Hope vs. No Hope
By Dennis Huebshman
The atmosphere of the world today is anticipation that something “major” is about to happen. No one can put their finger on any one specific thing, but events are happening that our Lord said would take place near the end of this age. All these things have been here to some degree from Calvary to now, but the intensity is getting greater, and the frequency is increasing as well. (emphasis mine)
Matthew 24:1-31; Mark 13:1-27; Luke 21:6-28 all give signs of what will be happening just before Jesus physically steps foot back on the earth. They include, but are not limited to, wars, rumors of wars, increase earthquake activity, famines pestilences, persecution and pure hate of the Jews and Christians, people having a sense of foreboding and fear of what is coming. Further, false prophets and antichrists, lawlessness increasing, abomination of desolation in the Temple at Jerusalem are given. When all these things are in full swing, the final antichrist will be in control – at least to the degree that God will allow. Most of the above, except for the desecration of the Temple, are already here. To check out today’s attitudes, Paul told what they would be in 2 Timothy 3, and they are all present right now also.
Jesus spoke of the lesson of the Fig Tree in Matthew 24:32-35; Mark 13:28-31 and Luke 21:29-33. He said when the Fig Tree blooms, the generation that sees this (Rebirth of Israel, May 14, 1948) will not pass until all these events takes place. We are that generation, and as He said, they are happening.
When the antichrist makes his appearance (Revelation 6:2, the first seal judgment), all believers will not be here. The tribulation, from the first seal to the actual appearance of Jesus on the Mount of Olives, is God’s wrath on this sinful world. However 1 Thessalonians 5:9 says, “For God has not destined us (believers) for wrath, but to obtain Salvation though our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:9, “Much more then, because we have now been declared righteous by His blood, we will be saved through Him from God’s wrath.” Also, 1 Thessalonians 1:10, “and to wait for His Son from Heaven, whom He raised from the dead, Jesus our Deliverer, from the coming wrath.” This is our basis for pure and positive Hope.
Some false prophets are saying the wrath does not start until the mid-point of the 7-year reign of the antichrist. However, it starts the moment Jesus opens the first seal, and releases the “Rider on the White Horse”; and gains intensity from then and throughout the tribulation period. It has been said the first half of the Tribulation is satan’s wrath, but remember, it is Jesus who opens the seals.
The one feature all believers possess, is the Hope that we were given when we accepted Jesus as our Savior. We may face persecution and even martyrdom here, but afterwards we will be with Jesus forever. Paul said in 2 Timothy 2:11, “The saying is trustworthy; for if we have died with Him, we will also live with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us.” Those who have died, and will die In Christ before He calls all believers home (Rapture), will be raised first to meet Him in the air. Then, those who are still alive at that call will rise immediately afterwards. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17; 1 Corinthians 15:51-53)
We are filled with Hope because of God’s promises to us. Deuteronomy 31:6, “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them (enemies of Israel), for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave or forsake you.” This applies today just as it did back then, and because of Jesus’ sacrifice, this extends to all believers as well.
How about Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous (filled with Hope). Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Matthew 28:20b, “… and behold, I am with you always to the end of the age.”
Next Romans 8:38-39, “For I am sure that neither death, nor life; nor angels or rulers; nor things present nor things to come; nor powers, (39) nor height; nor depth; nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus, Our Lord.”
Finally, but not least, 1 Corinthians 15:19-20, “If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people to be pitied. (20) But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep (died).” Our promise from Him is that we will also be raised just as He was if we have died before His arrival.
There’s a saying that I’m sure most have heard before: Know Jesus; Know Hope. No Jesus; No Hope. This simple saying is absolutely the key to eternal salvation. My life verse is John 14:6, “Jesus said, I am the Way, the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through me.” It’s His promise that all who are In Christ have the blessed Hope of forever in Heaven with Him. Those who do not have Jesus in their heart, have no hope as their eternity is the Lake of Fire, also forever. (Revelation 20:11-15)
There are those who are saying all religions worship the same God. Remember who Jesus had the most troubles with – the religious leaders of His day.
To have the hope and the assurance of an eternity with Jesus, there’s some things that must take place. Believe Jesus came to this earth and took Human form so He could experience first hand what we experience. He was still fully God, but purposefully allowed Himself to be just lower than the Angels for a time. (Hebrews 2:9) He committed no sin while on this earth.
Confess you are a sinner as everyone is. (Romans 3:23) God already knows everything we have done; however, He wants you to take responsibility for them and truly admit you know this, and to ask for His forgiveness. The unforgiveable sin is to take your last breath here without accepting Jesus as your Savior.
Believe Jesus died on the cross for our sin – my sin! Have Faith that God raised Him from the dead, and our sin sacrifice was complete. We can neither buy nor earn our Salvation, as He paid our debt in full. No one is “good enough” to get into Heaven without Jesus. To reject His offer, is to say the gift of the Father through His Son is something you don’t want. He won’t force anyone to open their gift, but will allow them the free will to be separated from Him forever.
Our Father would like for everyone to be saved and spend eternity with Him. (2 Peter 3:9) However, He knows the majority will reject His Son. (Matthew 7:13-14) Currently, a conservative estimate is that about 10% of the total world population are true believers; and that includes America.
All, everyone, who calls on Jesus to be their Savior will be saved. (Joel 2:32; Acts 2:14; Acts 2:21 and Romans 10:9-13) Even though the Jews are His chosen people through an eternal covenant with Abraham (Genesis 12), God shows no partiality when it comes to accepting Jesus (Romans 2:11). His chosen must accept Jesus as their Messiah, or be separated from Him forever. Sad part is, it’s estimated that only about 1% to 2 % of the total Jewish population is Messianic – believes Jesus is their Messiah. That will change by the end of the 7-year Tribulation when all will come to believe in the Savior.
No one else can give us the Hope that is promised by the Lord. There is no love so pure as what He feels for us. (John 3:16 and Romans 5:8) When He makes a promise, it’s solid. (Titus 1:2)
Hope is the assurance of an eternal home in Heaven with Jesus for accepting Him. No hope is to reject the Savior, and have a place in the Lake of Fire forever. There is no third option, and there will be no pardon or parole from eternal punishment.
“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.” (Edward Mote 1834; On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand.)
Your choice to make; as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:15)
Ahavah Olan! (Love everlasting)