We live in a world, and a society, which is filled with false hopes, idols and fallacies. Every day people put their hope in things which can never fulfill their needs thoroughly or completely. I was in that same position before I knew Jesus and I’m sure anyone who is saved can say the same thing. My hope is in Jesus, He will never let me down nor will He ever fail to keep His promises or meet my needs; my needs, not my wants. So many people today depend on their own abilities to get them through life. I tried that and it didn’t work out too good. The world around us provides many enticing lifestyles, activities and temptations to get involved with a variety of people doing a variety of sinful practices. Where is the hope in a dead end habit or a life which leads to misery and physical death? There are so many people today who are addicted to so many different drugs and they are enslaved by their additions. Where is the hope in this type of lifestyle? Other than allowing Jesus into their lives to save them and cleanse them, there is absolutely no hope at all! People will say, “Jesus is not real” or “Jesus is a lie, He can’t do anything.” So many people who are trapped by the false hopes of this world are not allowing their eyes to be opened to the reality of who Jesus really is. Jesus is not a sugar daddy who will supply the winning lottery numbers for you. He is not greedy and doesn’t demand everything you have as you walk into the local church sanctuary on Sunday mornings. He is not a God who punishes you when you slip up and sin, He is a loving, forgiving God. There are so many misconceptions about who Jesus really is. People believe what they hear or what they want to believe about Jesus and they close Him out. I was talking with an unsaved friend the other day and he told me he thinks Jesus was just a prophet. He doesn’t believe He died on a cross and he doesn’t believe he is God. Now, this may sound very disappointing to some but actually, this was a break through; I finally got him to at least talk about Jesus/God. The Lord opened this door and I’m sure this will not be the last conversation we have concerning Jesus. But, it is the very point I was making, people who are not saved, conjure up their own ideas about God or Jesus because they have never heard the truth. We Christians need to ask God to open a door so we can share the truth with them. These people have so many false hopes and they need to understand and believe that Jesus is our only hope.
Objects Of False Hope
The era of time in which we live provides so much advanced technology and it is so easy to become wrapped up in it all. Something, which was, as simple as television, has become a whole new entertainment element. Smart TV has just about everything you need to keep you entertained without ever leaving the couch or recliner!
Fancy streaming rental films directly to your TV without the hassle of visiting the rental store or posting DVD returns? How about surfing Google maps, sharing web photo albums or making a Skype video conference via your living room’s big screen? With the latest generation of internet-connected, or Smart TVs, you can.
I’m sure most of you are familiar with smart TV technology but it is an eye opener when you stop and consider how far the common TV set has come in the last 10 years. Even those people who don’t have smart TV, the internet and HD TV is enough to keep a person occupied for many hours in a day. It is real easy for these items to become addictive or even to become idols. For the person who spends anywhere from 3 to 8 hours a day between the TV set and the internet, there might be a problem there. The content of the internet or the TV can become a false hope. Some people will believe anything they see or read on the internet. It becomes a reality to them and, depending on the content, can become a false hope. TV has been that way for years; the most addictive type of programing for years was/is or has been day time soaps. And, if day time wasn’t enough, prime time programing used the same idea and hooked a bunch more folks into the addiction. But, it isn’t restricted to those types of programing, there are so many different types of reality programs available now and I know people who absolutely can’t miss a show. OK, enough with the TV; there are other types of false hopes and avenues to those false hopes. The TV and the internet are avenues to many false hopes.
People who aren’t saved will commonly place their hope in their bank accounts or their wealth. For those people who have great wealth, they will always depend on that wealth to get them through this life. After all, money can do many things and persuade many people in this world. The wealthy can and do buy what they want and use their money to manipulate other people.
But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. 1 Tim. 6:9 NLT www.biblegateway.com
Money can do as much good as it can do bad but when it becomes an idol and a false hope, it only brings destruction as the scripture above states. Also, the many things which money can buy can also become a false hope. People will put their hope in some really silly things. Example: “If money can buy me a newer car or a bigger house, they will lead me to a more successful position. These items will allow me to portray myself as a much more important and influential person. Others will have to recognize me as someone they need to be connected with.” This kind of thinking is very common in the world today. Where is the false hope? The hope that others will look upon them as someone important or influential or powerful. The self-serving ego of these people will only lead to destruction. Think about and consider the number of people who lost massive amounts of wealth when the stock market crashed in 2008. Some of those people were living in RVs which were parked on public streets. Many were homeless and all they had was the RV. Many didn’t even have that; they were homeless without anything. They went from six figure salaries to nothing! Where was their hope? What was there to put hope in after they lost everything? I am not using these poor folks, who lost everything, as an example in order to slam them or berate them. I felt for them and I’m sure some have been able to regroup and are doing OK now. What an opportunity to tell them about real hope, Jesus. My hope is Jesus and I knew Christians who were affected by this tragedy but they kept their eyes on Him and they survived.
Others will put their hope in people. This could be husbands, wives or children and parents. Children will always look to their parents but good Christian parents will teach their children, as they grow, to put their hope in Jesus. Employees put their hope in unions or the boss or the company. Medical patients put all their hope in a doctor (and some doctors actually think they are God). And yet, there are others who simply put all their hope and trust in another human being regardless of the relationship or circumstances. This can never bring favorable results and will only keep a person from the Lord.
When people create idols from other people, they are looking for hope where no hope can be found. Our only place of hope is in Jesus. Other people are no more capable of accomplishing anything more than another human being regarding any kind of saving hope.
Our true hope in Jesus is in our belief that He will return for His Church one day and we Christians will spend all of eternity will Him in heaven. This hope also includes the fact that when we die physically as Christians, we will be immediately in the presence of the Lord. So for those who die before Jesus returns for His Church, they will go right into the presence of Jesus in heaven and for those who are alive when He returns, we will be transformed into our heavenly bodies. This is our hope in Jesus; my hope is in Jesus and His return or my immediate transformation into heaven at the point of physical death.
And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. 1 Thess. 4:13 NLT
The remainder of that passage goes on to tell us about Jesus returning for His Church and also in 1 Cor. 15, there is another passage which describes the same event. So, this verse of scripture tells us the lost have no hope when it comes to physical death. Many, when asked about death, if they are honest, will tell us they really don’t know. They can hope in vain, without Jesus, that they will go to heaven but it is an empty hope because they don’t know Jesus as their savior. This is our hope, that Jesus will return in our lifetime. This also should prompt us to let as many people as possible know about Jesus and who He really is! So, there are many things in this world which we could put our hope in but all those things are worthless when it comes to hope. There is only one hope and that is Jesus. Many people who don’t know Him or don’t want to know Him have put their hope in some very silly items or people or things but my hope is Jesus!