Its Power And Blessedness





Such then is "that blessed hope," blessed indeed, and an imminent hope.

It is a hope which if really held in the heart will shape the life and

conduct of the believer, and fill, we make bold to say, every need he

has in the wilderness down here.



1. That blessed hope will keep the person of the Lord Jesus Christ

constantly before the heart. If we really look for Him, wait for Him,

pray and long for His Coming, to see Him face to face, He will ever be

fresh before our hearts. This hope will keep us in closest touch and

fellowship with Him as nothing else. Oh! the blessedness of knowing we

shall see Him--see Him in all His glory! Each day ought to be begun

with this thought, "I may meet Him today!" Each day should have for

its last thought the blessed anticipation that the coming morning may

find us in His presence.



2. The blessed hope is a purifying hope. "He that has this hope set

upon Him purifieth himself even as He is pure" (1 John iii:3). It is

the power for a consecrated and separated life. He prayed in His

high-priestly prayer, "They are not of the world as I am not of the

world. Sanctify them through Thy Truth, Thy Word is truth" (John

xvii:16, 17). He has redeemed us from the curse, from the guilt of our

sins and from this present evil age. We are saints, no longer of this

world, though still in the world. With this comes the responsibility

to live soberly, righteously and godly in this present age. If a child

of God lives a worldly, carnal life it is a denial of the power of the

Gospel. If a believer in that blessed hope lives an unholy life it is

an evidence that he has never known in his heart what this hope is. It

is a hope which teaches us to walk in the light as He is in the light.

No believer who knows that blessed hope and waits for its fulfilment

can go in the ways of the world to enjoy its hollow pleasures. It is a

separating, purifying hope.



3. "That blessed hope" is furthermore a powerful incentive to service

for God. One of the charges brought against this most precious

doctrine is that it paralyses missionary work and all other activities.

The very opposite is the case. It stimulates true service for God as

nothing else does. Look at that great model servant, the Apostle Paul.

What a witness he gives of his untiring, whole hearted service and the

sufferings he endured in connection with it. Read 1 Thessalonians ii

and 2 Corinthians xi:24-33. He had seen the Lord in glory and he knew

that His glory belonged to him and that in the day of Christ he would

see Him and receive the reward from His hands. This was the secret of

his zeal for the Gospel; this gave him joy to endure. Like Moses he

"had respect unto the recompense of the reward." He knew before the

judgment seat of Christ he, and with him all the Saints, shall appear

to receive the reward for faithful service. He looked upon those for

whom he toiled, who were led to Christ by his testimony and nourished

by his ministry as his glory and joy in the coming presence of the

Lord. "For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not

even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His Coming? For ye

are our glory and joy" (1 Thess. ii:19). The most successful

evangelists and missionaries have been and are believers in that

blessed hope. If we believe that He may come at any time, we shall

certainly lose no time to do the work into which His grace has called

us.



4. It is a sustaining hope. It sustains in suffering and in sorrow.

David wrote: "The Lord will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing;

thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness" (Ps. xli:3). It is the

blessed hope of imminent glory which in sickness and pain gives

strength, "yea songs in the night" will come from our lips if that

blessed hope is ever first before our souls. And then it sustains the

believer in conflict and keeps him faithful in the days of declension

and apostasy.



5. It is a comforting hope. "Comfort one another with these words"

the apostle wrote after he gave the great message. It is the comfort

when our loved ones leave us. When we stand at the grave of the

departed ones, who fell asleep in the Lord, we know that the day is

coming when that grave opens and they come forth and we shall be united

with them "caught up together with them to meet the Lord in the air."





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