Christ-the Only Hope Part 2
by John Lowe
(Laurens SC, USA)
Our next point is that Christ is the only hope for salvation personally received.
What are we to do? How are we to respond? Upon hearing “the hope of the gospel,” which is Christ, we are to believe Him. We are to acknowledge the truth of Christ; accept the facts of his life, death, and resurrection; and trust ourselves to Him in personal surrender. John 1:12 says, “But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.”
Several years ago an air force sergeant moved to Sherman, Texas. He and his family were saved before they were transferred to another base. He said, “We came to Sherman so poor, we are leaving so rich.” Christ is the only hope for salvation, and: Christ is the only hope for life’s needs.
Paul spoke of the hope of the gospel “that has come to you…and is bearing fruit and growing…among you” (Col. 1:6). Wherever the gospel is preached, it will bring forth fruit to the honor and glory of God. Christ touches lives now and transforms them. He gives the power to live now, not just for heaven.
Many testify to what Christ is doing in their lives today. I can say that He is the one who gives me joy, and I spend most of every day in His Word. I love Him with all my heart and I am excited about heaven and being with Christ and worshiping God.
J.B Phillips, in his book God Our Contemporary, has a chapter entitled “The inadequacy of Humanism” in which he describes secular humanism as a bleak and cruel creed. It denies the Christian faith and the need for any moral or spiritual authority outside humanity. Humanism restricts life to this earth: it denies God and says there is no life beyond this one. So it offers no hope to the severely handicapped, and no power to guide and strengthen someone defeated by emotional conflicts. It has nothing to offer for the crisis of life.
Secular humanism would have been useless some time ago, when in one week’s time two families lost teenage sons, and it would be useless to a man whose mother died in her sleep, to the family of a five-year-old girl who died of a brain tumor, and to the wife whose husband was killed in military service. Secular humanism had nothing to say. It was cold and cruelly silent.
But Christ was not! Matthew 11:28 says, “come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden.” John 10:10 says, “I am come that ye might have life, and…have it more abundantly.” And Philippines 4:13 says, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Christ is the only hope! And, Christ is the only hope for eternity.
The hope of Christ is an eternal certainty and it points beyond life now to life forever. Colossians 1:5 speaks of “the hope that is stored up for you in heaven.” We look forward to the happiness of heaven; it is an expectation of future glory that is well-grounded in the Word of God.
Perhaps the hope which we look forward to the most is the hope of His return. He personally promised it in John 14:3 where He said, “And if I go
and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” The angels divinely announced it in Acts 1:11 when they spoke to those who watched Christ ascend to heaven: “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.” Paul the apostle victoriously described it in1Thess 4:16. “…For the Lord, Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.” Jesus is personally, powerfully, and suddenly coming again. This time He will come in all His glory, and those who are raised from the dead will be changed by having their bodies made fit for heaven, and they will meet Him in the air. Those who are alive and belong to Christ will then be raptured to join Christ and to welcome Him. This is hope!
The hope of Christ is also the hope of the resurrection. We are told that Christ has abolished death, for it says in 2 Tim. 1:9-10, “He destroyed death, and through the Good News he showed us the way to have life that cannot be destroyed.” And resurrection is also promised in 1 Corinthians 15. It’s a great chapter and it presents the resurrection as a central doctrine of Christianity that affirms that God raised Jesus from the dead on the third day. Without the resurrection, the apostle Paul declared, Christian preaching and belief are meaningless (1 Cor. 15:14). The resurrection is the point at which God’s intention for Jesus becomes clear (Rom. 1:4) and believers are assured that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. So significant is the resurrection of Jesus that without it there would be no church or Christianity, and we would still be in our sins (1 Cor. 15:17). Death is not the end for the believer because Christ is our hope.
Finally, the hope of Christ is the hope of deliverance from judgment.
Hebrews 9:27 says, “Man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.” There are no exceptions concerning God’s judgment. There is no reincarnation; every person gets one chance to prepare for God’s judgment. Christ bore our judgment at the cross. Though judgment is certain, in Christ we need not fear because we have passed from death into life.
Christ is the only hope.
What a bold yet wonderful claim. Do we believe it? Then we must proclaim it, share it, and testify to it everywhere we go.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the Bible. What a blessed assurance that Christ is the only hope; that we don’t have to come to You in our own goodness or by loving others or by being baptized or by belonging to a church. We can come to You just as we are, with our sin, and through faith in Jesus Christ our sins are forgiven and we are washed clean. Christ is the only hope for salvation! Father, thank You for Jesus. You are a great God, and we love You and trust You. Bless each of Your children, who are present today. In Jesus name, we pray. Amen.