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Our Blessed Hope

Our Blessed Hope
By Nathele Graham

“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” – Titus 2:11-14.

Paul’s letter to Titus holds many important instructions about living a Christian life. When we come to Christ for salvation, we aren’t just “kind of saved” or “will be saved when we become perfect”, but if our confession was sincere, we are a new creation.

“And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality, and power: in whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ: buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all the trespasses; blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;” – Colossians 2:10-14.

We are saved by the grace of God, through Jesus Christ. Our sin is forgiven, but we will continue to sin until that glorious day when we are taken Home.

Sin isn’t something to be proud of. Even though we understand that all of our past, present, and future sins are forgiven by the blood of Christ, we need to examine our life, our words, and our actions, and honestly see our sin and take our thoughts captive.

“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds:) casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; and having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.” – 2 Corinthians 10:3-6.

Sin begins with a thought that is allowed to run wild. If a person says something mean to you, do you stew on their words? Do you allow them to fester and grow into anger and hatred? Jesus had every earthly reason to be angry with people. He was rejected by the very people He came to save. Yet, He showed compassion.

“And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.” – Luke 6:31.

Let Jesus be your example.

Even though we’ve been forgiven, we need to recognize sin in our life, and repent.

“All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.” – 1 Corinthians 10:23.

Most languages have many, many words, so why is it that in every day conversation, many Christians choose words that are vulgar, angry, or words that hurt others? God forgives your sin, but you don’t honor Him with foul language. Neither do you honor Him if you choose to “live in sin” rather than be married, God has forgiven you, but Scripture speaks strongly against sexual sin of all kinds. Marriage is likened to Christ and the ekklesia (His Church) so why would anyone purporting to be a Christian mock Him by living in sin relationship? Jesus even attended a wedding ceremony in Cana where He turned water into top-quality wine. Before you get married, be sure you talk it over with Jesus and be sure your spouse is a God-fearing person. In reading through the New Testament, we find many lists of sins God hates in Mark 7:21-22, Romans 13:13, 2 Corinthians 12:21, Galatians 5:19-21, and many others. Of course, the Old Testament also lists sin. For a quick summary, check out the Ten Commandmentss (Exodus 20:3-17; Deuteronomy 5:7-21).

When we truly accept Christ, our sin is forgiven, but it goes even deeper than being forgiven. You become a new creation. That means that whatever lifestyle you lived before coming to Christ, you’ve been forgiven and now you can go on to a new life in Christ by taking your thoughts captive and living for Him.

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17.

Sometimes we think that the people in Scripture are different than we are, and somehow it was easier for them to put sin aside and live perfectly. Not so. Paul lets us know that he struggled, just like we do.

“For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.” – Romans 7:18-20.

Sometimes Paul is a little hard to decipher, but what that means is, even though he desired to always honor God, he was still a victim of his sin nature. So are all of us. It’s not a matter of “if we sin”, but “when we sin”.

“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:8-9.

God is always ready to forgive. We aren’t to confess our sins to a so-called priest who is only human. Confession is made to God and forgiven through our faith in Jesus, not by any works done by us.

While we live on this side of heaven, Christians have a special calling. We are ambassadors for Christ.

“Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath mad him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” – 2 Corinthians 5:20-21.

An ambassador represents His country. Christians are found in many nations throughout the world, yet we all have one Home. While we live on earth, we are called to be ambassadors for God, representing Him in this fallen world. We can’t represent Him properly if we continue to live a life which more closely represents the enemy…Satan. Turn from sin, and be a good ambassador for Christ.

We read news headlines and know that the world around us is filled with wickedness. Mass murders, corrupt governments, and perverted lifestyles. All this is winked at by Christians who water down God’s truth. Shame on Christians who accept sin, instead of standing on God’s word at all times. One day, we will all stand before our King, our Lord and Saviour. At that time we will want to have earned crowns to give back to Him in gratitude for all He did for us on the cross. We can’t earn those crowns by living a life that reflects Satan. On the night before Jesus was arrested, He talked with His disciples (His first ambassadors) and told them many things. Not the least of which was the promise of mansions.

“In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself: that where I am, there ye may be also.” – John 14:2-3.

A study of Jewish weddings of that time will enlighten you to exactly how special this promise is. He has been preparing those mansions for nearly 2,000 years. If you follow Biblical prophecy, you know that our time on earth is drawing to an end. Go back and read the first verses cited above from Titus 2:11-14. Christ died for our salvation. Our Blessed Hope is that He will return for us. None of the sin you’re holding on to will be found in Heaven. Let go of it and leave it in the world. Jesus will soon call all His ambassadors Home in the Rapture. That will happen sometime prior to the final 7 years of Tribulation. Ambassadors are called home prior to a war beginning. God will call His ambassadors, the ekklesia, Home prior to the Tribulation. The Rapture is our Blessed Hope. Christians won’t be left on earth to face God’s wrath.

If you know anyone who hasn’t accepted Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, it’s time to reach out to them and tell them and share the Gospel. Thank God for our Blessed Hope.

God bless you all,

Nathele Graham
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[email protected]

All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed.

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