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by Michael Holohan
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What is it that you are hoping for?
As you watch life pass you by, do you have a hope for the future?
What are you trusting in?
Do you have any hope for the future?
What about after you die, what then?

What is it like to have no hope?
You are afraid to live and afraid to die.

Afraid to live because you have nothing to live for, you donít know what tomorrow will bring and if it is anything like today you just donít want to go there.

Afraid to die because you donít know what is waiting for you on the other side, you would like to think that there is nothing there but you just arenít sure.

I was like that one time, I hated my life, I had nothing to live for, I had no hope for the future just more pain and heartache, I wanted to commit suicide but I was afraid of what was out there, I didnít really want to go out into the unknown, but I really didnít want to go on living either.

We can better understand real hope as we look at its opposite hopelessness.
What is Hopelessness? Having no expectation of good or success.
Hope: To look forward to with confidence or expectation.

Few things are as essential to mankind as hope, for the greatest difficulty can be carried while men have hope. The strongest man becomes discouraged under hardship when hope fails. We cannot live without hope. We need to know that better things lie in the future.

Eph 2:12 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.

The bible tells us that if we are without Christ then we have no hope and we are without God in this world. To be without God is to be without hope.

Now it is not about going to church, you can be in church every time the door is open and still be without God and without hope.

Sometimes maybe you are here and you feel like there is something you are just not getting, you are here maybe as much or more than some one else but there is still something missing. Maybe you feel that you are really not part of what is going on, sometimes maybe you feel like an outsider in the church, if that is you then maybe you are still without hope and without God in the world.

I Pet 1:24. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away.

The promise of eternal life is not like the fleeting promises of this world which vanish before they have scarcely been experienced. The longest life leads but to the grave; The greatest of treasures flit from our grasp as quickly as the spirit forsakes the body; The wisest plan of men eventually fails to meet the problem it was designed to solve; The greatest honor a nation can heap upon a man is soon forgotten and vanishes away.

According to the Bible, one hope and one alone is held out to men.

Eph 4:4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling.ó The one hope mentioned is eternal life as Paul plainly states;
Titus 1:2, In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began.

The bible tells us that there is only one hope, it is the hope of the gospel, it is the hope of eternal life, promised by a God that cannot lie. Without hope you cannot be saved, or we cannot enter into the promises of God.

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

What is this hope? It is called the hope of the Gospel. So what then is the gospel?

The word gospel means good news, so there is some good news, the good news is that God hasnít left us without hope in the world but has provided a way for us to have a hope, a future and an expected end.

Jer 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

Jer 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

God has a plan for our lives and it is a good plan, a plan to give us a hope and a future.

The first thing I need to do then is to find Godís plan for my life and it begins with finding God.

Eph 2:12 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.
Why are we strangers to the promise and without God in the world?

Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Isa 59:1-2 Behold, the Lordís hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

Ps 51:5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

We were all born in sin, born separated from God, born under condemnation.

Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Sin has a wage, if you work at sinning then you are due a wage, it will come speedily.

Ezek 18:4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.

Matt 16:26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

What would you give to have eternal life, if you owned the whole world and you knew that tonight you would be dead, what would you give to have a secure eternity, to know that when you close your eyes that you would wake up in the presence of God?

Ps 49:7-9 No man can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for him the ransom for a life is costly, no payment is ever enough that he should live on for ever and not see decay.

You canít redeem yourself; there is nothing you can give to God that would be enough to cover over your sin.

Hab 1:13 Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity.

Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

We cannot make ourselves right with God so God has made a way for us to be right with him.

Sin must be punished, sin must be paid for, and so God sent someone to pay for our sin for us, his name is Jesus.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Now we learned that the soul that sinned shall surely die or be punished for his sin and that punishment is death, but what if just at the point of the death sentence being carried out someone stepped forward and said ďwait, I will take his place and I will die instead of himĒ.

Well that is exactly what Jesus done, Jesus had no sin of his own so he didnít deserve to die, but he took my sin and your sin and died in our place, he took our punishment on himself, he died with it and because he had done nothing wrong but had become our sacrifice God raised him again from the dead and seated him in heaven at the right hand of God.

Eph 2:14-19 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God.

How then do we get in on it?

It has all been done; Jesus took care of it all. We have nothing to do, except trust in him.

Eph 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Where does faith come from?

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

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, you hear something and hope begins to rise in your heart, and you hear some more and hope begins to rise in your heart, ďcould this be, could this really be for meĒ, and then you hear some more and you begin to realise this is for me and hope begins to rise and the inside of you until faith is released and then faith gives substance to what you are hoping for, salvation, deliverance, peace with God, set free from sin to a hope a future and a destiny in God.

Ps 42:11 Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God.

Heb 6:18-19 that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil.

1 Pet 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

Col 1:27 To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Col 1:21-23 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight, if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard.


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