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The Hope of Every Christian

I haven't posted in a long while concerning theology or issues regarding the Bible, but I decided that this time was appropriate.

The Hope of Every Christian
Just recently I gave a sermon on Romans 8:18-25 regarding hope and the Christian life. After the sermon, I began to think concretely about the true hope that every Christians have in the future and in their Savior.  I wanted to mention a few points drawing from that text that I think are crucial to our thinking about the future and about creation.

1.  Although great calamity and ruinous events take place here on Earth, they are not to be compared with what God will do in the future.  It seems trite to say this, almost as if we shouldn't take suffering, pain, and devastation seriously. These are matters that are to be taken very seriously.  However, even in the face of great anguish, the Christian believes that the hope of the resurrection far outshines the dreadful consequences of the fall upon this Earth.  For the resurrection provides a present and future hope.  How?  On the basis of Christ's death, resurrection, and ascension believers are given hope that the end of their days does not end with death.  Death no longer has the victory, for it has been swallowed up, ironically by death itself (Christ's death and new life).  So our perspective in suffering should be one of patient endurance, looking forward to the hope of the resurrection.

2.  The hope of the future does not solely rest with humanity itself.  God has made all of creation in such a way that the order of all things cries out for completion, restoration and unity.  Just as sin has utterly affected humanity in all its faculties, creation has also been radically affected by the disease like nature of sin.  Therefore, since God didn't make no junk, he has given creation the same longing as his fellow creatures, the longing to be restored, to be freed from the bondage, damage, and destructive nature of sin.  Secondlly, all creation is going somewhere, there is a telos built in by which creation years for, no matter what aspect.  God has not wish to zap us out of earth to some ethereal place where by which we float on clouds and play harps.  No, the hope of the future is quite earthy.  The hope is that all creation will bring praise to God and enjoy the freedom of the resurrection.

3.  Lastly, this hope that is anchored in what God will do in the future should be seen in light of our present situation.  In saying this, what I am getting at is that we must not lose our grasp on the effects and consequences of sin upon us and all of creation.  Why?  Because if we lose sight of the destructive nature of sin, we will only turn to reformation outside of Christ for hope.  Just as the Christian hope is a hope rooted in Christ, so the sin that we so easily entangle ourselves in means nothing without the precious minstry and work of the Savior. 

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