Hope Built on Facts

Bible InsideThe fulfillment of the Bible’s prophecies authenticates the omniscience and the omnipotence of God. It does this is by showing how various events foretold in the Bible were precisely fulfilled during the exact time period for which they were described. This biblical witness gave the Early Church the confidence they needed to promote their God to their world.

One of the main accusations waged against those who ascribe to fulfilled Bible prophecy is that such teachings remove a Christian’s hope. But ask yourself the following: what biblical hope is removed by believing Jesus fulfilled every  prophecy written of Him in perfect detail? The simple answer to this question is “None!” If anything, such a stance justifies what a Christian believes and why they believe it. To prove my point, just look at those who lived after the prophecies of Jesus’ birth, crucifixion, or resurrection were fulfilled in exact detail. Do you think those saints felt slighted because those prophecies already came to pass? Do you think they felt the fulfillment of these removed their hope? No, of course not; instead those believers used those fulfilled prophecies to “prove” God’s existence and that He had all power in Heaven and in earth! In the same way, believing that all prophecies relating to the work Jesus was to accomplish while on earth are now fulfilled also does not remove any hope. Instead, this evidence gives a believer with even more hope concerning the One true omnipotent and omniscient God—Jesus Christ!

Think about it, which view gives you more hope?

  1. That Jesus fulfilled every detail written of Him? Or that Jesus failed to complete all written, and as a result will need to come again to do a second work?
  2. That Jesus’ kingdom is right now all powerful in both heaven and in earth? Or that Jesus has yet to truly conquer the devil and his kingdom of darkness?
  3. That Born Again believers are seated with Jesus right now in Heavenly places? Or that the governments of men are more powerful than the Church of Jesus Christ, and because so, the Church must hang on until they can escape this world?
  4. That the Church is the real plan and the true people that God has chosen to be His Bride? Or that the Church is just a second-rate plan that will have to be “good enough” until the actual plan can be implemented?
  5. That you can believe the time-texts of the Bible to mean what they say? Or that you have to believe an explanation of these timeframes that is hyper-spiritualized to make them fit into some possible future fulfillment?
  6. That you can study and understand the Bible without the aid of man-inspired study notes? Or that such study notes are essential if a person is to truly understand what some claim is found in the Bible?
  7. That Jesus and His apostles were under God’s inspiration when saying all remaining prophesied events were happening “soon” and were “at hand”? Or that today’s prophecy teachers have a better understanding of such fulfillments than did Jesus and His Apostles?

The first part of each of these questions promotes Jesus and His finished work. The latter has Jesus failing at His first mission, thus requiring a “second coming,” which is really a “second work.” Understanding that Jesus did not fail at His mission is what gives the Church real hope, because fulfilled prophecy is the evidence that the Apostles used to prove the legitimacy of Jesus and His New Covenant.

When talking about biblical prophecy, one must recognize that the chief function of prophecy is not to predict the future, but to bear testimony of the validity of Jesus as mankind’s Messiah, and to call the redeemed in Christ into harmony with Jesus’ New Covenant. God promised judgment for those found rebellious to His Covenant, and He promised divine intervention for those obedient to its stipulations. Throughout the Bible this is referred to as “the curse” and “the blessing.” (See Deu 28; Moses’ Song in Deu 31; Lev 26; Mat 7:24-27; Gal 6:8) Once a person sees that these curses and blessings is the basis for the Bible’s prophecies concerning what was to come, it becomes clear how such fulfillments were precious to the Church in the First Century, and thus are equally important to the Church today.

The word “HOPE” mostly refers to expectation or confidence (See Strong’s G1680). Through this definition we can see that biblical hope is not based on what will come, but on Who was to come, which the Bible says  is Jesus Christ! This is why I believe the issue is clear that the teachings of fulfilled prophecies is not a remover of hope, but is instead an authenticator of the One from whom true hope comes—Jesus. Consequently, this truth enables the Church to come into the fullness of its biblical identity!

Ephesians 2:12-14
(12)  That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
(13)  But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
(14)  For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible

Ephesians 2:12 – Having no hope – The apostle does not mean to affirm that they did not cherish any hope, for this is scarcely true of any man; but that they were without any proper ground of hope. It is true of perhaps nearly all people that they cherish some hope of future happiness. But the ground on which they do this is not well understood by themselves, nor do they in general regard it as a matter worth particular inquiry. Some rely on morality; some on forms of religion; some on the doctrine of universal salvation; all who are impenitent believe that they do not “deserve” eternal death, and expect to be saved by “justice.” Such hopes, however, must be unfounded. No hope of life in a future world can be founded on a proper basis which does not rest on some promise of God, or some assurance that he will save us; and these hopes, therefore, which people take up they know not why, are delusive and vain.

Here is a partial listing of what the New Covenant says is a Christian’s hope:

Acts 26:6-9
(6)  And now I stand and am judged for THE HOPE OF THE PROMISE MADE OF GOD UNTO OUR FATHERS:
(7)  Unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, HOPE TO COME. For which hope’s sake, king Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews.
(8)  Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, THAT GOD SHOULD RAISE THE DEAD?
(9)  I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth.

This is about the HOPE of Jesus’ coming and of His resurrection. This is HOPE founded on fulfilled promises.

Acts 28:20-23
(20)  For this cause therefore have I called for you, to see you, and to speak with you: BECAUSE THAT FOR THE HOPE OF ISRAEL I am bound with this chain.
(21)  And they said unto him, We neither received letters out of Judea concerning thee, neither any of the brethren that came showed or spake any harm of thee.
(22)  But we desire to hear of thee what thou thinkest: for as concerning this sect, we know that every where it is spoken against.
(23)  And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom HE EXPOUNDED AND TESTIFIED THE KINGDOM OF GOD, PERSUADING THEM CONCERNING JESUS, BOTH OUT OF THE LAW OF MOSES, AND OUT OF THE PROPHETS, from morning till evening.

This is about the HOPE of Jesus’ coming and of His resurrection as found FULFILLED through the Law and prophets. Again, Hope founded on fulfilled promises.

Galatians 5:4-6
(4)  Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
(5)  For we through the Spirit WAIT FOR THE HOPE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS BY FAITH.
(6)  For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.

Our HOPE and righteousness is not founded on carnal ordinances such as circumcision, but instead is based solely on the finished work of the one true Messiah, Jesus.

Ephesians 1:17-18
(17)  That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may GIVE UNTO YOU THE SPIRIT OF WISDOM AND REVELATION IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF HIM:
(18)  The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; THAT YE MAY KNOW WHAT IS THE HOPE OF HIS CALLING, and what THE RICHES OF THE GLORY OF HIS INHERITANCE IN THE SAINTS,

This is about the HOPE that comes through Jesus. Again, hope founded on fulfilled promises, which here specifically gives Jesus verification and the saint their true identity.

Colossians 1:4-6
(4)  Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints.
(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;
(6)  Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth:

More HOPE that comes through Jesus. This Hope comes through the promises fulfilled in the Gospel – the death, the burial, and the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. This hope is both for this life and for eternity.

Colossians 1:23
(23)  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;

Paul’s hope to the Church of Colossi was based on the Gospel. Paul went on to explain the basis of this hope was “Jesus IN YOU, the HOPE of glory!” Such a foundation agrees with the fulfillment of the New Covenant promise as found in Jeremiah 31. Again, this is hope based on Jesus fulfilling Old Covenant promises.

1 Thessalonians 5:8
(8)  But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for A HELMET, THE HOPE OF SALVATION.

Since we are immediately forgiven when we are born again of the water and of the Spirit in Jesus’ name, this is not salvation from sins. Instead, Paul’s passage here refers to the expectation and confidence one must keep in mind concerning that finished salvic work Jesus secured for us through His cross and in His empty tomb. This, again, is HOPE founded on the finished work of the gospel of Jesus Christ!

Titus 3:7
(7)  That being justified by his grace, we should be made HEIRS ACCORDING TO THE HOPE OF ETERNAL LIFE.

Because of the prophesied finished work of the Messiah Jesus, we are assured of our identity in Him and the consequent HOPE of eternity. This is another finished work of Jesus giving His Church true biblical HOPE.

Hebrews 3:6
(6)  But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the REJOICING OF THE HOPE FIRM UNTO THE END.

Hebrews 6:17-19
(17)  Wherein God, willing more abundantly to SHOW UNTO THE HEIRS OF PROMISE THE IMMUTABILITY OF HIS COUNSEL, confirmed it by an oath:
(18)  That 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:
(19) Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;

Like all those before them, these verses in Hebrews are based on Jesus fulfilling what is written of Him in the Word of God. The way the Message Bible translates these passages make this even clearer.

Hebrews 6:17-19 MSG
(17)  When God wanted to guarantee his promises, HE GAVE HIS WORD, a rock-solid guarantee—
(18)  God can’t break his word. And because his word cannot change, the promise is likewise unchangeable. We who have run for our very lives to God HAVE EVERY REASON TO GRAB THE PROMISED HOPE WITH BOTH HANDS AND NEVER LET GO.
(19)  It’s an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God

This promise not only secures a believer to the biblical HOPE that’s ahead, but it also speaks of a believer’s identity with Christ in this life.

1 Peter 3:15
(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:

There is real comfort in being able to explain the HOPE you believe in from the Bible. Biblical hope is never described as a time when God whisks a weak and anemic church off of earth to save it from the powers of some despotic antichrist. The church’s HOPE was never based on weakness but on strength. This type strength is the inspiration for Edward Mote’s hymnal standard: “My Hope is Built,” or as commonly titled today, “The Solid Rock.” Look now at Mote’s first verse and chorus:

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness
.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

Colossians 1:27
(27)  To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is CHRIST IN YOU, THE HOPE OF GLORY:

1 Timothy 1:1
(1) Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Savior, and LORD JESUS CHRIST, WHICH IS OUR HOPE;

To properly understand a believer’s biblical hope, one must remember that the Bible is filled with prophecies that spotlight what would come to pass at the time of the ushering in of the New Covenant. These prophecies give detailed explanations as to how their scenarios was to be fulfilled by the promised Savior. Their predictions being accurately fulfilled by Jesus was the proofs that the Apostles and early Church used to confirm that Jesus was the prophesied Messiah. Jesus fulfilling all written of Him was the First Century Church’s message, and as a consequence, was also their hope. Now, more than 2,000 years later, these same biblical fulfillments still prove the exact same conclusions; that Jesus is the prophesied Messiah of the Bible, and thus, the savior and hope of the world!

 

Copyright © 2006 TK Burk. All Rights Reserved.
www.tkburk.com

,

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Dispensationalism is Less Than 200 Years Old | TK Burk - July 8, 2014

    […] HERE is a similar article that may interest you. […]

Leave a Reply