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Life And Hope



INTRODUCTION: Hope is a very common word used in everyday conversation in a variety of ways for a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen; or in some cases for something undesirable not to happen. Sometimes hope is about a long-term goal that may take much personal effort and years to realize. Much of the use of the word hope in the Bible is in a common applications, similar to usage today. But, there is only one secure future hope, and that is for salvation of the soul through faith in the living God who is LORD of all, despite whatever negative or positive conditions a person may experience throughout their lifetime. The LORD gives to every believer new life in Christ by grace, that assures life in a new body in the Kingdom of God. There the redeemed ones will give glory and honor to their Creator and Savior forever!

NOTE: Scripture passages are from the American King James Bible (AKJV)



A - THE SIN OF ADAM BROUGHT DEATH IN THE NATURAL BODY TO ALL MANKIND

Genesis 2 "7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. 8 And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9 And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the middle of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil."

Genesis 3 "1 Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, Yes, has God said, You shall not eat of every tree of the garden? 2 And the woman said to the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die. 4 And the serpent said to the woman, You shall not surely die: 5 For God does know that in the day you eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. 6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also to her husband with her; and he did eat."

Genesis 3 "17 And to Adam he said, Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten of the tree, of which I commanded you, saying, You shall not eat of it: cursed is the ground for your sake; in sorrow shall you eat of it all the days of your life; 18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to you; and you shall eat the herb of the field; 19 In the sweat of your face shall you eat bread, till you return to the ground; for out of it were you taken: for dust you are, and to dust shall you return. 20 And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living."

Psalm 39 "4 LORD, make me to know my end, and the measure of my days, what it is: that I may know how frail I am. 5 Behold, you have made my days as an handbreadth; and my age is as nothing before you: truly every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah."

Romans 1 "18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God has showed it to them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23 And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four footed beasts, and creeping things. 24 Why God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves: 25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen."

John 1 "1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not."



COMMENTS: The verses I chose for this opening section briefly describe the fundamental truth that God is eternal, and He is the Creator of all that has been made. Man was made in complexity from the elements of the earth (simply expressed as "dust"), and God gave him the breath of life. Then the deception by the devil brought sin for all mankind, as all are the descendents of Adam and Eve. The temptation for Adam and Eve was to doubt what God had forbidden, and to believe Satan that they could have wisdom to live in a manner to be their own god. All of the many centuries of generations of mankind around the world continue the prevalent denial of the true God, though the LORD always sustains a remnant of believers. Unless a person awakens to accept the truth before the death in their body, they have no hope for the gift of eternal life from the compassionate and gracious Creator God. All people from the beginning of time are descendents of Adam and Eve, and therefore either believe God, or believe the lies of Satan.




B - THE FOOL HAS SAID IN HIS HEART THERE IS NO GOD

Psalms 14 "1 The fool has said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that does good. 2 The LORD looked down from heaven on the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. 3 They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that does good, no, not one. 4 Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread, and call not on the LORD. 5 There were they in great fear: for God is in the generation of the righteous. 6 You have shamed the counsel of the poor, because the LORD is his refuge. 7 Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! when the LORD brings back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad."

Psalms 42 "1 As the hart pants after the water brooks, so pants my soul after you, O God. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? 3 My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say to me, Where is your God? 4 When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holy day. 5 Why are you cast down, O my soul? and why are you disquieted in me? hope you in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance."

Psalms 115 "1 Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name give glory, for your mercy, and for your truth's sake. 2 Why should the heathen say, Where is now their God? 3 But our God is in the heavens: he has done whatever he has pleased."

1 Corinthians 1 "18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but to us which are saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. 20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. 22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: 23 But we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block, and to the Greeks foolishness; 24 But to them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 26 For you see your calling, brothers, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: 27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, has God chosen, yes, and things which are not, to bring to nothing things that are: 29 That no flesh should glory in his presence. 30 But of him are you in Christ Jesus, who of God is made to us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glories, let him glory in the Lord."



COMMENTS: The Psalms are such a rich resource in Scripture that capture in poetic form the pleas of believers during trials, and their praises as they wait for God and rejoice knowing He will answer. They often describe the negative and wicked thoughts of the foolish ones who reject and dishonor God. When there is mocking as unbelievers say where is your God: the answer is that all mercy and glory belongs to the LORD our God who is in the heavens: he has done whatever he has pleased. The wrath of God has been and will be, revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men; Because that which may be known of God is open to all people, as the invisible qualities of God can be clearly seen in everything in His creation throughout the natural world. They together display His eternal power and Godhead; so that those who will not believe in God are without excuse. Yet the wisdom of the unbelievers reject the existence of a loving God because there is great suffering throughout the world; and prefer to believe that theoretical evolution explains the vast complexity of the world to have developed independently over millions of years. But the preaching of the cross where Jesus defeated death is also foolishness to all who cannot accept the unlimited mercy, power, and authority of the true and living God. The LORD God makes the wisdom of the world to be foolishness, because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than any power of men. The LORD has chosen the foolish things, the weak things, and the base things of those who believe, to be in the light of His eternal Kingdom; and to condemn to separation in eternal darkness all those who trust in their own ways apart from God. There shall be no proud flesh in the presence of the LORD!




C - ALL ACHIEVEMENTS AND MATERIAL WEALTH WILL BE LEFT BEHIND AT DEATH

Psalms 49 "15 But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me. Selah. 16 Be not you afraid when one is made rich, when the glory of his house is increased; 17 For when he dies he shall carry nothing away: his glory shall not descend after him. 18 Though while he lived he blessed his soul: and men will praise you, when you do well to yourself. 19 He shall go to the generation of his fathers; they shall never see light. 20 Man that is in honor, and understands not, is like the beasts that perish."

Luke 12 "16 And he spoke a parable to them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: 17 And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? 18 And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have much goods laid up for many years; take your ease, eat, drink, and be merry. 20 But God said to him, You fool, this night your soul shall be required of you: then whose shall those things be, which you have provided?"

1 Timothy 6 "6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. 9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows."



COMMENTS: The accumulation of great wealth, power, or fame by an individual, regardless of perceived value, will be lost since none of it can be retained by that person upon the death of the natural body. Even a long life with good health and good deeds will have no value at the point of death if there has been no preparation through surrender to God, to receive life beyond the grave. Again the Old Testament Psalms have applicable content, with the reason to wait upon the LORD, knowing God will redeem the soul of the believer from the power of the grave to be received into heaven. Conversely, men will praise you, when you do well to yourself in this life, but that honor will not bring anyone to the light of eternal life. The parable given by Jesus in Luke 12 emphasizes that having attention only to accumulate the things of this world, can be unexpectedly and totally lost upon death. Paul advised in 1 Timothy chapter 6 that godliness with contentment is great gain, so having food and clothing is a good foundation for contentment. These passages provide good reminders that it is important to be on guard not to be drawn away from seeking God with our whole heart while using our talents and relationships: losing our focus can lead into the temptation to place the priority of our thoughts and actions on following the ways of the world.




D - THE LORD IS THE SOURCE OF COMFORT WHILE A BELIEVER AWAITS FOR SALVATION OF THE SOUL

Jeremiah 17 "7 Blessed is the man that trusts in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. 8 For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreads out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat comes, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit."

Lamentations 3 "24 The LORD is my portion, said my soul; therefore will I hope in him. 25 The LORD is good to them that wait for him, to the soul that seeks him. 26 It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD."

Psalms 27 "13 I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. 14 Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart: wait, I say, on the LORD."

2 Corinthians 1 "1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, to the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia: 2 Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; 4 Who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted of God. 5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds by Christ."

Hebrews 2 "14 For as much then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; 15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. 16 For truly he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. 17 Why in all things it behooved him to be made like to his brothers, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. 18 For in that he himself has suffered being tempted, he is able to succor them that are tempted."



COMMENTS: Jeremiah wrote during the time when the northern kingdom of Israel had already fallen to foreign domination because they had gone so far away from worshipping the LORD; and the southern kingdom followed the same degenerative practices that led to foreign domination there. Israel had no earthly kingdom restored after that because they had abandoned true worship of the LORD. Even though the kingdoms as a whole were eliminated, the message given through Jeremiah was that those who had their trusts and hope in the LORD would be blessed: therefore, it is good that a person should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD. Psalms 27 has a similar message as the writer expressed he would have reacted to conditions by fainting except he believed he would yet see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living: (which is the land of eternal life for those who hold fast to their faith in the LORD.) God the Father shows mercy and gives all comfort during times of our tribulation, and thereby enables us to give comfort to others by the comfort we have received of God. The writer of Hebrews states that the Lord Jesus came to earth by flesh and blood in order that he would be like us, and that through death he might destroy the devil who had the power of death. Jesus took upon himself the seed of Abraham so he could become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to all who are his brothers and sisters by faith. Christ Jesus made reconciliation for the sins of the people who trust in God, which is not possible any other way. While living among men, he had suffered being tempted as recorded in Scripture, so those who are tempted can truly sense Jesus is able to give support and comfort to them.




E - BELIEF IN THE LORD GOD IS THE SURE HOPE FOR ETERNAL LIFE

John 3 "7 Marvel not that I said to you, You must be born again. 8 The wind blows where it wants, and you hear the sound thereof, but can not tell from where it comes, and where it goes: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. 9 Nicodemus answered and said to him, How can these things be? 10 Jesus answered and said to him, Are you a master of Israel, and know not these things? 11 Truly, truly, I say to you, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and you receive not our witness. 12 If I have told you earthly things, and you believe not, how shall you believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? 13 And no man has ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15 That whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believes on him is not condemned: but he that believes not is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."

John 6"44 No man can come to me, except the Father which has sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that has heard, and has learned of the Father, comes to me. 46 Not that any man has seen the Father, save he which is of God, he has seen the Father. 47 Truly, truly, I say to you, He that believes on me has everlasting life."

Romans 5 "1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation works patience; 4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5 And hope makes not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given to us."

Ephesians 2 "4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love with which he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, has quickened us together with Christ, (by grace you are saved;) 6 And has raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7 That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them."

Titus 2 "11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ; 14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify to himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works."



COMMENTS: Nicodemus did not at first understand that being born again was a second birth by the Spirit of God; and Jesus made another confusing statement that the Son of man must be lifted up as Moses had lifted up the brass serpent in the wilderness to be looked at in faith for protection. God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son to be lifted up on the cross; that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. Jesus said in John 6 that no persons can come to me, except that the Father which has sent me draws them: and I will raise them up at the last day. The Father guided the writing of the prophets to say they shall be taught of God, so Jesus says that every person who has heard the Scriptures and has learned from those words, comes to him. The apostle Paul wrote letters to churches in his time, and that is additional Scripture for all succeeding generations. We have peace with God when we our justified by faith in Christ, and we have access to the grace that allows us to rejoice in the secure hope of the presence of the glory of God. There is no way that anyone can earn their own justification, and no person will ever boast before God. The grace of God that brings salvation has appeared before all people, and those who have accepted that grace gift should deny ungodliness and worldly lusts while still in this present world: with attention on looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ. How amazing that Jesus Christ gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify to himself a people made distinctively different from those of the world, and having a desire for good works that honor Christ.




F - THE NEW HEAVENS AND NEW EARTH IS RESERVED FOR THOSE WHO TRUST IN THE GOD OF GRACE AND MERCY

Romans 8 "22 For we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now. 23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. 24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man sees, why does he yet hope for? 25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. 26 Likewise the Spirit also helps our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered."

1 Corinthians 15 "47 The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven. 48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. 49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. 50 Now this I say, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither does corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 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. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 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. 55 O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory? 56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, which gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be you steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, for as much as you know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord."

2 Corinthians 5 "1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed on with our house which is from heaven: 3 If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. 4 For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed on, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. 5 Now he that has worked us for the selfsame thing is God, who also has given to us the earnest of the Spirit. 6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: 7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) 8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord."

1 Peter 1 "2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, to obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you, and peace, be multiplied. 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy has begotten us again to a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fades not away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith to salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 Wherein you greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, you are in heaviness through manifold temptations: 7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it be tried with fire, might be found to praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: 8 Whom having not seen, you love; in whom, though now you see him not, yet believing, you rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: 9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. 10 Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come to you: 11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. 12 To whom it was revealed, that not to themselves, but to us they did minister the things, which are now reported to you by them that have preached the gospel to you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into."

2 Peter 3 "7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved to fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. 8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 12 Looking for and hastening to the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwells righteousness."



COMMENTS: In Romans 8 Paul wrote that the whole creation struggles and groans in pain together, including those who have the first fruits of the Spirit, and wait for adoption through redemption of the body. We are saved by hope as we continue to wait: for hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man sees, why does he yet hope for it? We should wait with patience and accept the intercessory help of the Spirit in any difficult situation or illness, when we are uncertain about how we should pray. All believers can benefit from renewal described in both of Paul's letters to the Corinthians. The first man is of the earth and the second man is the Lord from heaven: those who are saved by grace bear the corruptible flesh and blood image of the first man, and will by the grace of God surely bear the uncorruptible image of the eternal heavenly Savior. Sin has made certain that the earthy body will be corrupted until death. The mystery Paul wrote about will happen at the end time at the instantaneous trumpet call of God. All who have died in Christ and all who are alive in Christ at that time, in a brief moment will be given immortality. What joy to know that This will bring to pass the writing that death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory? Thanks be to God, which gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ, and also has given to us the seal of the Spirit!

The apostle Peter wrote two letters of instruction and encouragement to believers in Jesus Christ. Christians are elect according to the foreknowledge and abundant mercy of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, because of the lively hope given by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. That victory over death has reserved in heaven for those who are kept by the power of God through faith, an eternal incorruptible inheritance that is ready to be revealed in the last time. This truth that gives believers cause to rejoice, does not mean there will no longer be trials and temptations in the present life that challenge the faith that is more precious than gold. Dross can be removed from gold by fire to make it more valuable: and fiery trials in life can be used of God to bring forth praise, honor, and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ. As believers have received the salvation of the soul, waiting for the future transition to eternal life provides an inner joy unspeakable and full of glory for the grace gift of God. Even the prophets inquired and searched to know what was coming and when it would happen as the Spirit of Christ which was in them directed them to write. They testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. When Christ appeared It was then revealed, that not to themselves, but to us they had provided description of the things which are now recorded for you by those who have preached the gospel to you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven. Even the angels desire to look into these things. The heavens and the earth, which exist now, by the same Word of God are reserved to destruction by fire at the day of judgment and eternal punishment of all ungodly people. Since one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day: those who have been saved by grace through faith in Christ should not wonder about when Christ will return. Just live each day in all holy conversation and godliness, confidently trusting in the Lord because His will shall be done at His chosen time. The Lord patiently forgives and is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; at which time the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat. The earth also and the works therein shall be burned up. Nevertheless, according to his promise, there will be new heavens and new earth, wherein dwells righteousness.



--- REFLECTIONS IN PRAYER ---

LORD, I believe that you are the true eternal God, and you are the Creator of all that has been made; and man was form from the earth and then you breathed into him the Spirit of life. Satan took advantage of the weakness of man to believe a lie, and the result was that all mankind has the sin nature that can only be overcome by your power within those who place faith in the grace provided by the invisible gift of the Holy Spirit. Scripture declares that those who say in their heart that there is no God are utter fools, while they believe they are wise and that believers are foolish. All creation presents the evidence of a Creator, but the foolish unbelievers pursue such things as complex theories of progressive evolution, and speak of extreme human suffering to justify their rejection of the Creator God. I thank you LORD that you have given me faith to believe in my Savior, so I have a desire to invest my life in eternity rather than in the brevity of life in the physical body. And you provide a source of comfort by the Holy Spirit and by other believers when I experience difficult times in my life. I believe Lord, that I have been born again to have the Holy Spirit which has sealed me for eternity throughout the rest of my physical life. then I will join all other believers in a new body to live forever with Christ in the new heavens and new earth. Hallelujah, Amen!



Published 28 June 2021