Lesson 4

The Jesus Hope: Part 2

(1 Timothy 4, John 14, Romans 8, Daniel 2)
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Introduction: Last week we looked at the central role that Jesus plays in our hopes for the future. Hope looks to the future, but lives in the "now." How can our hope in Jesus help us today? This week? This month? How will hope in Jesus help us to cope with the stresses of today? That is part of our study this week. Let's jump into God's Word and find the answers to these questions!

  1. Practical Living - Trusting in "No?"


    1. Read 1 Timothy 4:1-3. Why would Satan inspire people to teach that certain activities are sinful when they are not?


      1. Let's use the two examples given to Timothy. Someone tells you that it is better to remain single so that you can work more fully for God (see 1 Corinthians 7:1). Would it seem this advice came from Satan?


      2. What if someone told you not to eat certain food? Would this advice appear to come from God or Satan?


      3. Don't we assume that if someone tells us NOT to do something, that originates with God?


        1. Where is the sin in that - according to our text in Timothy? (Paul points out two problems here. First, the people teaching us to refrain, do not refrain themselves. They are liars, hypocrites and have no properly working conscience. Second, God gives us good things. It is itself a sin to say that something God gave us to enjoy is sinful.)


    2. Read 1 Timothy 4:9-10. What other reason does Paul give Timothy for not always assuming that "NO" comes from God? (The most important point, according to Paul, is that we trust in Jesus instead of our ability to "say no.")


      1. How about your church? Do you teach people to trust in "NO" more than to trust in Jesus?


    3. Read 1 Timothy 4:11-12. Wouldn't you expect a young person to say "Trust in Jesus more than "NO?"


      1. Does verse 12 moderate that advice?


        1. If so, how? (Paul gives Timothy the instruction that his life is to be an example to the believers. Our lives are to reflect our belief and trust in Jesus. Paul does not suggest that we forget obedience or our daily walk in God's ways.)


  1. Practical Living - Hope for the Heart


    1. Read John 14:1-3. What does it mean to have a "troubled heart?"


      1. What kind of trouble for the heart is Jesus addressing?


        1. What does the context suggest? (It seems to be heart trouble arising over a lack of trust.)


      2. What does getting a room ready for you have to do with trusting Jesus? (Our worries are generally over what is happening here. Jesus suggests we look at the "big picture" - that everything here is going to burn and we will be heading to heaven.)


      3. What would you think if someone you met mentioned that the President of the United States had invited him to come stay in the White House? (You would conclude that they were friends or that he was a big contributor to the President's election campaign.)


      4. Just because Jesus prepares a room for you, why should you conclude He will come back to get you? (He is not going to waste His time. He says I'm preparing a place because you are my friend and I intend to come get you.)


      5. Does this promise calm your heart troubles?


    2. Read John 14:4-5. Thomas needs directions. Do you know the way to heaven? Or, like Thomas, are you uncertain?


      1. Why would you need to know directions if Jesus is coming to get you?


    3. Read John 14:6. What is the way to heaven? What is the basis for our hope of eternal life? (Thomas misunderstood Jesus. He thought Jesus was speaking of geographical directions. Jesus was giving spiritual directions to heaven. There is no other way to heaven but through Jesus. That is the only direction we need to know. He promised to come and get us and that gives us hope!)


      1. What impact does that hope have on your daily living?


  2. Practical Living - Hope Through Groaning


    1. Read Romans 8:22-23. If you are groaning about something, what are you feeling?


      1. What kind of a mood does groaning suggest?

      1. Is the groaning described in v. 22 different than the groaning described in v. 23? (Yes. Verse 22 tells us the entire creation is in pain. Verse 23 talks about Christians groaning for another reason.)


        1. Why is the Christian both groaning and eager at the same time. How can that be? (We are groaning because we are anxious to "get it over" and have Jesus take us home with Him.)


    1. Read Romans 8:24-25. Do you find that you are "wishing your life away?" Do you look forward to the future instead of looking to the present?


      1. Is your main "wishing" that the weekend would come quickly?


      2. What wishing does Romans suggest? (Verse 24 says people do not wish for what they already have. They wish for what they do not have.)


        1. Don't we already have redemption? Our redemption as God's children? Why would we hope for that?


        2. How does groaning help in our redemption? (It makes you realize that you want to be somewhere else. You are not satisfied with your current circumstances.)


    2. Let's back up a few verses and look at the source of the problem. Read Romans 8:18. What does it mean that our "sufferings are not worth comparing?" Why not compare where your life is now with where it will be through faith in Jesus? (Romans is simply telling us that whatever our current problems may be, they are nothing compared to how glorious our future will be. You would never say, "Well, I guess this suffering was worth it, maybe.")


      1. When we discussed the difference between the groaning of the creation in Romans 8:22 and the groaning of the Christian in Romans 8:23, we decided they were groaning for different reasons. Does Romans 8:18 suggest this is not completely true? (Yes. Romans 8:18 suggests that Christians will have real suffering.)


    3. Read Romans 8:19-21. What is the hope of the entire world?


      1. What cycle do we want to break out of? (The cycle of bondage and decay. Instead of things getting worse, instead of things going wrong, instead of us being limited, God promises us freedom and a world where things do not naturally get worse.)


  1. Practical Living - When Kingdoms Fall


    1. Read Daniel 2:44. In the time of what kings? (The earlier verses recount Daniel's explanation of the dream of the great image. This dream is an account of the succession of future kingdoms on the earth.)


      1. What time does the rock appear? (If you compare Daniel 2:34 with Daniel 2:44 you will see the rock hits during the time of the "feet." This is during the last years of earth's history.)


      2. When Daniel says in v.44 that the kingdom will never be destroyed or "left to other people" what is being promised?


        1. What, especially, would be meant by a kingdom being left to others? (The promise is that at the end of earth's history, God will destroy the kingdoms of the earth and set up His heavenly kingdom that we never be defeated by another power. We do not have to worry about either destruction or exile. It was when you were conquered and exiled that your "stuff" was left to other people. This is not a worry for us.)


    2. Friend, our hope in Jesus is a hope for a better future - a future in God's heavenly kingdom. Looking forward to a better world helps us to be able to cope with today's problems.


  2. Next Week: The Hope of Our Hope

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