Searching For Hope?
We are living in very dangerous times. We know that sin leavens. The Word of God accurately depicts the history of life on planet Earth. According to the biblical timetable, the age-old battle between good and evil is coming to an end. Those who are embroiled in this conflict are the only ones who understand the forces at odds with each other. The rest of the world is being deceived, and most of them are not even aware that behind the scenes there are influence peddlers working on behalf of the god of this world. Like their commander in chief, Lucifer, they are disseminators of fear-based lies. Clever deceptions that the unregenerate think are true.
One of the major techniques that is being employed is terrorism. Today, religious bigots are fulfilling the prophecy spoken by the Messiah almost 2,000 years ago. In the Gospel of John, the Messiah was teaching His disciples that the world was going to hate them. He told them that, as His servants, they would experience the same treatment that He experienced during His ministry of redemption. We would be rejected, betrayed, maligned and persecuted simply because God’s servants are not greater than their Master, John 15:18-25.
At this point in His message, we hear the promise of the Counselor, the Comforter who is the Spirit of Messiah, who will empower our witness concerning the Savior, John 15:26-27; 16:7. It is during this teaching that the Messiah tells those who would place their faith in Him that others would persecute them “in the name of God.”
“These things I have spoken to you that you should not be made to stumble. They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service. And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me. But these things I have told you, that when the time comes, you may remember that I told you of them, John 16:1-4.
The clear interpretation of this verse concerns those Jewish people who would come to the place of faith in Jesus of Nazareth as the promised Messiah, the holy One of Israel. It is true that forewarned is forearmed. This same warning holds true today for Jews who embrace the risen Savior. They are considered traitors to their fellow Jews and enemies of the God of Abraham. This truth also applies to all those who stand firm in faith concerning Jesus of Nazareth. Satan hates everything God loves. God loves His ancient covenant people, and God loves the body of Messiah. That is why there is a concerted effort by the forces of darkness to destroy both Israel, the apple of God’s eye, and the church, Jews and Gentiles that have been made one in Messiah, the Bride of the Lamb.
As I am writing this article, radical Muslims are crucifying children of Christian parents. Many believers are being murdered in the name of God by religious fanatics who believe that God is pleased with their actions. Although most the news media refuses to acknowledge this, radical Buddhists are killing Christians, Hindus and Muslims kill one another in India and Pakistan, but when they are not murdering each other, they both murder believers in Christ. When Arab Muslims aren’t killing each other, they seek to kill Israelis. Tolerance seems very elusive in a world ruled by the father of lies.
Saved By Hope
Biblical hope is not the same as worldly hope. The world uses this term as sort of a wishful thinking. “I hope I win the lottery” or “I hope I get a raise.” It is this type of hope that the world, the flesh and the Devil promote. But biblical hope is something very different. The hope that God gives is the confident expectation that every promise contained in His Word is trustworthy.
Biblical hope is so radically different than what the world thinks hope is that the Word of God tells those who believe the gospel that we are “saved by hope.”
For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man sees, why does he yet hope for? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance. Rom. 8:24-25.
This confident expectation is rooted in another promise of God. Because He is the sovereign King of Kings and Lord of Lords, we know that every circumstance we face will end up glorifying the Lord and ultimately benefiting His children. This is the godly hope Paul described to the believers in Rome.
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified, Rom. 8:28-30.
Did you notice that Paul tells us that we have been predestined, called, justified and glorified already? These are written in the past tense. That’s how confident godly hope is. He told the same thing to the believers in Ephesus:
…and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus, Eph. 2:6-7.
At Creation Studies Institute (CSI), we are confident that this ministry will continue to boldly proclaim God’s Word. When many in the family of faith are compromising with evolutionary teachings, some even seeking to tell us that God’s Word is concerning the creation of the universe is just an allegory, not meant to be taken literally, CSI stands firm in our commitment to literal truth contained in God’s Word.
So, during this time of uncertainty, when presidential politics dominate the news and terrorism continues to rear its ugly head, believers in Christ should be confident in this hope we have in the risen Savior. He has defeated death itself, and He has promised us that in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us, Rom. 8:37.