Once you are presented with what the Word of God has to say about an issue, you are responsible for receiving His love, grace, & favor; and the gift of His righteousness. Remember, you are greatly blessed, highly favored, and deeply loved by your Heavenly Father.
As we look forward to going into a new year, 2018, let’s focus on and look forward to that blessed hope of Jesus’ return.
This month, let’s focus on the Blessed Hope!
Titus 2:13 (NRSV) – “While we wait for the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ.”
The Apostle Paul had left Titus on the island of Crete to deal with the Cretans and appoint elders of the church there. The Apostle Paul was Titus’ spiritual father. Titus had heard Paul’s preaching as a teen-ager and had been converted to Christianity. Paul became his mentor. Titus was a native Greek. His father was a Greek and his mother was Jewish.
The Island of Crete is in the territory of Greece, several hundred miles south of Athens.
Paul and Titus had visited and preached the gospel on the island of Crete, but the Cretans were still very carnally minded.
Carnally Minded is defined as:
Pertaining to or characterized by the flesh or the body (meat), its passions and appetites; sensual: carnal pleasures.
Not spiritual; merely human; temporal; worldly: a man of secular, rather carnal, leanings (of the head).
Perhaps you could call them fleshly minded or “Meat-heads” and be scriptural about it…but that might be pushing it. We need to remember to walk in love…
As Paul put it in Titus 1:12 – “Cretans are always liars, vicious brutes, lazy gluttons.”
In Titus 2, Paul is encouraging Titus to train the Cretans to put off their carnal nature and look forward to Jesus’ returning.
This blessed hope referred to in Titus 2:13 is what most Christians refer to as the rapture. The word “rapture” itself does not appear. It just refers to it as the blessed hope…and I believe that this is part of the mystery.
If you haven’t been taught about the rapture, verse 13 is a good foundation scripture to meditate on.
If you chose not to believe in the rapture, than you will go through the tribulation. This is the seven-year period following the rapture involving the judgments that will be poured out upon the earth for all those who have not made the quality decision to make Jesus the Lord of their life.
No worries, God will provide His grace for those believers who have made Jesus their Lord but do not chose to believe in the rapture. They will remain here on the earth to minister unto the non-believers during the tribulation period.
Paul also writes to the Christians in Corinth, in 1 Corinthians 15:51-55:
51 (NRSV) Listen, I will tell you a mystery! We will not all die,[a] but we will all be changed,
52 (NRSV) in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.
Paul informs people of a mystery regarding the Blessed Hope – Understanding a mystery of Our Heavenly Father illustrates His character and emphasizes His omniscience, and sovereignty, but most importantly, His grace. People, for the most part would rather be involved in the pleasures of this world, than search out God’s purpose for their life. It’s their carnal nature … most just “bump along” in life.
We Christians who have been taught about the Blessed Hope and have chosen to believe it, will be changed in our mortal bodies, which will become young and healthy for all eternity! There is no sickness in Heaven…there are no hospitals in Heaven.
53 (NRSV) For this perishable body must put on imperishability, and this mortal body must put on immortality.
54 (NRSV) When this perishable body puts on imperishability, and this mortal body puts on immortality, then the saying that is written will be fulfilled:
55 (KJV) O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
Paul also writes to the Christians in Thessaloniki (which is also in Greece), in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17:
16 (NRSV) For the Lord himself, with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call and with the sound of God’s trumpet, will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first.
17 (NRSV) Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will be with the Lord forever.
So, as you can see, we have this Blessed Hope that Jesus is returning for His Bride (The Church)!
When will this happen?
Matthew 24:36 (NRSV) – “But about that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the father.”
The Bible provides signs that will happen in the world prior to the rapture, like flooding, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and such...and as we see these happening on a more frequent basis, it only stands to reason it will happen "soon".
I encourage you to be ready…and believing…
If you’re reading this, but you have not made Jesus the Lord of your life, and would like to, pray this prayer out loud in an audible voice:
Heavenly Father, your Word says in Romans 10:9-10- “that if I confess with my mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in my heart that You raised Him from the dead, that I would be saved. For with the heart one believes unto salvation.” I believe your Word, Heavenly Father, and confess Jesus Christ (the anointed one and His anointing) as Lord of my life now. I believe that You raised Him from the dead. I confess that I was a sinner, but now I’ve been saved by Your grace, and in Your thoughts, I am now in right standing with You. I denounce Satan and all he stands for. Write my name in the Lamb’s book of Life. In Jesus Name. Amen (so be it).
Congratulations! If this is your first time praying this prayer, please write and let us know!
Should you decide to give and financially support this ministry with gifts given in faith, I join my faith with yours to see the devourer rebuked (Malachi 3:11) and for you to receive a harvest; pressed down, shaken together and running over (Luke 6:38). Please remember to name your seed!