Hope Springs Eternal

May 23, 2017 | John Freedman

I never tire of experiencing life-changing, Holy Spirit-inspired miracles. And miracles are what I witnessed as Shawn Boonstra, Voice of Prophecy speaker and director, presented Jesus Speaks Peace recently at the Washington State Fairgrounds. God moved powerfully during these meetings. Several hundred good interests responded positively, undergirded by many volunteer prayer partners. During the short time I was there, I watched three joyful baptisms.

Boonstra is not the only one with this important and prophetic message. We have all been tasked with preaching the gospel message. We all have the opportunity to draw our communities to Christ and to watch Him transform lives in real time. Jesus is not just the author of our blessed hope; He is the only hope — for us and our neighbors.

The Second Coming of Jesus Christ is at the core of our fundamental biblical beliefs. It is a major part of our Seventh-day Adventist identity — the source of our blessed hope. Yet in Matthew 24, Jesus also challenges us with a dose of reality — the world will be a dangerous place, a mess, until He returns. There will be “wars and rumors of wars … nation will rise against nation … famines, pestilences, earthquakes … tribulation … persecution … false prophets.” Because of lawlessness “the love of many will grow cold” (Matt. 24: 6–12).

That doesn’t sound at all like good news. Must we postpone our hope until Jesus comes again?

No. There is good news now. Jesus — His death for our sins, His burial and His resurrection — is our hope. We hope in the good news of the gospel because Jesus took upon Himself our sin, guilt and shame. His burial buried our sin, shame and guilt, forever separating them from us.

There is now no condemnation to those who believe in Jesus. His victory became our victory. We have been set free from bondage to sin and now live an abundant and victorious life in Christ.

We can never hear or share this hope, this truth, too often.

Jesus knew His followers would be anxious for the ultimate resolution of this hope. He told stories such as the parable of virgins who wait for a bridegroom who tarries. His transparency of a delay in His return is refreshing. And, the apostle Peter reminds us: “Scoffers will come in the last days … saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming?’ … The Lord is not slack concerning His promise … but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:3,4,9). The purpose of the delay is our opportunity to share the gospel for the salvation of as many people as possible!

Matt. 24:14 challenges us to live out the gospel commission as a God-breathed desire for all to make an eternal choice for His kingdom. Sharing the gospel is our God-given mission! Reaching out with this invitation to those without Jesus is where we will personally find purpose, peace and joy. And, by sharing hope, we will find it growing ever more deeply in our hearts as well.

I’m grateful for the hundreds of volunteers, pastors and Bible workers who have assisted the Boonstra meetings — and all other evangelistic efforts throughout the Northwest. We are all working together to share Jesus Christ as the only hope beyond this crazy, messed up world.

It’s more than just an old adage. Hope does indeed spring eternal when matched to an eternal God, an eternal home and a love that never dies — for you, me and our neighbors down the street.