Hope of Heaven
The Christian religion is a religion of hope. Hope is defined as “desire with expectation of obtaining what is desired”. Desire alone is not hope. You may desire to win a million dollars, or that there would be no crime or drugs. You may desire these things, but you cannot hope for them. Expectation alone is not hope. Most of us expect sickness to come, expect to pay taxes, or even to punish our children. We expect these things in life but we do not desire them, therefore we do not hope for them. Where there is desire and expectation there is hope, and such hope is necessary for us to live the Christian life successfully.
What the Christian hope is not: It is not the “hope” that we are Christians. Have you ever been asked, “Are you a Christian?” and your reply is “I hope so”. We can know if we are a Christian or not, no hoping about it. In 1Jn. 5:13 we read “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of Man so that you may know that you have eternal life.” If one knows he has eternal life he knows he is a Christian.
What the Christian hope is: It IS the promise of Heaven with all the good things that are there. We ought to desire it, and we ought to expect it. If we don’t, we have no hope. Many Christians just desire Heaven but don’t expect it. If you don’t expect it you are not diligent or don’t believe the promises of God. The basis of our hope is that we are children of God. The reason for our being children of God is God’s love .1 John. 3:1 reads “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God”. We became children of God by being born again. John. 3:3-5 says that “Jesus answered and said unto him, verily, verily I say unto thee, except a man be born again; he cannot see the kingdom of God”. No one except a child of God can have this hope of Heaven. Those we come in contact with in our everyday lives that cannot call themselves children of God are without hope. Eph. 2:12 reads “That at the time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world”. We know from scripture that Heaven is a prepared place. Jesus said, “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 to prepare a place for you I will come again and receive you unto myself. That where I am ye may be also.” Heaven is prepared only for those who summit to Christ and become children of God.
We know that as a Christian we must keep ourselves pure and the hope of Heaven purifies our hearts. 1 John. 3:3 reads
“And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” The stronger our hope, the purer in heart and life we will be. Likewise, the purer in heart and life the stronger our hope will be. Purity in the life of every Christian is necessary before we can have hope of “appearing with Christ in glory”. The hope of Heaven should cause us as Christians to rejoice. We are told in Matt. 5:12 “Rejoice and be exceedingly glad for great is your reward in Heaven.” Our hope is based upon the promises of Christ, and he has promised us Heaven if we obey him.
Our hope depends upon the strength of our desire, and how badly we want to go to Heaven. It is also based on the strength of our expectation, and our faith in God who has promised us a place in Heaven if we have lived the kind of life we should. The Christians hope is worth more than the entire world, do you have it?