July 30, 2023
This article is based on Pastor Adrian Rogers' message, Living in the Light of the Blessed Hope.
This world wants to know: “Is there any hope?” For some, there is no hope for the world’s End Times. Others have hope, but their hope is false. But Titus 2 tells us of a certain, blessed hope.
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you. (Emphasis added.)
In the Bible, the word “hope” does not mean “maybe.” Hope is certainty that is based on the Word of God. More, it means certainty with anticipation. Hope is simply faith in the future tense.
By hoping in the Second Coming of Jesus, we know that we will see King Jesus’ return with our eyes one day.
If eternal life and the return of Christ are a “living hope” (see 1 Peter 1:3), then how should we be living?
Hoping in the Second Coming of Jesus purifies us. It teaches us that, “denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age” (Titus 2:12).
Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
If you knew that in five hours you would face Christ, what would you do? You would be cleaning up your life. Anything that is not right with God, you would correct.
We do not know when Jesus is coming. The Bible says here that if we have this blessed hope in Christ, we will get and keep ourselves clean. “And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming” (1 John 2:28).
For by Him [Christ] all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. (Word in brackets added.)
This means that absolutely nothing is out of control. God has a leash on Satan. Christ is the power behind Creation and the preserver of Creation.
People say, “What is the world coming to?” It is coming to Jesus. Christ Jesus will rule and reign, and “the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea” (Habakkuk 2:14).
There are three basic things wrong in the world, and Jesus’ return will put them right.
Who is this bride? The Church. Who is her bridegroom? The Lord Jesus. Today, the Bride of Christ is not yet with her Groom. But one of these days, there will be that marriage supper of the Lamb!
Who is this criminal? Satan. The devil is not in Hell. But he will be, for Hell is prepared for the devil and his angels (see Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:10).
King Jesus is now on the throne in Heaven. But why would Jesus have taught us to pray, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10), if He did not intend for that prayer to be answered?
And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you, so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.
Paul links the Second Coming of Christ with holiness and love between the saints. If we know the return of Christ is drawing closer, we ought to be drawing closer to one another.
Sure, some things ought to divide people. It is better to be divided by truth than united in error. But those who are God’s children ought to have fervent love toward one another. There are many details none of us understand about biblical prophecy—but we do know that the Lord Jesus is coming.
When we have this blessed hope, we are to be encouraging one another, “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25).
The closer we get to the Second Coming of Christ, the more we ought to be in the house of God. Some say, “I don’t have to go to church to be a Christian.” But if you love Jesus, you will love what Jesus loves, and He loves the Church—not the building, but the gathered people. When you attend church, you are saying two things: 1) “God is important to me,” and 2) “My brothers and sisters in Christ are important to me.”
For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming?
Paul is saying to the Thessalonian Christians, “When Jesus comes, my joy and my crown will be you, because I led you to Jesus!” Is biblical prophecy simply meant to settle our curiosity? No. This is a motivating hope: a challenge to bring people to Jesus Christ.
“You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand” (James 5:8).
For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words. (Emphasis added.)
What do you say to somebody who has just lost a loved one? What do you say to the person who has just been given a bad prognosis?
You say to them, “This is not final. Our King is on His way. A resurrection is coming, and we will get a glorified body. The Lamb will dry our tears. We will sing and dance!”
It is not over yet.
Titus 2:11-15; 1 Peter 1:3; 1 John 2:28, 3:2-3; Colossians 1:16; Habakkuk 2:14; Matthew 6:10, 25:41; Revelation 20:10; 1 Thessalonians 2:19, 3:12-13, 4:16-18; James 5:8
So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.
And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”