A Living Hope

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

1 Peter 1:3-5

All that says 1 Peter 1: 3-5 deserves the greatest attention on the part of the believer: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Let us meditate deeply on that living hope that awaits us.

Peter says first of all: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope. The living hope that awaits us is not something we have gained by ourselves. Nor does it come because we deserve it. It was the great mercy of God, who made us reborn for this hope. If He made us reborn, that is, being born again, it is because our first birth prevented us from having access to this hope. John 3:3 tells us, Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Living hope comes from what the apostle Peter says next, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. The great difference between Christianity and human religions is the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. The leaders of the different world religions died and stayed in their graves; but Jesus rose from the dead and today is seated at the right hand of the Father and promised to return with glory and power to reign with those who have believed in Him. And because Christ is risen, who truly believes has that same living hope.

John 11:25-26 says, Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” Believing in Jesus Christ gives us the guarantee of resurrection to live eternally with Him. And that eternal life is the inheritance of which Peter speaks, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

That last time is ever closer, the glorious day of the second coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And it does not matter whether we are alive or not by then, because for every believer there is the living hope that tells us 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, 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. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. God bless you.

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Enduring Trails

A man who endures trials is blessed, because when he passes the test he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.

James 1:12

Enduring the trials, according to what James 1:12 says, brings your reward. The reward of those who have endured trials is the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love Him. The best demonstration of love we can give to God is to withstand temptation and withstand trial. For this, it is necessary to remain firm, without giving up or discouraging. The task is not easy; but we must remember that God is good and will not give us a burden higher than our ability to bear.

There are temptations that are very obvious and a lot has been talked about them. I believe that when many hear the opening words of James 1:12: A man who endures trials is blessed, the first thing they imagine is a man tempted to desire a beautiful woman who is not his. It is true that this is one of the baits that the enemy sets us to stir up the hormones and make us fall; but there are other forms more subtle and dangerous than that, which lead us to the total loss of our reward.

When we succumb to the temptation to follow the false gospel of prosperity, we are failing the test. In no way are we showing love to God, but love of the riches that God is supposed to give us. Whoever does such a thing is not looking for God for who He is but for what he can give to increase his ego and his unhealthy desire to become rich and powerful. Using the Word of God out of context, this man falls into the net of the enemy so subtly that he believes in the lie that those who do wrong are those who preach sound doctrine.

But even this temptation is obvious to many, who have opened their eyes and turned away from such harmful doctrine. Now come even stronger tests for everyone. The world is moving into very dangerous paths that could lead humanity into serious conflict. It would not be at all strange for a global war of terrible destruction to happen. Before the war, the desire of the great majority is to achieve peace. And here comes the temptation, the great test for believers in accepting the conditions of worldly peace.

To cling to the foundation of our faith in order to harmonize with the world and to obtain peace is not to withstand temptation and to resist the test. To reach an ecumenical consensus where the true God coexists with idols is not to show love for the one and only God. In no way whoever does such a thing will receive the crown of life. We are already looking at what Matthew 24:6 says, And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

If our legs are already trembling with rumors of war, will we be able to endure the next test? Matthew 24:9 says what that test is: Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. Enduring the hatred of the world for being a Christian is the best demonstration of love for Christ and is our sure guarantee of receiving the crown of life at His triumphant return. Persevere to the end and we will be called blessed because we will be eternally with the King of kings. God bless you.

The Blessed Hope

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.

Titus 2:11-14

Despite not being one of the best-known biblical passages, Titus 2:11-14 is a clear summary of the Gospel. Paul speaks of grace for salvation, but also speaks of the requirement to have access to grace, repentance, which expresses it as denying ungodliness and worldly lusts. He also speaks to us in this way about conversion: we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age. In verse 13 he talks about what gives a title to this message: Blessed hope. That hope we will have when the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ occurs.

On the other hand, Titus 2: 11-14 is also a wake-up call for all of us who have been redeemed by the precious blood of Christ. He paid a heavy price for our salvation, so once saved, we must stop living according to the parameters dictated by the world, to walk from there to the end according to His holy will. Let us always remember this about the Lord: who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.

So, as we await His glorious coming, let us do as He tells us in Matthew 24:44-47, Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods. The blessed hope of those who love the Lord implies a great reward.

That reward is what Santiago calls the crown of life. James 1:12 says, Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. The Bible does not promise that our waiting will be easy, we will have trials, persecutions, tribulations, temptations and afflictions; but if we resist all that, the promises of God will be fulfilled in each one of us. Blessed hope has not been sacked by our Heavenly Father.

To some of us life might be a little harder than normal. If you are one of them, you could ask, how long should I wait? Revelation 1:3 says to you, Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near. And Revelation 22: 7 reassures him, “Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.”

The day of the glorious manifestation of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ is ever nearer, let us keep in holiness for Him and we will be called as Revelation 20:6 says, Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years. God bless you.

The Hope of Glory

The mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Colossians 1:26-27

Reaching for glory is the yearning of many. In the earthly world, those engaged in the arts or sports struggle vehemently to achieve glory or stardom. The artists of the music have put their hope in being awarded with a Grammy; film artists dream of the Oscar; the athletes with a gold medal or that their team wins the championship. Christians have the hope of glory that Christ is in us.

To bring a little more light to what Colossians 1:26-27 says, let us see what Romans 8:9-11 tells us, But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

Both the letter to the Romans and the letter to the Colossians were written by Paul addressed to Gentile audiences, that is, to peoples outside Israel. We see in both biblical texts the use of Paul’s pronouns: Christ in you, the hope of glory. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. In both uses the pronoun you, in which, he himself is not including.

Does it mean then that the Jews are excluded from this hope of glory? Let us not lose sight of what the whole of Scripture says. In John 4:22 he stated something very clear, You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. And we see that again the same Lord uses the pronoun you, speaking, like Paul, to a Gentile audience. The problem is not whether or not the Jews are excluded from the hope of glory, it is we, the Gentiles, who, without Christ, are excluded.

Fortunately, God is inclusive and has opened the doors for us to have all human beings the opportunity to be part of His family. Our Lord Jesus Christ will soon return with glory and He wants to share it with those who have believed in Him. John 17:22 says, And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one. With Christ in us, we are partakers of His glory.

As we wait for His coming, we can go through difficult times; but the best thing for us is to come. Romans 8:18-19 says, For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. And 2 Corinthians 3:18 says, But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. Christ in us is the hope of sharing in His glory. God bless you.

Hope in Heaven

Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of your love for all the saints; because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel, which has come to you, as it has also in all the world, and is bringing forth fruit, as it is also among you since the day you heard and knew the grace of God in truth.

Colossians 1:4-6

For many, waiting is a very tedious activity. I’ve seen so many people find it hard to stand in line, wait their seated turn, or have the red traffic light change. This kind of people may seem an insult to be mentioned in the words patience and hope. Those of us who have believed in Jesus Christ know that our greatest hope is not just around the corner but in the heavens. If we are like people who get tired of waiting, our walk through life would be terrible.

I see with regret how many people think that God’s function is to solve earthly problems. Many of our problems come from ourselves, some from our bad decisions and others from disobedience to God Himself. Surely God, like our Father, takes care of us; but we must not overlook that we are also living in enemy territory and that the prince of this world makes war every day. That adds to the additional difficulties.

Our Lord always warned that in this world we would have difficulties. He never even promised that the Christians of the end times would be protected in a glass bubble, but that we would be in the midst of the great tribulation, exposed to danger. Just read Matthew 24 to realize that. In verses 9 and 10 we read, Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.

In addition to the warning, the Lord tells us what to do. In Matt. 24:13 it indicates what our attitude should be in the face of adversity that is coming, But he who endures to the end shall be saved. There is no doubt that we will be tested to the end. Therefore, we must persevere in faith without denying it. Verse 14 tells us the reason for our test to the end, And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.

I ask myself a question, who is going to preach the gospel around the world? Matthew 24:14 is very clear, before the end comes, the gospel will be preached in the whole world. Romans 10:14 says, But how can they call on Him they have not believed in? And how can they believe without hearing about Him? And how can they hear without a preacher? It is obvious that whoever has known Christ beforehand will be preaching the gospel to the end. That role is not of angels coming down from heaven, but of us Christians.

If your hope in becoming a Christian is to be happy and prosperous and your earthly problems are all solved, I have bad news: there is no guarantee that this will happen. Things could get worse from here on out. But there is better news, the true hope is in the heavens and is called Jesus Christ, now seated at the right hand of the Father; but who will come with glory as King and then those who have believed will reign with Him. God bless you.

The Hope of Righteousness

For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.

Galatians 5:5-6

Galatians 5:5-6 gives a beautiful promise to all who have believed in Jesus Christ, For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love. The hope of righteousness does not come by trying to fulfill the Law or by means of what we consider for ourselves as good. None of this is worth anything, according to what Scripture says. But our righteousness comes by faith in the work of love effected by Jesus on the cross.

The very essence of the gospel is summed up in Romans 3:21-26: But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all[a] who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

The Law of God gives us knowledge of what sin means because all that the Law forbids is sin. We cannot define ourselves as good people when we compare ourselves with the most sinister persons in history. Before a criminal or a terrorist, we may see ourselves as angels; but if we want to measure our goodness, the standard to use is goodness, not badness. The Law of God is this standard of goodness, and to be considered good, one must conform to it one hundred percent.

That is why it is impossible to be justified by the works of the Law, since it shows us that we have all sinned. If God did not have a better plan for us, there would be no hope of righteousness in our behalf. Our own acts condemn us and we have no possibility of justifying ourselves. If we were before God, the righteous judge, being judged by our works, no doubt that the guilty verdict would be the one indicated. We would remain silent without being able to answer anything in our defense.

Our justification, our hope for justice righteousness, does not come from us, but from the righteous who has occupied our place by paying with His precious life for our sins. We are justified free by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set as propitiation through faith in his blood. Our redemption, our justification, and our salvation from everlasting punishment come by putting our faith in Jesus Christ not in what we ourselves can do.

Pretending to do your best is not enough to hope for righteousness. God is holy and perfect and only holiness and perfection satisfy Him. Acts 13:38-39 says it this way, Therefore, let it be known to you, brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is being proclaimed to you, 39 and everyone who believes in Him is justified from everything that you could not be justified from through the Law of Moses. Jesus Christ is the hope of righteousness. God bless you.

The Great Hope of the Believer

And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak, knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you.

2 Corinthians 4:13-14

The great hope of believing in Jesus Christ is not that all our problems will be solved. Neither is it that we will be prosperous, rich and happy. If so, there would not be a great difference between being a Christian, an atheist, or a practitioner of the Eastern religions. There are methods outside of Jesus to try to be happy, achieve wealth or try to minimize problems. But our great hope is explained by 2 Corinthians 4:14, knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus.

It is shocking to see how the apostles and early Christians had no fear of receiving martyrdom in the name of Jesus. I imagine that their executioners would see them as crazy people who preferred to lose their lives rather than to deny their faith in Jesus Christ. But that attitude of being martyred rather than denying Christ has continued for two thousand years among true Christians. The reason for this apparent madness is one, whoever has believed and known the risen Christ has the same hope of resurrection.

That great hope of the believer in Jesus Christ, which distinguishes them from those who believe in other things, summed up by the Lord Himself in His promise given in John 11:25-26, Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” Believing in Jesus Christ is synonymous with having life after death and not any kind of life. The life that He promises for those who believe Him is eternal, without end and not in a body of death like the present, but in a glorified one.

Maybe I was hoping that I would bring you today a message of hope that things in the world would improve in the future. Sorry to disappoint you with that, but I must tell you that will not happen. We are witnessing the succession of earthquakes in different parts of the world almost one after another. Scientists themselves predict that a number of catastrophic earthquakes with an intensity greater than 8.0 on the Richter scale are coming closer. And, as a result of climate change, there is talk of more storms, droughts, snowfalls and tornadoes.

For its part, economic analysts do not predict anything positive in the financial world, but quite the opposite. The global stock market system could collapse at any time and many people run the risk of moving from abundance to indigence in the blink of an eye. As if that were not enough, the threat of wars, in which weapons of mass destruction may be used, is increasingly credible as the number of members of the nuclear club grows and people with twisted minds aim to sow terror.

Are you astonished and terrified by such things? They should not be astonished because each and every one of them has been prophesied in the Bible. And I’m not talking about the books of the Old Testament, see Matthew 24 and the book of Revelation and you’ll see. But if those things terrify you, that Matthew 24:6 says that they need to happen, it is because you are not aware of the great hope of the believer in Jesus Christ. And this great hope is that that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus. With Christ, we will have resurrection and eternal life. God bless you.