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Where is our Hope? November 15, 2006

Posted by larrylaz in Random Musings.
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Joe,

Your last post made me think of a familiar verse:

If in this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied” (1 Cor. 15:19)

Maybe a good way to test ourselves as to the faithfulness of our Christian walk is to ask ourselves, ‘does my life look pitiable to the world’s eyes unless I am going to be raised from the dead?’

James Chalmers was born in 1841 and was converted to Christ at the age of eighteen after a life of godless immorality and rebellion.  He resolved almost immediately that he would take the gospel somewhere it had never been preached.  In 1867 he and his wife landed on the island of Rarotonga, but grew weary there because most of the natives had already become Christians.  He wanted to preach the gospel to a tribe of cannibals who had never before heard the name of Jesus.  His heart was set on New Guinea, and he and his wife arrived there in 1877.  They were a people for whom war and murder were the finest of arts.  After twenty four years of staring at the face of death and surviving, his time came in April of 1901. 

As was ascertained later, when Chalmers, Tomkins and several boys from the mission school got ashore, they were invited into the dubu of the village to have something to eat. As soon as they entered, the signal was given for a general massacre. The two missionaries were hit on the head from behind with stone clubs and fell senseless to the floor. Their heads were immediately cut off, then their followers were similarly killed and beheaded. The heads were distributed as trophies among the murderers, while the bodies were handed over to the women to cook. The flesh was mixed with sago and was eaten the same day by the wildly exulting cannibals.

After his death a friend wrote of him,

Greatheart [Chalmers’ nickname] is dead, they say!
Not dead, nor sleeping! He lives on! His name
Shall kindle many a heart to equal flame;
The fire he kindled shall burn on and on
Till all the darkness of the lands be gone,
And all the kingdoms of the earth be won.
A soul so fiery sweet can never die,
But lives and loves and works through all eternity.

Only the hope of resurrection can turn such a seemingly foolish life like this into a pathway to paradise.  Our lives don’t have to end in martyrdom to fulfill this verse, but if no one can tell that our hope is in the resurrection of the dead, then something must be wrong.  Peter wrote, “Always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you;

Is it possible that nobody is asking us to give a reason for the hope in us because it looks like we are hoping in the same things that everyone else in the world is hoping in?

Larry

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