ?”

What is the “blessed hope” of the second coming of Christ?
From our series, “Step by Step Through End-Time Events”

[ John Ankerberg Show ]

Show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2ajpSwF0rs

*****************************
“Differences Between the Rapture & Second Coming”

In the many passages in which we are told Jesus will once again return we find a variety of differing details. What should we make of these differences? In this program, Dr. Ankerberg and his guests discuss these details and present a strong biblical case that the Rapture is a separate event from the Second Coming of Jesus.

[ John Ankerberg Show ]

Show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YaphGzaTcZ8

*****************************
“The Timing of the Rapture and the Second Coming”

[ John Ankerberg Show ]

Show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytIS-3IegoU

*****************************
“What Does Matthew 24 Tell Us About When Jesus Will Come?”

[ John Ankerberg Show ]

Show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ccCztswVOiA

*****************************
“Is the Rapture and Second Coming the Same Event?”

Is the Rapture and Second Coming the same event? Find out with Nathan Jones on this episode of The Inbox!

[ Nathan Jones ]

Illustration: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJOb6OtFPP4

*****************************
“David Reagan on Matthew 24”

Jesus prophesied what amazing future events in His Olivet Discourse? Find out with Dr. David Reagan and Nathan Jones on the show Christ in Prophecy.

[ David Reagan ]

Show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpzGJCsr7VI

*****************************
“Ron Rhodes on the Rapture”

Will the Rapture occur before, during, or after the Tribulation? Find out with speaker Ron Rhodes on the show Christ in Prophecy.

[ Christ in Prophecy ]

Show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7fzpkvsxOI

*****************************
“What Signs Must Take Place Before the Second Coming of Christ?”

Our exciting new programs with prophecy experts Dr. Renald Showers and Dr. Jimmy DeYoung. In this four program series we investigate what the Bible teaches about the timing and events that will take place when Jesus returns at the Rapture. Dr. DeYoung also gives us an up to moment report on what is happening in the nations mentioned in Ezekiel 38 today.

[ John Ankerberg Show ]

Show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRXKXNb6ALE

*****************************
“The Second Coming”

[ Steven Lawson ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rl4y1wfX2hM

*****************************
“The Second Coming of Christ”

[ Dr Tony Evans ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=blbaNeo3ss4

*****************************
“Jesus is Returning Soon”

[ David Reagan ]

Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjkY3ZLXhDc
Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZvuepMpXVg0
Part 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhOu6NwcFaE

*****************************
“7 Characteristics of the Coming King”

[ John MacArthur ]

Part 1 (Luke 17:22): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Wympyl_tPw
Part 2 (Luke 17:23-25): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9RKsaBoURk
Part 3 (Luke 17:25-30): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hdlzg4GTLwM
Part 4 (Luke 17:31-37): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kq_Ms-XjBwU

*****************************
“The Second Coming of Christ”

Jesus promised His disciples He would come again. It’s in the Bible, John 14:1-3, TLB. “Let not your heart be troubled. You are trusting God, now trust in Me. There are many homes up there where my Father lives, and I am going to prepare them for your coming. When everything is ready, then I will come and get you, so that you can always be with Me where I am. If this weren’t so, I would tell you plainly. And you know where I am going and how to get there.”

Christ’s return will be literal and real. It’s in the Bible, Acts 1:10-11, TLB. “It was not long afterwards that He rose into the sky and disappeared into a cloud, leaving them staring after Him. As they were straining their eyes for another glimpse, suddenly two white-robed men were standing there among them, and said, ‘Men of Galilee, why are you standing here staring at the sky? Jesus has gone away to heaven, and some day, just as He went, He will return!'”

How will Jesus come again? It’s in the Bible, Luke 21:27, NIV. “At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.”

When is Jesus coming back?
How many will see Him when Jesus comes back? It’s in the Bible, Revelation 1:7, NIV. “Look, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of Him.”

What will we see and hear when Jesus returns? It’s in the Bible, 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, NIV. “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.”

How visible is His coming to be? It’s in the Bible, Matthew 24:27, NIV. “For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.”

Christ’s coming will be unexpected and dramatic. It’s in the BIble, 2 Peter 3:10, NKJV. ” But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.”

[ Billy Graham ]

Presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXWCQi4BD6s

*****************************
“Q&A About the Signs of the End Times”

Why do people ignore the signs of the end times that point to the soon return of Jesus? Find out with Dr. David Reagan and team on the show Christ in Prophecy.

[ Christ in Prophecy ]

Show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=REFZ_z4IyQQ

*****************************
“Celestial Signs of the Coming Savior (Luke 21:25-26)”

[ John MacArthur ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5721kFg2xQ

*****************************
“Coming in the Clouds (Mark 13:24-27)”

[ John MacArthur ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5Kf_9pD7X4

*****************************
“Does Matthew 24 Teach the Rapture and the Second Coming are Tied Together as One Single Event?”

From our special 1 hour question and answer session on the book of Revelation featuring very special guests Dr. Ron Rhodes, Dr. Ed Hinson, and, Dr. Mark Hitchcock.

[ John Ankerberg Show ]

Show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5m7Jo3BKNA

*****************************
“God’s Plan Demands Christ’s Return”

[ John MacArthur ]

Part 1 (Luke 21:8): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPoh3ImqV_g
Part 2 (Selected Scriptures): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntHpkQifCg0

*****************************
“How Should Someone Prepare for the Coming of Christ?”

[ John Ankerberg ]

Show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-LIgsv4MwM

*****************************
“Is there a Difference Between the Rapture and the Second Coming?”

[ John Ankerberg Show ]

Show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANUhVvtW08k

*****************************
“The Last Days According to Jesus”

[ R.C. Sproul ]

Teaching Series: https://www.ligonier.org/learn/series/last_days_according_to_jesus/?

*****************************
“The Rapture of the Church”

Does God promise that His people will escape tribulation? When will the rapture happen? Today, R.C. Sproul clarifies the hope Christians have in the visible return of Christ.

[ R.C. Sproul ]

Teaching: https://renewingyourmind.org/2019/07/05/the-rapture-of-the-church

*****************************
“Why Do I believe in a Pre-Trib Rapture?”

Why do I believe in a Pre-Trib Rapture? Explore 10 reasons with Nathan Jones on this episode of The Inbox!

[ Christ in Prophecy – Nathan Jones ]

Illustration: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5te0v0zCOjc

*****************************
“The Blessed Hope”

As people lose hope in this chaotic world, many churches have become apathetic towards the teaching of Bible Prophecy. Join Pastor Jack and Amir Tsarfati as they discuss the importance of understanding End Times and the joyful assurance of our “Blessed Hope.

Teaching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjkAAOC136I

*****************************
“Living In The Light of the Blessed Hope”

Adrian Rogers tells us that even in the midst of these dark, troubling times, we can know the joy of living in the light of the blessed hope–our Savior’s return! What a comfort to know that this is not the end– He will bring peace and joy upon His return!

[ Adrian Rogers ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GD70i_w5qsc

*****************************
“The Blessed Hope (Titus 2:13)”

[ David Walker ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFn-wCQn5Hc

*****************************
“Stages of The Second Coming of Christ”

[ Charles Lawson ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sp_Yi1IX3Fk

*****************************
“The Blessed Hope”

The promise of Christ’s soon return (Titus 2:13)

[ Jack Graham ]

Sermon: https://www.oneplace.com/ministries/powerpoint/listen/the-blessed-hope-256875.html

*****************************
“The Blessed Hope”

The Blessed Hope :: From the “Hope for Hurting Hearts” series by Pastor Greg Laurie. John 21; 1 Thessalonians 4

[ Greg Laurie ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qwNozUMoWyU

*****************************
“The Hope Of The Second Coming Of Christ”

[ Billy Graham ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rVijEdA_l4

*****************************
“The Importance of That Blessed Hope”

[ James Knox ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_KGo956jm8

*****************************
“The Timing of That Blessed Hope”

[ James Knox ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKluIfg7Cb0

*****************************
“The REAL Jesus of the Last Days”

[ Carter Conlon ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehC7ar0e4L4

*****************************
“The Blessed Hope”

In this sermon we get insight into just how the atheist handles the reality of death, does their certainty of there being no afterlife really hold up when they stand face to face with death? Then Rob reveals the Blessed Hope which Jesus Christ offers mankind, and we see the contrast of living and dying in Christ.

[ Rob Cartledge ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6SRHTi0gek

*****************************
“The Living Hope”

[ J. Vernon McGee ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dUk_-QNco4k

*****************************
“The Second Coming – The Blessed Hope”

Christ is coming again and each must prepare. To be ready we must first look to Him and prepare to meet Him so that He will not come as a surprise to us and find us unprepared.

“But we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” 1 John 3:2,3.

Secondly we must put sin completely out of our lives by repentance, confession and resisting temptation in the power of Christ. In this way we will know Christ as a friend from personal, daily experience.

Teaching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95aH4HNuC2c

*****************************
“The Second Coming of Christ”

A wake up call for all those who are not soberly anticipating the soon return of Christ. Challenging preaching for anyone who has honesty to agree with God’s Biblical standards against sin and keep themselves right before God!

Sermon Jam: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hK3rpWDTd9w

*****************************
“The Second Coming of Jesus Christ”

[ Greg Laurie ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bnz2ii0YUg

*****************************
“The Second Coming of Jesus Christ”

[ Tim Conway ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NPLpNkxmhnA

*****************************
“The Second Coming of Jesus Christ EXPLAINED!”

What is the Second Coming of Jesus Christ all about? Is the Second Coming the same as the rapture or are these two different events? What are the differences between Jesus’ first coming and His Second Coming? What exactly is going to happen at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ?

[ Allen Parr ]

Teaching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obw5cTD-XUs

*****************************
“The Second Coming”

[ Steve Lawson ]

Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bymnVjDGO-w
Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a59z6BBun_w
Part 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hT9DelHCrqc
Part 4: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTRYXC_2_DA
Part 5: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGjZeoIy_5Y
Part 6: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxSZRZgqEfY
Part 7: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRQU27pkrYg
Part 8: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3UYn_x3Z_zQ

*****************************
“A Living Hope”

Blessed be [God] . . . who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope. —1 Peter 1:3

Life is hard for everybody, but it is much harder for some than for others. Putting our trust in Christ as our Savior does little to change that. Nothing in the Bible promises us a free pass merely because we are Christ’s followers. In fact, some of our wounds may not heal and some of our deficiencies may not be corrected during our lifetime. They may even get worse. Yet all of our deformities and weaknesses are only temporary.

Anticipating what God has in store for us can put a smile in our heart. Hope gives us poise and lets us live with inner strength, because we know that one day we will be dramatically different than we are now.

If you are in some way damaged by past abuse or feeling defeated by sin, or if you feel so inferior to others that you walk with your eyes to the ground, take heart in what God has in store for you. Live today with the courage God gives you. Make what you can of your afflictions. But rejoice because all that degrades and limits you is only temporary. It will be gone—some of it sooner rather than later.

If you have a living hope in Christ, you can deal with your past because of your future. God’s glorious best for you lies up ahead.

Lord, give us grace to trust You when
Life’s burdens seem too much to bear;
Dispel the darkness with new hope
And help us rise above despair. —Sper

Christians can cope with their past because of their hope in the future.

[ Haddon W. Robinson ]

*****************************
“What Does the Bible Say About What Will Happen When Jesus Returns to Earth?”

Our exciting new programs with prophecy experts Dr. Renald Showers and Dr. Jimmy DeYoung. In this four program series we investigate what the Bible teaches about the timing and events that will take place when Jesus returns at the Rapture. Dr. DeYoung also gives us an up to moment report on what is happening in the nations mentioned in Ezekiel 38 today.

[ John Ankerberg Show ]

Show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3sUVpzpba9g

*****************************
“Dr. Jimmy DeYoung on the Second Coming of Jesus”

Dr. Jimmy DeYoung joins Kerry Pharr on In Your Corner to discuss the Iranian nuke deal, the rapture of the Church and the second coming of Jesus Christ.

[ “In Your Corner” interview of Dr. Jimmy DeYoung ]

Show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AisQZV_L_2M

*****************************
“Why Jesus Must Return to Earth”

[ John MacArthur ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjVdzc8SkkY

*****************************
“The Pre-Trib Rapture Under Attack”

Is the Pre-Trib Rapture view a reality or a myth? Find out with guest Dr. Gary Frazier on the show Christ in Prophecy.

[ Christ In Prophecy – Dr. Gary Frazier ]

Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBIp-Qx4MVI

*****************************
“It Could Happen Tomorrow”

Dr. Kevin Clarkson and Gary Frazier discuss various aspects of Frazier’s book “It Could Happen Tomorrow.”

[ Prophecy in the News ]

Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKHQEx7WcG0
Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6VetpySPKU
Part 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGhZ5kNSic8

*****************************
“Ed Hinson on Living Hope in the End Times”

So many wars and natural disasters! Is there any hope for this world? Find out with speaker Ed Hindson on the show Christ in Prophecy.

[ Christ in Prophecy – Ed Hinson ]

Conference Presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hbQcEerIfAs

*****************************
“The Rapture and the Left Behinds”

Can the Rapture be found in the book of Revelation, and if so, where? Find out as Dr. David Reagan interviews a panel of Bible prophecy experts on television’s “Christ in Prophecy.”

Interviewees: Al Gist; August Rosado; Daymond Duck; Mark Hitchcock; Jack Kinsella; Ed Hinson; Terry James; Gary Fisher; Tom McCall; Don McGee; and Ken Humphries

[ Christ in Prophecy ]

Interviews: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htCdTdWxabg

*****************************
“Six Reasons for Desiring the Lord’s Return”

What are six reasons why Christians should be desiring the return of Jesus? Find out with Dr. David Reagan on the show Christ in Prophecy.

[ David Reagan ]

Presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_YxhVdmh7zU

*****************************
“Come Then, Lord Jesus”

The Church has waited long
Her absent Lord to see;
And still in loneliness she waits,
A friendless stranger she.
Age after age has gone,
Sun after sun has set,
And still, in weeds of widowhood,
She weeps, a mourner yet.

The serpent’ s brood increase,
The powers of hell grow bold,
The conflict thickens, faith is low,
And love is waxing cold.
How long, O Lord our God,
Holy and true and good,
Wilt Thou not judge Thy suffering church,
Her sighs and tears and blood?

We long to hear Thy voice,
To see Thee face to face,
To share Thy crown and glory then,
As now we share Thy grace.
Should not the loving bride
The absent Bridegroom mourn?
Should she not wear the weeds of grief
Until her Lord return?

The whole creation groans,
And wait to hear that voice
That shall restore her comeliness,
And make her wastes rejoice
Come, Lord, and wipe away,
The curse, the sin, the stain
And make this blighted world of ours,
Thine own fair world again.

Come then, Lord Jesus come;
Come then, Lord Jesus;
Come then, Lord Jesus, come,
Come, come. come.
Come, come.
Come, come.

[ Horatius Bonar ]

*****************************
“The Regions Beyond”

To the regions beyond I must go, I must go
Where the story has never been told;
To the millions that never have heard of His love,
I must tell the sweet story of old.

To the regions beyond I must go, I must go,
Till the world, all the world,
His salvation shall know.

To the hardest of places He calls me to go,
Never thinking of comfort or ease;
The world may pronounce me a dreamer, a fool,
Enough if the Master I please.

To the regions beyond I must go, I must go,
Till the world, all the world,
His salvation shall know.

Oh, you that are spending your leisure and powers
In those pleasures so foolish and fond;
Awake from your selfishness, folly and sin,
And go to the regions beyond.

To the regions beyond I must go, I must go,
Till the world, all the world,
His salvation shall know.

There are other “lost sheep” that the Master must bring,
And to them must the message be told;
He sends me to gather them out of all lands,
And welcome them back to His fold.

To the regions beyond I must go, I must go,
Till the world, all the world,
His salvation shall know.

[ A. B. Simpson ]

*****************************
“The Glory of His Grace”

The dawn of day is breaking,
Behold! it streaks the sky,
And hearts for Him are waking,
Who soon shall fill each eye;
Soon! Soon! in brightness beaming,
“The day-star” shall appear,
With glory round Him streaming,
His joyful shout we’ll hear.

Our eyes are looking onward,
To see the One we love;
Our feet are pressing forward,
To tread those courts above;
Our hearts do leap with pleasure,
As nearer comes the day
When love, beyond all measure,
Shall beckon us away.

There “face to face,” beholding
The One who came to die,
His glory all unfolding
Before each raptured eye,
With nothing there to hinder
The hearts deep full employ,
But all to call forth wonder,
And ceaseless bursts of joy.

Amid the dazzling brightness,
We pass through golden streets,
To sit, all robed in whiteness,
On “four and twenty seats;”
The crowns which there He giveth
We cast at His blest feet,
To Him who ever liveth
We give the praise that’s meet.

Within the Father’s dwelling,
Each heart shall find its rest,
And every bosom swelling
Praise Him, with whom we’re blest;
There one with Christ for ever,
His chief—His full dwelling,
Where comes a cloud—on never!
To intercept His light.

There on His bosom resting,
Oh deep and full repose!
No more a time of testing—
No more to meet our foes;
But there, in brightest glory,
To gaze upon His face,
And ever tell the story –
“The riches of His grace.”

[ G. W. F. ]

*****************************
“Hope For The Future”

Some hope for the future
Some wait for the call
To say that the days ahead
Will be the best of all

We will build bridges
Up to the sky
Heavenly lights surrounding
You and I

From out of the darkness
Our future will come
If we leave the past behind
We’ll fly beyond the sun

We’ll be together
Sharing the load
Watching in wonder as our lives unfold

Hope for the future
It’s coming soon enough
How much can we achieve?
Hope for the future
It will belong to us
If we believe
If we believe

Hope shines brightest in the dark
When nothing’s ever seen
Lighting undiscovered places
No-ones ever been

Some hope for the future
Some wait for the call
To say that our destiny
Will be the best of all

And we will build bridges
Up to the sky
And heavenly lights
Surrounding you and I

Hope shines brightest in the dark
Where nothing’s ever seen
Lighting undiscovered places
No-one’s ever been

Hope for the future
Hope for the future
Hope for the future

[ Paul McCartney – For the “Destiny” video game ]

*****************************
“Blessed Hope”

[ Kelly Clinger ]

Song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1faM2Vb-c8

*****************************
“Blessed Hope”

[ Luke Ahrenholtz ]

Song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCgBl5Cn67o

*****************************
“Blessed Hope”

[ Rhe Glenn Mohr Chorale ]

Song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCB99HxkudI

*****************************
“Blessed Hope”

[ Brandon Perry ]

Song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qsJFzRFi8F0

*****************************
“Blessed Hope”

[ Spencer & Lisa ]

Song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i8pqXmWqW0

*****************************
“Blessed Hope”

[ Teleo Group ]

Song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1eDoVTL8Va4

*****************************
“Blessed Hope”

[ Bible Truth Music ]

Song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aX5o4BZ5KGc

*****************************
“Blessed Hope (He’s Coming Back for Me)”

[ Adam Miller ]

Song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iuw3Qhg5PBo

*****************************
“Oh Blessed Hope”

[ Dottie Rambo ]

Song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJQL7HAfqGg

*****************************
“I Believe in the Blessed Hope”

[ Homegrown ]

Song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HRW5rnWWO8

*****************************
“I’m Looking for That Blessed Hope”

[ BTM Gospel Choir ]

Song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pIi7UWofeLY

*****************************
“O Blessed Hope”

[ Squire Parsons ]

Song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bmsZjJfpC0k

*****************************
“Oh Blessed Hope”

[ Steve Brock ]

Song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GqNFDUlnp_g

*****************************
“Our Blessed Hope”

[ Allison Cornell ]

Song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TvIbb8u39KE

*****************************
“The Blessed Hope”

1 Thessalonians 4:13-17

[ John W. Peterson ]

Song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dJtbpRWt4c

*****************************
“The Blessed Hope”

Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13)

In the previous verse, Paul told Titus what grace teaches: that we should deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and that we should live righteous lives. Titus 2:13 carries on the same thought, adding to what grace teaches us.

Said plainly, grace teaches us to look for the second coming of Jesus Christ. In continuing the thought of what grace teaches, Paul wrote that we should be looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.

In other words, grace teaches us to expect and prepare for our blessed hope. That hope is not heaven or glory, but Jesus Himself, face to face, closer than ever.

Yet we don’t just wait for the coming of Jesus; we live in active expectation of the return of Jesus. We are looking for it. The return of Jesus Christ should be precious for Christians to consider.

Jesus came the first time to save the soul of man; He will come a second time to resurrect the body.

Jesus came the first time to save the individual; He will come a second time to save society.

Jesus came the first time to a crucifixion; He will come a second time to a coronation.

Jesus came the first time to a cross; He will come a second time to a throne.

Jesus came the first time in humility; He will come a second time in glory.

Jesus came the first time and stood before Pilate; He will come a second time and Pilate will stand before Him.

Jesus came the first time and was judged by men; He will come a second time to judge all men.

Finally, notice whom Paul says will return: our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. From time to time, some people try to say that Paul and other early Christians didn’t really believe Jesus was God. This shows that not only did Paul know Jesus was God, but that He was and is the great God and Savior.

That same Jesus came once – and He will return just as He promised. Let grace teach you to keep looking for His return and be ready for that great day.

[ David Guzik ]

*****************************
“Rejoicing in Hope”

And does my parting hour draw nigh,
and is the horizon veiled in gloom,
still I look up – and smiling say,
“Soon, soon, the Lord will come.

Faint not, my soul! though toils and pains
oppress thee now (the captive’s doom),
soon thou wilt cast away thy chains,
soon, soon, the Lord will come.

Let not my eyes with tears be dim,
let joy their upward glance illume;
look up, and watch, and wait for him –
soon, soon, the Lord will come.

Soon will that star-paved milky way,
soon will the beauteous azure dome,
glories, ne’er yet conceived, display –
soon, soon, the Lord will come.

Changed in the twinkling of an eye,
invested with immortal bloom,
I shall behold him throned on high,
and sing, “The Lord is come!”

One beam from his all-glorious face
these mortal garments will consume,
each sinful blemish will efface –
Lord Jesus, quickly come!

What will it be with thee to dwell,
thyself my everlasting home!
Oh bliss – oh joy ineffable!
Lord Jesus, quickly come!

[ Charlotte Elliot ]

*****************************
“The Blessed Hope”

For the grace of God that brings salvation
Has appeared to all
Teaching us to follow in His ways
Yeah, yeah
He’s saved us not because of righteous things
That we have done
But because of His great mercy
We will wait
And as we wait
As we wait

For the blessed hope
For the glorious appearing
Of our great God and Savior
Great God and Savior
The blessed hope
For the glorious appearing
Of our great God and Savior
Jesus Christ

He’s saved us not because of righteous things
That we have done
Because of His great mercy
We will wait

For the blessed hope
For the glorious appearing
Of our great God and Savior
Great God and Savior
The blessed hope
For the glorious appearing
Of our great God and Savior
Jesus

He gave Himself for us
To redeem us all for sin and chains
Purified for Himself a people
That are his very own
And as we wait
As we wait

For the blessed hope
For the glorious appearing
Of our great God and Savior
Great God and Savior
The blessed hope
For the glorious appearing
Of our great God and Savior
Jesus

For the blessed hope
For the glorious appearing
Of our great God and Savior
Great God and Savior
The blessed hope
For the glorious appearing
Of our great God and Savior
Jesus Christ

Our great God and Savior
Great God and Savior
Yeah, yeah, yeah

[ Third Day ]

*****************************
“The Blessed Hope”

[ In His Commission ]

*****************************
“Living Hope”

How great the chasm that lay between us
How high the mountain I could not climb
In desperation, I turned to heaven
And spoke Your name into the night
Then through the darkness, Your loving-kindness
Tore through the shadows of my soul
The work is finished, the end is written
Jesus Christ, my living hope

Who could imagine so great a mercy?
What heart could fathom such boundless grace?
The God of ages stepped down from glory
To wear my sin and bear my shame
The cross has spoken, I am forgiven
The King of kings calls me His own
Beautiful Savior, I’m Yours forever
Jesus Christ, my living hope

Hallelujah, praise the One who set me free
Hallelujah, death has lost its grip on me
You have broken every chain
There’s salvation in Your name
Jesus Christ, my living hope

Hallelujah, praise the One who set me free
Hallelujah, death has lost its grip on me
You have broken every chain
There’s salvation in Your name
Jesus Christ, my living hope

Then came the morning that sealed the promise
Your buried body began to breathe
Out of the silence, the Roaring Lion
Declared the grave has no claim on me
Then came the morning that sealed the promise
Your buried body began to breathe
Out of the silence, the Roaring Lion
Declared the grave has no claim on me
Jesus, Yours is the victory, whoa!

Hallelujah, praise the One who set me free
Hallelujah, death has lost its grip on me
You have broken every chain
There’s salvation in Your name
Jesus Christ, my living hope

Hallelujah, praise the One who set me free
Hallelujah, death has lost its grip on me
You have broken every chain
There’s salvation in Your name
Jesus Christ, my living hope

Jesus Christ, my living hope
Oh God, You are my living hope

[ Phil Wickham – “Living Hope” album ]

*****************************
“My Hope is Built on Nothing Less” (“Solid Rock”)

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ Name.

Oh Christ the solid Rock I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness seems to hide His face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil.

Oh Christ the solid Rock I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

His oath, His covenant, His blood
Support me in the whelming flood;
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.

Oh Christ the solid Rock I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh may I then in Him be found,
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.

[ Grace Community Church ]

*****************************
“My Life is in You, Lord”

My life is in You, Lord, my strength is in You, Lord
My hope is in You, Lord, in You, it’s in You
My life is in You, Lord, my strength is in You, Lord
My hope is in You, Lord, in You, it’s in You

My life is in You, Lord, my strength is in You, Lord
My hope is in You, Lord, in You, it’s in You
My life is in You, Lord, my strength is in You, Lord
My hope is in You, Lord, in You, it’s in You

I will praise You with all of my life
I will praise You with all of my strength
With all of my life, and all of my strength
All of my hope is in You

My life is in You, Lord, my strength is in You, Lord
My hope is in You, Lord, in You, it’s in You
My life is in You, Lord, my strength is in You, Lord
My hope is in You, Lord, in You, it’s in You

I will praise You with all of my life
I will praise You with all of my strength
With all of my life, and all of my strength
All of my hope is in You

My life is in You, Lord, my strength is in You, Lord
My hope is in You, Lord, in You, it’s in You
My life is in You, Lord, my strength is in You, Lord
My hope is in You, Lord, in You, it’s in You
In You, it’s in You
In You, it’s in You

[ Maranatha Singers – Written by Don Moen ]

*****************************
“Rejoice, the Lord is King!”

Rejoice, the Lord is King!
Your Lord and King adore!
Rejoice, give thanks, and sing,
And triumph evermore:
Lift up your heart,
lift up your voice!
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

Jesus, the Savior, reigns,
The God of truth and love;
When He had purged our stains,
He took His seat above:
Lift up your heart,
lift up your voice!
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

His kingdom cannot fail,
He rules o’er earth and heav’n;
The keys of death and hell
Are to our Jesus giv’n:
Lift up your heart,
lift up your voice!
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

Rejoice in glorious hope!
For Christ the Judge shall come
And take His servants up
To their eternal home:
Lift up your heart,
lift up your voice!
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

[ Grace Community Church – Written by Charley Wesley ]

*****************************
“L.S.F.”
(Parody of “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” performed by Elton John)

Picture yourself on the Mount called Olivet
You’re standin’ with Jesus … a marvelous time
Then while you talk He begins to rise slowly
And gives you His final goodbyes
Aeroplane flyers are seldomly seen down in Jerusalem then
Look for the Lord with the sun in your eyes and He’s gone!

Lookee, in the sky, He’s flyin’!
Lookee, in the sky, He’s flyin’!
Lookee, in the sky, He’s flyin’!
Ohhhhh

Following that there appear on the mountain
A couple of angels in garments so white
“Ye men of Galilee,” they say, “please tell us
“How come you still stare at the sky?
“Soon He’ll be back, He’ll appear as before
“Where He was taken away
“When He comes back, He’ll descend through the clouds.”
Then they’re gone!

Lookee, in the sky, you’ll find Him!
Lookee, in the sky, you’ll find Him!
Lookee, in the sky, you’ll find Him!
Ohhhhh

LEAD

“Soon He’ll be back, He’ll appear as before
“Where He was taken away
“When He comes back, He’ll descend through the clouds.”
Then they’re gone!

Lookee, in the sky, you’ll find … huh?
Lookee, in the sky, you’ll find … huh?
Lookee, in the sky, you’ll find … huh!
Ohhhhh ohh

Scriptures foretell of a day we’ll be taken
“The Rapture,” we call it — it’s looking past time
Suddenly trumpets declare His return while
The church will arise to go with Christ

Lookee, in the sky, we’re flyin’!
Lookee, in the sky, we’re flyin’!
Lookee, in the sky, we’re flyin’!
Ohhhhh ohh

Lookee, in the sky, we’re flyin’! (Oh oh, just lookee-ee!)
Lookee, in the sky, we’re flyin’! (Oh oh, just lookee-ee!)
Lookee, in the sky, we’re flyin’! (Oh oh, just lookee-ee!)
Ohhhhh ohh

[ ApologetiX – “Jesus Christ Morningstar” album ]

*****************************
“Casket Place”
(Parody of “Basket Case” by Green Day)

Do we have much time to live until we find
A lot of things are happening all at once
Crime and violence grow while earthquakes take their toll
Morality is low … and what about AIDS?
Sometimes I think this world’s asleep
Soon we just might be history
Signs keep adding up; I think I’m waking up
I’m not just paranoid; I’m not alone
I went to a bank to use the cash machine
What happens when those cash machines all shut down?
I went to Al Gore. He said Earth’s life support
Has nearly been destroyed — no cure can be found
Sometimes I think this world’s asleep
Keep your eyes on the Middle East
Signs keep adding up; I think I’m waking up
I’m not just paranoid; I’m not alone
Christ will soon return, so you’d better know God

[ ApologetiX – “Ticked” album ]

*****************************
“Hold On, Christ’s Comin’”
(Parody of “Hold On, I’m Comin’” by Sam & Dave)

Don’t you fret and be sad
Please don’t weep when times are bad
If you stay calm and you don’t doubt
In the midst of trouble
He will bail you out

Just hold on, Christ’s comin’
Hold on, Christ’s comin’

Christ’s on His way if you’re sufferin.
If you just hold fast, Christ will keep His covenant (Hallelujah)
Don’t have to worry (No worries)
In blind fear (No fear)
Don’t need His number, baby (’cause God’s in the Book)
He’s right here (Hey yeahhhhhh!)

Just hold on, Christ’s comin’
Hold on, Christ’s comin’
Hold on, Christ’s comin’
Hold on, Christ’s comin’

Lookee here!
Keep out of reach
Those bad distractions, yeah
Lookee here, baby! Here’s all you got to do
Call Christ’s name, yeah – and quit reactin’
Yeah, yeah, yeah — yeahhh!

LEAD

Now don’t you fret and be sad
People are mean, and their crimes are bad
When the day comes and He comes down, baby
He’ll deliver His loved ones
Way up off the ground

Just hold on, Christ’s comin’
Hold on, Christ’s comin’
Just hold on (Don’t you worry)
Christ’s comin’ (Here He comes)
Hold on (Wait on God to save you)
Christ’s comin’ (Yeah!)
Hold on (Don’t you worry)
Christ’s comin’ (Here Christ comes)
Hold on (Our God will save us)

[ ApologetiX – “Transformed Soul” album ]

*****************************
“Life In The Last Days”
(Parody of “Life in the Fast Lane” by “The Eagles”)

It’s sorta hard to understand, but it’s totally awesome
And it’s eternally finished
Who wrote it up? It was John the Apostle
And the Lord said it won’t diminish
He had fantastic revelations of the future news
Sent here from Jesus, sent here for you
When he saw Jesus comin’, John fell down as dead
He told him, Grab your tablet and write this down instead
Life in the last days — sure to make you lose your mind
Life in the last days — yeah, heh
He saw four horsemen, holding the reins
Of colorful stallions, who brought different things
He who rode the white conquered, and the red one brought war
And the black one brought famine; then pale horse number four
There was death in the saddle, ridin’ out through space
He had Hades right behind him, killed a fourth of the human race
All of the people, were trying to hide
When the earth started shakin’ and the moon turned to blood — the sun was
Black in the last days — sure to make you lose your mind
Life in the last days — yeah, heh
Life in the last days — everything prophesied
Life in the last days — yeah, heh
So much to tell you; I’ve got one verse. Man didn’t heed the stop signs
And the earth got worse and worse
If you’re a Christian, baby, you don’t need to fear a thing
If you’re not, go read the Bible ‘cause there’s more than I can sing
There’s a false messiah, the people will think he’s Christ
The world will take his number, but they’ll have to pay his price
They’ll look up and they’ll see Jesus and they’ll know that they’ve lost
He won the war when He was dyin’ on the cross and it was
Life in the last days — sure to make you lose your mind
Life in the last days — yeah, heh
Life in the last days — everything prophesied
Life in the last days — yeah, heh

[ ApologetiX – “The Boys Aren’t Backing Down” album ]

*****************************
“You’ve Got Another King Comin’”
(Parody of “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’” by Judas Priest)

Won’t lie – I’m not political

They’re takin’ bribes — they get so hypocritical
Scandals – crimes done we’re findin’ out
It’s non-stop and it’s wrong – an abuse of power

Evil kings have been around since the world was five
You think you’d like a good one – He’s still waiting to arrive
Although it’s unfortunate, maybe you’ve been had
It stinks to Heaven – don’t get mad
You’ve got another king comin’
You’ve got another king comin’

Left, right – each has their talkin’ heads
And if they listen once, it’ll be some accident
MSNBC and Fox — could have a nice time if they all learned to box
If you’re sick of sittin’ ’round while they shift away the blame
If you’re tired of votin’ for the lesser-evil name
Out there is a horseman – faithful, true – we have
The King of Heaven’s coming back
You’ve got another king comin’
You’ve got another king comin’

In this world of driven men, the man of prayer gets swallowed
Men with power who won’t praise Him — ain’t for you to follow

Don’t throw rocks – just try to make the best, yeah
Hang tough like Romans 13 says
Respect government’s authority
‘Cause God ordained that
Read 2: 1-2 First Timothy, yeah

If you think I’m wimpin’ out, that’s no big surprise
I think First Peter 2 verse 17 it still applies
Power is apportioned – even to the bad
The King of Heaven knows all that
You’ve got another king comin’
You’ve got another king comin’
You’ve got another king comin’
You’ve got another king …
Comin’ for you!
(Comin’) You’ve got another king comin’
(Comin’) It’s in Titus 3: 1
(Comin’) He’s a comin’ y’all!
(Comin’) That’s what Revelation says
(Comin’) Oh yeah, oh yeah
(Comin’) He’s a comin’, He’s a comin’ king
(Comin’) They can’t defeat Him, They can’t defeat Him
(Comin’) He’s comin’ all at once, so hold strong, come and ride along
(Comin’) Hey yeah, hey yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah
(Comin’) Babe-babe-babe-baby
Revelation 19: 16 “On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”

[ ApologetiX – “Hot Potato Soup” album ]

*****************************
“Gimme Pre-Trib”
(Parody of “Gimme Three Steps” by Lynyrd Skynyrd)

Our Lord’s comin’ for us
And there’s a day called the Judgment
But the world ain’t in the mood
Then in walks a man with an un-Christian plan
And he’s a-workin’ for you-know-who
He’s a hateful fellow if you dare to rebel though
‘Cause you’ll die if you do
So it’s a time to prepare if you’re a man who’s scared There just might be an out for you … to say excuse me! Well, there’s several theories for that time
Our Lord takes us like a thief on a spree
‘Cause there’s a pre- and mid- and post-trib Rapture
And folks who like none of these
Oh, take a minute, Christians, and look at First Corinthians In verse 15:52
And then both Thessalonians and in Matthew twenty- Four and Revelation for clues
But won’t you gimme pre-trib, gimme pre-trib Rapture Gimme pre-trib or before
Gimme pre-trib, gimme pre-trib Rapture
And they’ll never see me no more
For sure

LEAD
Well, it’s not clear today when those events take place And we oughta dwell on the Lord
And I tell you: for some, to debate’s more fun
Than to wait for the Lord’s reward
He’ll return for me and them and you
That’s the day I’ll be looking for
And you’ll be hearin’ me singin’ the highest praise
As I’m heading up toward the Lord
But won’t you gimme pre-trib, gimme pre-trib Rapture Gimme pre-trib or before
Gimme pre-trib, gimme pre-trib Rapture
Don’t know when we’re gonna see the Lord
Don’t even act sure

[ ApologetiX – “Hot Potato Soup” album]

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“We Didn’t Start Messiah”
(Parody of “We Didn’t Start the Fire” by Billy Joel)

Perfect humans, had it made, then they kind of went astray
Sought the serpent for their wisdom so they had to go
Though the Lord made a prediction
Soon the lady’d have some kids and
From her seed would come to be the Man who’d win my soul
So the Lord made some coverings that came from
Animals He skinned alive, animals that had to die
After that a bad scene, Cain has got a cruel scheme
Offering some old vegetables his sacrifice was nullified

We didn’t start Messiah
Yet we’re always yearning for the Lord’s returning
We didn’t start Messiah
No, the Israelites already prophesied Him

Though his brother’s plan was flawed
Abel had a lamb for God
Sacrificed it and God liked it, Cain was ticked off
Abel’s done, murder one, Adam and Eve had another son
Named him Seth now Cain has got a spot
Seth’s line, Cain’s seed, both left God as sin increased
They could not foresee the plan – salvation through just one man
But Noah knew a bit – wound up on a cruise ship
In the waves, they were saved, God knows what He’s doin’

We didn’t start Messiah
Yet we’re always yearning for the Lord’s returning
We didn’t start Messiah
No, the Israelites already prophesied Him

Noah docked after that and he built an altar at
A spot where it was dry and he probably lit a fire
Seven pairs of animals that were clean were available
Brought them for sacrifice – tell me what that symbolized
Oh, oh
But he’d hardly been there became drunk and lost his shirt
Canaanites were past hope, Shem was blessed by Noah, though
Who do Shemites be? Abraham and then his seed
Always check for types, bro, Melchizadek is one of those

We didn’t start Messiah
Yet we’re always yearning for the Lord’s returning
We didn’t start Messiah
No, the Israelites already prophesied Him

Spent three days with Isaac, Abraham surmised if
He killed him in faith then Yahweh still could raise him
The Lord He saw the faith he had — didn’t need to take the lad
Showed him a ram – Abe said He’d provide the lamb
Close call — Isaac blessed Jacob, all his kids were next
Jacob claimed that someday – one from Judah had to reign

We didn’t start Messiah
Yet we’re always yearning for the Lord’s returning
We didn’t start Messiah
No, the Israelites already prophesied Him

Brother Joe, where’s he been? In the depths and back again
Big shot – who’d have thought God would raise Joe’s stock?
Made a break to palace life, there he sat at Pharaoh’s right
Highest ruler in the land, brothers did not understand
Little Moses has arrived, government infanticide
From Egypt Moses left, plagues, Passover kept
Find a perfect lamb that’s pure
Stripes of blood are on the door
Rock with water, Yom Kippur
I can tell ya many more

We didn’t start Messiah
Yet we’re always yearning for the Lord’s returning
We didn’t start Messiah
But when we are gone
He will still live on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on

We didn’t start Messiah
Yet we’re always yearning since the Lord’s returning
We didn’t start Messiah
No, He isn’t hiding – if you try you’ll find Him

We didn’t start Messiah
Yet we’re always yearning since the Lord’s returning
We didn’t start Messiah
No, He isn’t hiding – if you try you’ll find Him

We didn’t start Messiah
Yet we’re always yearning since the Lord’s returning
We didn’t start Messiah
No, He isn’t hiding – if you try you’ll find Him

[ Apologetix – “Handheld Messiah” album ]

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“Lightning Flashes”
(Parody of “Lightning Crashes” by Live)

Lightning flashes all over the sky Weather center calls for a storm This ain’t no ordinary sky
The invasion begins
Who thought that God would step in and stop the war? Lightning flashes … an old book of mine
Clearly mentioned all this before
We ain’t supposed to be surprised
But the few who prepared
Are gone now as we face the wrath of God
Ooh, I see Him comin’ back again
Like the lightning comes from east to the west
Faces fallin’ as the Son returns to earth again … I can see Him Lightning flashes … the moment of Christ
This moment He’s been waitin’ for
The angel hosts have arrived!
Pale and paralyzed, we face the Son
But the glory is too bright! Bright!
Ooh, I see Him comin’ back again
Like the lightning comes from east to the west
Voices callin’ out as sinners on the earth confess, “I believe it!” Ooh, I see Him comin’ back again
Like the lightning comes from east to the west
We’re so sorry, but repentence doesn’t work right then, I can see it Ooh, I see Him comin’ back again
Like He told in Matthew’s Gospel back then
Chapter 24 the 27th verse, amen … I believe it

[ ApologetiX – “Ticked” album ]

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“Already Goin’”
(Parody of “Already Gone” by The Eagles)

Well, I read First Thessalonians just the other day
Chapter four verse 17 upon your shelf
First Corinthians 15:52, and when you find out it’s true
Then you’ll have to eat your words all by yourself
‘Cause I’m all ready goin’ – and when Jesus comes
I will sing this victory song
Hallelu-jah-hah Hallelu
The letters that Paul wrote me made me stop and want to smile ‘Cause he said we’ll all be changed but some won’t die Someday soon our Lord will come, maybe just a little while
And we’ll be caught up to meet Jesus in the sky
Hallelu-jah-hah Hallelu
When He comes a lot of folks may stand around
When He goes a lot of folks may stay behind
What if He decides to come on the day before you choose
You’d better give your heart to Jesus while there’s time
‘Cause I’m all ready goin’ – and when Jesus comes
I will sing this victory song
Hallelu-jah-hah Hallelu

[ ApologetiX – “Rare, Not Well Done” album ]

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“Turn Up the Ray of Hope”
(Parody of “Turn Up the Radio” by Autograph)

Turn it up!
Whoooooooo!
Yeah!

I think it’s hard – to watch the news
And do it every day
For every minute I have to watch
I need a minute to pray
Mayhem breaks out but we know
Things go better with God
The others try to turn us down
‘Cause we’re not sweetening the pot

Turn up the ray of hope
I read my newsfeed – it makes me mope
Turn up the ray of hope
Fire up the gift of God He gives us to cope

Nowww listen!
I know that they don’t understand
They’re counting on ones like me
First Peter 3:15 it says
Hope’s very plain to see
May my light shine as a sign
Things go better with God
I want a plentiful, powerful faith
I can’t be just talk

Turn up the ray of hope
I need to use it – if they say nope
Turn up the ray of hope
I won’t have fear ‘cause that’s a slippery slope
Turn up the ray of hope
To climb up the hill we’ve got to give ‘em some rope

LEAD

Turn up the ray of hope
I read my newsfeed – it makes me mope
(Yeahhh!)
Turn up the ray of hope
Fire up the gift of God He gives us to cope
(Whooaaaoaaa!)
Turn up the ray of hope
(C’mon!)
I need to use it – if they say nope
(Romans 5:5)
Turn up the ray of hope
(15:4)
I won’t have fear ‘cause that’s a slippery slope
(Whoooo!)
Turn up the ray of hope
(Turn it on!)
Find me Hebrews 6 – this ain’t no trope
Turn up the ray of hope
Find verse 19 – it’s got unlimited scope
(Give it all to God)

[ ApologetiX – “Double Take” album ]

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DEEP THOUGHTS:

“Christ is our hope of glory and the glory of our hope.”
[ Anon. ]

“Hope is grief’s best music.”
[ Anon. ]

“Our hope lies not in the man we put on the moon, but in the man we put on the cross.”
[ Don Basham ]

“‘Hope’ is biblical shorthand for unconditional certainty.”
[ John Blanchard ]

“The Christian’s hope of glory is not the fact that Christ is in him, but the Christ who is in him as a fact.”
[ John Blanchard ]

“Bless God that there is in us resurrection life, and that there awaits us a resurrection morn!”
[ J. J. Bonar ]

“A man full of hope will be full of action.”
[ Thomas Brooks ]

“Hope can see heaven through the thickest clouds.”
[ Thomas Brooks ]

“We are refugees from the sinking ship of this present world order, so soon to disappear; our hope is fixed in the eternal order, where the promises of God are made good to his people in perpetuity.”
[ F. F. Bruce ]

“Hope is never ill when faith is well.”
[ John Bunyan ]

“Hope is the foundation of patience.”
[ John Calvin ]

“The word hope I take for faith; and indeed hope is nothing else but the constancy of faith.”
[ John Calvin ]

“When hope animates us there is a vigour in the whole body.”
[ John Calvin ]

“Hope means expectancy when things are otherwise hopeless.”
[ G. K. Chesterton ]

“When you stop hoping you are on the vestibule of hell, for there is no hope there.”
[ A. J. Cronin ]

“Hope is the only tie which keeps the heart from breaking.”
[ Thomas Fuller ]

“If it were not for hopes, the heart would break.”
[ Thomas Fuller ]

“Where there is no hope, there is no faith.”
[ William Gouge ]

“Faith and a good conscience are hope’s two wings.”
[ William Gurnall ]

“Hope is the saint’s covering wherein he wraps himself when he lays his body down to sleep in the grave.”
[ William Gurnall ]

“The nearer to heaven in hopes, the farther from earth in desires.”
[ William Gurnall ]

“The Christian’s hope is like a rainbow. It is essentially one, yet made up of the most glorious colours which, though they merge together to form an exquisite whole, may each be admired individually.”
[ Graham Heaps ]

“He that was our help from our birth ought to be our hope from our youth.”
[ Matthew Henry ]

“Our fear must save our hope from swelling into presumption, and our hope must save our fear from sinking into despair.”
[ Matthew Henry ]

“The ground of our hope is Christ in the world, but the evidence of our hope is Christ in the heart.”
[ Matthew Henry ]

“Hoping is disciplined waiting.”
[ Ernst Hoffmann ]

“Like faith, New Testament hope carries unconditional certainty within itself.”
[ Ernst Hoffmann ]

“There can be no hope without faith in Christ, for hope is rooted in him alone. Faith without hope would, by itself, be empty and futile.”
[ Ernst Hoffmann ]

“Hope is the mother of patience.”
[ William Jenkyn ]

“My future is as bright as the promises of God.”
[ Adoniram Judson ]

“Hope teaches endurance and an eager anticipation of that which will become reality.”
[ Simon J. Kistemaker ]

“True faith is never found alone; it is accompanied by expectation. C. S. Lewis
The Christian hope is the hope of a time when even the possibility of our sinning will be over. It is not the hope then of a return to the condition of Adam before the Fall but the hope of an entrance into a far higher condition.”
[ J. Gresham Machen ]

“Apart from the bright hope of the gospel everything would be meaningless.”
[ Paul Madsen ]

“What an excellent ground of hope and confidence we have when we reflect upon these three things in prayer—the Father’s love, the Son’s merit and the Spirit’s power!”
[ Thomas Manton ]

“I am walking toward a bright light and the nearer I get the brighter it is.”
[ D. L. Moody ]

“The future belongs to those who belong to God. This is hope.”
[ W. T. Purkiser ]

“From Christ’s death flow all our hopes.”
[ J. C. Ryle ]

“The nature of hope is to expect that which faith believes.”
[ Richard Sibbes ]

“The Christian hope is not a matter for tickling our minds but for changing our lives and for influencing society.”
[ Stephen Travis ]

“The world hopes for the best, but Jesus Christ offers the best hope.”
[ John Wesley White ]

“As God is the author of our salvation, so Christ is the embodiment of our hope.”
[ Geoffrey B. Wilson ]

“Our risen and glorified Lord is himself our hope, because his triumph over sin and death provides the objective pledge of our final redemption.”
[ Geoffrey B. Wilson ]

“Hope is faith in the future tense.”
[ Peter Anderson ]

“The human body experiences a powerful gravitational pull in the direction of hope,” wrote journalist Norman Cousins, who himself survived a near-fatal illness and a massive heart attack. ‘That is why the patient’s hopes are the physician’s secret weapon. They are the hidden ingredients in any prescription.’”
[ John Blanchard ]

“We endure because we hope, but “hope in hope” (like “faith in faith”) is too often only a kind of self-hypnosis that keeps us from facing life honestly. While a patient may be better off with an optimistic attitude, it is dangerous for him to follow a false hope that may keep him from preparing for death. That kind of hope is hopeless. When the end comes, the patient’s outlook may be cheerful, but the outcome will be tragic.”
[ Warren Wiersbe ]

“The greatest enemy of man is not disease—it’s despair (absence of hope)”
[ Author unknown ]

“The creation is the foundation of the gospel, the second coming is the blessed hope of the gospel, the cross and the empty tomb constitute the power of the gospel.”
[ Henry Morris ]

“Trustful expectation, particularly with reference to the fulfillment of God’s promises. Biblical hope is the anticipation of a favorable outcome under God’s guidance. More specifically, hope is the confidence that what God has done for us in the past guarantees our participation in what God will do in the future. This contrasts to the world’s definition of hope as “a feeling that what is wanted will happen.” Understood in this way, hope can denote either a baseless optimism or a vague yearning after an unattainable good. If hope is to be genuine hope, however, it must be founded on something (or someone) which affords reasonable grounds for confidence in its fulfillment. The Bible bases its hope in God and His saving acts..”
[ Holman Bible Dictionary ]

“The world hopes for the best, but Jesus Christ offers the best hope.”
[ J W While ]

“No God, no hope. Know God, know hope.”
[ Author unknown ]

“Only one life; ‘twill soon be past; Only what’s done for God will last.”
[ Amy Carmichael ]

“Surely I am coming quickly” should motivate us all to lives of sacrificial service.”
[ P R Van Gorder ]

“It is Christ Himself who will return and receive us to Himself who is our hope. We look back believingly to the cross of Christ, and have perfect peace; we look forward to the coming of Christ as our hope.”
[ W. Trotter ]

 

RELATED SCRIPTURE VERSES:

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.”
[ 2 Corinthians 5:10 ]

“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”
[ John 14:3 ]

“However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
[ Luke 10:20 ]

“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”
[ Mark 13:32 ]

“Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.”
[ Revelation 3:10 ]

“Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earthwill mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.”
[ Matthew 24:30-31 ]

“But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.”
[ Philippians 3:20-21 ]

“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed.”
[ Romans 8:18-19 ]

“He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
[ Acts 1:7-8 ]

“At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people—everyone whose name is found written in the book—will be delivered. Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.”
[ Daniel 12:1-2 ]

“Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.”
[ 1 Corinthians 15:51-53 ]

“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.”
[ 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 ]

“I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left.” “Where, Lord?” they asked. He replied, “Where there is a dead body, there the vultures will gather.”
[ Luke 17:34-37 ]

“But in those days, following that distress, “ ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’ “At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.”
[ Mark 13:24-27 ]

“He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time. I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection.
[ Revelation 20:2-5 ]

“The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever.” And the twenty-four elders, who were seated on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying: “We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign. The nations were angry, and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your people who revere your name, both great and small— and for destroying those who destroy the earth.” Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and within his temple was seen the ark of his covenant. And there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake and a severe hailstorm.”
[ Revelation 11:15-19 ]

 

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“A quick summary of the Christian “Gospel”:
JESUS’ PROPITIATION made our SINS FORGIVEN and IMPUTED RIGHTEOUSNESS to us so that we have GOD’S ACCEPTANCE into His Heaven and ETERNAL LIFE.”
[ Mark Besh ]

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Hope you enjoyed some of these insights—share them with your friends and colleagues—so we can have a larger ‘pool’ to receive from, and more to share with! Also, remember to include your name as the “source,” if some of this wisdom is of your doing—I would like to give credit where credit is due!

 

FOCUS VERSES:

“In that day the Lord will extend his hand yet a second time to recover the remnant that remains of his people, from Assyria, from Egypt, from Pathros, from Cush, from Elam, from Shinar, from Hamath, and from the coastlands of the sea. He will raise a signal for the nations and will assemble the banished of Israel, and gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.”
[ Isaiah 11:11-12 ].

“And it shall come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; and all who lift it will be severely injured. And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it.”
[  Zechariah 12:3 ].

“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires, and to live sensibly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope, even the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus; who gave Himself for us that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good works.”
[ Titus 2:11-14 ].

“But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.”
[ 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 ].

“As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.

“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away[a] and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”
[ Mathew 24:3-14 ]

“Now learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its branches bud and its leaves begin to sprout, you know that summer is near. In the same way, when you see all these things, you can know his return is very near, right at the door.”
[ Matthew 24:32-33 ].

“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son,[b] but the Father only…Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
[ Matthew 24:36, 44 ]

“And they asked him, “Teacher, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when these things are about to take place?” 8 And he said, “See that you are not led astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and, ‘The time is at hand!’ Do not go after them. 9 And when you hear of wars and tumults, do not be terrified, for these things must first take place, but the end will not be at once.

“Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven. But before all this they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name’s sake. This will be your opportunity to bear witness. Settle it therefore in your minds not to meditate beforehand how to answer, for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict. You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and some of you they will put to death. You will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your lives.”
[ Luke 21:7-19 ]

“And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
[ Luke 21:25-28 ].

“And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons the redemption of our body. For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.”
[ Romans 8:23-25 ].

“Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The night is far gone; the day is at hand.”
[ Romans 13:11-12a ]

“To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, unto salvation.”
[ Hebrews 9:28 ]

“Behold! I tell 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 trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.”
[ 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 ].

“Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.”
[ 2 Timothy 4:8 ]

“The end of all things is that hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers.”
[ 1 Peter 4:7 ]

“You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.”
[ James 5:8 ]

Mark

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If you have a ‘neat’ story or some thoughts about an issue or current event that you would like me to try to respond to, I would be glad to give it a try…so, send them to me at: mbesh@comcast.net

Disclaimer: All the above jokes & inspirations are obtained from various sources and copyright are used when known. Other than our name and headers, we do not own the copyright to any of the materials sent to this list. We just want to spread the ministry of God’s love and cheerfulness throughout the world.

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