Thank you for the hundreds of calls, letters and e-mails that we have received about our new book. It has been so exciting to see so many “receive the Word with openness of mind,” but then “search the Scriptures to be sure these things are so.” (Acts 17:11) Bible Studies on this material seem to be springing up all over the country! Praise God!
If we had only two words to describe what this study has meant to us personally, they would be “Hope Realized.” Through learning and applying these principles, our hope in Christ has been realized, apprehended, understood and em-braced. We now know why we have been called, where we are going and what we have to do to get there.
What exactly is “hope” and why is it so very important to possess? Strong’s Concordance defines it as: “favorable and confident expectation.” It goes on to say, “it’s anticipation with pleasure, and expectation and confidence in the future.”
Ephesians 1:18 stresses the importance of each of us possessing this kind of “hope”: Paul says “…that we may know what is the hope of His calling and what [are] the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints…” In other words, he is saying once we understand the real reason why God has called us—what His purpose is—hope, confidence and expectation will result.
Proverbs further tells us that this hope will become a “tree of Life” in our lives. (Proverbs 13:12) Validating again, that when we realize (apprehend or understand) the “real reason” why we have been called, it will put everything together for us—i.e., the whole Bible will come alive. The symbolism of the “tree of Life” in the Word of God simply represents “equipping believers with divine wisdom and understanding” in order to have levels of responsibility in the coming kingdom. (Proverbs 3:13-18) It also stands for man’s possibility of ruling and reigning with the King of Kings over all the earth.
When this hope is embraced, it becomes the most powerful motivating force in our lives. This hope is produced from understanding the purpose of our salvation, which is to be able to rule and reign with Christ in the Millennial Kingdom and after that for eternity. Our life here on earth is just the testing ground, the proving ground and the training ground for that purpose. (Proverbs 9:10; 2 Corinthians 5:10-11)
Listen to one of the hundreds of letters we have received recently about The Kingdom, Power and Glory and how it has revived this person’s “hope of His calling”:
“I wanted to take the time to tell you both how much your new book, The Kingdom, Power and Glory has meant to my wife and I. This book, more than any other, has revolutionized our viewpoint and attitude about the importance of our Christian commitment and service to the Lord with each and every moment that we have been blessed with.
“Let me share with you one of the most important insights that we have gleaned so far. Prior to reading KPG, I never had the slightest idea of what was really at stake in terms of my eternal destiny, possible rewards, or the contribution in terms of service to the Kingdom that could be uniquely mine own. Not only that, but the concept of eternal rewards for service to the Kingdom was never a part of any teaching or theology that I had previously had.
“In fact, I was raised in the Assembly of God Church. There we were taught that it was possible to lose our salvation for virtually any infraction. Sadly, it put many of us in a state of ‘manic depressive theology’ due to the belief that a person can lose his salvation for committing any willful sin. As a result of this type of theology, it became a virtual impossibility to feel secure in my salvation and as a result, there was no attempt to really grow in the faith because I never knew whether I was really saved to begin with.
“What better ploy could Satan use? What better way to keep us from witnessing to others: After all, how can anyone feel totally comfortable in witnessing to someone else, if they are not sure they are saved themselves?
“Bottom line: I am learning each and every day as I study and ponder the messages contained in KPG. The only regret I have is that I didn’t have it forty years ago. It would have saved me years and years of stumbling around in spiritual darkness looking for the light…”
Interestingly, Proverbs 13:12 also tells us that “hope deferred makes the heart sick.” In other words, without knowing the “hope of our calling,” we die. We are unable to witness to others as the above letter so beautifully describes, because we ourselves are not sure where we are going. And, this is why the enemy is making such inroads in so many of our lives.
Having “hope” is a huge factor in being able to endure and persevere though our trials—being able to stay afloat in the heaviest of storms. Having “the hope of our calling” becomes the “anchor of our souls.” (Hebrews 6:19)
The purpose of The Kingdom, Power and Glory is to help believers understand the real reason for their salvation (their inheritance in Christ in the coming kingdom). (Titus 2:13) And, also, to help believers implement the practical application of sanctification in their lives so they may apprehend the above reward.
It’s important to understand this future hope does not re-place our temporal hopes (our hopes for marriage, careers, family, ministry etc.); it simply enhances (magnifies, amplifies and strengthens) them. In other words, when our temporal hopes fade (and they will because they are temporal), our eternal hope will always be there to carry us through. Our temporal hopes are fleeing (brief, they pass away quickly), but, the “hope realized” that we are talking about here—our inheritance in Christ—is eternal. (Romans 15:13)
It’s like God’s Agape Love. When the human loves fade away and die, which they often do because they are human, God’s Love (Agape) will always be there to carry us through. It’s the same thing with the “hope of our salvation”—it will always be there to carry us though life’s ups and downs. This is the answer to the hopelessness that so many Christians are experiencing today.
Hope that anticipates what can be ours if we hold fast our confidence firm to the end (Hebrews 3:6) does, in itself, pro-duce “fruit.”
Encouragement and Hope for the Future
Our purpose, again, with our book is to integrate “the sanctification process” (actually learning how to live Christ’s Life) here on earth with “the reward of inheritance” (co-reigning with Christ) there in the coming kingdom. Our purpose is to provoke one another “unto love and to good works.” (Hebrews 10:24)
As older Christians, who have at times blown it just like everyone else, we have learned through the grace of God how to turn around (1 John 1:9), how to give things to God (Romans 12:1-2) and how to overcome. “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors [overcomers] through Him that loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creation, shall be able to separate us from the Love of God that is in Christ Je-sus, our Lord.” (Romans 8:37-39)
Our intention is to give encouragement and hope for the future, to shed more light on God’s specific plan of redemption, and to answer those three important questions: Why are we here? Where are we going? And, what do we have to do to get there? Once we understand God’s answers to these questions, it should give us the incentive to live here and now, as God desires because this life truly is the training ground for the next.
The bottom line is: The way we live our lives here and now will have eternal and unchangeable consequences in the next life. In other words, what we do after we have been born-again dramatically affects our role, our position, our place, our status and our authority in the coming Millennial Kingdom. “He that overcomes shall inherit all things and I will be his God and he shall be My Son.” (Revelation 21:7)
Next month: What is Salvation? This article has been excerpted in part from Chuck & Nan’s new book, The Kingdom, Power and Glory.