The Christian who studies the Bible is neither indifferent nor fearful concerning the future. They are hopeful. I have listened to the “wise” of the world—scientists, politicians, world leaders, and educators—express themselves about the future. All of their hopes are clearly marked by an element of uncertainty. But the Christian hope has a positive and certain ring to it, the reason being that it is identified with the Person and work of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The foundation of my hope is the greatest event in world history, namely, the historical fact of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Apostle Peter wrote: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3).
One wonderful thing about our hope is that it is associated with Heaven. It is no wonder that those who are not heavenly minded are without hope. Living for the world, they do not care at all about heavenly things. Instead, they live only for that which they can see and touch and taste in this world. They hope for prosperity, pleasure and prominence in this life, because Heaven is not real to them and Christ is not real to them.
Now although our hope is a heavenly hope, Heaven itself is not the Christian’s hope. In writing to the Colossians, Paul discussed “the hope laid up for you in Heaven” (1:5). He goes on to explain that our hope is not a place, but a Person: “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (1:27). This is truly “the hope of the gospel” (1:23). Heaven is where Christ is, thus Heaven is where our hope is.
The fact that our hope is “laid up” means that it is safe, secure, sure. No one ever needs to fear about the future when their hope is laid up in Heaven. Our Lord had this in mind when He said: “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21).
Does Christ have your heart? If so, then your hope is not misplaced. The Colossian Christians were a heavenly minded people and this gave to them a sense of security. And why not? Anything—or anyone—deposited in Heaven is safe. When Jesus comes again He will bring a reward for those who have maintained hope in Him. That reward is also “laid up” for us in Heaven. Paul testifies to it in the following words: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved His appearing” (2 Timothy 4:7-8).
—Lehman Strauss, adapted