By Dennis Huebshman
First, some verses to consider:
Psalm 16:8-9, “I constantly trust in the Lord; because He is at my right hand, I will not be upended. (9) So, my heart rejoices, and I am happy, my life is safe.” This is a positive Hope, to know Jesus is by our side always. (all emphasis mine)
Job 8:13, “Such is the destiny of all who forget God; the Hope of the godless perishes.” Without the Lord there is no Hope. Another from Job 27:8, “For what Hope does the godless have when he is cut off – when God takes his life?”
Psalm 39:7, “But now, O Lord, upon what am I relying? You are my only Hope.”
Psalm 119:81;114, “I desperately long for your deliverance. I find Hope in your word. (114) You are my hiding place, and my shield. I find Hope in your word.”
Psalm 146:1;5-6, “Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul! (5) How blessed is the one whose helper is the God of Jacob, whose Hope is in the Lord his God, (6) the one who made Heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them, who remains faithful forever.”
Jeremiah 29:11, “for I know what I have planned for you, says the Lord. I have plans to prosper you, not to harm you. I have plans to give you a future filled with Hope”. (This would apply to everyone right now even though written about 400 years before Jesus was on this earth, to have an absolute Hope of eternal life.)
Lamentations 3:22-24, “The Lord’s loyal kindness never ceases; His compassions never end. (23) They are fresh every morning; your faithfulness is abundant. (24) My portion is the Lord, I have said to myself, so I will put my Hope in Him.”
Romans 5:1-2;5, “Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, (2) through whom we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the Hope of God’s glory. (5) And Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirt who was given to us.”
Romans 15:13, “Now may the God of Hope fill you with Joy and Peace as you believe in Him, so that you may abound in Hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
There are many more throughout God’s word, but these few are given so you can see God’s Holy Word is not just about “thou shalt not’s”, but is His letter to us to provide Hope. God knew we would have trials and tests on this earth, so He made sure to show us His promises in order that we may not despair, but have blessed Hope. We have a Father and Creator who truly loves us. His message is actually very simple that is only complicated by man when he tries to apply his own interpretations to it. False prophets and anti-christs use this method extensively to cause confusion and doubts.
The Lord wants us to know He is with us always, so that we can have Hope in this sin-filled world. When Jesus gave the “Great Commission” in Matthew 28:19-20, He ended it by saying, “…and remember, I am with you always to the end of the age.” The writer of Hebrews spoke of being content with what we have on this earth, and ended 13:5 with, “…I will never leave you, and I will never abandon you.”
These are “I Will” promises that are absolute, that we can put our faith, trust and definitely Hope in. God does not lie (Titus 1:2), and His desire is that everyone would accept His offer and be with Him forever. (2 Peter 3:9)
Our problem is a fallen angel called lucifer, better known as satan or the devil, who tries to corrupt the Word of the Lord in every way he can. He is not omniscient, omnipresent or omnipotent (all knowing, everywhere at once and all powerful) as is the Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He has other fallen angels that follow him (demons), who report to him constantly, and who follow his directions to cause chaos and confusion. Sadly, there are those would rather follow satan’s lies than to put their faith, Hope and trust in the Heavenly Father.
God could force everyone to believe in Him and Jesus and the Holy Spirit, but that would not be a true form of love. He allows everyone the free-will to choose how they will believe, and subsequently where they will spend eternity.
This decision is absolutely the most important one a person will ever make. The plain and simple truth is, if you decide to accept this world and what it has to offer, you may have pleasure and some happiness for the duration of your life here. If you live to 80, 90 or even 100years, you will have received your full “reward”, and afterward there will be death as the Rapture is not an option. Then, as with the rich man in Luke 16, the grave will offer no relief because punishment will have started with your last breath. There is absolutely no Hope for relief. Then, at the end of the Millennium, there will be a White Throne Judgment followed by eternal suffering in the Lake of Fire. There is no pardon, no relief, no light and worst of all, no Hope.
To counter this with the Straight and Narrow spoken of by Jesus in Matthew 7:13-14, all who accept Jesus as their Savior will be saved. There are numerous verses about this, but some main ones are: Acts 2:21; Romans 10:13; Romans 10:9; Romans 8:1; Ephesians 2:8-9; John 3:16-18; and 1 John 5:10-12. These all present the message that we need to accept Jesus in order to Have the Father, and an eternal home in Heaven. They are given in plain and simple language that needs to be read as written without any additions or subtractions. Don’t put a comma where God puts a period. By the way, Jesus knew the “majority” would not accept him, and thus the broad road leading to destruction.
Accept Jesus, and your Hope is based on the True Word from your Heavenly Father. Another absolute truth is John 14:6, “Jesus said, I Am the Way, the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.” You will notice this doesn’t end with, “…except for those who go to church regularly; people who are good; people whose parents were saved”; and many other excuses why some haven’t taken the time to ask Jesus to be their Savior. John 14:6 says in no uncertain terms, there is no other way than Jesus!
Also, it’s an individual decision that each person has to make for themselves. To not make a decision is a refusal, and to put it off until after you take your last breath here is a refusal as well. Once you have made your choice and accepted Jesus as your Savior, you are His Forever. You will have the Hope and Promise of eternal life with a body that will know no pain, death or suffering of any kind – Forever! This world, however long or short for you, won’t even be a memory. Isaiah 65:17, “For look, I am ready to create new Heavens, and a new Earth; the former ones will not be remembered; no one will think about them anymore.”
So, your choice is to accept this world and the short existence here with a definite eternity in the Lake of Fire; or to accept the offer Jesus made for you at Calvary. First, confess you are a sinner, as everyone is (Romans 3:23); believe He took all our sins to the Cross and will forgive all our sins when we ask Him to (1 John 1:8-10). Then believe He died for us and was raised from the dead by the Father to conquer sin and death for all who call on Him to be their Savior. Once this is done, you have a new Hope-filled life and are Rapture Ready.
God gave us the freedom to choose. Select one or the other as there is no 3rd option.
Shalom – Aleclem (Peace be with You)