HEAVEN ON PLANET EARTH
This week we're talking about the first word in our H.O.P.E. acronym: HEAVEN
WHAT IS HOPE?
There are 20 words used in the Bible - 15 in the OT and 5 in the NT (check those out by clicking here)
They mean - Trust, Confidence, Secure, confident, bold, sure, safety, safely, safe, securely, assurance, boldly, care, confidence, surely, to trust, to make a refuge, to have hope, wait, tarry, stay, refuge, shelter, abiding, plenty, view, expectation, expected, hope for again, faith
Often when we hear the word hope in conversation it will sound something like this “Well, I really hope I don’t lose $50 on the horse I bet on today”. When you contrast the word used in that context to how the word was intended for use in the Bible, we quickly realize our contemporary understanding of hope is flawed.
Hebrews 6:11 “And we desire that every one of you do show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end”
Psalm 16:9 “Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.”
Psalm 42:11 “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why are you stirred within me? Hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.
Psalm 71:14 “But I will hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more.
Romans 15:13 "Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost”
HOW DO WE GET HOPE?
It is a gift of God
2 Thessalonians 2:13-17 “But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, who love us, and have given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts, and establish you in every good word and work."
He continually imparts that gift to us through his word
Ps 119:49 “Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which thou has caused me to hope
Ps 119:81: My soul faints for your salvations: but I hope in thy word
Psalm 119:114 You are my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word
Psalm 130:7 “I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope
Romans 15:4 “ For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
WHAT DOES HIS WORD TELL US TO PUT OUR HOPE IN?
1 Corinthians 15:19 “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable”
HEAVEN IS OUR HOPE
(check out the words used in the Bible for heaven here)
Acts 26:6 “And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers
1 Peter 1:3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
Titus 1:2 “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began”
Titus 3:7 “That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
Colossians 1:23 & 27 “If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which you have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven: whereof I Paul am made a minister…to whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
1 Thessalonians 2:19 “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?
The hope we have shouldn’t lead to rapture mania (setting dates and times for the end) or Rapture-itis. We must Occupy till he comes
Luke 19:12-13 "He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come."
OCCUPY: KINGS AND PRIESTS OF HEAVEN
Hebrew 6:18-19 “That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entirety into that within the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.
Revelation 1:7 “And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”
We are kings and priests of the KINGDOM OF HEAVEN
Thus we function best in our roles when we understand how the kingdom we are a part of works and work under the authority we have been set under.
Matthew 6 and Luke 11 give us what’s known as “The Lords Prayer” - we call it “the disciples prayer”, because it is the prayer Jesus taught US to pray. In it we pray “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” - It is Biblical to believe heaven on earth, but that doesn’t make earth heaven.
When don’t set our eyes on heaven and behold what God is actually doing / fix our gaze on God and his will, his word, his ways and the way HIS kingdom, we wont function in the authority we’ve been given to impact this world. We will lower our convictions, our expression and our faith to simply match our experience.
HOW SHOULD WE, AS HOPE-FILLED KINGS AND PRIESTS, ACT?
Romans12:12 “Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer”
1 Peter 3:15 “But SANCTIFY the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that sketch you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear “
1 Thes 5:8 “But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.
Titus 2:11 “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 this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
Hebrews 10:19-25 “Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching”