Program Air Date - 5-2-04



"In the beginning - God - created the heavens and the earth!" This morning, it is before this awesome, great and mighty God which we assemble - to praise, laud and magnify His wondrous name! Will you approach His Almighty throne with me in prayer at this time!


Let me thank you all for joining us this morning. And let me say a special hello today, to our viewers in the Monett, Missouri area. We thank you for making the Living Word program a part of your offering to God, as we join together to worship our God each Sunday morning.

May I further encourage those in the Monett area to visit with the faithful congregation of our Lord which meets there - the Monett Church of Christ. Please take advantage of the opportunity even this morning to worship with this congregation as they begin at 9:30 a.m. with a Bible Class. This hour of study is then followed by a main worship assembly at 10:35, and this family also meets at 6:00 on Sunday evening. A mid-week service is also offered as a convenient time to worship God, this assembly is at 7:00 p.m. every Wednesday evening. I am also excited to say that this congregation offers a Hispanic Worship which begins at 3:00 p.m. every Sunday afternoon.

So again, let me encourage you to visit with these brethren soon. And furthermore, we thank this fine congregation for it's continue support of this work of our Lord. If you need any further information about this congregation feel free to contact their minister Deny Lemaster, at (417)235-3785. Well, it's already time to praise our God through song. Won't you join in with the congregation at this time as we sing together, "Softly and Tenderly Jesus is Calling!"

(SONG # 1)


Oh, how I love the song we just sang together which reminds us that our loving God is always calling us! And notice in this beautiful message that He calls not only in a soft and tender way, but He calls that we might desire to come home and be forever with Him.

It's also encouraging to hear the message of this song as the writer acknowledges God's enduring love for us, although we sin and often transgress His law. Brethren and friends, Oh, what a loving, merciful and gracious God we serve. Who is always there for us and ready to receive us and take us home, if we are doing all we can unto His glory! Are you serving your almighty God this day? Have you done all that He requires that you may be a child of His, as well as that you may do all that is according to His precious Will? Remember, Jesus is calling - the question is - "Will we obey?" This morning, we will continue our discussion on the "Important Doctrines of God." Our specific message of the day is entitled, "The Doctrine of Hope." So please stay with us this morning and after our next song together, I will return and lead us in our main thoughts of the day. But for now let's join together in our second song of the morning. The name of this hymn, "Victory In Jesus."

(SONG # 2)


Speaker: Ray Sullins

Speaker: Ray Sullins

The Hebrew writer said, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." We appreciate you continuing with us this morning as we look into this passage this morning and although usually looking at faith when we read from this great faith chapter. I think even more specifically this morning, we want to draw out of this text the concept of the realization, the realization of the hope that is before us.

Oh how blessed we are as followers of God, as those who love our Creator above. To know that there is hope, not only hope in this life and all that we saw and all that we have, all that we are really blessed in enjoying, but yet we also have hope of those things to come. Then we have to ask the question: Where is this hope from? I think we can turn over to Paul in the Colossian letter, Colossians chapter 1 and verse 5, and there Paul says, "Because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven of which you heard before in the Word of the truth of the gospel." The hope. There we have the concept of the hope that was laid up for us. Laid up where? In heaven. Oh how blessed we are to have an idea, a concept that is given to us in scripture that gives us hope, something to quench that desire and that thirst within us, not only for now, but also for all eternity, able to know that there are so many things out there for us and that will be rewards for us and blessings to us because we have chosen to follow God. Once again, we have the great hope.

In the Bible well over a hundred times we have this idea of hope mentioned. In fact, about 129 times the Bible times the Bible tells us that we have hope or that we should hope or that there was hope. In fact, if you'll look more specifically, the word itself that is brought over from the Greek and used there in the English as hope is using really and clarifying the concepts as this: "to look for something eagerly, to rely on something which is reliable, to be able to wait with confidence for that which is ahead." In all of these ideas, we see a longing for something, a looking forward to something, something that is before us, something that we have full assurance and knowledge and understanding and want and know that it is going to be there, yet as we read earlier in the letters to the Hebrew folks, Hebrews 11:1, it's really not based on factual evidence, things that we've actually held in our hands, things that we've actually been there and seen it, but yet we have eyewitnesses who were guided by the Holy Spirit to prove these things unto us so that we might be assured of the hope that is mentioned here in a scripture.

But yes the New Testament, as it talks about this hope, this courage that we have surely mentions the idea of looking for something with anticipation, with pleasure and faith and trust and knowing that it is before us and that it is something that we can not only long for but that we know that that which we wish for truly is based on reality, a realization not only that it is there or can be there or might be there, but it will be there. Why? Because our God loves us. We can trust in God and He cares for us and He is believable. "Our God cannot lie," Paul told Timothy. Our God cannot tell us a fib or say something is true that is not true, if He be God. He is believable. And so certainly when He says that we have hope and that hope comes from heaven and is founded din heaven and in the things that God has promised us through His Word. Certainly you and I have something to smile about, to be joyful about, to be happy about because hope is ours through Jesus Christ our Lord.

We want to look now at several concepts, if you will, the nature of hope as we bring out again further verses and ideas about really what this word was all about in the New Testament and how it was used by those who certainly clearly servants of God.

In the book of Romans chapter 8, we find here the man again, Paul, writing to the church at Rome and trying to encourage them as no doubt they had struggles and trials and temptations in life. You and I have the same. And so they needed hope. They needed something to look back at and at that time and look forward to knowing that the hope was real and could be counted on and was sure. And so there in chapter 8 of Romans beginning in verse 24, we find that Paul encourages them by saying, "For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance or long-suffering." Here we see that beautiful concept again of hope and how that he says that we are saved in hope. The first thing I want to draw out there is that we have a clear connection between hope and salvation. When we are those who are saved among the saved in the body, we have hope and assurances. So how great is it to be saved? Oh it is of the utmost importance. It gives us that strength and that courage and that hope that without salvation and the knowledge of salvation we could not and would not have. But here he goes on to say that not only do we have a salvation connected to the wondrous hopes in this life, and that once we are saved we have greater hope, but he says that really the hope we should look for are those things that really are not clearly seen. If I receive a gift from someone and I haven't opened it yet, I have hope. I'm excited. I'm longing for that. But when I've opened the gift and I know what it is... Do you ever notice that after a birthday how you kind of feel like it's all over and the excitement is gone. The hope is missing. Well you see if we've seen it already, the hope is gone. You see, God says that we have hope. We weren't actually there, but we know they can be true. We're sometimes not actually there in the things that He describes, but we know they're true and He said that there are blessings as we live faithfully. He says that there is heaven someday. We haven't actually been there but the hope is just like that package. It's even greater, even more wondrous, because although based on something that we haven't actually tasted of or actually been to or experienced physically, it is something that we know is just as real because our God has proven it through His Word and has shown us that we have hope.

The Ephesian writer there in Ephesians chapter 4 and verse 4 refers to, in the concepts of unity, several things that we must believe in and he says that "we must be one in..." ideas such as "believing in one Father, one Spirit, one Son and the idea of one baptism, one faith." You know what he says also in verse 4, "In one hope of our calling." He says that we have again that hope through Jesus Christ, that wondrous hope that is ours that we know and have assurances of because God Himself has told us that yes, the Christians truly has a final hope in godly things, a one hope in knowing that all that we have and experience and that all that is worthwhile, every good, spiritual blessing, every good blessing of this world, in this life only comes from the Father above, only comes from God. Oh what hope. Oh what wonderful blessings and oh, what wonderful opportunity we have as His followers.

Hope also is tied to the concept of the Biblical resurrection of the dead and he says that "Someday we have the hope," as he says there in Acts chapter 24, verses 14-15, "the hope of knowing that we will come forth from the grave and knowing that we will be taken back eternally with our Father, the eternal hope of the resurrection someday when our Lord and Jesus comes again to rule the world and we have hope of our labors there to obtain that which has been promised in Acts 26, verses 6-7 so that we might know again that our God loves us and watches over us and provides for us and cares for us because when we have need, our hopes are fulfilled because our God loves us and He cares for us.

Furthermore, how does hope fit into the Biblical concepts that are given not just again in reference to how they apply in a general sense as to how they will help us now or maybe in the life to come, but really what are some specific things again that are tied besides salvation, besides eternal life, besides the concept of salvation and Christianity and the life that a child of God must... What are some other things that the Bible says are tied to this hope? Well there in Hebrews chapter 6 and verse 17, it mentions the concept that we have an anchor, a hope. In fact, there's a song that we often sing in relationship to this same concept that "we have an anchor that keeps our soul steadfast and sure while the billows or the waves roll." Now again, you think of the great hope, the great confidence, the great ability to know that we are grounded and anchored in a hope, a hope that is steadfast and secured in God.

In 1 Peter 1, we have there a great hope, a promise of the Word that has been given to us and all things pertaining to life and godliness. That is again a hope from God and a hope that has now been fulfilled through what we see. And further down in the same chapter, we see that God, through the promise gave us not only hope but an assurance in the fact He guided holy men through the Spirit to do a recording of the scriptures that we now have today in the Bible.

Further ideas that are presented there is "the hope that gives us courage," in Romans chapter 5 and verse 4. "The hope that gives us motive," in 1 Corinthians 9:24. "The hope that causes us to want to be more faithful and have a greater faith," 1 Peter 3:15. "The hope that gives us a knowledge of a merciful God and to know that His mercy will be applied to us," Psalm 33 and verse 22. "The hope that makes us secure and safe in God," the security again connected to salvation, Job 11:18. "The hope that produces patience that we must wait for the reward," the great reward that is again clarified for us in Romans chapter 8 and verse 25.

We want to end with the idea this morning found in Ephesians chapter 2 because there we now after understanding the concept of hope see a different picture. A different picture, really I guess we could say a warning, if you will, that will help us to again see that our God gives hope and promises us hope and ties so many things to hope as a child of God. But then really what is the warning that we must be aware of as is clarified in Ephesians chapter 2 beginning in verse 12? Well the Bible says here that "there was some without hope." Can you imagine no promise, no hope of heaven, no hope of blessings, no hope of mercy, of purity, of holiness, of righteousness? Can you imagine no hope of any of the things that we have made reference to this morning? Well the Bible speaks of that there beginning again in Ephesians chapter 2 and verse 12, "that at that time you are without Christ being alien sinners from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world but now in Christ Jesus, you who once were afar off, now have been brought near by the blood of Christ."

Oh what hope we have and how it is blessed to know that although we are without hope and outside of the promises and outside of the rewards and blessings and all that which we have mentioned that is connected to hope, that now today we have hope. And through whom? Jesus Christ. And specifically through what? The shedding of His blood because then we have been bought and purchased with the price, the price of His blood, 1 Corinthians 6 and verse 20.

And then we are His children, the children of God and able then to share in hope, the hopes again that are ours today and tomorrow and not only are ours today and tomorrow, but even as we look back into the past and the world that has already existed and the things that are recorded for us in the scripture that we have hope and confidence that we can be sure of them and that they are real and that as His followers certainly we have the ability to know that hope is real.

Oh do you long for heaven? Do you long for the eternal life that God has to offer? Do you have the hope that is yours and should be yours in Jesus Christ? Well let me remind you that you only can as His child. Have you done what God asks to become His child? Have you believed? Have you confessed His wondrous name that He is the Son of God? Have you been willing to repent and turn from the old sinful way into the hope of sinless life? Have you had a cleansing through baptism, there washing away your sins and being added by the Lord to His church so that you might be a faithful follower based in His hope? Choose today to have the hope that God offers and choose to have it by doing His Will.

(SONG # 3 - "Just As I Am!")


Let me thank you again for choosing to be with us today, in this offering to God. I hope our time together has been an encouragement and blessing to all of us. We invite you back every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this worship to God!

But for now let me ask if you have any questions or comments about today's lesson? Maybe, you would like a free transcript or a cassette tape of this program? Possibly, we could assist you with free Bible materials or correspondence courses? No matter what your need is, please contact us at the following address:

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How blessed we are to have such a glorious Hope, in and through God! May we always focus on that Hope so that we will be motivated to accomplish His great and magnificent Will!

(Program closing)