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Originally published in "The Lord's Coming Herald & Wesleyan Bible Prophecy Advocate," Summer Edition 2004

Looking For That Blessed Hope

    After thirty-seven years of walking in unbroken fellowship with the Lord, I can truthfully say that I am still looking for that blessed hope of Christ's return! And it is nearer, much nearer, today than it has ever been.

    What is the true blessedness to be associated with the hope of Christ's return? Is it escape from physical harm or suffering that is to be enjoyed by those who make the secret pretribulation rapture, as I once believed, and as millions yet today tenaciously imagine?

    No, the true blessedness of the hope of Christ's return lies not in the selfish creaturely nostalgia of physical escapism, but in the deep-rooted spiritual assurance and comfort that all true believers will have when Christ returns, and their commitment to the Christian way is fully vindicated (II Thessalonians 1:5-10).

    Jesus will vindicate himself at his second coming. He will also vindicate those who have borne their crosses to have followed him in the highway of holiness and perfect love during their lives below. The true blessedness of the hope of Christ's return lies in our being eternally vindicated—of it being made plain for all to see, that it was worth all that it cost us to have followed Jesus.

    This is the blessed hope that does not shrink from tribulation, but rather embraces "crosses, afflictions, and trials on earth riches like these to secure." This is the blessed hope that enables one to live right when everyone around one is going down the broad way that leads to destruction. Thank God for a genuine blessed hope that is more than emotional sentimentality. Those who have it and hold it fast will never be ashamed (John 2:28).

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