Our Only Hope

I Corinthians 15:19 - If in this life only, we have hope in Christ,  we are of all men most miserable.


Some situations of this life that cause me to be glad my hope is in Christ alone. 

Ø      Israel and Lebanon are in a war right now.

Ø      I heard on the news this morning 7/16/2006 that Lebanon was firing Chinese made missiles at Israel, but Lebanon did not have the technical expertise to fire the missiles.

Ø      It is suspected that Lebanon is using Iranian help for the technical expertise to fire the missiles.

Ø      So the whole middle east, with the help of China and Iran, plus Russia, is preparing themselves for some sort of solution. The cold war is not over, and never was over, only delayed. 

Ø      It is interesting that most of the goods used by the USA are produced in China, who has the expertise to produce these goods, but the USA does not desire to produce them ourselves.

Ø      Foreign people are protecting our ports.

Ø      China and the USA are competing for oil.

Ø      There is plenty of oil in properties of the USA, but because of political correctness and environmentalists, we cannot drill for oil, nor do we really have the capacity to refine that oil. 

Ø      Venezuela hates the USA and grudgingly supplies oil to us but the leader of Venezuela is a nut.

Ø      The Bible states that every nation on the face of the earth will go against Israel.  Right now, the only nation that is practically helping Israel is the USA, therefore either the USA must turn against Israel, or be defeated. 

Ø      The vast majority of this world hates the USA and believes we are the aggressors of war, pushing our evil philosophy on the rest of the world. 

Ø      The vast majority of this world sees very little difference in USA aggression and Islamic terrorists. 

Ø      The vast majority of this world is envious of the prosperity of the USA, and will be glad to see us fall from this position of prosperity and power.

Ø      Many people believe the USA is a Christian nation (we know we are not), therefore the defeat of the USA means (to the world in general) that Christianity and God has fallen.

Ø      The vast influx of illegal aliens has changed the culture of our nation from a Christian nation to a pagan nation.

Ø      The lax of Biblical teaching and erosion of Christian morals by Christians themselves, as they have fallen away from the doctrines of Christ, have made the USA ripe for pagan beliefs. 

Ø      When the USA is fallen, Satan will sit upon a throne in Jerusalem, declaring that he is God, that God is defeated by him, and that God is dead.


I.   Where our hope lies.

A.     Where it is not.

1.       In any creature, man or angel.

2.       In no creature enjoyment as in silver, gold, refreshments, recreation, business or any activity we do.

3.       In no creature righteousness, as in our moral, legal, or civil righteousness. 

4.       In no external privilege, as us being born into a “high” family, privilege or prestige. 

5.       In no profession of religion, or being active in religion, as there are many who are very active in religion, as Judas Iscariot, yet have no assurance from God of their hope in eternity. 

B.     Where it is.

1.       Christ alone is our surety – because Christ as contracted with God the Father to be responsible for us, to pay our sin debt, and remain responsible for our eternal welfare. 

2.       Christ is our eternal Saviour and everlasting redeemer. 

3.       His perfections toward us include but is not limited to his blood, his person, his sacrifice, his life, his promises, and his fulness. 

C.     How we hope in Christ.

1.       That he will supply all grace to us in salvation and sanctification and glorification.

2.       That he has forgiven us of all past sins, all present sins, and will continue to forgive us of all future sins.

3.       That he has justified us in the past, justifies us in the present and will continue to justify us into the future – all the way into eternity.  We are justified personally, not just figuratively, and completely, not partially or until we fulfill some sort of contrived human or heavenly qualifications. 

4.       God gives us all grace now and will continue to give us grace throughout all eternity. 

5.       We have hope in life and hope in death and hope after death, as our life continues with him forever. 

6.       We have hope of things visible and things invisible.

7.       We have hope of things temporary and permanent.

8.       We have hope of things material and spiritual. 


II.   Why IF our hope is in this life only, we are most miserable.

A.     Godly people have forsaken many of the so called pleasures of this life for the benefits of eternal happiness.

1.       The apostles especially had little comfort in this life, as they were rejected by the world in general, being continually exposed to hardships as they carried the gospel to lost souls.

2.       The early church was not well received by the world in general, yet continued to preach the gospel message and stand for the cause of Christ. 

3.       Many believed the early church was filled with the most unrighteous people, as they accepted believers from all walks of life and even those that were considered gross sinners by the Pharisees. 

4.       The world does not understand our stand for Christ, nor his righteousness.  They do not understand why we do run to the same excess of riot as they.

B.     Doctrines that make a difference: I am not miserable, but extremely happy that God has blessed me and promises to keep me safe in his everlasting arms. 

1.       Salvation – The only people who truly understand how salvation makes a difference in our lives are those that are saved. 

2.       Eternal security – Only those that are truly saved know and have confidence in Christ that he has saved them and will eternally keep them saved.  They understand they are sinners, but know God loved them regardless of that fact. 

3.       The local church as opposed to the universal church – The origin of the church of the Lord Jesus Christ is most precious to us.  It is a blessing to understand that God has called unworthy sinners to such a place of privilege.  It is not that we earned the right to be a member of one of the Lord’s churches, it is grace derived from the mercy of God. 

4.       The resurrection – It seems impossible to believe that we will live after we have died, but that is the truth.  It seems as impossible to believe that Christ will literally return in the sky as it is to believe he literally ascended into heaven, but this is our sure hope.  [1]


III.   He was born for us.

A.     Isaiah 7:14 - Christ was born of a virgin, the only virgin birth in all the world.

B.     John 3:16 - God so loved the world that He sent Jesus and Jesus came for our sakes.

C.     Philippians 2:6-9 - Christ left all the glories of heaven to come to a sin cursed world to show us how much he loves us.


IV.   He lived for us.

A.     Luke 19:10 - Jesus came into the world to seek and save that which was lost.

B.     Jesus was the only man who lived a perfect life.

1.       Luke 23:4 - Pilate said, “I find no fault in this man.”

2.       Matthew 27:4 - Judas said, “I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood.”

3.       Acts 2:36 - Peter preaching on the Day of Pentecost declared that God had made Jesus, whom they had crucified both Lord and Christ.

4.       Philippians 4:4-8 - We can think about good things because Jesus took care of all the bad things for us, giving us all the good things.


V.   He died for us.

A.     Matthew 27:50 - Jesus yielded up the ghost for us, not for Himself.

B.     John 8:52 - Jesus said that believers would never taste death.

C.     Hebrews 2:9 - Jesus was made a little lower than the angels that He might taste death for every man.

D.     Matthew 27:54 - When the centurion saw the way Christ died, He said, “Truly, this was the son of God.”


VI.   He arose for us.  If Jesus had stayed in the grave, He would have been no different from all other religious leaders.  But He arose from the death to show that He is God.

A.     Matthew 28:6 - The angel told the women that Jesus was not in the tomb, but was raised.

B.     John 10:14-18 - Jesus has the power to lay down his life for the sheep, and He has power to take it again.


VII.   He is coming again for us.

A.     I Thessalonians 4:13-18 - A picture of the rapture of the saints.

B.     I Corinthians 15:50-54 - God will give us an incorruptible body in place of this corruptible one.

[1] Preached to here 07/16/2006 IBC Sunday Morning