“Let not your heart be troubled; you 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 to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also" (John 14:1-3)
Lesson 5 of the There is Hope Bible Discovery Study unfolds the eye-opening truth that there are three phases to salvation. In the first phase, Christ died to save the entire world. In the second phase, He saves us from the power of sin over our lives - we are no longer slaves to sin. In the third phase, He returns to save us from the presence of sin. If this third phase doesn’t take place, then all that preceded it was in vain. But we are sure that He that promised is faithful; He will come again! Do you believe this? Is this your hope?
1 John 3:3 says that everyone with this hope prepares themselves? How?
“And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” (1 John 3:3).
We who have this hope purify ourselves. But how do we do this?
I enjoy accompanying those who are skilled in the Word on Bible studies; there is just so much to learn. One of my favorite persons to accompany is Pastor Hansell. He just has a way of making the Scriptures come alive and practical. One very important subject that He has shed some light on is the subject of overcoming sinful habits. In summary, one gets victory over sinful habits by doing two things:
- Confess your sins daily. 1 John 1:9 says that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Confession is needed, not so much in order to convince God to forgive us - He gave His life to be able to do that - but this is one means by which He can turn our hearts against sin. The act of confessing itself acts as a therapy by which we come to examine what we have done and why. In this sense, Catholics may be on to something - except that they are confessing to human beings - who are just as sinful as themselves. When we confess to God, He will minister to you as no one else can. You’ll also notice that there is a very special closeness to God after a heartfelt confession.
- Spend time in the Word: Christ said to His disciples, “you are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you” (John 15:3). Thy word have I hidden in my heart that I might not sin against you (Psalm 119:11). While prayer produces hatred for sin, The Holy Spirit uses the Word of God to convict us of sin, and through it gives us the power to overcome sin.
Are you struggling with sinful habits? Victory doesn’t lie in trying harder - it’s in the relationship developed through prayer and study of the Word.
While the Gospel (Life, death, burial, resurrection of Jesus Christ) is good news for the entire world (Romans), the second coming is only good news for the believers, who will exclaim “ Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation” (Isaiah 25:9;)
On the other hand, we see the wicked, who have taken lightly the sacrifice of Christ, now in deep sorrow, and fright:
14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together, and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
Many even, who have professed faith in Christ will realize on that day that they never had a true relationship with Him. He never knew them.
This world is becoming more chaotic every day; wickedness increases; children being abused, women raped, racism continues to plague the nations, political unrest, earthquakes, diseases; people’s hearts faint as they look on the things coming upon the land.
The only hope for change is the coming of Jesus. He has waited long, just as a farmer waits for His fruits to ripen before reaping them. It pains His heart even more than it does ours to see the suffering here on earth. He wants to come back and put an end to all of this and bring in true happiness. But He’s waiting. He’s probably waiting on me - or maybe you. He longs for us to be where He is. Some time, not too far from now, He will say “it is finished, let him that is filthy remain filthy still, and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still”. Then He will come to take home those who look for His appearing.
Have you wept this past year? Then you’ll weep no more. Are you in pain? There will be no more pain. Have you lost a loved one? There will be no more death. Jesus told His disciples, “Now you have sorrow, but I will see you again, and you shall have joy, and that joy can no man take away”. Perpetual joy. We have this Hope - Hope in the coming of the Lord.
Jesus made a promise to you He would return so that where He is, you may be as well. The Second Coming of Christ is the Blessed Hope that reunites a loving Father with His children here on this earth.
Think about it
What about the second coming most excites you? Are there things that you are anxious about?
Jesus told us to be watchful. What does being watchful look like?
How can we live so close to Christ now that there won’t be a vast change in the relationship when He comes?
Are there things that are hindering your preparation? As in the days of Noah?
1. Tell someone about the blessed hope today.
2. Set a specific time for talking with God, and allow Him to purify you; to turn your heart against that which he hates.
3. Set aside a specific time to read God's word. Decide in advance on a study plan. Just picking up the Bible and read as you feel almost never works. Decide to read through a particular book of the Bible, or to study a specific theme.
What are your thoughts on the topic and devotion for today? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
21 Days of Prayer
The storms of this life often threatens to overflow and overwhelm us; but in God's Word we find reasons to keep swimming; keep striving; keep pressing and holding on. In this series we explore 21 reasons why we can have hope, even in a world, or personal experience, that feels hopeless.