A Future and a Hope

This was a specific promise given by God to a specific people at a particular time in history under very distinct circumstances which are not relevant to us today. The people of God were under the judgment of God for a period of 70 years. So, the Lord was giving them specific instructions for them only. For they had false prophets lying to them about the 70 years, and so the Lord was correcting those errors. And then the Lord told them that when the 70 years were completed that he would visit them, and that he would fulfill his promise to them to bring them back to their homeland. Then he said:

Jeremiah 29:11-13 ESV

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.”

Now our God does have very specific plans for us, his people, and he does have very specific instructions he has given to us, too, which need to be adhered to in order for those plans to be fulfilled in us. And the plans he has for us are for our welfare (for our spiritual and eternal benefit), and not for evil (not for us to be engaged in evil, in sin). And he has a plan for us to be delivered from slavery to sin and to walk in obedience to his commands.

“For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness” (1 Thessalonians 4:3-7 ESV).

For when Jesus Christ died on that cross it was so that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness, and that we might live for the Lord and no longer for ourselves. For he shed his blood for us on that cross to buy us back for God (to redeem us) so we would now be God’s possession, and so we would now honor him with our lives (1 Peter 2:24; 2 Corinthians 5:15,21; 2 Corinthians 6:19-20).

For Jesus said that if anyone would come after him that he must deny self, take up his cross daily (daily die to sin and to self) and follow (obey) him. For if we hold on to our old lives of living in sin and for self, we will lose them for eternity. But if for the sake of the name of Jesus we are crucified with him in death to sin and raised with him to walk in newness of life in him, and so we are now walking in obedience to his commands, then we have the hope of eternal life with God (Luke 9:23-26; Romans 6:1-23).

And this is for our spiritual welfare that we forsake our lives of sin and that we now follow Jesus Christ in obedience to his commands. For if we do not obey the Lord, in practice, but we obey sin, instead, we do not have the hope of salvation from sin and eternal life with God. For Jesus said that not everyone who says to him, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one DOING the will of God the Father who is in heaven (Matthew 7:21-23).

Now the following song is a song of compassion by a man who was willing to die that another might live. Now there is no comparison between this man and Jesus Christ, but Jesus Christ was willing to give his life up for us on that cross that we might live for eternity. And he died so that we could die with him to sin and so we could now live in freedom from slavery to sin and in righteousness and in holiness, and in obedience to our Lord, for that is his plan for our lives to bring us home to Jesus.

And we, as Christ’s followers, are to lay down our lives to see others brought home to Jesus, too. And this happens when we die with Christ to sin and when we follow him in obedience, and when we risk rejection and persecution in order to share with others the truth of the gospel so that they, too, can be crucified with Christ in death to sin and now live to him and to his righteousness in obedient walks of faith to Jesus Christ.

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

Bring Him Home

By Alain Boublil / Claude Michel Schonberg / Herbert Kretzmer

God on high
Hear my prayer
In my need
You have always been there

He is young
He’s afraid
Let him rest
Heaven blessed.
Bring him home.

He’s like the son I might have known
If God had granted me a son.
The summers die
One by one
How soon they fly
On and on
And I am old
And will be gone.

Bring him peace
Bring him joy
He is young
He is only a boy

You can take
You can give
Let him be
Let him live
If I die, let me die
Let him live
Bring him home.

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