Hope for when?

If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. 1Co 15:19

Paul tells us that if our faith in Christ only suffices for this life, it’s not enough. Meaning that if we cannot believe that the dead will be raised and live for eternity with us and with Jesus in Christ, there is little faith. Death then becomes the end it is not.

Today, that part does not make as many problems any longer. Based on this scripture, we know that the ones that went before us will be reunited with us, or we with them. Either when we die, or when the last trumpet is blown and we are changed in an instance.

We had to come to believe this, as we have seen people, believers die for nearly 2000 years after Jesus died on the cross now. Life would really be miserable if all of them were lost for eternity.

We struggle with something totally different. Actually, it’s the opposite we have problems with.

We only have hope in Christ for the next life.

And we are not any less miserable because of that.

Too many christians live a life on earth, waiting for the afterlife. Waiting for the rapture, so they can flee from our temporary home. And as we learned a few days ago, they almost long for the world to turn bad and morbidly praise each catastrophe because it leads closer to the end of this age.

Others won’t go that far, but they always live in the future. They don’t value the moment, nor do they cherish the journey.

I have to confess that at times I belonged to both of these camps.

Jesus told us that the Kingdom is here, and that it will come.

The Kingdom with all its authority and power, all his glory is here. Right here, hic et nunc. Here and now. We can live in Christ, we can have hope and faith in Christ now. Since Jesus died at the cross and rose, since his finished work, we all – and I actually mean all human beings – have the immortal and incorruptible seed in us, the Christ. The new creation. It is not easy to see, but if we allow that inner cry “that cannot be it!“, God will answer. All we then have to do is accept the work of Jesus. This will start a process of growth into a reality that is more real than what we know. It will place us in the Kingdom, in the new creation fully – make us aware more and more  of what is already true.

But it really and truly is a process. It will need some time and a lot of faith to grow into all it means to be a new creation. And on the way we have to cross some nasty obstacles. Sometimes it will look as if we reached the end, and then he open up a new world for us.

And we start to understand what it means that the Kingdom is yet to come.

There is hope in Christ now. And this holds true for eternity.

Paul puts it like this:

But now we still have faith, hope, love, these three; and the greatest of these is love. 1Co 13:13 BBE

And to make it even clearer:

But for now, three things last- trust, hope, love; and the greatest of these is love. 1Co 13:13 CJB

There will be a glorious future, true. But we can also experience and walk in this glory today.

Why wait? Tell me.

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Categorized as Kingdom

By Ralph Rickenbach

Accompanyist | Pastor in Exile | Iconoclast — I am a Gallup certified CliftonStrengths coach and a Spiral Dynamics practitioner.