Mars Hill Staff Devotional
(Part 3 of 3-part series)
from Fred Carpenter
“. . . looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus,” – Titus 2:13
I’ve witnessed this scene several times in my life. I’m in a room of people. It could be a classroom, a dining room or a conference room. An important person enters the room. The mood in the room immediately changes and the people begin to act different than only a moment before.
What if you knew that Jesus was going to walk into your world right now? That before you finish whatever you’re doing, whatever activity you’re engaged in, you would see Him face to face? Would it make a difference?
The apostle John was dealing with a similar thought when he wrote, “Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming.” – 1 John 2:28. What a terrible thought, to shrink away from Him in shame!
For those who love Him, His return should be something entirely different than what John is describing. In fact, in Titus 2:3, Paul calls it our “blessed hope.” And why does he use this descriptive?
It is blessed because of all that the Savior’s return will mean to us as believers in Christ. Hampton Keathley reminds us that His coming for us means . . .
- transformation or glorification (glorified resurrection bodies),
- reunion (meeting loved one and friends who have died in the Lord),
- remuneration (evaluation for and the giving of rewards for faithful service), and
- reigning with Christ in the glorious future that follows
According to Ray Stedman, “One of the great reasons the church is so confused in this day, one of the reasons the church says so little of true significance to the world, is that it has neglected and abandoned, by and large, the hope of the coming of the Lord. There are very few sermons preached on it. There is very little said about it. There is no time given to a consideration of what this hope means and why it is set forth so frequently and so clearly in the Scriptures. Great sections of the Scriptures that deal with the hope of our Lord’s return are simply ignored by Christians.”
The Bible teaches us that the return of Christ is imminent (James 5:8). If we really believe that, it will change the way we live. The great preacher F. B. Meyer once asked D. L. Moody, “What is the secret of your success?” Moody replied, “For many years I have never given an address without the consciousness that the Lord may come before I have finished.”
Speaking of our blessed hope, Spiros Zodhiates said, “Our hearts will be propped up if we live in the constant expectation of His coming.” Did you know that 1 in every 20 NT passages refers to the Second Coming either directly or indirectly! God intends that our blessed hope, the promise of His return would motivate us to Godly living, encourage us to persevere and reorient our priorities.
“You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near.” – James 5:8 NASB
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