Rejoicing in the Hope: Our Legal Rights

Rejoicing in the Hope: Our Legal Rights

     Have you ever heard people use the term “hopeless” in describing a situation? “Hopeless” means not expectant of good or success, not susceptible to remedy or cure, incapable of redemption, improvement, solution, or accomplishment. No matter what the situation looks like, there is never a need for God’s children to feel hopeless. Why? Our loving heavenly Father gave each and every born-again believer hope.
     God gave us the hope of Jesus Christ’s return. This means we can anticipate that at any moment Christ could return for us, and we will be gathered together with him. In this truth we can have confidence, knowing that we will not be disappointed. God’s Word tells every believer that because of the accomplishments of Jesus Christ, we can rejoice in the Hope. In order to rejoice in the Hope, we have to know what our Hope is and what our legal rights are concerning our Hope.
     What is hope? The New Webster’s Dictionary and Thesaurus defines “hope” as “something which one longs to see realized” as well as “a confident expectation that a desire will be fulfilled.” Our Hope as born-again sons of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ is the return of Christ. This is when he will gather his saints, and we will spend all eternity with him and our heavenly Father.
Titus 1:2:
In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began.

     God, Who does not nor cannot lie, promised His children eternal life. Therefore, we can have a confident expectation, with all certainty, that this will be fulfilled sometime in the future. In Order My Steps in Thy Word, Volume V of Studies in Abundant Living, Dr. Victor Paul Wierwille referred to Titus 1:2, “The reason the word ‘hope’ is used is that the fullness of our eternal life is yet future. And the reason we have that future hope is that we belong to God now.”
     Only God knows when Jesus Christ is going to return. It could be any day, hour, or minute. Our Hope is future, not something available right now in the present.
Romans 8:24 and 25:
For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
But if we hope for that we see not,
then do we with patience wait for it.
     As these scriptures state, if something is available now, we do not need to hope for it. If something is available now, we can believe to see it come to pass. We cannot believe for the return of Christ; that is why it is our Hope.
     One great aspect of our Hope is the gathering together of the saints, which is laid out clearly in I Thessalonians.
I Thessalonians 4:15-18:
For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive
and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent [precede] them which are asleep.
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
Then we which are alive
and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

     What a comfort it is to know that our life is more than just the few years on this earth. What is seventy, eighty, or one hundred years compared to all eternity? The reason this gathering is not referred to as a resurrection is that some believers will be alive at the time of Christ’s return. Those who are alive will be caught up together with those who have just previously been raised. More details of that wonderful day are listed here in I Corinthians.
I Corinthians 15:51-58:
Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal
must put on immortality.
So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where
is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
The sting of death
is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
But thanks
be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

     Death would end life forever for all humanity were it not for Christ’s accomplishments, his return, the gathering together, and the future resurrections. Jesus Christ gave us the victory over death and the grave by making eternal life available to us. Our labor is not in vain because Jesus Christ did arise from the dead, and he will return and we shall enjoy life everlasting.…

This is an excerpt from the July/August 2008 issue of The Way Magazine.
Copyright© 2008 by The Way International. All rights reserved.
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