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If In This Life Only

If In This Life Only

   How many times do we stop to consider the “hope we have in Christ”?   Many today are concerned only about today and what can be squeezed out of this life.

   The Spirit, in 1Corinthians 15:19, directed the apostle Paul to write to those brethren regarding something that is beyond this life.   If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.    He wrote of “hope in Christ” to which we are introduced in this life, through the Word of God. We are told in Romans 15:4 that part of the reason for the scriptures is that we might have that hope. For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.  This hope is salvation and also includes the Old Testament scriptures as the Spirit guided the pen of Paul to remind Timothy in 2Timothy 3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 

   But, what if when this life is over, all is finished?   Why, we would then be like “little dog Rover” when he dies – dead all over.   There would have been no benefit of our existence and that existence would have been erased.  Ah! But that’s not the case with humans. There is a difference between man and all the other animals of creation. We see in the creation account of Genesis 2:7 how man was created above all the other creatures God made. And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.  We are told in Ecclesiastes 12:7 that the soul does not cease to be when the body no longer houses it. Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.    But what God does with that soul is where hope comes in.

     If the “inner man” of 2Corinthians 4:16 refers to anything, it is the soul that God has placed within every human. For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day And every human should have access to the hope of that which is beyond.   This is the reason for the entire plan of God from the creation to the trumpet sound.   The above passage was written to God’s people (the church) that met in Corinth. The question then is how is it that we are to be “renewed day by day”?   We are told that the Colossians, another congregation of the Lord’s church, (as well as we) are to be renewed in a specific way.   They had become Christians in this life by being obedient to the gospel.   That is what “put on the new man” indicates. And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: (Colossians 3:10).

     But, they had to continue toward that which is beyond, based on faith, which shows the hope they had. This they were told in chapter 1, vs 23 of the same letter. If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;    So must we all.   One must first become a child of God to have that hope.   What hope?   In Titus 1:2 we are told what our hope should be.   In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;

     From these passages we find that we are to be renewed in knowledge and continue in the faith.   Romans 10:17 tells us where faith originates. So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.  For one to hear the Word of God, preaching is to occur. 1Corinthians 1:18 tells us the benefit of good gospel preaching. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.  Then we need only look to Romans 1:16 to see how the gospel is biblically defined. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 

If we continue in that knowledge, we can do what is asked of us in 1Peter 3:15. But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:  Not only can we have hope in this life; we also can have an assurance of God, if we will do as He directs in His Word.  

     This “Blessed Assurance” we have in Christ is a full assurance as we are told in Hebrews 6:11  And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:  And we are assured as to where our hope leads if we follow the Word of God completely, obey the gospel and remain faithful in it.   It is not in this life only.   Colossians 1:5 For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;  Hear, Believe, Repent, Confess Christ as the Son of God and Be Baptized into Christ.   Lay hold on the promise of eternal life while in this one and live so you can be with God for eternity.

“BLESSED ASSURANCE!!!!!                                     Dennis S. – Mooresville

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