Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Blessed Hope By James H. McConkey

Classic Christian Writings :

The Word of God calls the hope of the Lord’s return a "blessed hope" (Titus 2:13). That is a "happy" hope, as the word literally means. It brings joy to the heart of the believer. It gladdens the soul of him who cherishes it. There is no truer optimist than the man who is looking for His Lord to come.

True, this man as none else realizes that dark and perilous times are coming. God’s Word warns him there are breakers ahead for this old world of ours. He knows the Bible’s statement about it is not that it is growing better, but that "the whole world lieth in the evil one" (1 John 5:19), and is rapidly nearing the fiercest crisis of all its history.

But none of these things move him. Being forewarned he is forearmed. And being forearmed, he knows no discouragement because of conditions or circumstances, for back of all the somber shadows of coming days, looms up the glorious figure of His coming Lord and King, whose victory is as certain as the eternal Word of God can declare, and the eternal love of God bring to pass.

His hope is therefore indeed a blessed hope. It is sure and steadfast. It steadies his heart amid the most trying and desperate circumstances. It inspires him to service, too, with new zeal and fidelity. It stimulates to fervent zeal and earnestness for lost souls as they who cherish it do well know. Almost to a man, the great evangelists and soul-winners of past years, such as Spurgeon, Moody, Chapman, Torrey, Sunday, Whittle--all have cherished with warm and earnest hearts the hope of the coming again of their Lord. The greatest Bible teachers this country has ever seen were given up wholly and fervently to this truth.

And not only these, but thousands of God’s messengers in the mission field testify to it as one of the mighty inspirations of their lives to eager, incessant service. If that great truth makes daydreamers and stargazers of men, then it is strange indeed to find Jesus Christ Himself exhorting His own, as they serve, to be "like unto men that wait for their Lord" (Luke 12:36).

A Purifying Hope

God’s children are drawn unconsciously into the swift stream of the world’s thought, activity and power. We live, move and toil amid intensely worldly surroundings. Engrossed in these we forget something. We forget that it is the things which are unseen that are eternal.

So God thrusts into the horizon of our daily thought and meditation this blessed hope of our Lord’s return. Amazing indeed is its separating power in the life. It is an other-world truth. With a tremendous tug upward, it lays hold upon our thought and spirit. It has a special blessing pronounced upon its study: 

"Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand" (Revelation 1:3).

Any child of God who comes to know and love it is at once conscious of the nature of that blessing. The way it searches us, and its effectiveness in separating us from the power of worldliness in our lives is astonishing to us as we realize how vain our own self-efforts have been to accomplish this longed-for result. This wondrous power to purify and detach the heart from being engrossed in the world is convincing proof that it is God’s divinely appointed truth for effecting that purpose in the hearts and lives of His children. In very truth is it that "he that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself even as He is pure" (1 John 3:3). -- From The Blessed Hope by James H. McConkey

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