Monday, January 5, 2015

The Christmas Hope

Last week - "after life/better life"
but, not everybody believes that.

Concerning afterlife - are 3 kinds of Hope -

I.  NO HOPE - naturalist/atheist
"no God, no heaven" therefore no continuity
                                               no purpose
                                              no significance
This is not the prevailing view, however does = growing view!!

II.  HEART'S HOPE - based on:
1) inherent knowledge - Eccles. 3:11
2)  personal desire (longing)
3)  select portions of scripture
it - embraces the pleasant (we = eternal/God=gracious_
   - rejects the offensive (we = sinners/God=just)
therefore is generally optimistic - (I'm OK, you're OK)
but - is shallow/incomplete
This is the prevailing view (in America)

        1)  Recognizes inherent Knowledge
         2)  admits personal desire.
but, 3) builds on the full Revelation

alteration:  change from III.  Christian Hope to III.  CHRISTMAS HOPE

Because, (more than any other event) His coming has shaped our understanding/expectations/confidence/HOPE

by His coming ....
I.  He Brought Us Light
ie:  the light of knowledge/understanding   Isa. 9:2, Luke 2:30-32, John 1:4, 12:46

Not all knowledge/understanding
but = enough to instill confidence and joyous Expectation - 2 Cor. 4:6

by His coming ....
II.  He Bought us Access - bridge illustration
John 14:1-6   Rom. 5:1-2

What  if He brought light without access?  Couldn't cross the bridge!!
What if He bought access without light?  Wouldn't know to cross!!!
BUT (by His coming) He's given Both --
so we have - confidence, certainty, joyous expectation
(Christian Hope) --> (Christmas Hope)

There's a catch!!  ie:  in Christ light and access are offered.  However, must be received (owned/embraced)

Without acceptance and reception, they stand (valid and sufficient), BUT, they stand APART from you -
without any positive effect!

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