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Our Living Hope


"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time."
Good Morning my beloved,
Welcome to worship this Lord's day! We're so glad to have our brothers and sisters from around the world here with us today. Please know, that we continue to lift all of you up in our prayers. We would  ask that you would do the same for us. We are so grateful for those of you who have been sharing the ministry website with all of your family and friends. May God's blessing be upon each and every one of you. We pray that God's Word will reach those who desperately need to hear, for Christ's sake and God's glory.
I have found many years ago, that I don’t need to travel to a foreign country to feel like a stranger. From the moment the gospel of Jesus Christ changes a life, nothing is ever the same. While I am scattered here on this earth as a stranger, I live every day on mission, to sow the seed of the gospel.
Joel Osteen, in 2004, wrote a book entitle "Your Best Life Now," throughout his book, the primary focus is on financial success. On page 5, he writes, "Even if you come from an extremely successful family, God still wants you to go further." He further explains that this quest for financial and material increase is actually pleasing to God. 

On page 9, he says "Get rid of that small-minded thinking and start thinking as God thinks. Think big. Think increase. Think abundance. Think more than enough." On another page it says, "As you put the principles found in these pages to work today, you will begin living your best life now."  That is absolutely true, if you’re not a Christian. Because your next life is going to be infinitely worse than this one. In fact, it’s your only life because in the world to come, you will only exist in a perpetual state of dying with no hope, dissatisfaction, no joy and no relief from eternal suffering.
However, if you are a child of God, whose sins are forgiven in the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, if you believe, with the Apostle Paul, who said in I Timothy 6:6, that "godliness with contentment is great gain," if you desire a deeper biblical understanding of God and His ways, if you desire to see Jesus Christ exalted in your life as you follow His pattern of humility and self-denial, if you believe a Christian’s greatest hunger should be for righteousness and holiness, not for money, health, or an easy life, then you would do well to look elsewhere, because you cannot even begin to comprehend what your best life looks like, because eye hasn’t seen nor has ear heard the things that God has prepared for them that love Him.

Jesus does promise a rich, fully satisfying, trouble-free life with absolute joy and peace and perfection, but not now. In fact, our Lord has promised, to those who know Him and love Him in this life, trouble, persecution, rejection, difficulty, trials, temptation, pain, suffering, sorrow, sickness and even physical death. If you're a true Christian, this is your worst life, because our best life as a Christian begins when this life ends. 
Osteen uses Ephesians 2:7, to "prove" that God wants everyone to live in material abundance in this life.  In fact, he quotes the passage as saying, "God wants to pour out ‘His far and beyond favor."
The Apostle Paul says in Ephesians 2:7, "so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus." Our very lives will stand as a sure testimony of God’s great goodness, and we will remain a never ending tribute, in the eternal ages to come.

So, if you want to read what is supposedly a Christian book, in which discontentment is encouraged, that shows God to be powerless apart from your power-filled thoughts and words, in which sin is minimized and renamed in every conceivable way, and that gives only trivial mention to our Lord Jesus Christ, then Your Best Life Now is the book for you. Because this is your best life, if your next life is in hell.
Let us pray.
Heavenly Father,
Father, we thank You for Your Word for us, the way in which You have revealed to us Your generosity and Your goodness.  We come to You in praise and adoration for the unending mercies, which You have poured out upon us, that fills our hearts with joy. 
Search our hearts Lord,  if there be a spirit of ingratitude, a spirit of discontentment, a spirit that rejects praise, forgive us and cleanse us, and fill our hearts with gratitude and praise. Forgive us for taking for granted reality for which we will spend eternity in constant praise.
Thank You for eternal life in Christ. Thank You for reminding us through Your Word, that our best life is yet to come with Him in the greatness of the resurrection and the glory. 
In Christ's name we pray
Today's Message: Our Living Hope
If you are a child of God, God in His goodness, God in His love, God in His sovereignty has chosen you and me to be the recipient of eternal salvation. God, has revealed to us His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the source of our salvation, Who is One in essence with Him.  The One True God, Who came into the world in the form of the Lord Jesus Christ and who is therefore one with His own Son, is the source of our inheritance.
Open with me your Bibles to I Peter chapter 1 verses 3-5. After his brief introduction in the opening two verses, Peter bursts out into praise in verse 3, This is is a beautiful doxology, a hymn of praise, which begins in verse 3 and continues down through verse 5.
I invite you to follow along with me as I read, to set the text in our minds, while we prepare our hearts for what the Spirit has to say to us today in this wonderful Word from God. I Peter 1:3-5

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time."
Peter begins with wonder and worship instead of with worry. He chooses to praise rather than focusing on problems and persecution. By the way, in the Greek verses 3-9 make up one sentence. Peter is calling his readers to praise, for an inheritance, reserved and protected and later to be revealed, which they do not presently have. He does this because life was very difficult for them, everywhere they went. They were hated, they were abused and they were deeply troubled. As he writes in verse 1, they have been scattered all over the Mediterranean world in to Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, Bithynia. They were believers in Christ under persecution from the unbelieving and hostile pagan world. In fact, the now for them was their worst life. In spite of what Joel Osteen promises, there are no promises in the Bible that this is our best life now. The sooner we learn the better that our best life is always to come. 

Verse 4, "to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you."
Peter's doxology centers on our inheritance. We have a guaranteed reserved future that God has already determined and established. It’s fascinating to me, that I Peter 1:3 is almost identical to II Corinthians 1:3 and Ephesians 1:3. Both Peter and Paul cannot help but to praise when they contemplate what is ours in Christ. So, I'm sure that we all understand that an inheritance is something that comes to you in the future. Peter is saying, you haven’t yet received your inheritance, but it is reserved for you, so patiently wait with hearts full of praise for the best life which is to come in the future. In fact, you should be so committed to that, that you join me and burst spontaneously into praise. 
 You are children of God, therefore, joint heirs with Jesus Christ, waiting to obtain your unimaginable eternal inheritance. This life will steal your joy, if you invest too much into it. However, if you attach your joy to God, living in the light of the life to come, then this life can steal nothing of your joy.
The Apostle Paul says in Ephesians 1:18, "I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints." As Christians, we have a living hope because Jesus is alive and seated at the right hand of the Father. Our hope is based on the solid evidence of Jesus’ resurrection. Both Peter and Paul call on us to transcend this life and live in adoring wonder and praise and worship to God for the life to come.
In verse 5, Peter tells us what we will receive. "who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time." It's the final element of our salvation. Now, there's a past aspect to salvation. When you believed in Christ, you were saved from the penalty of sin because you were justified, declared righteous, your sins placed on Christ, and His righteousness placed on you.
There's a present element as well. Presently you are being saved from the power of sin, therefore, it no longer has dominion over you. The final phase of your salvation is, you will be saved from the presence of sin. Because it will no longer exist in the world which is to come. This is salvation in its final form, ready to be revealed. This will be the time when we leave this earth and meet Jesus face to face or when He comes to take us to be with Him, when death is swallowed up in the eternal victory, and we enter in to our everlasting inheritance. 
It is really of little consequence how much you have in this life. You came into this world with nothing, and it is with nothing, that you will leave it. You cannot take it with you. I know some who have tried and failed miserably. Whatever you have accumulated in this life stays behind.
I cannot in good conscience offer people their best life now. Because, that sets up an impossible illusion that allows them to define what their best life is.  Furthermore, it forces Jesus to deliver on that. Therefore, I believe that we must teach people to live in the light of our best life, which is to come, after this life is over. That no matter how difficult this life is, we live in that hope.
Look back at verse 3, at the call to praise, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." The Jews, commonly began their prayer of praise, "Blessed art Thou, O Lord, the God of our fathers"
Blessed means worthy of adoration. So Peter borrows it from his own Jewish experience. Then, he adds something that’s important for us to understand, "the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." It is with that, Peter introduces us to the source of our inheritance.  It comes from God, Who is to be blessed. 
That’s why he adores God, praises God, exalts God because God, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, has enabled us to attain this inheritance. It's a gift. And, as Christians, our hope in Christ is as certain and sure as the fact that Christ is alive! The inheritance could never be ours if it were not for the Lord Jesus Christ. God is expressing Himself as a God of mercy. God gives us grace by forgiving our sin. God gives us mercy by relieving the consequence of our sin. God is a God of tenderness, loving-kindness, compassion, sympathy.
You don’t have this future inheritance by natural birth. According to Paul says in Ephesians 2:4-5, "But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)" By your natural birth, you are a child of wrath and you will inherit damnation. You have to be a child of God to receive an inheritance from God.
In John 3, "Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; this man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered and said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God." If you live in this world without God and you are just live with dying hopes! That's why Paul says in Philippians 1:21, "For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain." 
Our "inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you." Because we are not always as faithful as we had ought to be, this is a wonderful truth! Grace and mercy operates and there is waiting for us in heaven an unchanging glorious eternal life. Its nature is permanent. Therefore, bless God, that in spite of your weakness and in spite of the struggle of life, this unchanging inheritance is reserved in heaven for you! All that we have in heaven is forever unchanged, as is our unchanging Lord. Our heavenly inheritance is better than anything this world has to offer and nothing can destroy it. 
Though in this life, we will often have fiery trials, the outcome of the future is assured in Christ. In John 14:3, Jesus said "If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also."  What a place heaven will be.What a time it will be! 
Because of our Living Hope we can place our faith in God’s protection. Safely in heaven in the holy presence of God, not subject to assault, or plunder. That's why Jesus says in Matthew 6, "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal."
In Closing..
The Lord Jesus Christ by His resurrection is what opened heaven to all of us. That is what salvation is all about, that is what is secured to us. As we walk in faith, God has promised to shield us with His power. What greater hope could be given to those undergoing persecution than the knowledge that God’s power guards us from within, to preserve us for an inheritance of salvation that will be completely revealed to us in God’s glorious presence.
The final step, or ultimate completion of "the salvation of their souls" will come when Jesus Christ is revealed. Unfortunately, many Christians are trying to hang on through our own efforts rather than rest in what Jesus did on the Cross. We would do well to realize, that  it’s not our efforts that will see us through, but the power of God. 
Our best life is yet to come, I pray it will be your best life as well.
May it be so..
And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name

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The Brian Monzon Ministries



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