Sunday, February 12, 2017


Romans 8:24 (ESV) "For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25  But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience."
Hope - I have it. Most don't. Hope, like faith, is intangible. It doesn't have substance and is tough to measure. Even seasoned Christians sometimes lack hope because they are blinded by despair. Negative thinking is a trick to rob people of their hope, and dependence on even positive thinking, steals the hope which is there. Our own thoughts ironically often defeat us. What we think mostly is of ourselves. Satan doesn't make us think anything, but the world, which is his, provides the input to influence our thoughts.

No one can be saved by thinking positive thoughts. Some endeavor to manipulate God with their insincere thinking. God doesn't fall for that bottle-rubbing because he is not our personal genie. Reverence is from the heart, not an invisible power called positive thinking.

On the other hand, negative thinking is you being manipulated by the deception of fallen angels. With positive thinking you manipulate, and with negative thought, you are manipulated. With the former you are the puppet-master and with the latter, the puppet.

Now back to hope. It's more than deceiving yourself with false premises. Hope is the strong expectation of obtaining. The hopes of Christians are the assurance that we shall receive what we don't see (v. 25 above). Because the prize is salvation, and it is at a distance in time (also v. 25), hope lives in the realm of patience.

In verse 24 it seems that scripture contradicts itself. That passage refers to saved in the past tense (ESV) because of the word were. On the other hand the same scripture in the KJV uses the words, are saved. With those words salvation can either be at the present time or sometimes anytime in the future. The tense is subjective because it's not  in scripture. The word rendered saved is sozo, a contraction of saos, which should be transliterated as safe, making saved subjective.

In order to be consistent with the waiting of verse 25, then salvation must be at a future time, which means that at the present those born-again are not yet saved, but are safe in Christ. This difference is imperative for Arminianism to be valid because it's an impossibility to ever be unsaved, as saved is a final condition when one speaks in reference to eternity! Those who say, "I know I'm saved!" are speaking with great hope because they trust God so strongly that there seems to be no doubt! Thus their safety is so profound that they already stand at the prize even though they must wait to obtain the prize (1 Corinthians 9:24). That scripture compares the waiting period to, running the race, strangely enough. The race is run with hope, but is fueled by faith.

Hope doesn't need dynamics to win. Hope should be an easy race to win, because the runner must only be fueled by faith. Faith is being certain of what's unseen.
Hebrews 11:1 (ESV) "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen."
If the reader will notice in the passage at the top, and the one which is above, there is one common theme: That theme is that hope is in what we cannot see and faith is the certainty that the prize is real even though it's in the future and out of sight!

Hope and faith are interdependent because without faith, hope doesn't exist. Doubt is the stumbling block to hope because it's anti-faith. Unlike Dear Abbie who wrote, the opposite of faith is not doubt, but certainty, the opposite is in truth doubt. Her statement is not true because certainty is pure faith and no one has absolute confidence in Jesus except God. We seek perfection, but mankind always has some reservations. Anything less than the faith of God contains some degree of doubt, and with any doubt at all, certainty does not exist.
Romans 3:3 (ESV) "What if some were unfaithful? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God?"
God is faithful to himself without any uncertainty at all. That is the faith of God. Christians can only have great faith or the faith of Abraham, or lesser faith than that. Great faith does not approach the faith of God, and the faith of Abraham is limited by his humanity. The un-faith which is lesser than the faith of God is human doubt. Nefarious forces use doubt to undermine hope. Think not? When anyone questions God, hope diminishes. We must depend on what God says is true!

If you believe in evolution, then your God is a liar. His first words were, I (God) created the heavens and the earth.  Because evolutionists are deceived, they put their own god above God. They fail to trust what God said that he did. Hence, they are of little faith, and appreciable doubt. With any doubt at all, Christians' hope is less than it could be.

We are made safe by faith. We remain in safety out of faith. If all faith turns to all doubt, then the believer no longer believes because he no longer trusts. Safety is gone and so is hope. If God is too weak to create the world, he would certainly be too weak to create an eternal Paradise. It is essential that those who are born-again, believe that God actually did everything he said that he did, because your hope depends on God being faithful to what he says that he can do.

Satan assumed a job assignment when he rebelled against God. He desired that he would be as God. As such Satan is a pretender to God's throne. He claims it, but it's not really his! However, when a person disbelieves God, they magnify the Prince of the Air who claims God's celestial throne. Unless God is King, then he can never be Savior, because the latter is more powerful than the former. Unless God is Creator he can never be Savior because the Creator had to make Heaven, where he puts those who are saved!

Face it: Your hope depends on your faith and that means trusting God for who he says he is, what he said that he did, and what he declares that he can do! Anything less is doubt and doubt extinguishes hope. My hope is that I shall receive the prize, but oftentimes my genes from Adam places doubt on truth. Running the race is out-running Satan who chases us throughout life as we wait on the prize. Hope is kept a burning as it's fueled by faith and that fuel comes from Scripture.

Where then is hope derived? From God's word.

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