That Happy Hope!

by David and Stephen Olford

David and Stephen OlfordText: "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:13).

Thought: While God's children may disagree as to the time of their Lord's return, there can be no disagreement regarding the fact of His return. Paul wrote to the Thessalonians that they must "wait for his Son from heaven," and that "the Lord himself shall descend from heaven" (1 Thess. 1:10; 4:16). Are you looking for that happy hope? Consider:

The Certainty of Our Hope: The "hope" that is spoken of here is not elusive, but real and vital. It is a hope that has a relevance to the human race in its threefold division, as given in 1 Corinthians 10:32, namely, the Jew, the Gentile, and the church of God. Though rejected at His first appearance, there is a day coming when the Hope of Israel will be realized. Haggai, the prophet, alludes to the hope of the great Gentile world when he speaks of Christ as "the Desire of all nations" (2:7). Finally, many passages throughout the New Testament clearly indicate that the hope of the church is the return of Christ (see 1 Tim. 1:1; Col. 1:27; Heb. 6:19), and we are admonished to wait for it.

The Character of Our Hope: The character of our hope is bound up in that word "blessed" or "happy." This is because the Advent is to usher the believer into the very consummation of all blessings. There is the prospect of a happy rapture, when we shall "meet the Lord in the air" (1 Thess. 4:17). This will be the happiest moment in the believer's experience when he can look unashamed into the Savior's face. Then follows a review of the believer's life and service, at the judgment seat of Christ, when he shall receive the due reward of his deeds, and the happy reunion at the marriage supper of the Lamb.

The Challenge of Our Hope: "Looking" (v. 13). In the early church "the blessed hope" was probably the most common topic of conversation. It should be so today as well. Those who are looking for this appearing should prove it in their lives by living "soberly, righteously and godly in this present world," and seeking by every means to reach men and women with the glorious gospel of our Lord and Savior. This is no time for dreamy unconcern. Every soul is saved to serve, and failure to fulfill this calling will mean unspeakable shame and loss when Jesus comes. Let us ask ourselves: Are we ready for His soon return? Are we doing anything to prepare others for His return?

Thrust: "This same Jesusshall come" (Acts 1:11).

David Olford makes possible the continuation of this column by editing material
from his father's writings. Through his efforts, Points to Ponder continues
to bless, encourage, and challenge readers.

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