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What is the “blessed hope” we must have at Jesus’ “appearing?” 

 

Renette Vermeulen

 

blessed hope.jpg 

[Acknowledgement to the person who published his image] 

 

Someone asked, “[Shouldn’t we have] the Word and blessed hope in Jesus’ glorious appearing, [His return to earth,] now, during the end of the end times?” (Titus 2:13.)  Certainly.  We must grab hold of the Truth of God’s Word and the “blessed hope” that He will return to ‘right all that is wrong.’  This is encouragement for believers to obey the Scriptures so they can sustain the “blessed hope” of salvation until Jesus returns.  That Day can come at any moment; either in death or at His return.  But how do believers understand “the blessed hope” of His “appearing” on That Day when we will all meet Him face to face?  For those who know they are not ready, this means the most Dreadful Day when eternal suffering will begin — The Day they want to avoid at all cost, (Mt. 25:1-13.)  However, for those who live in a sincere relationship with Jesus and stand in His full atonement in their place, this is the highest form of hope and encouragement they have in this life - especially when they suffer constant, inescapable trials and tribulation, (1 Ths. 4:18.)  Yet, from the context of this passage in Titus, it seems that that having the “blessed hope” to be right with God on That One Day when Jesus returns, is not merely a gift from God, but also something which believers must “soberly” and purposely strive to achieve.  (ALL these verses in both the Old and New Testaments speak of only One Day, not a ‘two-fold’ return!  Titus 2:1-15 commands us three times to be sober-minded in everything.  We must always be “discreet, chaste… and a pattern of [Moral-Law] works” to glorify Jesus in a serious lifestyle of “righteousness and Godliness.”   

· If we look back on the unbearable concentration camps, wars, genocides, plagues, famines, lawlessness, etcetera, of history and especially of the last century until now, we see that in severe crises, hypes and feelings never brought any real peace, faith, emotional growth, or deliverance from affliction. Only those who lived on “stone cold” faith in Christ and stood immovably on the promises of His Word “endured to the end,” as Jesus commanded in Matthew 24:10-14.  They believed Jesus will deliver them either by intervening in their suffering, at death, or at His Biblical “appearing” on the clouds, (Mt. 24:26-31.) True believers submitted to His will and trusted that He would supply all their needs – while greed never came to mind.  They knew bogus doctrines cannot sustain them with the false hope of escaping all suffering in this world.  They understood the fallen brokenness of this dimension, (1 Jn. 5:18-19.)  Every time, their faith sustained them and carried them through, because despite fake church hypes that might produce ‘good’ feelings, this is the only real “blessed hope at His glorious appearing” that can uphold true believers in their faith and commitment to Jesus. The persecution, tribulation, and martyrdom real believers had to face through history, (as described in Hebrews 11 and many other passages in the New Testament,) clearly explain this “hope at His appearing.” 

Those who know what it’s like to be persecuted “for righteous sake,” also know they can do nothing about it, (we can only change our own sin through repentance in Christ; not the decisions of other people,) and so, they learn to understand what it’s like to literally have no other hope than to STAND in the grace of God against everything they must face.  Totally helpless on a physical level in seemingly never-ending onslaughts, they have no spiritual hypes, no prospect of prosperity, or the hope to be supposedly ‘raptured’ out of this world to escape suffering. They only have the option to disintegrate emotionally and as a result also spiritually, or to trust Jesus by growing emotionally in the truth of the Word that is written on their hearts and minds, (Heb. 10:16.)  Often, even their Bibles were taken away, but no one could take away the inward testimony of the Spirit that He will always supply all their needs.  The last mentioned believers are those who sincerely surrendered themselves and everything in their lives to Jesus.  It is only through decided surrender to the Most High God that lasting peace, patience, and real Holy-Spirit leading come. 

A big step towards “attaining” the “blessed hope in Jesus’ appearing” is to realize we must become emotionally mature in Christ.  Spiritually, sincerely born again believers are already fully “complete” in Jesus and live inside His Spiritual Kingdom of Light, (Col. 2:9-10; 1:13-14,) Emotionally or on the soul or mind level, we must understand that “whatever things were written were written for our learning, that we, [through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit,] might have “[the blessed]” hope…  and become like-minded… according to our Lord Jesus Christ, [while we never conform to the artificial doctrines and the false “hopes” of churches,]” (Rom. 15:4-6.) 

· We will know we are maturing emotionally when we are not addicted to people who abuse us and lead us astray, and when we repent from false doctrine that give us counterfeit ‘hope’ to feed greed and a lack of faith.  We will know we grow emotionally when we decidedly take full responsibility for every aspect of our lives by seeking God through the Truth of His Word.  Then, we know we do not have to rely on unstable people; He will send all those who are His true instruments as we might need them.  We also mature in Christ when we know everything we “have” actually “have” us, as Jesus merely entrusted everything and everyone to us, and we will have to give and account for it all on That Day at His “appearing,” (Mt. 25:14-46.)  But the ultimate test for our emotional maturity will be if we are at the place where we know we can truly “do all things through Christ Jesus Who strengthens us,” (Phil. 4:13.)  Then, demons, evil people, and the cataclysmic things in this world will not shake and scare us anymore because we solely rely on Jesus.  We are never alone; we can make it through in Christ.  And we can and will be ready at His “appearing,” because we have sincerely entrusted ourselves, our entire lives, and everything and everyone else to His care; while we are ready to obey and follow Him above all else

 

On the other hand, churches teach people they will have no problems when they “come to Christ,” (or actually ‘come to’ happy-go-lucky church membership,) while in reality, “problems” of all sorts are the catalysts that test our faith and enhance our “blessed hope” to get out of this crazy world at Jesus’ return.  Paul explained the necessity and purpose of trials in Romans 5:1-5, saying, “Justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through Whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we STAND and REJOICE IN THE [BLESSED] HOPE OF THE GLORY OF GOD.  And not only that, but we also [praise Him] in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance, and perseverance, character, and character, hope.” 

So, what the false prosperity dogma does, is to produce religious church members without perseverance, Godly character, or the “blessed hope” at Jesus’ “appearing.”  Yet time and again, Jesus and the apostles said we must “comfort one another with these words.”  The words that  we must be ready to meet Jesus at His return on the clouds, exactly as He promised at His ascension, He would return, (Acts 1:9-11,) with “the sound of the last or seventh trumpet,” (Rev. 11:15,) when “the kingdoms of this world will [finally] become the kingdoms of our Lord.” 

This will happen on That Day, when Jesus will come as visibly, suddenly, and unexpectedly as a global lighting strike, (Mt. 24:27-31— have you ever seen an ‘invisible, secret’ lightning strike?) and with a shout that thunders over the whole planet like the voice of an archangel, to “gather together” His bride from [everywhere on earth] — the bride who is ready to meet Him on “The Day [singular] of the Lord,” to take her, (the one and only bride,) to their one and only marriage feast in heaven,” (2 Ths. 4:16-18; Mt. 24:29-31; 25:1-13; Rev. 19:7.) 

This is Jesus’ “appearing,”  as Titus called it.  It will be His once-off, sudden, unexpected return to earth. Believers are commanded to “COMFORT ONE ANOTHER WITH THE WORDS” that Jesus is coming as suddenly and unexpectedly as a global lightning strike and “every eye will see Him [while] every knee will bow,” (Mt. 24:27; 2 Ths. 1:6-12.)  Paul confirmed this in 2 Thessalonians 2:17 when he commanded, “[SO] COMFORT YOUR [ailing] HEARTS [in this glorious hope, saints of the Most High God,] and [ready yourselves by] establishing yourselves in every good word and work [until That Glorious Day!]” 

May our Father in heaven have mercy on us all to be ready to meet Him in That Day, (Mt. 25:1-3.) 

Home 

What will keep us out of Heaven?  Did Jesus tell the Rich Young Ruler to obey His Commandments only

The Seven Ecclesias or Gatherings of believers show us how to overcome the traps Satan has devised for us 

Finding Biblical Truth in our Day is a Dire Need   

· What is the Unpardonable Sin — Blaspheming against the Holy Spirit?  

· What can we learn from Esau’s hard-hearted unrepentance, from which “he could not turn, although he desired it with tears

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