Pastoral Exhortation

Our Blessed Hope

Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 09 July 2017

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In View of the GBI Course on Eschatology

Christians live on earth with an anticipation of a “blessed hope”, which is spoken in Titus 2:13 – “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ”.

The Christian’s hope of Christ’s return is called “blessed”. The word “blessed” denotes all the blessings of His divine presence (cf. 1 Timothy 1:11; 6:15). What a blessing it is to have such a hope! Eternal blessings await Christians at His coming. When He comes, we shall be eternally delivered from all the temptations and trials of this world, and shall enter into eternal sinless perfection, joy, bliss, rewards and glory. We live every day with that sure hope. So, we long for His return. Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 4:8, “Henceforth 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.”

There has been some debate as to whether “that blessed hope” and “the glorious appearing” of Christ are two different events, namely Rapture (cf. 1 Thessalonians 4:6-17) and His return to this earth at the end of the seven-year Tribulation (cf. Revelation 19:11-21). But there is little in this verse’s context to suggest that Paul was distinguishing those future events in connection with Christ’s return. Paul was simply saying that we are looking for the blessed hope, which is the appearing of the Lord. Although we understand those events of Rapture and His subsequent glorious return to rule the world for a thousand years (cf. Revelation 20:1-10; Isaiah 2:1-4; 11; Ezekiel 37; Daniel 2:44- 45; 7:13-14; Zechariah 14) as distinct, Paul is here referring to the return of Christ as a whole, and not its various stages. The blessed hope is a fixed historical reality which we long for.

The prayer of the apostle John at the end of the book of Revelation should characterise every Christian’s hope: “Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus” (Revelation 22:20). Biblical Christian faith teaches us that “denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:12-13).

Do you eagerly long for Christ’s return? Many Christians, who are caught up in enjoying the good things of this life, neglect their preparation for Christ’s return. On the other hand, many other Christians, who are experiencing suffering or persecution, or who are more elderly and infirm, exhibit great enthusiasm and intense longing for His return. It is then necessary that Christians take great caution to avoid being entangled in the worldly affairs and failing to be ready for Christ’s return. To “be ready” for Christ’s return (Matthew 24:44), we ought to be faithfully obeying Him in the present, actively engaged in whatever work He has called us to. We must lead our lives carefully so as to hear Jesus saying, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord” (Matthew 25:21).

...denying ungodliness and
worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that
blessed hope, and the glorious
appearing of the great God and
our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Titus 2:12-13

Do you know what the Scriptures say about the events of the future, especially things associated with Jesus’ return? The study of future events is often called “eschatology”, from the Greek word “eschatos” (ἔσχατος), which means “last”. The study of eschatology, then, is the study of “the last things”.

Christians are given a special privilege to know the major events that are yet to come. About the events which the Bible prophesies, we can have absolute confidence because God is never wrong and He never lies. We must know, for it is our “blessed hope”. Unlike the unbelievers, we don’t have to wonder how things will turn out. Although we cannot know everything about the future, God knows everything – and He has revealed the chief things that we need to know about the future in the Scriptures.

The course on Eschatology will be covering the following topics and more:

Only very few seats available. Please hurry to sign up!