G-News #3 You Always Have Hope

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Good News About Being a Christian #3 You Always Have Hope http://www.sermoncentral.com/sermon.asp?SermonID=44937&Sermon%20You%20Always%20Have%20Hope%20by%20Tim%20Bond

Good News About Being a Christian #3 You Always Have Hope http://www.sermoncentral.com/sermon.asp?SermonID=44937&Sermon%20You%20Always%20Have%20Hope%20by%20Tim%20Bond

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  • 1.
    • Good News About
    • Being a Christian #3
    • You
    • Always
    • Have
    • Hope
    • by Tim Bond
    • http://www.sermoncentral.com/sermon.asp?SermonID=44937&Sermon%20You%20Always%20Have%20Hope%20by%20Tim%20Bond
  • 2.
    • It was a balmy October afternoon
    • in 1982. Badger Stadium in Madison Wisconsin was packed. That day there were more than 60,000 die-hard University of Wisconsin football fans watching their team take on the Michigan State Spartans.
  • 3.
    • It didn’t take long to determine who the better team was. Michigan State was mopping up the field with the Badgers. But what seemed odd was that even as the score became increasingly lopsided against their team, there were bursts of applause and shouts of joy from the Wisconsin fans.
  • 4.
    • How could they cheer when their team was getting trounced so decisively?
    • It turns out that 70 miles away the Milwaukee Brewers were beating the St. Louis Cardinals in one of the 1982 World Series games.
  • 5.
    • Many of the fans in the stands were listening to portable radios and responding to what was going on in another game, in another sport, in another place.
  • 6.
    • There is something to be said for being plugged into what is going on elsewhere. Sometimes, the things that are going on where you are become extremely difficult.
  • 7.
    • So as Paul writes the words we are about to read in Romans 8 , He wants to make sure that our faith in God affects the perspective in which we view our circumstances. No matter how difficult or even desperate our situation seems, Paul says we can face it with hope.
  • 8.
    • Romans 8:18 NET For I consider that our present sufferings cannot even be compared to the glory that will be revealed to us. 19 For the creation eagerly waits for the revelation of the sons of God.
  • 9.
    • 20 For the creation was subjected to futility — not willingly but because of God who subjected it — in hope 21 that the creation itself will also be set free from the bondage of decay into the glorious freedom of God's children.
  • 10.
    • 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers together until now. 23 Not only this, but we ourselves also, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we eagerly await our adoption, the redemption of our bodies.
  • 11.
    • 24 For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope, because who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with endurance.
  • 12.
    • For three weeks we have been focusing on the Good News about being a Christian. The first week we highlighted if we live our lives in the middle of God’s grace, there is no condemnation for our sin.
  • 13.
    • Last week we focused on the fact that God gives us a companion in the Holy Spirit that helps us to live life to the fullest. This week, it is the gift of hope that Paul is pointing to. The fact that "we always have hope" is a tremendous benefit of knowing Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.
  • 14.
    • You don’t have to be a very astute observer to notice that we live in a world that struggles against hopelessness. If you talk to people at all, you are going to get in a conversation with someone who is going to tell you that they are discouraged.
  • 15.
    • Listen to any of the radio talk shows or watch the news and you are going to hear people who are cynical about life. They think the world is going down the drain. On a world scale, it seems that we go from crisis to crisis.
  • 16.
    • Many during their lifetime have seen W.W.II, Korea, Vietnam,
    • Iran hostages, Iraq, and Bosnia, just to name a few of the highest profile conflicts. And in spite of our best efforts, we know there will be more conflicts.
  • 17.
    • There is economic crises today in our country and
    • around the world.
    • We are faced with an ongoing crisis in America’s leadership. But not all the struggles are on a national and international scale.
  • 18.
    • In our personal lives there is pain. We have physical problems that afflict our bodies. We endure emotional turmoil that comes with losing a loved one or that comes when we are disappointed by someone we love. If we are honest, we have to admit that we have spiritual struggles as we find ourselves disappointed with God.
  • 19.
    • As Paul talks about life, he does not want to candy coat the pain and struggles that we go through. But what he wants to do is to put them in perspective.
    • Look again at what he says in
    • Romans 8:18 NET For I consider that our present sufferings cannot even be compared to the glory that will be revealed to us.
  • 20.
    • Paul uses language that helps us see life as an eternal proposition. We live here on earth for a little while, but we live forever. What Paul wants to make sure of is that we don’t get so discouraged with the difficulties of this life that we lose sight of the big picture of eternity.
  • 21.
    • He says, "Don’t forget, there will be a time when there won’t be any more struggles, pain, death or tears. For those who are in Christ, there will be only joy and happiness."
  • 22.
    • Now look at what Paul says next.
    • Romans 8:19 NET For the creation eagerly waits for the revelation of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility — not willingly but because of God who subjected it — in hope 21 that the creation itself will also be set free from the bondage of decay into the glorious freedom of God's children.
  • 23.
    • But the truth of the matter is, that right now we live in a world that is less than perfect. This world is subject to the second law of thermodynamics. That law states that everything in this universe is decaying.
  • 24.
    • What seems fresh and new one day will someday be old and broken down. Something that is growing and vibrant will some day shrivel up and die.
  • 25.
    • To use Paul’s language, this world is in " bondage to decay ."
    • So the plant that pops up through the soil and looks so alive and fresh will one day
    • die and rot away.
  • 26.
    • The reality of the situation is that everything on earth is subject to the second law of thermodynamics.
    • Even those of you with green thumbs can’t make a plant live forever!
    • Every living thing will
    • eventually die and decay.
  • 27.
    • That includes me and
    • that includes you.
    • The second law of thermodynamics doesn’t offer any hope for anything on this earth. And when you run smack dab into the unyielding wall of that truth, it is sobering.
  • 28.
    • A philosopher of the last century, Bertrand Russell was an outspoken atheist. He even delivered a lecture called Why I Am Not A Christian. When Russell was 81 years old,
    • he was interviewed on a
    • BBC radio talk show.
  • 29.
    • The interviewer asked him what he had to hang onto when death was obviously so close.
    • Russell responded,
    • "I have nothing to hang onto but grim, unyielding despair."
  • 30.
    • What an honest,
    • yet hopeless response.
    • You see, when you live only for this life, when you invest your life in the flesh, when you think that this is all there is, you can’t help but live in despair.
  • 31.
    • But for those of us who are in Christ Jesus there is hope, because we anticipate a time when death and decay will no longer exist. In verse 19 Paul says For the creation eagerly waits for the revelation of the sons of God. Romans 8:19 NET
  • 32.
    • That phrase " eagerly waits " is a picturesque word that means
    • "to stretch the neck in anticipation." Have you ever waited for someone to come home at airport? As the people come off the jetway you stretch and strain to see them as soon as possible.
  • 33.
    • Paul says creation is in that type of existence, longing to see what God is going to do. I believe it. Look at what Paul goes on to say next.
    • Romans 8:22 NET For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers together until now.
  • 34.
    • 23 Not only this, but we ourselves also, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we eagerly await our adoption, the redemption of our bodies.
    • You’ve been around people who groan outwardly because of the pain their bodies are racked with.
  • 35.
    • It is difficult to hear, but surely you have been around more people who groan inwardly too. It might not be an audible groan, but more of an internal groan. It’s a sense longing for perfection. In Paul’s mind, the groan occurs when we recognize that there is a huge gap between what is and what ought to be.
  • 36.
    • Every one of us has been there.
    • When we experience the
    • fellness of this world,
    • we let out a groan.
    • Maybe it’s when a friend or a child or a parent or someone we love does something we wish they wouldn’t have or we know they shouldn’t have.
  • 37.
    • And out of frustration we groan. Maybe it’s when circumstances arise that cause us or someone we love pain. And out of pity we groan. But Paul says that groaning is a sign of our hope. We are longing for something better.
  • 38.
    • And if we are in Christ, we have the promise that there is something better. So as we groan, we remember our hope. Some day things will be better. We have hope! And that hope for the future can and should affect our present disposition.
  • 39.
    • You see, the Biblical worldview points us to a hope that is greater than the world we live in. Just as Paul said earlier in Romans 8 that we need to live in the Spirit rather than the flesh, he reminds us in these verses we need to be in touch with an eternal perspective on life that is greater than this world.
  • 40.
    • If we are in Christ, we have been infused with an eternal sense of hopefulness. For the Christian, there is no such thing as a hopeless situation. Romans 8:24 NET For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope, because who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with endurance.
  • 41.
    • Paul expands on this idea
    • a little more in;
    • 2 Corinthians 4:16 NET Therefore we do not despair, but even if our physical body is wearing away, our inner person is being renewed day by day.
  • 42.
    • 17 For our momentary, light suffering is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison 18 because we are not looking at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen. For what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.
  • 43.
    • Now make sure you understand what God is teaching us here through Paul’s words. He’s not saying pain, pleasure, sickness, sin, & death are just a dream like the Christian Scientists bible companion
    • Science and Health alleges it is.
    • Science and Health
    • page 188, lines 11-17
  • 44.
    • 11 Mortal existence is a dream of pain and pleasure in 12  matter, a dream of sin, sickness, and death; and it is like 13  the dream we have in sleep, in which every one 14  recognizes his condition to be wholly a state of 15  mind. In both the waking and the sleeping dream, the  16  dreamer thinks that his body is material and the suffering  17 is in that body.
  • 45.
    • That’s not it at all.
    • This world does hurt, it is frustrated and painful, and we shouldn’t deny the pain. But we cannot let the hopelessness of this creation get us down. For the Christian, who has entrusted God with their life, there is always reason for hope, both in this life and in the life to come.
  • 46.
    • Now, given that eternal perspective that there is more to life than the physical world, let me show you two ways that the Christian’s hope for the future will change our present.
  • 47.
    • 1. Our hope keeps us from settling for the things of this world.
    • We live in a society that has bought the lie that "stuff" will provide happiness. In the late 20th century United States, we live in unprecedented prosperity.
  • 48.
    • There is this idea floating around that if you can just gather enough stuff, you will experience fulfillment. That stuff might be power, or prestige, or possessions, or relationships.
  • 49.
    • But if you are astute enough to look around at the people that have those things you will notice a trend. Fulfillment doesn’t come from that stuff. Scott Dudley put it this way: "Never in history have so many had so much for so long and been so depressed about it."
  • 50.
    • But when we adopt an eternal mindset, stuff loses it’s significance. When we recognize that the things of this world aren’t going to last forever, we realize that there is no fulfillment in collecting it. We come to recognize what Solomon said in:
  • 51.
    • Ecclesiastes 2:26 NET For to the one who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy, but to the sinner, he gives the task of amassing wealth — only to give it to the one who pleases God. This task of the wicked is futile — like chasing the wind!
  • 52.
    • To the man who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God.
  • 53.
    • When we place our hope in God, we don’t try to satisfy our groanings with the things of this world. In hope, we anticipate that God will satisfy us in ways that cannot be understood in this lifetime.
  • 54.
    • Romans 8:24 NET For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope, because who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with endurance.
  • 55.
    • 2. Our hope turns our eyes away from our pain to God’s glory.
    • You know, more than you want to I’m sure, about my airplane crash. You know the terrible pain I live with that stems from that life changing event. I can not find any part of my life or being it hasn’t changed!
  • 56.
    • Of course you’re familiar with the pain, cognitive problems & the terrible side of these changes. Let me tell you of the positive side. Yes! there is a positive side. As in any near-death experience one takes a closer, reflective, look at their life.
  • 57.
    • If the airplane’s control stick would of jabbed an eighth or quarter of an inch further and entered my brain I would most likely of died right then and there. If that would have happen was I ready at that time to meet my Maker, my Judge?
  • 58.
    • I had not been actively striving to serve God. I was just warming a pew on Sunday mornings. It took a couple years after the crash and the death of my Dad before I started listening to his words from many times and years before.
  • 59.
    • “ You should be preaching at that church. You should go to that town, the church there needs a preacher.” Finally I did throw myself into serving God filling the pulpit where needed. I learned Our Lord wants more than people standing on the sidelines.
  • 60.
    • He wants His people in the middle of the action. I also learned something else. A truth that Paul expressed in:
    • 2 Corinthians 1:3 NET Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles so that we may be able to comfort those experiencing any trouble with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
  • 61.
    • You see, the good news is that in Christ we live in a constant state of hope that the pain of this world will give way to the painless reality of heaven.
    • The promise from the Bible is
    • that in that time
    • Christ will dry all our tears.
    • But that hope isn’t just "Pie in the sky in the sweet by and by."
  • 62.
    • That hope infuses us now with the ability to turn our eyes away from our pain to God’s glory.
    • Romans 8:18 NET For I consider that our present sufferings cannot even be compared to the glory that will be revealed to us.
  • 63.
    • 19 For the creation eagerly waits for the revelation of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility — not willingly but because of God who subjected it — in hope 21 that the creation itself will also be set free from the bondage of decay into the glorious freedom of God's children.
  • 64.
    • 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers together until now. 23 Not only this, but we ourselves also, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we eagerly await our adoption, the redemption of our bodies.
  • 65.
    • 24 For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope, because who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with endurance.
  • 66.
    • The good news for those who are in Christ Jesus is that
    • YOU
    • ALWAYS
    • HAVE
    • HOPE.