Bible Top 1000

What's The Value Of Our Hope?
[ Selected ]

"Thou art my hope in the day of evil."
(Jeremiah 17:17) The path of the Christian's not always bright with sunshine; he has his seasons of darkness and of storm. Yes, it's written in God's Word, "Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace;" and it's a great truth, that religion is calculated to give a man happiness below as well as bliss above; but experience tells us that if the course of the just be "As the shining light that shineth more and more unto the perfect day," yet sometimes that light is eclipsed. At certain periods clouds cover the believer's sun, and he walks in darkness and sees no light. There are many who've rejoiced in the presence of God for a season; they've basked in the sunshine in the earlier stages of their Christian career; they've walked along the "green pastures" by the side of the "still waters," but suddenly they find the glorious sky's clouded; instead of "the Land of Goshen" they have to "tread the sandy desert"; in the place of sweet waters, they find troubled streams, bitter to their taste, and they say, "Surely, if I were a child of God, this wouldn't happen." Let's not say that...when walking "in darkness". The best of God's saints must drink "the wormwood"; the dearest of His children must bear the cross. No Christian has enjoyed perpetual prosperity; no believer can always "keep his harp from the willows". Perhaps the Lord allotted us at first, a smooth and unclouded path, because we were weak and timid. He "tempered the wind" to the shorn lamb, but now that we're stronger in the spiritual life, we must enter upon the riper and rougher experience of God's full-grown children. We need winds and tempests to exercise our faith, to tear off the rotten bough of self-dependence, and to root us more firmly in Christ.
The day of evil reveals to us the value of our glorious hope.

The Lord's Pleasure

"The Lord taketh pleasure in His people."
(Psalm 149:4)

How comprehensive the love of Jesus! There's no part of His people's interests which He doesn't consider, and there's nothing which concerns their welfare which is not important to Him. He doesn't merely think of each of us as an immortal being, but as a mortal being too. Let's not deny it or doubt it: "The very hairs of your head are all numbered." "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in His way" It would be a sad thing for us if this mantle of love didn't cover all our concerns, for what "mischief" might be found in us in that part of our business which didn't come under our Lord's inspection! Let's rest assured that the heart of Jesus cares about our "mite" affairs. The breadth of His tender love is such that we may resort to Him in all matters; for in all our afflictions He's afflicted, and like as a father pitieth his children, so doth He pity us. The "mitest" interests of all His saints are all borne upon the broad bosom of the Son of God. What a heart He Has, that doesn't merely comprehend the persons of His people, but comprehends also the diverse and innumerable concerns of all those persons! Do we suppose or think that we can begin to measure the love of Christ? Let's think of what His love has brought us---justification, adoption, sanctification, eternal life! Surely the riches of His goodness are unsearchable; we'll never be able "to tell them out" or even conceive them. Wow! the breadth of Christ's love! Shall such a love as this, have only "half our hearts"? Shall we return love that's cold? Shall Jesus' marvellous lovingkindness and tender care meet with but faint response and procrastinating acknowledgment? Nah...let's tune our harps to a glad song of thanksgiving! Let's "go to our rest", rejoicing, for we're no desolate wanderer, but a beloved child, watched over, cared for, supplied, and defended by our Lord.

What Source of Wisdom?

If God is truly warning by the Spirit that the end of time, the destruction of the elements, the end of mortality, the "putting on of immortality and "beginning" of our immortal existence in the eternal kingdom "in heaven" exactly what's "shortly" to happen...then, what source of wisdom is behind "these other views"? I don't question either the sincerity or the intelligence of their adherents, but we need more than sincerity and intelligence. We need to hear from God. When men (and that includes us...) rely on their own ability (or that of others) to study and interpret the Bible, confusion is the only possible result.

The most serious and "damnable" the idea conveyed to the sinner that there's no real urgency to the gospel. Obviously there's little urgency in the notion of a "church triumphant" conquering the world sometime in the next few hundred or thousand years. What constitutes "triumph" depends greatly upon God's purpose for this world and for His people in it. Was Noah a failure because he "won only seven converts" and the rest perished? Jesus said it would be like that.

What if there'd been other voices crying, "Don't listen to this gloom and doom 'negative' message: righteousness will triumph?" It would have sounded nice, but that wasn't God's message. What effect would such a doctrine have had on those hearing Noah's warning? Do you see a different spirit at work? Both can't be God!

Other spirits in our day are telling the people, "Yes, Christ is coming soon and we're going to suddenly disappear and be with Him, leaving the world to suffer seven years of terrible trouble before He returns for His second 'second coming' to reign for 1000 years. You need to buy my video tape or publication so that when we disappear in 'the rapture' your loved ones will know how to be saved."

Words fail attempting to express how diabolical is the wisdom behind such a teaching! It's somewhat akin to Noah leaving behind boat-building instructions so people could be saved after the flood began!

While the practice of selling video tapes for loved ones left behind is perhaps one of the more extreme results of popular teaching today, yet, at its best, premillennialism plainly implies a second chance for sinners. The idea is clearly conveyed to sinners that while they ought to "get saved" now, and avoid the real trouble, it's OK to "wait and see."

If we haven't already, let's consider seriously where "this idea" came from! Let's be sure we're awake. Where in all of the teachings of Jesus or the Apostles does anyone find such an idea?