Words like wishing, fear, good works, apprehension, worry and doubt accompany religion,
because salvation relies on our required continual personal effort to attain peace of heart, mind and soul. There is no guarantee, no assurance, no resting from our labor to ease our consciences. Any “hope” religion may offer is the same kind that you have for your lottery ticket to win –wishful at best.
Words that accompany “True Christianity” are confidence, assurance, peace, love, faith, guarantee, and promise because we know that we cannot attain salvation on our own but are freely given them by Christ because of his finished work and promises from the Bible to be received by faith. Here is a better definition of our “hope” – certain expectation (in God’s faithfulness).
A Call to Persevere
19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”a and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
32 Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you stood your ground in a great contest in the face of suffering. 33 Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. 34 You sympathized with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions.
35 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. 36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. 37 For in just a very little while, “He who is coming will come and will not delay. 38 But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him.” 39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.
Who are you Lord?
I AM the faithful God who keeps his promises. Whatever I say, that Will I do. You can take it to the bank. If you hear my word and do not believe me, it is to your loss. I said that I would come, and I came. I said that I will come again, so why don’t you believe me? Think of all the things that I promised that I would do and did. Take courage in my faithfulness to my word, only that knowledge is what can sustain you through hard times. Abraham and all the saints of old knew that I would keep my word, why can’t you. Your strength to persevere through hardships can only come from your confidence in my faithfulness.
When I gave the Israelites the Law, some did not care and died without mercy. I provided a way of escape for them through the temple system but they still did not care. Take warning, I have provided a greater salvation than the law and temple system in, through and by the death of my Son. If you don’t care to respond to him, if you turn your back on him, then you might as well be spitting on my mercy. But know this, that there is no further hope for you to avoid my judgment.
Eternal life is Knowing God personally.
The whole point is that in this fallen world God has provided a way not just to survive, but to have victory. As true believers we are to help each other grow in our confidence in the promises God gives us in his Word. These promises reveal God’s character to us so that our faith can grow as our knowledge of God grows. After all isn’t eternal life really about sitting at Jesus’ feet learning about him for eternity? We can do that now as mentioned in John 17:3. Satan will do anything that he can to make you doubt God’s Word and promises to destroy your faith and confidence. Look what he did to Eve. “Hath God said?” He does the same thing to us. When you stumble at the seeming impossibility of God’s Word, he wins and you lose.
I AM the Faithful God who saves
Like it or not, Christ died for you and your sins were washed away by his blood. If you have heard this good news and do not respond to it by owning it as your own, you are treading underfoot the cross of Christ, and there is no other way of salvation for you. It would be like receiving a winning lottery ticket and just throwing it down in front of the person who gave it to you and step on it while looking him right in the eye. What would you do if you were him? If you have received it, then come hell or high water, nothing in this world can separate you form the love of God in Christ Jesus. Because of God’s faithful assurances to us, He is our strong tower, our rock, our fortress; we are in the hollow of his hand. Because he is a faithful God to save all who come by faith, we as believers are privy to a confidence that others are not. This is because we allow God to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. God helps those who cannot help themselves.
More to come,