People need hope! I am not talking about hope that comes from man. I am talking about the hope that comes from Jesus Christ. That hope is something that we, as the church, are supposed to have. It is also something we should share, or at least share why we have hope (1 Peter 3:15). Our nation is in disarray. It is lost and seemingly without hope. All our national, state and local leaders blame each other, never accomplishing anything that will do any good. People need hope. Have you shared with someone about your hope and where it comes from? You are prompted in Scripture to do just that.
The Apostle Peter tells us, "Always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you… (1 Timothy 3:15 NASB)." The word defense here is translated from the Greek word Apologia, from which we get the word Apologetics. It simply means a verbal defense. So, for the Christian, apologetics is the defense of the gospel, or a reasoned explanation of what we believe. Christians are called to Apologetics. Apologetics is the intellectual part of our faith. That means this is where we utilize our brains, not just our hearts. For too long, the church has divorced the heart and the brain. Nowhere in Scripture are we told to do this. The brain and the heart, rather our intellect and emotions, work best together. Gould, Dickinson, and Loftin remind us, "Christianity does not require us to abandon the intellect or emotions. Christianity is both true and satisfying" (Gould, Dickenson, and Loftin. 2018, Stand Firm: Apologetics And The Brilliance Of The Gospel, B&H Academic, Nashville, TN., 1). It is beautiful to explain what you believe to those around you.
Three words to remember are truth, knowledge, and faith. Contrary to popular belief, these three things go together. You can't truly have one without the others. Let me explain. As Christians, we believe that the truth is the Word of God (John 17:17). God's Word is incredible. It certainly is the truth that we need. But, if we do not know the truth, it is useless. We must know the truth. Jesus said, "You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free, (John 8:32 NASB)." It is not the truth that makes us free. It is the truth that we know that makes us free. It will not set us free if we do not know the truth. This is knowledge.
Knowledge is knowing the truth. There are too many Christians claiming to have the truth but do not know the truth. There are also too many Christians who claim to have the truth but do not tell the truth. Knowledge comes when we set out to know the truth. Now, it is faith's turn. You cannot have faith in something or someone you know nothing about. You have to hear or learn enough about that something or someone to be able to have faith in them. Remember, "faith comes from hearing, and hearing the word of Christ (truth), (Romans 10:17 NASB)." When people hear about Christ and the hope that He gives them, then they will be able to have faith in Him. How will the world ever find hope in Christ if we fail to share with them our hope? They won't! People need hope, and they need to hear about hope from you. Tell the world! Shout, sing, write, and speak, but do something that lets people know where they can find hope.
Pastor Josh May