Category Archives: Hope

In the House of the Lord

“I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord” (Psalm 122:1).

Psalm 122 is one of the fifteen Songs of Degrees (Psalms 120-134). These songs were probably composed to be sung by the children of Israel as they went up to observe those yearly festivals commanded by God in the law (Deut. 16:16). This particular Psalm was written by David, who wrote at least four of the fifteen (122, 124, 131 and 133). In this Psalm, David describes the blessings found in the House of the Lord. In the Christian dispensation, the House of the Lord is the church of the Lord, the pillar and ground of the truth (I Tim. 3:15).

One of the blessings to be found in the House of the Lord is unity (122:2,3). Jerusalem, the place where God chose to place His name (I Kings 11:36), was “compacted together.” Barnes wrote of this verse: “The walls are all joined together; and the houses are all united to one another so as to make a compact place…from the necessity of the case, when it became the capital of the nation, it was densely crowded.” Furthermore, the last of the Songs of Degrees states the matter plainly: “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1).

In the Lord’s church there is unity (Eph. 4:3). This unity is based, not upon any man’s opinions or feelings, but it is based upon the Lord’s word (John 17:17-21). We are not now still seeking unity, as some claim, for this unity of the faith was obtained and Jesus’ prayer answered, when the revelation of the New Covenant was completed (Eph. 4:8-15). We must endeavor to “keep it” (v. 3), however. Even now the Lord’s church is “fitly joined together and compacted” (Eph. 4:16).

In the Lord’s House was also the Testimony of Israel. It is for this reason that the people of God went up to Jerusalem, “unto the Testimony of Israel” (122:4). The “Testimony of Israel” was the body of commands given unto Israel by God (Ex. 31:18) which was to be placed in the ark of the covenant (Ex. 25:16), the ark of the testimony (Ex. 25:21,22). It was above the Testimony of Israel, above the mercy seat, where God communed with man (Ex 26:34; Ex. 25:22).

Today, in the Lord’s church, we have the testimony of Christ (I Cor. 1:1-6). It is also called the testimony of God (I Cor. 2:1). This testimony involves the teaching regarding “Christ crucified” (I Cor. 2:2), which teaching Paul also calls the “gospel,” in I Cor. 15:1-4. It is the Lord’s church which is to take the gospel into all the world (Matt. 28:18-20). It is to the Lord and His testimony that all men should come to find rest (Matt. 11:28-31). And it is by the church the manifold wisdom of God is made known, “according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Eph. 3:10-11). Let all nations now flow unto it with joy (Is. 2:1-4; Psalm 122:1)!

David called on all to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Psalm 122:6). Peace and prosperity were to be found within her walls, the walls and palaces of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:7,8). “Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem; praise thy God, O Zion. For he hath strengthened the bars of thy gates; he hath blessed thy children within thee. He maketh peace in thy borders, and filleth thee with the finest of the wheat” (Psalm 147:12-14). The peace of God was to be found within the walls of Jerusalem.

Today, in the Lord’s house, the church, the peace of God can also be found. “For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace” (Eph. 2:14-15). This peace is first and foremost peace with God (Rom. 5:1; Eph. 2:16) and then with our fellow man (Rom. 12:18), but it is a peace that is rooted and grounded in the gospel of Christ, the gospel of peace (Rom. 10:15; Col. 2:7).

Yes, I also was glad when they said unto me, “Let us go into the house of the Lord,” for that is where unity, the word of God and peace with God can be found! Will you rejoice and come unto the House of the Lord?

Eric L. Padgett

What Does the Future Hold?

The future holds for us great promise and great possibilities. It also holds out the possibility of great sadness and calamity. Nevertheless, we treasure it highly. We value it, especially when it concerns our own fortune or welfare. Some are afraid of the future because it does hold the possibility of misfortune and so they live one day at a time, not giving any thought whatsoever to what might be. There are many others who want to know just exactly what the future holds for them. There is, in fact, a great deal of money made in the industries of fortune telling, horoscopes, Psychic Friends Network, and things of that sort. Of course, none of those things accurately provide a real glimpse of the future.

In the past, however, there were some who were given the opportunity to correctly foresee the future. Adam and Eve were told by God in the garden that the woman’s seed would one day gain ultimate victory over the serpent (Gen. 3:15).

Noah was forewarned that the world would be destroyed by a great deluge and saved his family alive by building an ark after the pattern and fashion God prescribed (Gen. 6-9).

Abraham was told by God that in him all the families of the earth would be blessed (Gen. 12:1-3). On a very personal note, he was told that he would be blessed with a son and that his seed would be as many as the stars in the heavens in multitude and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable (Gen. 15:4,5; 17:16; Heb. 11:11,12).

The prophets throughout the history of Israel foretold them of their future.

In the New Testament, Peter was told by the Lord, Himself, what kind of death he would die (John 21:18,19).

In Matthew twenty-four, when Jesus had told his disciples that the buildings of the temple would be cast down and that there would not be one stone left upon another, they asked the Lord, “When shall these things be and what shall be the sign of Thy coming?” (Matt. 24:3). They wanted to know what was going to happen in their future.

Many times we, ourselves, will make plans about things we want to do in the weeks ahead, even in the years ahead. We may plan many things years in advance. But the writer of Proverbs tells us that this is really all in vain. He writes, “Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth” (Prov. 27:1). We do not know what will happen tomorrow or even one hour from now. It may be that tomorrow will be just like every other day we have ever experienced or it may be that another day will bring something totally different. James tells us in James 4:13, 14, “Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow.” We simply can’t tell the future. It may be that we will live another day. Maybe not. Only God knows the future.

You and I can never know with absolute certainty what lies in our future except for that which God has revealed. We know the Lord is coming again, though we know not the time (John 14:1-4). We know that the dead will rise from their earthly tombs (John 5:28,29). We know that the majority of mankind will be lost (Matt. 7:13,14). We know there will be a judgement (Acts 17:30,31). We know that unless the Lord returns, we will all face death (Heb.9:27). We know the lost will spend eternity in unrelenting torment and the righteous in everlasting life (Matt. 25:46; Rev. 20:15; 21:1-8).

We know with absolute certainty that these things will happen. But we do not know when. Mark 13 gives us a parallel passage to the Matthew 24 passage we noted earlier. While Jesus gives His disciples signs for the destruction of Jerusalem, which would enable first century Christians in Jerusalem to prepare themselves for its impending destruction by fleeing, in verse 32 He states, “But of that day and that hour [i.e., the end of time-ELP] knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father” (Mark 13:32). Knowing that they will happen, knowing that God has appointed a day (Acts 17:31), ought we not to be prepared? Shouldn’t we do our absolute best to be found faithful to the Lord when He does return?

“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless” (II Peter 3:10-14).

“Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come…Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh” (Matt. 24:42, 44).

Eric L. Padgett

It Pleased the Lord to Bruise Him

No one wants to be bruised. Whatever event that brings it on is usually painful and it continues to be sore for quite some time. Bruises, we have all had them. Generally they are not very serious, resulting from some blunt trauma. However, in rare cases, they may indicate something even more serious. The Bible uses the bruise to teach important lessons about sin.

First, God does not accept anything that is bruised. “Ye shall not offer unto the Lord that which is bruised, or crushed, or broken, or cut; neither shall ye make any offering thereof in your land” (Lev. 22:24). An offering to God must be without blemish of any kind (Lev. 22:17-25). We should keep this in mind when we worship God. Are our prayers heart-felt and sincere, or are they merely an outward display (Matt. 6:5-15)? Is our worship in song from the heart or are the words we sing merely for our entertainment (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16)? During the preaching of the word, is our heart and mind directed toward the truths spoken or do our minds wander aimlessly about, thinking about the previous day’s activities, or about what we are going to be doing today, or something else? Is our heart really in our worship and service to God? If not, it is bruised and unacceptable to God. Offering to God that which is pure takes effort but, like David, we should only offer our best to God, not that which costs us nothing (II Sam. 24:24).

Second, Jesus was bruised for us. “Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand” and “he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed” (Is. 53:10,5). Though the Bible does not say specifically, I am certain that Jesus sustained very severe, literal bruises from the beatings He took from the Roman soldiers and the scourging from the temple guards. He literally was bruised for us. But, more than this, He Who knew no sin, was made to be sin for us that we might be acceptable to God (II Cor. 5:21). Because God is of purer eyes than to behold evil, the Father turned away from Him in that desperate hour (Matt. 27:45,46). How terribly alone and forsaken Jesus must have felt at that moment!

Third, this was all a part of God’s plan from the beginning. “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel” (Genesis 3:15). From the beginning the Father knew His Son would suffer on the cross for man’s sin (Rev. 13:8). The fact that the Lord knew that Jesus would have to go to the cross even before He created man shows the tremendous love that the Father has for us. The Lord must have thought us very much worth it to see the price that had to be paid and still go through with this plan. The blessings of salvation must be of far greater value than the possibility of eternal damnation (Rom. 8:18-39).

Finally, now that Jesus has suffered for us, made to be a propitiation for our sins (I John 2:2), He can heal our bruises and our bind up our wounds. Jesus said “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised” (Luke 4:18). We are battered and bruised by sin, but Jesus can heal us and bind up our wounds (Luke 10:34). He took part of “flesh and blood” for this very reason, that He might destroy the power of the devil, deliver us from death, and succour them suffer (Heb. 2:14-18).

What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!

Eric L. Padgett


A few simple Biblical facts about hope.

The Jews hoped for the coming of the Messiah (Acts 26:6, 28:20).
Jesus’ flesh rested in hope of resurrection (Acts 2:26)
God is a God of hope (Rom. 15:13)
We don’t hope for what we see or have (Rom. 8:24)
We have the hope of the resurrection from the dead (Acts 23:6; 24:15)
We have hope of a new body (Rom. 8:20)
We hope in God’s word (Ps. 130:7)
We have the hope of the glory of God (Rom. 5:2)
Experience produces hope (Rom. 5:4) and hope causes us not to be ashamed (Rom. 5:4)
We are saved by hope (Rom. 8:24)
While we hope we can rejoice (Rom. 12:12)
Learning the scriptures can give us hope (Rom. 15:4)
We can abound in hope when God fills us with joy and peace in believing (Rom. 15:13)
Love hopes all things (I Cor. 13:7)
If we only have hope in this life, we are most miserable (I Cor. 15:19)
Hope causes great plainess of speech (II Cor. 3:12)
We wait for the hope of righteousness (Gal. 5:5)
We can know what is the hope of our calling (Eph. 1:18)
Without Christ we have no hope (Eph. 2:12)
There is one hope (Eph. 4:4)
Hope laid up in heaven (Col. 1:5)
The hope of the gospel has been preached to every creature under heaven (Col. 1:23)
The hope of glory is Christ being in us (Col. 1:27)
With hope there must be patience (I Thess. 1:3)
Those outside of Christ have no hope (I Thess. 4:13)
Hope of salvation is like a helmet (I Thess. 5:8)
We have a good hope (II Thess. 2:16)
Jesus Chist is our hope (I Tim. 1:1)
We have the hope of eternal life (Tit. 1:2)
We have a blessed hope of the return of the Lord (Tit. 2:13)
Hope of eternal life (Tit. 3:7)
If we hold fast the confidence and rejoicing of the hope firm to the end, we are His house (Heb. 3:6)
We have full assurannce of hope (Heb. 6:11)
We can lay hold on the hope set before us (Heb. 6:18)
This hope is an anchor of the soul (Heb. 6:19)
We have a better hope (Heb. 7:19)
We have a lively hope (I Pet. 1:3)
Hope should be in God (I Pet. 1:21)
We must be able to give reasons for the hope that is in us (I Pet. 3:15)
If we have the hope of being like Christ we purify ourselves (I John 3:3)
If we hope in th Lord He will strengthen our heart (Ps. 31:24)
If we hope in Him, He keeps His eye upon us (Ps. 33:18)
A wicked man’s hope perishes when he dies (Prov. 10:28)
While you live, there is hope (Eccl. 9:4)

Eric L. Padgett