7/6/16 The Blessed Hope

Tuesday, July 5, 2016


Titus 2:13

Morning Meditation 7/6/16

Verse 13 says, "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;"

I am afraid a lot of Christians are so occupied with their past that they do not concentrate on their glorious future. Tozer said, "If we cannot trust God to have dealt effectually with our past we may as well throw in the sponge now and have it over with." We may take glimpses at our past but our constant concentrated gaze must be on the future. A right attitude toward our future will change the present and it will be a change for the better. Looking in the past drags us down. Looking into the future through the promises of God's Word lifts us to a new plane of living.

Paul says, "Looking for that blessed hope." The words "looking for" translate one word "prosdechomai" in the Greek text. It means "to receive to oneself, to admit, to give access to oneself." It is a present middle participle. The present tense refers to continuous action in the present. The middle voice is where the subject participates in the result of and is benefitted by the action of the verb. There is personal benefit to the Christian who receives to himself and gives the truth of the Lord's return access to his life. The word "blessed" means happy. The word "hope" means "the expectation of good." It is the joyful anticipation of a reality.

The return of Christ for his bride is not a doctrine created by the Church. It is a doctrine proclaimed by Jesus to be believed and anticipated by his disciples. Jesus said in John 14:1-3: "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." Jesus said this to prepare his disciples for his death. He said this to disciples who had shared his accommodations for the past three and one half years, i.e., "And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head" (Matt. 8:20). It is not a bad trade for one who had put up with dirt and grime for the last few years.

I heard Bro. Lester Roloff say one time, "It is hard for a Texan to look forward to heaven when he has a thousand acres and a hundred white-faced cattle!" That is so true. America is like that today. We are an affluent society. If we don't have the money, we have a credit card. And it does not bother some people if they can't pay their bills! What kind of hope is the return of Christ to people who are "rich and increased in goods and have need of nothing" (Rev. 3:17). Are we going to have to have a financial crash in order for the return of Christ to be a "blessed hope?" To use Paul's words, "God forbid." Jesus says in Matt. 5:3, "Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." In obedience to the Lord's teaching and with his present help, we can be poor in spirit even when we are affluent. The return of Christ has much more appeal to the one who is poor. Jesus did not command anyone to get rid of his wealth in order to be saved. He did teach that it could stand in the way of one being saved and also serving the Lord. It is one's attitude toward it that makes the difference.

I had just preached on the return of Christ in our chapel services when we had a Christian School. I had gone to the kitchen which was located next to the learning center and the kids were standing around talking. One teenage girl said to another, not knowing I was near enough to hear, "I don't want the Lord to come right now. I have too many things I want to do right here." I laughed and thought, without knowing it, she is expressing the attitude of the average Christian. The poor in spirit realize that the gold they hold in their hand is just "pavement" in heaven. And you don't hold pavement with a tight grip!

The words "and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ" explain the "blessed hope." It is a glorious appearing. The word "appearing" (epiphaneia) is "often used of the glorious manifestation of the gods, and esp. of their advent to help; in the NT the advent of Christ, -- not only that which has already taken place and by which his presence and power appear in the saving light he has shed upon mankind, but also that illustrious return from heaven to earth to occur in the future." This is speaking of the literal appearance.

The rapture of the Church is described in 1 Thess. 4:13-18. Verse 18 says, "Wherefore comfort one another with these words." So the anticipation of his return is a comfort to the believer. Therefore, it is a "blessed hope."

The words "great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ" set forth Jesus Christ as God. The Jamison, Faucet and Brown Commentary says, "One article combines 'God' and 'Saviour,' which shows that both are predicated of one and the same Being.'" He will not be coming this time on a donkey. As someone has said, "He has been horse trading." This time he comes on a white horse (Rev. 19:11). He comes in power this time to resurrect his saints and change the living saints (1Cor. 15:51-53). Paul enjoyed this thought: "For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself" (Phil. 3:20-21). Paul's desire for holiness caused him to speak of this body as "vile" as it will in every Christian that desires to be holy. We are confined for the present time to the body which is also the habitation of the old sin nature. It constantly drags us downward. It fights a relentless war against the Spirit (Gal. 5:17).

Jesus is the answer for our past. He died in our place and removed us from condemnation (Rom. 8:1). He lives for us in heaven and intercedes for us at the present time and thereby saving us in the present (Heb. 7:25). He is coming again to save us from the body and give us a new body that will be totally free from the old sin nature. He will also save us from the presence of sin and bring us into the city of no night. Amen! Praise the Lord!

Even at the present time to be in the Lord's presence is something to be desired by the Christian. Paul said this: "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better" (Phil. 1:21-23). So we as believers do not have to dread death and we can continue to praise God through all kinds of trials because of the "Blessed hope." He is the great God and our Saviour. The Creator has no problem creating. He will affect change in our bodies and translate us into eternal spiritual bodies where time is not an issue nor anything to threaten and cause fear. It is a blessed hope. (Its ok to shout right here!).

God bless each of you.

In Christ

Bro. White

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