Westminster Theological Seminary1997-06-09 - Hope

Titus 3:7, "according to hope of eternal life."

In a recent survey it was learned that 27% of the American public think that outspoken Basketball star Dennis Rodman will make it to heaven. I certainly hope he makes it to heaven. Hopes of heaven are very common today. "I hope that I will go to heaven", is as common as, "Someday I hope to see the Grand Canyon." In fact, many who have hopes of heaven act a lot like those who have hopes of seeing the Grand Canyon. They go about their daily lives and make no real plans about getting around to seeing that their hopes are reached. Hope is a substitute for "wishing."

So what is the foundation of Christian hope? The foundation is the Word of God. Christian hope is bold enough to assert that all the promises, and all the good things spoken of in the Bible are true. Christian hope believes in the perfections of God, the intercession and righteousness of Christ, and that the promises of our eternal state and future glory are real. Practically speaking, what we hope for is that we have a friend in heaven. We hope that, the gospel being true, Christ has become our friend and our advocate with the Father.

We also hope to see and fellowship with our other friends and relations who will join us in heaven. This is one of those little known doctrines in the church. For theological types like me everything needs a label. We need to be able to call everything, something. So joining with others that we have known here on earth, in heaven, is known as the doctrine of Mutual Recognition. This exciting doctrine asserts that we will one day fellowship with each other, in heaven, fully knowing each other as distinct persons just as we do here. Our communion with God, started here, is continued anew in heaven. What a wonderful thought this is.

There are many other things associated with Christian hope, but that is enough for today.

"Hope fills the afflicted soul with such inward joy and consolation, that it can laugh while tears are in the eye, sigh and sing all in a breath....Truly, hope is the saints covering, wherein he wraps himself, when he lays his body down to sleep in the grave: "My flesh," saith David, "shall rest in hope"....Nothing more unbecomes a heavenly hope than an earthly heart." - William Gurnall

Soli Deo Gloria,