The blessed hope – What is it?

The blessed hope defined in Titus 2:13–14 is "… the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works."

When followers of Jesus speak of the blessed hope, they look forward to seeing Jesus. While we wait, we live godly lives. Titus 2:11–13 says, "For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope …"

When we see Jesus, our difficulties on earth will fade and become a distant past. Romans 8:18 says, "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us." Aware of the blessed hope we have, our perspectives on suffering and on this world change.

Jesus told His disciples He would return (John 14:3); the angels declared He would return (Acts 1:11); the letters to the early churches said He will return. Our hope is not a fanciful wish, but a trust in Jesus' promise and faithfulness. Romans 5:5 says that "hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us."

When Jesus returns for His church (all of His followers from the establishment of the church in Acts 2 to the day He returns), this is called the rapture. An archangel will announce this event, and a trumpet of God will sound. Dead believers and living believers will have new bodies and be taken to heaven. First Corinthians 15:51–52 says, "Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed."

So, as followers of Jesus, how should this blessed hope impact us today? First John 3:3 says, "And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure." God calls us to live righteously, share the gospel, make disciples, and love others. As we await Jesus' return, we glorify God by living transformed lives (1 Corinthians 10:31).

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