Editorial by Jim Greene
According to Webster’s Dictionary, “hope” has several connotations based on the way you approach the usage of the word. We can “hope” that something will happen—“I hope I can win a new car in the drawing.” Or, we can state with assurance that our “hope” is based on trust and reliance that something will happen—“Jesus is coming again!” The hymn, “We Have This Hope,” is a strong affirmation of our faith and hope in the coming of the Lord, based on the promises found in God’s Word. Every time I sing this song, my spirits are lifted, and I am inspired to share the good news that Jesus is coming again!
In 1975 my family accepted a call to serve as missionaries in Indonesia. As we began to think about the relatives we were leaving behind—parents, brothers, sisters—it was easy to have second thoughts about going. However, the hope in the soon coming of Jesus strengthened us, and we knew that we could look forward, with confidence, to see them again, either after our mission service term or in the kingdom of heaven.
It has now been more than 40 years since we left for mission service, and I fully expected the Lord to have returned by now. Yet, I have not lost my hope in Jesus’ coming, and New Jersey Conference members shouldn’t either. In fact, I have the added hope of looking forward to His return because I will be able to see my loved ones who have passed away since my initial service in Indonesia. To all of you who, like me, have lost your parents, you can still sing with confidence, “We Have This Hope,” and look forward to seeing your loved ones again when Jesus returns.
As a kid growing up in the 1940’s and 50’s, I remember listening to the Voice of Prophecy radio broadcast with H. M. S. Richards and the King’s Heralds quartet. The broadcast always opened with the quartet singing “Jesus Is Coming Again.”
Today we can see signs of the nearness of Christ’s second coming, as foretold in Matthew 24. Right now, many people in New Jersey do not know Christ as their personal Savior, and they live in fear of what is happening in the world. They do not know the good news of salvation through the grace of Jesus, who came to seek and save the lost. They do not have the blessed assurance of the promise that Jesus will protect them in the coming time of trouble.
Every member of the New Jersey Conference has a calling to “Lift up the Trumpet” and tell everyone about this good news. May our method and message focus on the joy and hope of His return, and not the doom, gloom and fear that is to come. That message is the good news, found in Revelation 21:
“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Look! God’s dwelling place is nowamong the people, and He will dwell with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’ He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ Then He said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true’” (Rev. 21:3-5, NIV).
May God help each of you to be faithful in sharing the hope that Jesus is coming soon!
Jim Greene is the former executive secretary for the New Jersey Conference.