Enduring Hope in Jesus
As the end of days approaches, you can find hope as you watch the judgment of Jesus!
"And you will be hated by all for My name's sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved."
-Matthew 10:22, emphasis added
When Jesus commissioned His disciples to go forth in their work for Him, in verse 22b above, He was basically telling them: "He who perseveres under stress and trials by abiding and remaining in Me will be saved." In the last days, Jesus says that this will characterize those who are really His children. Thus, no matter what happens before or during the Great Tribulation-His true children will endure.
Jesus also said that the generation who sees His plan unfold for the end of days will witness His Second Coming. How can we best get ready for that momentous event? We need to have waiting hope for Christ's return. We need to have trusting hope for whatever is to come in our future. We need to have clinging hope in Jesus as our all-wise guide for daily life, and avoid whatever grieves Him. And through sheltering hope, we must resist fear, for Christ is our safe and secure eternal refuge. In summary, what we need to believe today is what Jesus taught: this world is not our home.
Our real home is the one our master architect, Jesus, went to prepare for us (John 14:2-3), and He says that "moving day" is fast approaching. But until then, we can try to wondrously imagine our brand-new home-a mingling of the familiar and the unfamiliar, the earthly and the more-than-earthly. For heaven is a place, but not exactly like earthly places. It contains recognizable features, but the strangeness and transcendence keep alive our awareness that earthly images do not exist in the ordinary manner in heaven.
I love the way this author expresses his thoughts on heaven: "Oh, the wonders of our promised Haven, the glories of that eternal Home! But nothing will compare with the knowledge that Heaven is just the outflow of Him. In each aspect . . . concerning that heavenly City, we see a character trait of Him, our Savior. Let us seek Him, and in the words of the song-writer so true: ‘Tis heaven below, my Redeemer to know, For He is so precious to me.' "
How exciting it is to contemplate these comforting elements of heaven as presented in this excerpt from the Carl F. H. Henry Commencement Address by Harold Lindsell: "The last thing will not be bombs, but blessings; not war, but peace; not uncertainty, but confidence; not sickness, but health; not weakness, but strength; not longing, but satisfaction; not sorrow, but joy; not weariness, but vigor. There's a great time coming, so let us lift up our heads and our hearts, for the day of our redemption draweth nigh."
What should talk about heaven mean to us in the twenty-first century? Simply this: if the simultaneous increase in catastrophic storms, massive earthquakes, deadly pestilences, wars of terror, and looming threats from objects in outer space are indeed some of the "birth pangs" Christ spoke about, then meditating on heaven's glories can be very reassuring. Such thoughts in turn will promote waiting, trusting, clinging, sheltering hope-the hope that anchors-enduring hope!
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