The reason for living – all of it is conditioned by the fact that my blessed Lord is alive in the glory, and I have a hope.
Alright thank you very much, and hello again dear radio friends. How in the world are you? I want you to know that I think of you and pray that God, by His blessed Holy Spirit, may be with you and fill your life with His comfort and blessing and peace and joy even now. God bless you dear friends. Give you His Presence, so look up and thank Him for His gift, thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift, the Lord Jesus Christ.
You and I are looking at Colossians. The first chapter Paul is praying and thanking God for the fact that the faith of these people of Colossae is a working faith, and the love that they had to all the Saints is the result of the indwelling Holy Spirit, who sheds abroad God’s love in our hearts.
Then in verse five we want to see these words, “For the hope which is laid up for you in Heaven, where have you heard before the Word of the Truth of the Gospel which has come unto you, as it is in all the world and bring forth fruit”. “For the hope”. “We heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love you have to all the Saints, for the hope which is laid up for you in Heaven”.
Now, we heard of your faith and we heard of your love, but that faith and love is connected to and based upon the hope he says, uses the word for, it’s based upon the hope laid up for you in Heaven. Why do we trust God, and why do we love the Saints, and why do we serve the Lord? Because my friend, this life isn’t the end, it’s the beginning, and we have a living hope. Peter puts it this way, “Blessed be God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy, hath begotten us again unto a living hope”. King James says lively, that’s our word living, “living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that fadeth not away, reserved in Heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God, through faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time, wherein you greatly rejoice”.
Now, you see, there is the basis for all that we do it all that we are. There is a man in the Glory, the Godman, the Lord Jesus Christ, “There is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus”, Paul says, “and He was dead and is alive”, that’s what he says in Revelation. “Behold I am He that limit and was dead and behold I am alive for evermore and I have the keys of death and hell, Amen”. He’s begotten us again unto a living hope.
What is that living hope? It’s a Person, a Person, a Human Being who is also altogether God. Altogether human and altogether God, the God-man, know hyphen there between those two concepts, one word the God-man, the Lord Jesus Christ, altogether God, altogether human and He knows my needs and my sorrows in my burdens, and He makes intercession for me as I come to God in His name.
Jesus is alive, halleluiah, and I know that I shall see Him someday. Now, that makes a difference, you see, in everything that you and I do. Faith in Christ Jesus, love to the Saints, for the hope which is laid up for you in Heaven.
What does the hope of Heaven do to daily life here on earth? That is the question you want to think about from a minute. The reason many people live such materialistic lives is that they have no genuine expectation of seeing the Lord Jesus Christ momentarily and being in His Presence. John, the apostle says, “Now little children abide in Him that when He shall appear, we may have confidence before Him, not be ashamed away from Him at His coming”.
The Lord Jesus Christ said I’m coming again and you don’t know the day, nor the hour, but He will be here and as we read the prophetic Scriptures it does seem that His coming must occur soon. Don’t you agree? Every indication shows that we’re coming to the end of the age of grace. Israel is back in the land, distress of nations, wars and rumors of wars, earthquakes in diverse places it says, and iniquity shall abound, crime is increasing, violence is increasing, immorality is increasing, and at the same time God is pouring out His Spirit upon His people and revival is occurring here and there, blessedly occurring with the moving of the Spirit of God upon thousands of hearts.
So, it does look as though we’re coming to the end of the age of grace and any day now we may hear the trump of God and the dead in Christ shall rise first, then we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord, shall be caught up together with them in clouds. Dr. Pettengill used to say, “That isn’t clouds, that’s clouds of believers”, “Caught up together with them in clouds to meet the Lord in the air and so shall we ever be with the Lord wherefore” says Paul, “comfort one another with these words”. I’ve quoted of course from, from 1 Thessalonians 4.
Oh, the hope, the hope, Jesus is alive, Jesus knows my name, Jesus loves me with an everlasting love, Jesus is interceding for me, Jesus is coming again, one glad day and therefore, the way I live, the way I talk, the way I relate to other people, the thrust of my life, the reason for living, all of it is conditioned by the fact that my blessed Lord is alive in the Glory, and I have a hope in Him, a living hope, He is my hope. Paul says in another place, “Christ is our hope”.
Christ is our hope, that’s the secret of it. Now, how do you make that real in everyday life? You and I are unreasonably busy, and the day bursts upon you before you’re scarcely ready to regain consciousness, isn’t it true? The alarm goes off and you wake with a groan, and you, you know that you have to get up. If you’re a busy homemaker, you have to get up before the rest of the family and prepare breakfast and make six lunches, and try to find somebody’s missing socks or shirt or whatever it may be, and you get the family launched on the day, by that time you’re exhausted because you already done a day’s work, but there’s still a million things to do, and so you go on through the day, and it’s a series of minor crises, often times, sometimes major, and then the day ends and the family comes back. Someone inevitably asks you, what did you do all day, and you feel like biting him or her. Yes, mother I know!
Well now, the person who goes out the business, man or woman who goes out to business has the same problems, a little different in nature, but the same type of pressure and the world and its demands are very much with us. You don’t have time, much time that is, to do any meditating, and here comes Bob Cook saying you ought to have your mind fixed on that Living Hope, the Lord Jesus.
Well folks, the only way I can explain it is to give you an illustration of the young fellow who’s just fallen in love. He is so in love. Now he has to go to work and so he does, but as he’s driving to work he’s thinking about that beautiful lady with whom he is in love, and he has to take care of his duties at work, but as he does every now and again, his mind goes back to the last time he was with the object of his affections and what they said and did, how she looked, and how beautiful she was all that and his heart warms to the thought of it.
Yes, he works. Yes, he’s active. Yes, he takes care of his duties, but yes he’s tremendously in love and he thinks about her. I think all I’m pleading for is to have Jesus on your mind. It’s a love affair not a religious position. The Christian life is a love affair, not a religious profession.
Oh yes, the, the doctrinal position of the Christian life is important. The content of our theology is important. What you believe is important. Of course it is, that’s why we teach it. We believe the Bible, God’s, inerrant, infallible, inspired Word. Oh yes we do. That’s all important, but the dynamic, the dynamic of the Christian life, the way you live it, is to be in love with the Lord Jesus and be thinking about Him as the object of your hearts affection, just like a young man who’s just fallen in love, thinks about his sweetheart.
The Bible speaks of the Lord Jesus as being the bridegroom and it speaks of believers as being the bride of Christ. You’ve read that you know. Ephesians 5 is one of the passages that speaks of that, and so 4swrthe figure of speech that I’ve used I think is pretty well chosen. The living hope.
What makes the hope of Heaven real? I’ll tell you what will make it real; let your heart fall in love with the Savior and have Him on your mind. You’ll be thinking of the fact as you go on through a busy day that perhaps in a moment, you’ll hear the trump of God and the call come up higher, and you and I will be reunited with loved ones whom we’ve lost a while and we’ll see the face of our blessed Savior and we’ll gather round the throne and sing the songs of the redeemed, “Unto Him that loved us and loosed us from our sins in His own blood and hath made us kings and priests unto God, to Him be glory and honor”.
Oh, we’ll praise Him and we’ll meet each other in the Glory land. There’ll be a great reunion over there, won’t there? Say, if you have Jesus on your mind, you got a living hope. There’s a Person who guarantees it. You see, a Person makes all the difference.
I ran out of money on a trip down to Florida, cash that is, and I had to cash a check. Nobody knew me, and I knew that I would have difficulty cashing a personal check in an area where I wasn’t known, but I had a friend. I called him up and I said, “Bill, I’ve got to cash a personal check. Can you speak to somebody and tell them that I’m Alright”? He laughed, he said, “Why certainly”, he said, “You go over to such and such a bank”. He said, “I happen to be on the board of that bank. I’m pretty well-known, I think”, he chuckled. He said, “You just go over there and ask for Mr. so-and-so”. So I made out a check for whatever it was, $100 something like that that, might be able to give me enough cash to get by with till I got home, and I came in, somewhat timidly to the bank, and I spoke to the receptionist and I said, “I’m supposed to ask for Mr. so-and-so”. “Oh yes, right over there”.
So, I went over and Mr. so-and-so and greeted me and you might’ve thought I was the President of the United States, I’ll tell you he was as cordial as could be, and he said, “I understand from Bill, that you want to cash a check”. “Yes”, I said, “I’d like to”. Well he said, “Give me the check and we’ll take care of it”. And I handed it to him and he said, “You better endorse it, hadn’t you”? So, yes I wrote my endorsement on the back of it, and he was back in less time than it takes me to tell you, smiling broadly and he said, “Here you are, Mr. Cook”! Oh man, he didn’t know me and he didn’t care that much about me. How could he? But there was a person, a person who made the difference.
I’ll tell you, I’m grateful for my friends here on earth, indeed I am, but I’m ever so much more grateful just as you are, for the blessed Lord Jesus Christ Who stands for me in the Glory and spreads His nail pierced hands and says,” I died for that poor, lost, guilty, sinner whose trusting Me now. He’s a child of Thine, Father”, and He intercedes for Me. Jesus is coming again and I look forward to seeing Him and my heart warms with the thought, doesn’t yours?
See the dynamic of Christian living is the fact that you’re in love with Jesus, and He is living within you by His Holy Spirit, and you expect to see Him at any moment. Keep that hope alive, beloved.
Dear Father today, keep us living in that blessed hope of Christ’s returning, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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