By Mike Riley

In the stress filled moments of our lives, having no visible means for encouraging strength, our desperate hands often clutch for that intangible called, “hope.” Hope tells us to press on when everything else tells us to give up. Where would we be, what would we do, without hope?

There are literally billions of people living today who have no hope in the most significant of all considerations, eternal life. These are like unto those, “which have no hope,” that Paul described in 1 Thessalonians 4:13. No hope for salvation. Once in their grave, their doom is “sealed” – hell awaits.

How fortunate and blessed we Christians are in having the “Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope” (1 Timothy 1:1). We have hope in this life (Titus 2:12-13), and we have hope beyond the grave (Psalm 23:4). Because Christ conquered death for us (Hebrews 2:14; cf. 1 Corinthians 15:54-57Colossians 2:15) – eternal life in heaven awaits us (1 Peter 1:3-4).

Our hope must be shared with the lost. Peter told us, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you.” (1 Peter 3:15). As Christians, we should be giving hope to the hopeless by giving life to the spiritually dead by means of the gospel (Mark 16:15-16).

We need not go into the jungles of foreign lands, nor cross the oceans of the world, to find those without that most glorious hope. Over two hundred million people are presently without hope in the United States.

Lost, hopeless, and dying people are living in the shadows of our homes and church buildings. Can we say along with Paul, “Wherefore I testify unto you this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men” (Acts 20:26 ASV).