Is our hope just wishful thinking?
Is Jesus' promise of eternal life just a nice idea ... or a certain hope?
What do you hope for in life? What are your dreams? What are your aspirations? How certain are you that your hopes will be fulfilled? My guess is that you DO have hopes and aspirations. Often though when we talk about “hoping” for something, it’s really just another way of “wishing” for something. I really hope (wish) I win the jackpot lottery! I really hope (wish) the good looking boy/girl takes notice of me!
But when the Bible speaks about hope, it’s not about wishful thinking. The hope offered in the Bible is actually far more than we could hope for or imagine. Hope in the Bible is certain. Guaranteed. Assured. Without a doubt.
Jesus brings hope
We live in a broken world where our hopes and dreams are often shattered. And ultimately we are all on the same trajectory toward a certain death. Death is our great enemy. Death shatters all our dreams.
The good news of Christianity is that Jesus offers hope beyond the grave. It’s not some wishful thinking that I will one day go to a mystical place in the clouds. The Christian hope is a certain hope built on the physical resurrection of Jesus from the dead. The Christian hope is a certain hope that those who believe in Jesus will also be physically raised from the dead.
In the First Century the Apostle Paul wrote in a letter to a church in Greece that Christians have a certain hope unlike anyone else.
Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-14)
Those who have “fallen asleep in him” are people who have died believing in Jesus. Christians. They have a hope beyond the grave because “Jesus died and rose again”. Elsewhere Jesus is described as the firstfruits of the resurrection to come. Jesus’ resurrection guarantees our resurrection.
Dying without hope
Those who die without being “in him” (Jesus) don’t have the same hope. There is no hope for eternal life beyond the grave for them.
This might seem harsh, but it’s the consequence of sin. All people have sinned. All have rejected God. All deserve to be judged by God.
Jesus’ death on the cross shows how serious sin is. Jesus’ death is the only means by which our sin can be dealt with. He died on the cross, in our place, for our sins.
So the hope that Christians have is that Jesus has fully dealt with our sin on the cross, he defeated sin and death by rising again, and through his resurrection we are given the certain hope of being raised physically with him. Hope beyond the grave.
That sounds pretty good. You might be young and fairly free… yet death is coming. If you’re lucky – you’ll live to 80.
Hope for eternity
I’m not sure if death freaks you out – but the hope of the Bible is that there is hope! And it’s a certain hope beyond the grave.
Your hopes and dreams are probably pretty short term. Exams. Relationships. Career. House. Lifestyle. THE BIBLE OFFERS MORE HOPE!!! The Bible offers hope for eternity.
Here’s the challenge. If you’re a Christian – keep clinging to Jesus your only hope. If you’re not Christian – investigate Jesus Christ. Check him out. According to the Bible, Jesus is YOUR ONLY hope. If that is true – it has big implications. It’s worth at least giving it some thought.
Check out some of our related articles for more on how you can be sure of the truth of the hope found in Jesus.
Originally published on DaveMiers.com