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Our Assurance of Hope

“But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence” (1 Peter 3:15)

All of us during our time sojourning in this land of the wilderness will have multiple times of trial and tribulation. We will have moment of sorrow and suffering. Many an un-learned soul will ask, how can a God of love allow this to happen to His children? The answer to this question is not the focus of this meditation. I will only give the short answer that we live in a world that once was perfect, that after creation the Creator said it was very good. (Genesis 1:31) Then man fell to the temptation of the adversary and desired, as the adversary to be as a god. As a result disobedience to God’s Word entered in and creation was cursed and we now live under the wages of sin which is death. (Romans 6:23) God is a God of Love and Love demands justice. Ask any good parent and they will agree. Out of God’s Love He has made a way through His Son Jesus Christ that man can be reconciled unto God. Out of God’s justice those who reject His free gift of salvation will be subject to His wrath. Those of who are His children are now living in a cursed world from the sin that abounds. It doesn’t only effect the unrighteous but also the righteous. God is His love and mercy will use our trials, our tribulation, times of sorrow and times of suffering to work for our good because we love Him. (Romans 8:28)

We are not left without a plan. Through the hand of the Apostle Peter the Spirit says, in times of trial we are to “sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts. Many have come to God asking why you have allowed this to happen to me. This is not what we are supposed to do. We must realize we are not of this world but we are in this world. We are to take the burdens that we have and give them to the friend that is closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24) We are to take our burdens to the Lord in Prayer. (Matthew 11:28) Jesus Christ is the God man and He has experienced everything we are now experiencing. We take our burdens unto Him and trust Him in faith And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

Then we are to “always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you”. For our hope is “Built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness.” This is why we have the privilege to be call the children of God. It is though Jesus Christ that we can know the way, through Jesus Christ we can know the truth, and by Jesus Christ we can know God. (John 14:6) This is our hope. It is not the hope we find in this world, as the hope of this world is more of a wish or dream that we can try to make come to reality. But the hope we find in the Lord is back by the Word of God, it is absolute truth, and what we hear in His Word will come to be. God’s Word is the assurance of our hope. God is a provider, He created the world for us, He created the heavens for us, and He is now preparing a home for us, the home we were created for.

Our hope is not found here. We were once citizens of the wilderness we are traveling through but now we are the citizens of the Kingdom of God. We are not to live as citizens of the world for we our saints with citizenship in His Kingdom. Perhaps it is hard to do, to live as citizens of a world that we have yet to see. But we must grow into that sight through our spiritual eyes. We can live by sight for everything we see with our physical eyes is passing away. We must see with our spiritual eye and look to the world to come by our faith. That which we can see through faith is eternal. (2 Corinthians 5:7)

I want us today to look at the Kingdom to come through our spiritual eyes. If we do then we can see the assurance of our hope. Lazarus had been dead four days when Jesus arrived. He did not go to the home of Mary and Martha, Lazarus’ sisters but went to the tomb. Mary and Martha came out to the tomb and confronted Jesus there. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.” I think that Martha had a strong faith in Jesus but now that her brother had been dead four days she expected for now it was too late to save Him. Jesus replied, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha believed in the resurrection but that was to be in the last day and said so to Jesus. Then Jesus answered her back with the response that I want us to look at today which is found in John 11:25-26. “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26) I said before that God is a provider and in this verse that Jesus said to Martha we see to miraculous assurances for our hope. In the response that Jesus gave to Martha we see two provisions from God. One provision for our soul and one for our body.

The following verses are the affirmations given to us by our Lord Jesus:

  1. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)
  2. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
  3. “He who believes in the Son has eternal life.” (John 3:36 )
  4. “Because I live, you will live also.” (John 14:19)

As my Grandmother Welsh would say that is the gospel. The problem is that from a worldly perspective death is an end. But the truth is from a Kingdom of God perspective death is a beginning. From the worldly perspective death is a separation but from a Kingdom of God perspective death is a reunion. It is a reunion with our Lord and Savior. It is a reunion with our family and friends that have traveled home before us. As we read for that great hymn, “From sorrow toil and pain, and sin, we shall be free; and perfect love and friendship reign through all eternity.” (Blest Be the Tie that Binds)

In the Kingdom of God perspective death is not a tragedy but a triumph. It is the triumphant home coming of a soul created in God’s image and redeemed by His love revealed in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Jesus said, “I am the resurrection.” Less the Lord calls us out our bodies are going to die in this world. But the earthly bodies that we live in are just tabernacles for the soul that lives within. It has always been a temporary housing and will wear out and pass away. (Hebrews 9:27) Jesus was resurrected from the grave and so too will we. There are many religions in the world today and news ones pop up all the time. Only Christianity speaks of the resurrection of the body. When we stop to give this some thought do we really want to keep this body we now have. I don’t. In the sixty years I have placed here in the world I have pretty mush abused my body to the point it just can’t do what I fully expect it to. Even with a normal ware and tare the bodies we are in now will wear down and stop. I don’t care how much Botox one uses the body will pass away.

In 1 Corinthians 15 the Apostle Paul describes God as a husbandman who sows the bodies of the saints into the ground. Much like planting a tiny mustard seed. A dry hard lifeless thing that in time will come out of the ground and grown into a large mustard tree which can reach a height of twenty feet. Yet everything that is need to produce this tree is contained in the tiny mustard seed. Our bodies are likened to the mustard seed. God sows them in death and when they are resurrected they are returned to us indestructible and eternal. They no longer become worn, no longer suffer illness, and no longer are born to death.

Out present bodies the Apostle Paul describes a tabernacles, temporary tents that are only designed to get us through our journey here to the Promised Land of the Kingdom of God. “For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” (2 Corinthians 5:1)

This is our assurance of hope if our faith is centered upon Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior. I close with these words of Truth from God’s Word.

  1. “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.” (John 5:24)
  2. “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 15:58)
  3. “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, And which have not entered the heart of man, All that God has prepared for those who love Him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9)

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

Pleasant Manor, January 31, 2014

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