By Apostle Arsenio T. Ferriol
We can divide people into two kinds: those with hope and those without it.
Those who are separate from Christ are without hope
“Remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12). The people without hope are those who are “separate from Christ”. They do not have God. Let’s look at this phrase, “without God”. These are people who have their own gods. These are those who worship their ancestors as gods. But these gods have no connection at all with the true and living God. That’s why those people who have these false gods couldn’t really say that they have hope, because true hope is only from the true God.
One cannot simply say that because he believes in a god, the person has already God in his life. But what one needs is to be part of those people who have really Christ. This means that he must only trust Christ and his trust must be based on the Bible, the word of God.
Jesus Christ is the mediator and so anyone who is separate from Christ will not have any relationship with God. God will not hear anyone, no matter how frequent or loud one calls, because he has no mediator. God only hears the one who calls through Jesus Christ, the mediator (1 Timothy 2:5).
Jesus Christ is the reason why anyone who receives the Savior, God will give the person the right to become His child. Hence, anyone who rejects Jesus will not see life but God’s righteous anger (John 6:36).
Notice that the one whom God is giving the right to become His child doesn’t need to do anything. All one is needed to do is to trust and put his faith in Christ (John 1:12). This truth is so far and different from what false preachers are preaching these days. They say that “man must do or work something before they could be saved.” But the Scriptures tell us that all man needed to do is to put his trust and faith in Christ. Hence, it is by grace. True faith is relying on the grace of God in a person. But once a person is saved by grace, then that kind of faith will enable that person to do and work for the Lord (Ephesians 2:8-10). The fruit of true salvation is none other than the good works. In other words, true salvation means true good works!
Trust in Wealth
But how about those people who trust in themselves especially in their wealth and riches? Like what Psalm 49:6-7 say, “…those who trust in their wealth and boast of their great riches? No one can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for them—the ransom for a life is costly, no payment is ever enough.” The truth of the matter is this: only the blood of the Lamb without blemish and without spot can only save a person – not his earthly wealth or riches (1 Peter 1:18-19).
Trust in Oneself and On Other People
“Thus says the Lord, ‘Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord’” (Jeremiah 17:5). These are people who only trust themselves. Or they trust those that they think are strong and powerful in order to find hope. Those say, “it is not what you known but whom you know!” But the word of God is clear that those who trust themselves or in others are actually accursed! In verse 6, the word of God describes their lot, “He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come”.
People who trust their wealth or themselves seem to have hope, but in reality, they don’t have any hope at all.
People with Real Hope
Those who are in Christ are the ones who have God, a covenant with Him and His promises as well. They are the ones who have real hope and this hope is that they have the “eyes of their hearts” enlightened! “I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints” (Ephesians 1:18).
An example of those whose eyes of their hearts have been enlightened were the apostles. The first type of enlightenment they have received was the true knowledge of Jesus Christ. They know not only Him was a man, but they have also a deeper knowledge of who the Savior really is. This is why they were able to answer right when Jesus asked them about His real identity. “’Who do you say I am?’ Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God’. Jesus replied, ‘Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven’.” (Matthew 16:14-17)
Because the eyes of their hearts were enlightened, the apostles received hope. But others were not. Thus, the apostles knew for a fact that Jesus Christ had a prior existence as the Son of God before He became a man, and that He was with the Father God in heaven before Jesus the Christ was born of Mary.
The other kind of hope that they have received was the “riches of His glorious inheritance”. These riches are not the ones that people typically seek and possess. But these riches are eternal and everlasting! A type of these riches is the “kingdom in heaven”.
But it is important to know how God calls people through Jesus Christ? God does it by using His messenger. It doesn’t mean that God will use all those who are preaching today. But He will only use His true messengers and sent ones, such as indicated in Romans 1:5, wherein it says, “Through him and for his name’s sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith”.
It is very clear that those who belong to Christ are the ones called by God. And those who have received the gift of apostleship were the ones used by God to bring His message. Therefore, we can be assured that those whom God has called to salvation were the ones who have received the preaching of the sent ones of God (Luke 10:16).
We can be certain that God’s calling thru the preaching of His apostles is our true source of hope. Because of their preaching that is true and according to the doctrines of God, we now have a right relationship with God and because of that, we now have real hope in this world.