The Christian’s Hope ~ Br. Shawn Gisewhite, Novice

John 14:1-3

In the Name of God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

In the Scriptures, the word Hope is used over 200 times. But hope in the Bible is not the same as the word “hope” in our modern English dictionary. We use the word “hope” to describe our wants, desires and dreams. We hope that it will rain… We hope that the weather cools off soon… We hope this soon to be Deacon isn’t longwinded today! But as Christians we have another kind of hope. In fact, we have a better kind of hope. The hope that I speak of is not wishful thinking, rather it is a firm assurance of things to come. Hope is faith in the future tense. When faith looks to the future, it’s called hope.

The reason that we can have full assurance of what is to come, is because of the source of our hope. Our hope comes from the Lord. God alone has the right to promise hope and the power to keep the promise. I would like to take some time today and examine the hope that we possess in Christ and preach on “Hopes of the Christian.”

There are many things that we can have full assurance thanks to our relationship with Christ. I would like to start in verse 1 and see that as Christians:

  1. WE HAVE THE HOPE OF A REFUGE – v1

A refuge is a place of shelter, a place of protection, a place that we can run when the storms of life begin to rage. This was exactly what the Lord’s disciples needed at this very moment in their lives. In the previous chapter, Jesus told them that He would soon die. They also learned that one of them (Judas) would betray Christ. Peter was told that he would deny Jesus 3 times before the rooster crowed. Their lives had just taken a devastating turn and their hearts were greatly troubled.

Jesus knew how devastated they were and He was concerned about their “troubled hearts”. He said, “Let not your heart be troubled: believe in God, believe also in me”.  He spoke words of comfort to them and He encouraged them to trust in Him.

In this life, we will face times of great trouble. Problems will come and as a result we will possess “troubled hearts”.  Maybe you are at that point as we speak. I want to remind you of the hope you possess as a child of God. You have a refuge… When trouble comes…TURN TO JESUS!

Jesus made it clear that His followers would face trouble. But HE also reminds us that HE has the power over any circumstance that we face. John 16:33 “In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world”. If you heart is troubled today… you have a refuge and His name is Jesus!

Not only do we have the hope of a refuge… Jesus tells us in verse 2 that:

  1. WE HAVE THE HOPE OF A RESIDENCE – v2 “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you.”

Though the Disciples were facing the toughest time of their lives, Jesus promised them of a better day and a better place. As His followers, we can cling to that same promise today. We are given a glimpse into that residence in Revelation 21. There we are told of Golden streets, Jasper walls, Gates of pearl and a crystal river. The foundation of that city is made up of precious gemstones.

The beauty of our Heavenly Home is literally indescribable. Our finite minds cannot comprehend the brief glimpse of this place provided in the scriptures. The indescribable beauty of Heaven is summed up in the story of A little girl who was taking an evening walk with her father. Wonderingly, she looked up at the stars and exclaimed; “Oh, Daddy, if the wrong side of heaven is so beautiful, what must the right side be!” (Source: Charles L. Allen in Home Fires.)

Dear brothers and sisters, you may live in a home that creaks and leaks, rust and rot may have taken its toll, but you can rest assured that there is a home waiting for you on the other side!

Some of you may never own a home of your own in this life, but if you have been born again, YOU HOLD A CLEAR TITLE TO A MANSION! No landlord will ever bother you for the rent. There will be no mortgage to pay and no one will ever foreclose on the home that is waiting for you. The Bible also tells us that we have the hope of rest in the residence that is waiting for us.  Revelation 21:4 “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” What is not going to be in that land is just as exciting as what is going to be there!

I am looking forward to that wonderful residence that Jesus has waiting for us in Heaven. Jesus also tells us in verse 1 that:

III. WE HAVE THE HOPE OF REDEMPTION – v2  “I go to prepare a place for you.”

This is one of the most popular passages of scripture in the Bible, but it is also one of the most misunderstood. Jesus was not telling His followers that He was going to “build them a mansion”. He just asserted the fact that the mansions are already there.  “In my Father’s house ARE many mansions” We are also told in scripture that when Jesus ascended, He SAT DOWN in His rightful place at the right hand of the Father. Hebrews 1:3 “When he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.”

When Jesus said, “I go to prepare a place” He was saying I am going to make a way for you. He was referencing the Cross. Our entrance into Heaven was secured by Christ on the Cross at Calvary. He was telling His disciples that HE was going to do what we could not do. Jesus went to Calvary, shed His blood and gave His life as a sacrifice for you and me. Because of His finished work there on the Cross we have the hope of redemption. Without redemption, we would not have hope of the residence or refuge that we have already considered.

– Also, seen in this verse is the fact that:

  1. WE HAVE THE HOPE OF A RELATIONSHIP – v3 “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again.”

This is a very personal promise. Jesus was saying “what I am about to do, I am doing for you”. What He did for Peter, James, John, Andrew, Matthew and the others… HE DID FOR YOU!

– Luke 19:10 Jesus said in Luke 19:10 that He came “to seek and to save that which was lost”.

– Romans 5:8 also tells us that “God commended his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”.

Because of Jesus’ work on the Cross we have the blessed privilege of having a personal relationship with Almighty God. And we don’t have to wait for Heaven for this to occur. You can have a personal relationship with Jesus HERE and NOW! Those that have this relationship will tell you that there is nothing any sweeter than communing with the Savior of the World!

– We are also promised that there is coming a day when Jesus will return for His own. This means that:

  1. WE HAVE THE HOPE OF A RETURN – v3 “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again.”

Jesus told His Disciples that though He may go away for a time, HE WILL COME AGAIN! Jesus has ascended…. He is in Heaven as we speak. But soon and very soon He will split the eastern sky and come for His Children. This is one of the most prominent promises in the Bible. 1 Thessalonians 4:16 “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”

As Christians, we are to be “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” (Titus 2:13)

Jesus is coming back, this is not wishful thinking on our part, this is our hope… this is a firm assurance of things to come. And when Jesus returns there will be a great reunion. Consider:

  1. WE HAVE THE HOPE OF A REUNION – v3 “I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”

There is going to be a reunion one day that is beyond anything we can imagine. All those heroes of the faith that we read about on the pages of God’s Word will be there. (Noah, Moses, Abraham, David, Elijah, John, Peter, Paul etc.)

Some of you have parents waiting for you there. Others have spouses who have already gone on. Some have children in that wonderful land. We all have family and friends that have already stepped out into eternity. We are assured that we will see them again and we long for that blessed reunion.

We are all excited about the beauty of Heaven, we are all excited about the residents of Heaven and we look forward to seeing loved ones who have gone on. But greater than the reunion with our loved ones is the fact that one day we will stand face to face with our Heavenly Father. Revelation 22:3 “The throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: 4 And they shall see his face.”

We will spend eternity in the presence of our Heavenly Father. On top of this fact, we are also longing for the day when our Savior wraps His arms around us and welcomes us to our eternal home. We will see our Savior face to face. We will see the scars on His brow, His hands and His feet. We will be reminded that He is the only reason that we made it to that place. On that day, we will shout for joy and we will humbly bow at His precious feet and we will worship Him for making a way for us to enter that promised land.

There is much hope for those who have been born again but for those who are lost, things are much different. Instead of hope, they are living in despair.

One of the most devastating things you will ever hear in this life is “there is no hope”. I am here to tell you, if you are not a child of God you have NO HOPE! You can claim none of the promises that we have examined today.

But I have good news, THERE IS HOPE FOR YOU, and that hope is only found in the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! If you will surrender to Him and accept his offer of eternal life, then you too can have hope!

1) You can have the Hope of a Refuge

2) You can have the hope of a Residence

3) You can have the hope of Redemption

4) You can have the hope of a Return

5) You can have hope of a Reunion

These are just a few of the facts concerning “The Christian’s Hope”. I pray that you have that hope today. If not, pray now with me.

Oh Lord, for too long I have hoped for the wrong things in this life.  I now put my hope fully in You.  I hope for a refuge when life is rough, for redemption for all my sins, for your return that I may be taken with You, for a reunion with all those who I have loved and lost, and for a residence in Your Heavenly Kingdom.  For all my sins Lord I am sorry.  Forgive me Lord, forgive me.  Create in me a clean heart oh Lord, and fill me with hope everlasting.  Amen.

 

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