HOPE – NOT FEAR
BY: KENNETH GREATOREX
“There is hope for a tree, if it is cut down, that it will sprout again, and that its tender shoots will not cease. Though it roots may grow old in the earth, and its stump may die in the ground, yet at the scent of water it will bud and bring forth branches like a plant.” Job 14:7-9
What gets your attention the most? Is it a sense of peace, joy and expectancy in God? Or is it FEAR? The environmentalists, with their gloomy predictions, and doomsday preachers, with their doctrines of damnation, are two sources of FEAR. Fear sells as millions of dollars are made on books promoting FEAR, not HOPE, or FAITH in God. While some fear has its place, HOPE DOES NOT FEAR.
When I was a child rumors would circulate that the world was going to end on a certain day. It struck fear within my heart, and no doubt others also. Evangelical evangelists spread this same kind of fear, but tied it to their pre-trib, any minute rapture, and coming antichrist, mark of the beast, and the nonstop burning in hell of those left behind erroneous preaching.” The love of God WAS missing here.
Our newspaper recently carried a report that on October 12, 1999 the population of the earth would reach six billion. Some expressed positive views about this, but the fear mongers were quoted. Within my spirit the words came, “I came to bring you HOPE, not FEAR.” Our Father knows ALL THINGS, and DOES ALL THINGS WELL.
When conducting funeral services I often emphasize that “we are people of hope.” We do not fear death, as our HOPE is in the RESURRECTED CHRIST JESUS. Physical death is not the end. It is but a RELEASE into a new life in the SPIRIT realm. A putting on of life without the possibility of corruption. Read 2 Corinthians 5:1-4, and note the words, ”swallowed up by life,” at the end of verse four.
Some of us need reminding of Scriptures that give God’s viewpoint, as in Psalm 24:1, “The earth is THE LORD’S, and ALL its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein.” Notice God’s not the devil’s! The Earth and all of mankind belong to God! Some feel that God surrendered His sovereignty to man, and man lost it to Satan at the fall. What about believing the Bible?
The words of Psalm 24:1 are also recorded in 1 Corinthians 10:26 and again for emphasis in verse twenty-seven. Dare we doubt this truth? Psalm 104:5 tells us that it was God who “laid the foundations of the earth, so that it should NOT BE MOVED forever.” This speaks of permanence and long endurance.
Psalm 96:10 and 93:1 tells us that the world is firmly established and that it cannot be moved [slip, shake, fall, be moved or removed].
We are reminded in Psalm 119:90 that the earth ABIDES.
God made two statements about the future of the earth after the flood in Noah’s days. In Genesis 8:21 He said, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, – nor will I destroy every living thing as I have done.” In Genesis 9:11, He was specific to that generation, “never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.”
Ephesians 3:21 begins with “To Him be glory in the church” and ends with, “throughout all ages, world without end.” A literal rendering is, “The generations of the age of the ages.” Where is Christ to receive glory? In the church, His congregation, and that nonstop. In spite of the above Scriptures, and Revelation 5:10 telling us that we shall REIGN ON EARTH, some still limit God’s plan for man and the earth. They teach that man is to have a 1000 year [millennial] reign with Christ and then the earth is to be destroyed by fire and will eventually reappear as a new heaven and a new earth.
Our problem is we don’t understand the language of the Bible. We want to take in the literal sense that which was never intended to be that way. We need to remember that not only the language of the Middle east, but languages elsewhere, including English, use metaphorical [figurative, allegorical, symbolic] language, and also use hyperbole [exaggerated statements] to produce an effect.
Creation is waiting in hope, and longing for the day when the sons of God shall come forth and the bondage of corruption will come to an end. Yes, even as the tree that has been cut down, the very scent of water will cause resurrection life to spring forth and the earth and all creation shall enter into the fullness of His glory. It shall be the time, and the hour, when all will have their consummation in Christ.
Think not that this shall be a small thing, or a partial thing, for as it was in the beginning so shall it be in the ending. Even as the Spirit of God did brood over the face of the waters, even so now the Spirit does brood over the face of the earth, even the waters of humanity. Did not a change come to pass as the Spirit brooded over the waters so long ago? Surely even that which our Father has purposed in fullness will come to pass through the victory of Jesus Christ, and the anointed Christ, as he moves throughout the earth in these days.
Even as many have seen nothing but doom and gloom, know our Father has purposed that all things should consummate in Him. God did not create man that he should be lost. God created man to be in His very image and likeness. Do we believe that He will not complete, or accomplish that which He has purposed?
Is anything too hard for the Lord? Then why do we believe that the victory of Christ is but a partial victory, and that the devil has really won the battle? It is time to acknowledge the greatness of our God, and that He alone is right in all of His ways. Jesus did not cry, “IT IS FINISHED” and speak false words. He did not proclaim that He saw Satan fall as lightening from heaven, and it was not so. Then why do you look at the things you call evil? Why do you look at the enemy as being a Goliath, when, he is already a defeated foe?
Look and behold the risen and ascended Christ. He is indeed Lord and Christ, and He has been given the name that is higher than all others. JESUS is His name. It is the name of He who is your emancipator, of He who has redeemed and restored man to the Father. Rejoice in HIM. Hope in your God!!!
Many years ago the following chorus was sung. The composer is unknown.
As it was in the beginning,
So shall it be in the ending,
For God did move on the face of the deep,
Out of darkness came forth light,
Out of chaos, His own image,
As it was in the beginning
So shall it be in the ending.
So we may bear in mind the instruction of Psalm 62:5, “My soul, wait quietly for God alone, FOR MY EXPECTATION IS FROM HIM.” My “expectation,“ from the Hebrew “tiqvah” which means HOPE. What expectations do we have? Are our expectations in line with our Father’s purposes and plans, or have we simply written mankind and the earth off as a disaster zone? Is anything to hard for our God? Is He not the omnipotent One, The Almighty?
It is time for the church to arise and to proclaim the total and all-inclusive victory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Rather than looking at the circumstances that do gender doubt and fear, we need to look at our Father and His glorious Son. As the ancient Israelites were told, “CHOOSE LIFE OR CHOOSE DEATH,” we now may choose HOPE, OR LIVE IN FEAR.
HOPE – NOT FEAR [Kenneth Greatorex] 1