A New Hope

KEY VERSE: “Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.” —Mark 13:31


THE world of mankind, being estranged from God, have a barren hope in this life if indeed they have a hope at all. Everything of the world is transitory from a material standpoint. This lesson was so beautifully illustrated by one of our Lord’s parables: “The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: and he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”—Luke 12:16-21

The lesson of the parable is two-fold. It illustrates first the transitory nature of worldly wealth and possessions, and associated with this is the futility of power and social status that often accompanies wealth and worldly possessions. The other point the Lord makes in the parable is that life is a gift from God and it can be snuffed out at any time, and when death comes it is final. There is no automatic continuation of life. The term ‘immortal soul’ is not found in the Bible. The word ‘soul,’ as used in the parable, simply means a mortal, sentient being.

All of this is in harmony with what the Scriptures teach concerning man. When God created Adam, he made him in the mental and moral image of himself. Adam was a perfect man. He was given God’s laws with the provision, that if he were obedient, he would have dominion and everlasting life. Adam did not obey and, therefore, God condemned him and his offspring to death. There is no hope for escape from this condemnation except as provided through the love and mercy of God. This is why the Lord in the parable stated that nothing material was of any value in comparison with the riches that result from a knowledge of God and his plans and purposes.

The world’s better hope, in fact the world’s only hope, of salvation and life is through God’s mercy and love expressed in his divine plan of the ages. The entire plan has as its center the death and resurrection of Jesus, who died to take Adam’s place in death, thereby lifting condemnation from Adam and his children, and providing the means for blessing them with life, peace, freedom from sickness and want, and finally restoring the dominion that was lost in the Garden of Eden.—Rom. 5:18

This will be accomplished by the resurrection of the dead. Jesus said, “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good to the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation [judgment].” (John 5:28,29) The Judgment Day of the Bible is a glorious and wonderful day. It is a thousand-year day during which time the resurrected world of mankind will have an opportunity to learn righteousness. It will be the first real opportunity they will have, because Satan, that old deceiver, will be bound for the thousand years. (Rev. 20:2,3) Some of the statements and prophecies in the Bible concerning the Judgment Day are: “He [God] hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness.” (Acts 17:32) “With righteousness shall he judge the world, and the people with equity.”—Ps. 98:9

Elsewhere in the Scriptures this wonderful time of blessing is called Christ’s kingdom, for which we have all been taught to pray. The Revelator describes this wonderful time for us: “And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold I make all things new. … These words are true and faithful.” (Rev. 21:3-5) Such is the new and better hope for the world.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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