But we’re serious. Because this world doesn’t feel a great place to be when we look at the news, or sometimes even in our town (or homes). Indeed, hope can be pretty hard to come by. So where can we find a hope that won’t disappoint us?
Well, we believe, and can say from experience, that Christianity is about real hope: a joyful expectation for the future, based on true events in the past, which changes everything about our present.
You see, when we look at the world around us we know something is wrong. We feel a sense of injustice. Even anger at some things that go on. But where does this sense of injustice come from? How do we even determine right from wrong.
The Bible says that when God created the world, He made it perfect. Free from evil. Free from sin. But He also gave mankind free choice – a choice to do right, but also the choice to do wrong. And sadly, we made the choice to do wrong. To sin against God.
But God’s forgiving, right? Doesn’t the Bible say that too? Well, it does. But God can’t overlook sin. He can’t just let us off because we helped an old lady across the street, or looked out for a neighbour. If we’ve done wrong, if we’ve sinned, then we must be held accountable – just as we would hope God would hold each liar, murderer and thief accountable for their actions.
And so the news gets worse before it gets better. Because we’ve all told a lie at some point. We’ve likely each stolen something – even if just a pen from the office. But Jesus said God holds us accountable for our thoughts too. That means, if we look at someone lustfully, God sees that as adultery in our hearts. And if we hate someone without cause, He sees that as murder in our hearts.
So where's the hope?!
Well, God, not willing that any of us should have to pay for our sin by spending eternity in hell (where we rightfully would expect rapists, murderers and more to spend eternity too) sent His only Son, Jesus, to earth to live a perfect, sinless life and die in our place, to take our punishment for our sin (so that we don’t have to). That’s an incredible gift!
But just as you can refuse a birthday or Christmas present, you can also refuse to accept this great gift of forgiveness from God, choosing instead to be held accountable for your own sin. You see, forgiveness isn’t automatic – rather we must turn to God, admit our sin, and put our faith and trust in Jesus to save us. In the moment we do that, our eternal destiny changes. No longer will we need to pay for our own sin, because it is paid in full by Jesus death on the cross. And instead, just as Jesus rose from the dead, so we (if we take this step) now have a new life.
And that is the most important decision any of us can ever make. Because if we do, it changes everything – from our eternal destiny, to how we live now. Rather than feeling hopeless in this crazy world, it leaves us hopeful of all that God has promised awaits us as we spend eternity with Him, where there will be no more tears, no more sickness, no more pain, and no more death. That is a hope worth having.
This amazing news is something that requires you to earn nothing, but do something. That is to acknowledge your sin, and put your faith and trust in Jesus to save you. You can do that from the comfort of your home, or in a public place. And whether you have already done so, or have questions, we'd love to talk to you - so get in touch, or simply come along to one of our Sunday services (each Sunday at 10:30am and 6pm). We really would love to see you there.
Another way to ask questions and learn more, is to attend our upcoming Hope Explored event that takes place on Saturday 16th March. It’s completely free, and lunch it provided too.