A Christian’s Hope

 

Colossians 1:3-5We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, 4Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints, 5For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;”

 

            Paul gives thanks to God because of the hope which the Christians at Colossae to whom he was writing had laid up in heaven.  Hope is defined as “the feeling that something is going to turn out well”,  to look forward to with desire and reasonable confidence”, “to believe, desire or trust”.  It is a confident expectation of receiving something in the future.  A Christian’s hope is of eternal life with God.  Paul said that he was a “SERVANT OF GOD”:

 

Titus 1:2In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;”  and that being:

 

Titus 3:7That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”

 

The Christians hope of eternal life is confident because of our faith in God and that God will keep his promises as we’re told:

 

Hebrews 6:17-18 “Wherein God, willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: 18That 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:”

 

            But, if it (that is, hope) is certain, then why is it called hope?  Paul explains in:

 

Romans 8:24-25 24For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? 25But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.”

 

Therefore our hope for eternal life is still hope because it cannot be seen as we see things around us, nor has it been received, it is yet to come.

            But how, you ask, can we be certain of receiving something that has not been received and cannot be seen?

 

Hebrews 11:1Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

 

So our hope of eternal life is hope because it has not been seen or received and is a confident here because of our faith in God.

            Paul told the Colossians that their hope was laid up for them in heaven (Colossians 1:5).  Most all of us know what we mean when we say we’ve laid something up.  It means that it has been laid away, reserved, or stored up.  Nothing on our earth illustrates a hope that is certain.  But, it is similar to us when we have a certain expectation of eating tomorrow.  We may not have received the next day’s food, yet we are confident, perhaps because of our own preparation or because others have a responsibility to prepare food for us that the food will be there to eat.  Also it is similar to reserving a hotel room with a credit card – the room is reserved and waiting the traveler.  It cannot be given to anyone else and it cannot be cancelled except by the one who has reserved the room.  The traveler has not seen the room, the traveler has not received the room, but the traveler has a confident expectation that the room will be there and available when he arrives.

            “Laid up” is also used to speak of the crown of righteousness promised to every faithful child of God.  Again, Paul writes:

 

II Timothy 4:7-87I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: 8Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”

 

We could make the same application to death and our judgment.

 

Hebrews 9:27And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:”

 

None of us has seen death in that we are still living, and neither have we received the separation of our body and soul.  But there are two things are reserved and inescapable for each person – death and judgment.  For Christians there is another thing laid up – eternal life, a crown of righteousness.  Jesus said:

 

John 14:2-32In 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. 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”

 

            Think about this: If you are a Christian, you have a mansion in heaven laid up for you, reserved for you, and awaiting your arrival.  Metaphorically speaking your mansion in heaven has your name on it.  It cannot be taken or occupied by anyone else.  You are the only person that can cancel your reservation and you can cancel it.  You can cancel it simply by refusing to believe in God, Jesus Christ and refusing to obey the commandments given to us in His inspired word.  If you don’t cancel it, you’ll receive it after this short life and the judgment is over.

            Do you have an earnest expectation and hope of eternal life with God?  Paul’s faith and his obedience to God was such that he was God’s faithful child whether in life or death:

 

Philippians 1:20According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.”

 

If you do not have this earnest expectation and hope, nothing is keeping you from it but yourself.  You should repent of your past sins (Acts 17:30), confess Jesus as the Son of God as the Ethiopian treasurer did (Acts 8:36) and be baptized for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38).  If you do have this earnest expectation and hope then you should be:

 

“Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:” Colossians 1:12-14