How to Hope: Lessons from the Israelites and Their Messianic Expectation, Part 22 (Second Coming Chapel Sermon #237)

TEXT: Numbers 21:5-9

5 And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread.

6 And the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.

7 Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord, and against thee; pray unto the Lord, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people.

8 And the Lord said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.

9 And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.

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How to Hope: Lessons from the Israelites and Their Messianic Expectation, Part 22 (Second Coming Chapel Sermon #237)

R.C. Sproul said, “Hope is called the anchor of the soul because it gives stability to the Christian life. But hope is not simply a “wish”; rather, it is that which latches on to the certainty of the promises of the future that God has made.”

In our last message, we saw that even though so many people have lost hope because of the state of this world, God does not leave us to suffer on earth without something to have hope in. We have the blessed hope.

We have hope in the salvation provided by Jesus Christ through His sacrifice. God ordered Moses to lift up a bronze statue of a serpent on a pole. All who looked at the serpent would be saved. Thousands of years later, God would send His only begotten Son to be lifted up on a cross. Just as this temporary salvation for the Israelites was as simple as looking at the bronze statue of the serpent, a permanent salvation through Jesus Christ is as simple as believing in Him.

A father and a girl of ten years, both good swimmers, entered the waters of the Atlantic at a New Jersey seashore resort a few summers ago. When some distance from shore they became separated, and the father realized they were being carried out to sea by the tide. He called out to his daughter: "Mary, I am going to shore for help. If you get tired, turn on your back; you can float all day on your back. I'll come back for you." Before long many searchers in boats were scurrying over the face of the water hunting for one small girl, while hundreds of people to whom the news had spread waited anxiously on shore. It was four hours before they found her, far from land. She was calmly floating on her back and not at all frightened. Cheers and tears of joy and relief greeted the rescuers with their precious burden as they came to land. The child took it calmly. She said, "He said he would come for me, and that I could float all day, so I swam and floated, because I knew he would come." May we as Christians have such faith in our Lord Jesus Christ because He said He is coming back for us. So keep the blessed hope alive in your heart!

Our hope does not stop with the act of salvation. Just as the bronze serpent is a sign of hope because it represented the future Messiah’s crucifixion, the actual crucifixion of Christ looks forward to the future reign of Christ on this earth. We ought to have hope in our salvation and in the assurance that one day Jesus will return to usher us into His kingdom.

D.W. Whittle wrote:

A lamp in the night, a song in time of sorrow;
A great glad hope which faith can ever borrow
To gild the passing day, with the glory of the morrow,
Is the hope of the coming of the Lord.

A lamp in the night, a song in time of sorrow;
A great glad hope which faith can ever borrow
To gild the passing day, with the glory of the morrow,
Is the hope of the coming of the Lord.

A call of command, like trumpet clearly sounding,
To make us bold when evil is surrounding;
To stir the sluggish heart and to keep in good abounding,
Is the hope of the coming of the Lord.

A word from the One to all our hearts the dearest,
A parting word to make Him aye the nearest;
Of all His precious words, the sweetest, brightest, clearest,
Is the hope of the coming of the Lord.

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Now, if you are not a believer in Jesus Christ, I urge you to trust in Him because He is coming again and you do not want to be left behind. Here is how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and the consequences of sin.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God's law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God."

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: "For the wages of sin is death…"

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death."

Now that is bad news, but here's the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read "What To Do After You Enter Through the Door." Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, "I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture."

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.