(January 11, 2017) Missionary statesman Dr George Forbes reminds us of a fundamental truth…
Our world is full of people who have no hope!
There are multiplied reasons for this tragedy; however my purpose is not to describe the hopelessness, but to share the reality that there is hope.
Christians have a living hope
The hope of Christians worldwide is based on God’s love and amazing mercy; on the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and on the plan of salvation for all who believe.
If you need hope, if you’re asking questions about life and the unknown future, I invite you to consider what the apostle Peter wrote. It is found in chapter three of his first letter to the churches. Here are the words he wrote, translated faithfully and clearly in English…
‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy has regenerated us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, and unfading, reserved in heaven for you by the power of God, having been kept through faith to a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time’ (1Peter 1:3-5).
The mercy of God
If you’re searching, I would draw your attention to Peter’s declaration about the mercy of God.
He begins by praising God, then stating that believers have a ‘living hope’ because of the mercy of God. The basis for the Christian’s hope is not in us, or in our righteousness or goodness, it is in God’s mercy. He immediately proceeds to share the good news that there is a second important reason.
Paul immediately proceeds to share the good news that there is a second important reason. It is the fact that Jesus Christ is alive. God raised him from the dead, after he paid the ultimate price for our salvation.
The resurrection of Jesus
This second reason for our ‘living hope’ is central to our hope!
It is God’s signature on the glorious plan of salvation and eternal life. Because Jesus rose, we will rise too. The apostle Paul teaches this so well in the fifteenth chapter of 1Corinthians.
Take verse 20-22 for example: ‘But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.’ For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.’ We indeed have a ‘living hope.’
Peter goes on to write of other reasons for our ‘living hope.’ He points to the inheritance of all Christian believers.
An incorruptible inheritance
Our inheritance is incorruptible, undefiled, unfading.
Nothing could be more solid than that, because it begins with God, is secured by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and it is reserved in heaven for all believers. No wonder that Peter writing by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit said that it is a ‘living hope.’
My question to readers is: ‘Do you have this living hope?’ You do, if you have received God’s offer of mercy through Jesus Christ.
To Christians who know the reality of our salvation that we have received in Christ, I urge you: Do shine this knowledge, this light you have, with those who don’t know in this dark world! You too will be fulfilling the Great Commission of Matthew 28:18-20!
Dr George Forbes is internationally recognised as a missionary statesman with a heart for the lost of the nations. With a wealth of missionary knowledge and a unique ability to communicate the global picture, he is widely known as the ‘story-teller.’ Link: firstname.lastname@example.org