Dr. Henry Waiters: The blessed hope
Published 12:00 am Friday, November 1, 2019
“Looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13).
Christians are people with an eternal hope. Christ is the substance of that hope and because He indwells every believer that hope is being kept alive to the very end.
The risen Christ was the message of the early church. The returning Christ was their blessed hope. The second coming of the Savior was as much a reality as His resurrection. While believers talked and lived every day in the power of a resurrected Christ, they looked forward with earnest expectation of His imminent return. This made a profound impact upon their lives. Though their feet were moving about on this earth their hearts were occupied with eternal things. They talked like people whose home was not of this world. They lived like people who had an inheritance in Heaven.
Somewhere in the course of history Christians lost the warmth and excitement of the second coming. Though this doctrine forms one of the pillars of the Christian faith, our conduct has been a poor demonstration of the truth of it.
We desperately need to recapture the spirit that permeated the early church because of the blessed hope of Christ’s coming again! World events, as well as the present condition of the churches, unmistakably point to this event. This fact bings us to some inescapable responsibilities. We have a task to do and a vigil to keep.
Just as it pleased God to reveal His Son in us, it has pleased Him to entrust us with the Gospel. The stewardship of the Gospel is our greatest responsibility. When Christ returns He wants to find His servants faithful in their stewardship.
The people of the world today are living like the people did in the days of Noah and Lot (Matthew 24: 36-42, 2 Peter 2: 4-8). Wickedness, immortality and defiance are the order of the day. In this enlightened, scientific age, a spiritual darkness is enveloping the world. There is utter confusion everywhere. Humanity is out of gear. If ever there was a time for Christians to gird up their loins and keeps there lights burning it is now. When our Lord said, “Ye are the light of the world,” He meant it. He exhorts us still to shine before a generation groping in darkness. We have a responsibility to keep the light Gospel burning. We have a responsibility to keep the light of the blessed hope of Christ’s return burning to the very end.
While with the one eye we look for the appearing of our Lord in the clouds, with the other eye we watch our steps lest we fail in our stewardship. While the desire of our hearts should be His glorious appearing, we should be faithfully fulfilling the task of committed to us until He comes. Let the blessed hope of His imminent appearing give you the delight and determination to gird up your loins and keep your lights burning at all costs. Through the smoke and fog of a polluted world train your eyed to look upon the horizon for the coming of the Lord. Through the din and hustle of a turbulent age, train your ears to hear the trumpet sounds heralding the advent of your King.
“For yet a little while, and He that shall come will come and will not tarry” (Hebrews 10:37).
“We know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as He is pure” (1 John 3: 2, 3).
“And knowing the time, that now it is high time to be awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light” (Romans 13:11, 12).
Dr. Waiters can be reached at 704-636-3369.