Hope in Three Parts: God, Christ and the kingdom
Scripture: Daniel 7:1-3; 9-18
Hope 1: There is an Ancient of Days, the God who is God.
Secular world is very interested in end times. What is it like after the end of the world? Night is the time when hope is most needed. Four beasts devour humans, destructive evil are “four kings who will rise out of the earth.” Internal or external, evil is the problem and God is the solution. Calm figure of the Ancient of Days, sitting in purity and control, judges creation and creatures. God is not intimidated by beasts or humans. He alone is the answer.
Hope 2: There is a Messiah, Savior, the Christ
Son is given dominion and glory so that everyone in the world will worship Him and his kingdom. Revelatory event written even though writer did not understand what he was writing. In the Christ event we see a crucial element -- love, along with power, judging and intervening. Jesus gives us the power to conquer our own beasts. He makes it possible to defeat difficult sins and forgives them. Son of God fulfills and clarifies Daniels vision.
Hope 3: The saints have an eternal destination, the kingdom of God.
Saints will out last all enemies of God and possess kingdom forever. About heaven or destination. Hope we must cling to desperately. Have to be ready. Losses are not permanent. Christians are the true revolutionaries, working for justice and truth, who expect a better world. Hope for no more mourning, crying and pain. We say I have come home. I have found what I was looking for all my life. Heaven is not the end of our story but the first chapter and every other one is better than the one before.