EASTER - The Celebration Of Hope Is Based On Reality Not Fantasy. Some religions are just people’s fantasies placed in book form or they may be talked about on the latest TV talk show or they may just be some celebrities latest airhead thought. But Christianity is based on the reality and facts of history. Over thousands of years, Christianity has been scrutinized by more people trying to debunk the bible story than any other religion. Those people are dead and gone. Christianity and Jesus Christ live on. The reality of Jesus’ resurrection is shown in the Gospel of Luke chapter 24 by the actions of three different groups of people. Most of these people were still living when this gospel was


THE CELEBRATION OF HOPE IS BASED ON LIFE NOT DEATH! The world has all kinds of festivals or celebrations each year. And most of them revolving around people are around the lives of dead people. The Easter celebration is different. Our celebration is based on life not death. The Hope of Christianity is an empty tomb. “On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus” (Luke 24:1-3 NIV).” The hope of Christianity is not found in a mosque, or temple, or historical landmark but rather in an empty tomb. Christi


THE CELEBRATION OF HOPE! Over the last month we have been looking at the Gospel of Hope…the Good News found in Jesus Christ. In our next few posts we will be reflecting on Luke 24:1-49 which leads us to the Celebration of Hope. Three things stand out in these verses of Scripture that I hope we may grasp: Hope is based on life not death; Hope is based on reality not fantasy; and Hope is based on purpose not aimlessness. As we noted at the first of the month in our beginning of reflection on the topic of Hope, “hope is the confident expectation that good things will happen in the future because Jesus is alive and has given us the assurance that He is in charge of things.” Please take the time


THE RESULTS OF THE OFFER OF HOPE! What were the results of the glorious and long anticipated events of Palm Sunday? Three basic things happened on that day. “And when he drew nigh, he saw the city and wept over it, saying, If thou hadst known in this day, even thou, the things which belong unto peace! But now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, when thine enemies shall cast up a bank about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, and shall dash thee to the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation” (Luke 19:41-44 ASV). For the crowds on t


ADDITIONAL REACTIONS TO GOD’S OFFER OF HOPE! “The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David!’ ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ‘Hosanna in the highest heaven!’” (Matthew 21:9 NIV). People worshipped Jesus on Palm Sunday. They went ahead of Him and followed behind Him giving Him praise that is only due to God. To them, at that time, He was the Messiah, the Son of David. It was a glorious event. It appears they were sincere at that time. But just a few days later many of these same people would be shouting, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” Worship is not something that you just do publicly on special occasions. Worship means to “bo


REACTIONS TO GOD’S OFFER OF HOPE! When Jesus appeared on Palm Sunday (Matthew 21:1-11) there were six basic reactions to the Savior on this day. And I think we see the same types of reactions to Jesus in our day as well. The reaction to God’s message and the impact on most people’s hearts has not changed very much over the course of 2,000 years. The first reaction we see to Jesus on Palm Sunday is by the Disciples of Jesus. The disciples by this time in their relationship with Jesus had learned to do what Jesus asked them to do. Many times they did not understand why Jesus asked them to do certain things but they did it anyway. After all why would Jesus need a donkey? And after they responde


PALM SUNDAY – HOPE OFFERED! “As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, ‘Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.’ This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: ‘Say to Daughter Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey’” (Matthew 21:1-5; Zechariah 9:9 NIV). Matthew states that this event was predicted by the prophet Zechariah. Zechariah began his prophet


PALM SUNDAY – THE OFFER OF HOPE! Everyone needs HOPE. People all around the world need hope. Nations around the world need hope. And because of the fall into sin by Adam & Eve everyone needs spiritual hope. And Jesus came to provide that hope for all mankind. This would be a great time to read Matthew 21:1-11 as a preface to our next few posts. Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Easter Sunday, is a celebration of the hope that Jesus came to give the nation of Israel and by way of extension to give to every human being. Unfortunately for the nation of Israel they rejected King Jesus and his offer of hope. But fortunately for the people of the world this did not stop God from providing hope and sa


BLESSED HOPE-IMPACT NOW! What impact should the Blessed Hope have on our lives now? If we know all the things we have talked about concerning the Blessed Hope how should that impact us now? Why has God made us aware of this great hope? How should we respond to what God has revealed to us? The Apostle Paul gave the young preacher Titus some advice concerning this doctrine of the Blessed Hope (Titus 2:12-15 NIV). Paul says this Hope should cause us to refrain from wickedness, “It teaches us to say, ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions (v.12).” In contrast to wickedness Paul says the hope “teaches us to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age (v.12,14). There is no


THE BLESSED HOPE MOMENT OF REALITY! What will happen at the moment the Blessed Hope noted in Titus 2:13 becomes reality? I encourage you to read the bible passages noted here so you can see God’s truth for yourself. Several things are going to happen at the same time when Jesus appears in His glory to rapture the church. In 1 Corinthians 15:50-58 the Apostle Paul tells us there will be an instantaneous change marked by three things: in a flash we are gone from planet earth; our earthly body is changed to a heavenly body; and we are given an eternal body. This great change will be experienced by all Christians living on every corner of planet earth and will exclude all non-Christians


THE BLESSED HOPE—WHEN? When will the BLESSED HOPE spoken of in Titus 2:13 become a reality? Only God knows for sure but He does give us some hints in the Bible. I believe the Blessed Hope, an event in part commonly called the Rapture, is imminent in its hope. It could occur at any moment. In the first century the Apostle Paul wrote to the church at Thessalonica and said this, “The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it, for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait


THE BLESSED HOPE—A GLORIOUS APPEARING! “We wait for the BLESSED HOPE—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13 NIV). As we continue our thoughts from yesterday we note the Blessed Hope involves an event like the world has never seen. All the wonders of the world will seem as nothing when this event occurs. It will be an earth shaking event. This event will shake the foundations of the world and confuse and confound every person and country on planet earth. This event is truly a glorious appearing of Jesus Christ. At least two things are true about Jesus coming again. First, when Jesus appears again it will not be like the first time. When He appears a


THE BLESSED HOPE! “For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say ‘No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good” (Titus 2:11-14 NIV). Hope is having “a confident expectation of a favorable outcome in all situations.” And certainly “the blessed hope” fulfilled will provide that. When we face impossible situations our HOPE needs to be in Go


THE MAGNIFICENT REASON FOR OUR HOPE OF GLORY! “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). The reason that we have the hope of Glory is that Jesus Christ dwells in us. Jesus is omnipresent since He is God. He is everywhere. But Jesus is also seated at the right hand of God the Father in heaven. And guess what? Jesus also lives in us. Does that blow your mind? The God of glory lives in us Christians. The very thought of that should just blow us away. After His resurrection, Jesus said in Matthew 28:20, “I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” In John 14:18 when Jesus was preparing to be nailed to the cross He told the disciples, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will


THE PRESENT MANIFESTATION OF GOD'S GLORY THROUGH US! Colossians1:27 says that God has appointed us saints, us Christians, to make known among the non-Christians the “glorious riches of this mystery.” This plan of people having a confident expectation of sharing in the glory of God through Christ dwelling in them is a glorious thing and it has glorious results. We saw some of those results in an earlier post when we talked about the inheritance we have in Christ safeguarded in heaven for us. We have also talked about the ways God manifested Himself in prior generations but Jesus doesn’t bodily walk the earth at this time. Jesus indwells us and we walk the earth. Jesus manifests His glory thr


GOD’S GLORY MANIFESTED! Where do we see God’s glory demonstrated in the bible? How can we know what some semblance of God’s glory is like…what is the kind of glory we will share in? Psalm 19:1 says that, “the heavens declare the glory of God.” Look up and see God’s glory! Isaiah’s vision of God talked about in Isaiah 6:3 says, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is filled with His glory.” This passage is not just talking about the brilliance of God shining forth but it is also talking about the glory of God in an ethical sense. God is holy. Pure holiness is glorious. How distinct is God from man? The holy character of God is demonstrated throughout the world but that is


THE MYSTERY OF CHRIST IN YOU THE HOPE OF GLORY! What is Paul talking about in Colossians 1:25-27 when he says he was commissioned “to present to you the word of God in its fullness—the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people, to them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” When Paul speaks of “the mystery” what is he talking about? What does the word “mystery” mean as used in the bible? It simply means something that has not been revealed before but now it is revealed, usually through special revelation. God revealed to the Apostles this m


CHRIST IN YOU, THE HOPE OF GLORY! In Colossians 1:27 one of God’s mysteries that had been kept hidden “for ages and generations” is now disclosed “to the Lord’s people” and that mystery is, “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” John MacArthur said, “What does Paul mean by the phrase, “The Hope of glory?” Well, the only glory that a man could have—now or in the future—is obtained only when Christ is dwelling in us.” I agree with that statement and it would be well to define glory so we know what we are talking about. The word “Glory” as it relates to worldly man has the idea or meaning of (1) “rank or power;” (2) “praise, honor & dignity.” It is used to describe Solomon in Matthew 6:29 where it


THE POWER OF A LIVING HOPE—TWO MORE THINGS! “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:8-9 NIV). The Living Hope in Jesus lets us believe in Him even though we have never physically seen Him. Unsaved people do not understand Christians. How can we believe in someone we have never physically seen? How can we hang our eternal destiny on someone who has never been physically in our presence? This is a good discussion topic and well worth pursuing BUT for our purposes let me give you the sho


THE POWER OF A LIVING HOPE—VICTORY AND JOY! “In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:6--9 NIV). If you have been following the posts on the Living Hope then you will rec

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