Hope By Dennis Huebshman First, some verses to consider: Psalm 16:8-9, “I constantly trust in…
Light of the Gospel
By Dennis Huebshman
Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 4 are meant to give us hope and strength in these trying times. In 1 Corinthians, Paul was very blunt and open about telling the Church at Corinth that they were falling short and were almost reverting back to their pagan ways. He spoke of immorality that was being tolerated against the will of the Lord. His main goal in 1 Corinthians was to get the Church to repent. He also told them of a coming event that he believed could take place even in his lifetime; the calling of all believers in “the twinkling of an eye” to meet Jesus in the air. (1 Corinthians 15:51-53) Of course, he was speaking of the Rapture; however there were still a number of prophecies that had to be fulfilled first. (any emphasis mine)
The absolute mega-prophecy, that now has been fulfilled, is that Israel must be back in their land before the tribulation would start. How else could the antichrist come up with a “covenant for one week” (7-years) and at the mid-point, put an end to Israel’s sacrifices and offerings, if there was no Israel? (Daniel 9:27; 11:31 and 12:11) This also refers to the “abomination that makes desolate” which Jesus also referred to in Matthew 24:15, and Mark 13:14. Jesus told His disciples that when the abomination takes place, all the people would need to flee to a place of safety. This will signal the mid-point of the Wrath, and the intensity of it would be magnified greatly from then on.
In 2 Corinthians 4:1-6, Paul talks about having his ministry by the mercy of God. He realized that prior to his conversion on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-19), he was a lost sinner, even though he was a zealous Pharisee. He had persecuted the new group that was called the “Way” before they were called “Christians” at Antioch in Acts 11:26. Once he had his encounter with Jesus, he became totally committed in spreading the Gospel (good news – the Great Commission) far and wide. He was the first to take the message to the gentiles after he was rejected by the Jews. (Acts 13:46; 18:6 and 22:21)
Paul spoke out against using “disgraceful underhanded ways, and refused to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word”. (1 Corinthians 4:2) He knew that even in his day, antichrists and false prophets were already on the scene. (1 John 4:1-6)
Paul said that even if the gospel is “veiled” or taken as false by those who would not believe, it was because the “god” of this world (satan) had blinded them. (2 Corinthians 4:3-4) These are like those today that the Father knows are totally committed to the evil one, and will send them a deluding force to make them think their unbelief is justified. (2 Thessalonians 2:11-12)
One note here, if you look around at the changing attitudes about wrong being right and right being wrong (Isaiah 5:20), I believe the delusion is already in place. What is being taken as true today would not have been tolerated just a decade or so ago. It’s blatant right now, and that is what makes prophecy people believe we are not only in the last days, but possible in the last “hours”! The crescendo is going faster and faster.
Paul tells what is most important in 2 Corinthians 4:5-6, “For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as servants for Jesus’ sake. (6) For God, who said let light shine out of darkness (Genesis 1:3), has shone in our hearts to give the light of knowledge of the glory of God in the Face of Jesus Christ.”
Paul understood this world would cause problems for all believers which are here, but we must remember it is only temporary. What we face permanently is forever with Jesus if we can persevere, and if we have accepted Him as our Savior.
From 2 Corinthians 4:7-18, we’re told we have “treasure in jars of clay”. We are those jars of clay, and God’s love for us is unending and complete (John 3:16-18). We are “afflicted, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body, the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our mortal flesh.”
This goes along with Galatians 2;20 that says we are “crucified with Christ” so that we don’t live for ourselves, but for Jesus who died and was raised to conquer sin and death for us.
Going to 2 Corinthians 14-18, “knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus (the Father of course), will raise us also with Jesus, and bring us with you in His presence. (15) For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people, it may increase thanksgiving to the glory of God. (16) So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasted away, our inner self is being renewed (born again) day by day. (17) For this light, momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all comprehension, (18) as we look not to the things seen, but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”
Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation, for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Jesus told Thomas in John 20:24-29, that Thomas now believed because he saw Jesus. He ended that message with “Blessed are those who have not seen, yet have believed.” This is faith that He is real, even though we haven’t seen Him – yet.
Looking at 2 Corinthians 5:6-9, “So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body, we are away from the Lord, (7) for we walk by faith, not by sight. (8) Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at Home with the Lord. (9) So, whether we are at Home or away, we make it our aim to please Him.”
Then 2 Corinthians 5:10 gives us our motivation; “For we must all appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.”
All judgments except for the Great White Throne (Revelation 20:11-15), are for believers at different times to give or take away rewards. The Judgments of Jesus are not condemning anyone to the Lake of Fire, but to assign a status for their Heavenly Home. Some may have many rewards, and there may be some who have none. However, all of these will still have eternal life with Jesus. (1 Corinthians 3:12-15)
We are witnessing Christian persecution world-wide today. Sad part is the secular news media almost totally ignores the atrocities that are being committed. However, just let Israel defend themselves against attacks, and the world condemns them as the “aggressor”.
Jesus said the world would hate us because it hated Him first. (John 15:18) Seeing all the end-time signs coming to pass should raise a new awareness in all believers. Our time here is growing short.
WE can be assured of our eternal future if we have called on the Lord to save us. (Acts 2:21; Romans 10:13). We believe Jesus came to this earth as a fully human, yet was still fully God. He led a pure, sinless life all the way through His crucifixion. He died and was raised three days later by the Father/Holy Spirit to conquer sin and death once and for all. All who through faith that accepts this, and confesses we are sinners and asks His forgiveness, will be saved. (Romans 10:9-13). He is the straight and narrow, and the only way to the Father (John 14:6). He will send the Holy Spirit to dwell in all who have received Him (spiritual baptism – born again). He is coming again soon, to take all believers to be with Him before the Father pours out His wrath on this sin-filled world.
To believe and accept Jesus on the terms above will mean a forever Home with Him, and a new forever body that will be sin-free, pain-free and immortal. We will be with Him in a home he has prepared for us forever. (John 14:1-3).
For all who reject Him, He will not force them to accept His free offer. However, there’s a place that was prepared for satan and his demons called the Lake of Fire (Matthew 25:41). There will be a large number who will join the evil one in that Hell, and it also is forever. No pardons or reduced sentences which is being proclaimed by false prophets. There is no other option either.
Yours to decide; Jesus or satan. Any action other than to ask Jesus to be your Savior is a rejection of Him. He will, by all signs present, be calling for His followers soon. If you accept Him today – now – you won’t have to worry about when it will happen. You will already have a home waiting for you as told above.
Call today; guarantee your eternal residence with Jesus.