Lost people are described as being hopeless: Ephesians 2:12 says of them: “having no hope, and without God in the world.” In contrast the children of God can be called children of hope for those of the New Testament era were characterized by hope – which is faith in the promises of God toward the future. John wrote of this expectant faith saying: “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is,” (1 John 3:2).

This hope of the appearance in the clouds of Jesus Christ to catch away His bride and her friends is clearly stated: “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even a others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words,” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).

Simple easy to understand words these. And it is obvious to those who are familiar with the New Testament that in every period since the days of the apostles believers have rightfully expected Christ to return. It has been possible at any time since those days. Believers are to live in expectation of His return. This is their hope or faith toward the future.

But there is a danger: some teach that the children of God do not have that hope. They do not believe in the imminent return of Christ. Instead of looking for Christ, they are looking for the anti-Christ and believe that the Lord’s churches are going to endure the time of Jacob’s trouble (the tribulation). No catching-away to meet Christ in the air for them. No moment by moment expectation of the possibility of the Lord’s return. They think they shall be well warned of Christ’s return and so need not be hopeful or in readiness for that prophesied event.

What a joyless life that must be for those who live in anticipation of bad things instead of hope in Christ and the preciousness of His soon return. Are these not doing the same thing as those in Paul’s day whom he said, “have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some,” (2 Timothy 2:18).

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