Commentary: Some Reasons for Hope
The News Is Bad, But Maybe It Is Good
John W. Ritenbaugh
Given 31-Jan-09; 10 minutes
The news that we are hearing across the breadth of America is bad. Among the worst is that our nation is in the midst of a very serious recession that economists are prophesying to grow worse as we move more deeply into 2009. Above and beyond that, we see our nation is sliding—perhaps "falling" would be more accurately descriptive—into an easily, historically-provable failed economic and social system called socialism or fascist or communism.
These systems rarely last even one hundred years without either convulsing into a bloody revolution or whimpering away into virtual nothingness as a way of life, because they cannot provide their people with anything more than a meager existence. Perhaps most serious of all, we see our beloved nation sliding into a new world order, a reconfiguring of the relationships among nations and all that that might entail. Our leaders are literally giving away our God-given wealth. They are voluntarily surrendering our sovereignty and our personal liberties to a supranational ruling body that most surely does not see things the way we have been taught. From this, the beast may be rising—from the mass of humanity labeled "the West."
In a major way, these things give us no reason for hope that things will change for the better any time soon. So, I thought that I would remind us of some reasons to take hope and comfort in, and to help restore some pleasant expectations that we need to have in mind.
The first thing, brethren, is that our sins are forgiven. This is very easy to overlook in the busy rush of everyday life. But brethren, this is of supreme importance, because without this, there is no future to hope for for any of us, and we need to thank God every day of our life. Human nature thinks so highly of itself, it likes to think of itself as being without need for forgiveness any longer. But brethren, all it takes is just one sin to keep us out of the Kingdom of God. This is a reality, because Scripture says that the wages of sin is death. It says "the wages of sin"—it can indicate only one; not three, not five, or whatever—death. It only took one occasion of sin by Adam and Eves to have them excluded from God's presence in Eden, which is a type of the Kingdom of God.
We have hope, because our sins have not only been forgiven, but Jesus Christ is still on His throne in heaven as our High Priest. His blood is still available to us to continue covering the forgiveness of our sins. Without this, there is hopelessness, because brethren, our lives are far from perfect. We will not go into the Kingdom of God on the basis of our life.
The second thing is that we have God's unbreakable promise that He will send Jesus Christ and establish the Kingdom of God on earth. The leaders who are now changing things have no such hope. They may even sincerely be well-intentioned. And despite knowing human nature's power for influence for personal gain and the preservation of the self, we have to give them the benefit of the doubt that many of them sincerely believe that what they are doing as a result of mankind's past history and "the powerful weapons for mass destruction that we have that these changes are man's last best hope for survival; that war must be stopped. And if it takes giving up our sovereignty to do it, it is worth it," is what they are saying.
Now, I know that you do not think that way, and neither do I. But they do not have that belief and the hope it provides us to guide them. And so, they muddle along, allowing Satan to sneakily lure them into his death dealing trap.
The final reason we have hope is because we believe God's Word and have the indwelling guidance of His Holy Spirit. To make the relationship more personal, Jesus added in John 14, "I will come to you." Later in the same chapter He says, "We will come and make Our home with him who loves Me." Thus, it is actually Him who lives in us. He is that Holy Spirit. This is incredible, to say the least. In John 16:33, He added that "in the world, you will have tribulation [trials, hard times, pressure stress, but the same One who lives in us said,] but be of good cheer, because I have overcome the world."
Our reason for hope is that even as He did it before, He can also do it in and through us. It's too easy for all this bad news to drag us down. But brethren, the very fact that it is happening, and that God still rules, is leading to the very things we hope for. So the only logical conclusion is that this has to happen this way. Jesus said that He will never leave nor forsake us. He is always there, and our hope is in Him. We cannot allow Satan to trick us into forgetting where our hope and our strength lies. So, we have to learn to roll with the punches, focusing our efforts on the Kingdom of God and our Savior.
There is nothing we can do about what is going on in the world anyway. That's a reality and believing in that reality will help keep our minds focused in the right direction. The reality is, this world is crumbling before our very eyes. It is shattering into a thousand billion pieces, even as man's last, best hope fails before the righteousness of God is revealed from heaven in the person of Christ Jesus, in whom they put no hope, even as they did not do it the first time that He was around. But this time they will not succeed in killing Him who walked from the grave alive and rose to the Father. Take hope.