Biblical Hope" from the perspective of an Evangelical Christian and as to what exactly "Biblical Hope" means. Further this paper will examine what the Holy Bible has to say about hope and will contrast "Biblical Hope" with worldly hope. This paper will further examine a case of someone without hope and finally examine a personal view of hope.
There are many views and perspectives of hope throughout the many religions and beliefs of mankind. Hope is defined by Webster as being: "belief that something good may happen" "cause or belief for hope." There are two types of hope expressed by an individual one of which is worldly hope and the other being that termed Biblical Hope.
Worldly hope will last only so long and will not assist one with eternal matters, that being those things of the spirit of a person. Eternal hope is the only hope that in actuality bring about a "real" or "bonafide" change in the existence of an individual, whether in the here and now or in the future or eternal existence.
Worldly hope can be defined then as a belief that something good may happen in terms of something that is physical and touchable. Examples of worldly hope are hope held that one may receive a raise or promotion or hope held that one might own a larger car or a larger home in the future. Worldly hope and Biblical hope are two very different things and on two very different levels. Worldly hope is a hope that resides purely in the here and now and in the physical world. Biblical hope is hope held by those who believe that God is ever aware of his children and their welfare.
Hope in the Bible is expressed in many verses. One of these is Psalm 31:24 which states:
'Be of good courage and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord."
Hope is again spoken of in I Peter 1:13 which states:
"Wherefore, gird up the loins of your mind, be sober and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ."
Hope is spoken to in relation to faith in Hebrews 1:11 which states:
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
Hope then, can be said to define, Biblically speaking, Hope for spiritual blessings both now, in the form of faith and in the future in form of that which is to come through a revelation of Jesus Christ. Stated in the work entitled "Biblical Hope"
the following is stated:
The combination of the living hope and the blessed hope is the Christian's dual-hope in this world; all else is vanity and failure. Mankind's hope in philosophy has failed. Greek and Roman philosophers once set out to solve the riddles of our universe and to explain by human rationale answers and theorems to all the problems that beset mankind. Philosophers have proposed remedies for every societal ailment known to man, only to end in abysmal failure, as did the very empires from which they sprang. "
The Evangelical Christian and Hope:
Although there are many different types of Evangelical Christians insofar as belief as to the exact meaning of hope although that certainly is a "stated" basis for that flavor of what is termed Christianity. However, the general view of hope for the Evangelical Christian is stated in the following excerpt from an article entitled, "The Basis for Bible Evangelism" written by Harold S. Martin.
We are motivated to evangelize also because men are lost (Luke 19:10), without hope (Ephesians 2:12), under condemnation (John 3:36), and destined for destruction (Mark 16:16). For some, nobody is lost in the eternal sense; nobody is really perishing; nobody is destined to spend eternity in Hell. This is a new form of an old universalism -- but Jesus taught eternal punishment as well as eternal life (Matthew 25:46).
It is clear that the Evangelistic ministry is one of concern for fellow-man which follows the commandment of Jesus that we are to, above all commands, "love one another." This is in synthesis with the Bible verse that state that "He that loveth not knoweth not God for God is Love" as well as the Golden Rule which states: "The Golden Rule" in the KJV states this verse "Therefore, all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them for this is the law and the prophets." (The Holy Bible; Matthew 7:12)
The work "The Biblical Basis for Evangelism" also states the following:
The evangelist, then, is motivated by the bad news that every person in his natural state is a fallen, sinful creature who stands in need of a complete transformation. He knows that sin has brought God's displeasure, and "knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men" (2 Corinthians 5:11).
The doctrine of the return of Christ has also been one of the great motivating factors in evangelism. The day of salvation is "now" (2 Corinthians 6:2). Jesus said there is a night coming "when no man can work" (John 9:4). The second coming of Jesus Christ is the blessed hope of every believer (Titus 2:13), and to desire others to share in that hope becomes an impelling motive for evangelism.
Hope For Now:
Hope for now and hope for the future are entwining and are of the same giver from the viewpoint or perspective of the Evangelical Christian. The "hope" of those who adhere to the Evangelical belief is as broad as the omnipotence of God and the power of God in that hope is based on the faithfulness of God thereby making hope to be associated with every aspect in and of the individual's life. Hope is for now in the everyday, the mundane, because that hope in God means release from worry and care for the future.
The blessed hope held by the Evangelistic Christian places all value and all worth on the future existence in the presence and perfect will of God. It is also true that the Evangelical Christian believes in the pre-tribulation rapture, although there are differing opinions concerning the exact point that rapture will occur as believed by Evangelical Christians. Hope for now is also expressed as being that of the hope in overcoming that which may be faced by Christians in this world should the last days be upon the world as is believed by many alive today.
Hope for the Future:
Futuristic hope for the Evangelical Christian is based on the promise given to the disciples by Jesus. Jesus told the disciples that those who knew him knew the Father also. Jesus also told him that he would go and prepare a place for them that he "knew."
Therefore, hope for the future is based on the following verse spoken by Jesus to the disciples which is found in the Holy Bible, New Testament Book: gospel of John, Chapter 14 verses one through three:
() Let not your heart be trouble, ye believe in God believe also in Me, () In my Father's house are many mansions, if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. () And if I go and prepare a place for you I will come again and receive you unto my self that where I am there ye may be also." (The Holy Bible KJV)
Therefore hope is confident in God's faithfulness to his children as expressed in the following verse:
Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. (1 John 3:2, 3)
Lost Hope: (Study on Depression)
Lost hope can be expressed through depression by some human beings. In a case study concerning lost hope through depression the following is stated:
Depression has an uncanny ability to take on a life of its own. The ability to reason and reflect gets swallowed up as the physical and emotional disturbances take over. At some point, it becomes almost impossible to think through issues of personal choice until some emotional and physical stability can be reestablished.
There is also the lost hope that never recovers and never finds its way to God, that is deemed by many believers to be what constitutes "Blaspheming the Spirit" and is called by the Bible as being the "one unforgivable sin." However, in the case of depression what seems to be "lost hope" is not forever or eternally lost and can be rediscovered or recovered. However, in the case of lost hope the following is stated in the Bible: