But as Christ is all in the comforts of a true Christian in time present, so Christ is all in his hopes for time to come.
Few men and women, I suppose, are to be found who do not indulge in hopes of some kind about their souls. But the hopes of the vast majority are nothing but vain fancies. They are built on no solid foundation. No living man but the real child of God–the sincere, thoroughgoing Christian–can give a reasonable account of the hope that is in him. No hope is reasonable which is not Scriptural.
A true Christian has a good hope when he looks forward: the worldly man has none. A true Christian sees light in the distance: the worldly man sees nothing but darkness. And what is the hope of a true Christian? It is just this–that Jesus Christ is coming again, coming without sin–coming with all His people, coming to wipe away every tear–coming to raise His sleeping saints from the grave–coming to gather together all His family, that they may be for ever with Him.
Why is a believer patient? because he looks for the coming of the Lord. He can bear hard things without murmuring. He knows the time is short. He waits quietly for the King.
Why is he moderate in all things? Because he expects his Lord soon to return. His treasure is in heaven, his good things are yet to come. The world is not his rest, but an inn; and an inn is not home. He knows that “He that shall come will soon come, and will not tarry.” Christ is coming, and that is enough (Heb. 10:37). This is indeed a “blessed hope”! (Titus 2:13). Now is the school-time–then the eternal holiday. Now is the tossing on the waves of a troublesome world–then the quiet harbour. Now is the scattering–then the gathering. Now is the time of sowing–then the harvest. Now is the working season–then the wages. Now is the cross–then the crown.
People talk of their “expectations” and hopes from this world. None have such solid expectations as a saved soul. He can say, “My soul, wait thou only upon God; my expectation is from Him” (Ps. 62:5).
In all true saving religion Christ is all: all in justification, all in comfort, all in hope. Blessed is that mother’s child that knows it, and far more blessed is he that feels it too. Oh that men would prove themselves, and see what they know of it for their own souls!…I can ill describe things unseen and a world unknown. But this I know, that all men and women who reach heaven will find that even there also “Christ is all.”
Part 4 of 4
J. C. Ryle, Holiness, ch. 20: p 319,20 (online at www.CCEL.org. Published in the U.S. by Fleming H. Revell)
John Charles Ryle [1816-1900] was an Anglican minister and bishop of Liverpool, England. His method and style of writing was scriptural and expository.319,20
Biblical allusions by paragraph:
Rev. 22:20 / Prov. 14:12; 1 Pet. 1:3-5, 10,11 / 1 John 5:11,12; 1 Thess. 4:15-18 / James 5:7 / Matt. 25:19-23 /_ /_ /