Blessed Hope - Br.Aaron Obed Thomas
HOPE. This is always related to something in the future. Each and every person hopes for something. A business man hopes for profit in his business. A student hopes for a good career. A salesperson hopes to achieve his sales target. A teacher hopes for good results. Parents hope for a good future for their children. But here in this illustration we want to draw your attention to our “blessed hope”. Our Christian life is based upon Christ ,the Rock of Ages and day by day we are drawing nearer to this “blessed hope “ .
So what is the blessed hope? Paul says to Titus his spiritual son, “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;”. This Blessed hope is nothing but the glorious appearance of Jesus Christ. He is our great God and Saviour. To achieve this blessed hope St Paul says we should:
1) deny ungodliness and worldly lusts,
2) live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world;
Our blessed hope is not for this present world but for the future. But we have to prepare ourselves in this present world to achieve this blessed hope. To live a godly life we should deny all ungodliness. Denial is an essential element of the Christian life. If we are ready to deny something we will achieve greater things. Jesus says “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” To follow Jesus, who is the author and finisher of faith (Heb 12:2), the captain of our salvation (Heb 2:10) and the author of eternal salvation we have to deny ourselves because this author, finisher and captain himself denied his position of equality with God and made himself of no reputation. (Phil 2:6-8). To sustain our physical life we need to intake oxygen. To inhale one unit of oxygen we should exhale one unit of carbon dioxide. If we do not exhale the carbon dioxide we cannot inhale oxygen and will die. Likewise we need to exhale certain impurities from our lives so that our spiritual life can be sustained.
St Paul says to achieve the blessed hope; we must deny ungodliness and worldly lusts. Worldly lust is in total enmity with the love of God. Worldly lust means love of worldly fashions, worldly behavior and worldly life.
We were once worldly men but God made us into godly men. Lust is the mother of sin and the grandmother of death as we understand in the verse James 1:15 “Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.” Thus, when we deny the lust we overcome the dual powers of sin and death. The believer who is tarrying for this ‘blessed hope’ should live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world.
Dear brothers and sisters let us examine our attitude. Do we have a positive attitude about this blessed hope? Are we keeping ourselves far away from the lusts of this world? Are we living soberly and righteously? Though we are living in the present world we are racing to the future world, because of our blessed hope. St Paul illustrates the blessed hope as the glorious appearance of our great Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Again Paul says in 1 Thess 4:16,17 “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.”
Here we can see the fulfillment of the blessed hope of the church. Jesus is appearing as Our great God and Saviour in the mid-air to take His holy congregation i.e. those who have denied themselves, the lust of the world and all ungodliness. Three particular sounds will be sounded in the glorious appearance:
1) The Shout of the Lord
2) Voice of the archangel
3) The trumpet of God
1. The shout of the Lord
The shout of the Lord is not for every person in this world but for the saints who have lived in Christ and died in Christ i.e. those who denied ungodliness and worldly lusts and have lived soberly, righteously and godly in the present world. In the gospel of John 11:43-44, Jesus cries with a loud voice “Lazarus come forth”. Here Jesus calls Lazarus by name. This is because if he had not mentioned the name of Lazarus in particular all the dead people in the grave would have come out along with him . In the gospel of John 5:25 Jesus says “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.”. This statement is about the particular hour of the blessed hope. The shout of Jesus is the key of resurrection. The result of His shout is the resurrection of godly people.
In gospel of Matthew 27:50 we read that Jesus cried with a loud voice and yielded His spirit in the hands of the Father. At that time the veil of the temple tore in two from top to bottom, the earth quaked, the rocks split and the graves opened and many bodies of saints that slept arose. So at the voice of the Lord the dead saints will arise.
Dear brothers and sisters, only those who live godly lives will hear the voice of the Son of God. Others will not arise in this particular dawn of resurrection. So let us keep ourselves godly, holy and deny ourselves to hear His voice on the day of blessed hope.
2.Voice of the Archangel
Michael is the archangel of God. The book of Jude verse 9 talks about the archangel and the body of Moses. This is an event presented in Thalmood (religious manifesto of Jews). Moses is the only person buried by Almighty God. Moses died on the mount of Pisgah and God buried him in the valley of Moab. Michael assisted God in undertaking the mortal remains of Moses. It was then that the devil came to the burial place and disputed with Michael about the body of Moses but Michael dared not bring him a reviling accusation against Moses ,but said “The Lord rebuke you.” (Jude 1:9). Likewise on the day of resurrection , the same devil will come with accusations against the saints but the archangel will rebuke and defeat Satan with his voice .
3. The Trumpet Of GOD
This is the last trumpet and this trumpet is already prepared for the day of resurrection. Throughout the Bible we can see the blowing of trumpet in different places. It usually represents the starting of war or the proclamation of victory. In Lev 25:9,10 God says “ Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubile on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land “. The day of the blessed hope is the day of trumpet , the dau of atonement & day of liberty In the book of Joshua the Israelites surrounded the wall of Jericho. On the seventh day, when the priests blew the trumpets, the wall of Jericho came down and they entered into the blessed land of Canaan. Likewise here we are entering into the spiritual Canaan i.e. Zion. At the sound of the trumpet of God, the devil will be defeated and the saints will proclaim their emancipation and victory by declaring “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? Thus the promise “Death is swallowed up in victory “will be fulfilled.
Dear brothers and sisters, are we ready for this “Blessed Hope.”? Let us prepare ourselves for His glorious coming!
MARANATHA! JESUS IS COMING SOON!
MAY GOD BLESS YOU