by J. Gerald Harris

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When the Trumpet of the Lord Shall Sound (7 of 10)
Dr. J. Gerald Harris
I Thessalonians 4:13-18

I want you to imagine something that you have probably experienced. A man is seated at a table in a restaurant having breakfast and reading the morning newspaper. His breakfast is punctuated with deep groans of discouragement. Each page of the newspaper brings a more profound sigh expressing the man's frustration with the world.

The waitress is sensitive to his frustration. And as she pours him another cup of coffee, she asks, "Is everything all right, sir? You seem to be very upset about something."

He responds, "You bet I am. Haven't you read the morning paper? I'm sick to death of all the bad news."

With a certain amount of timidity, the young woman says, "Well, you've just got to have hope!"

The man looks up at the waitress. His expression mirrors anger mingled with frustration as he asks the question, "Hope? How can you have hope in a world like this?"

Now, how would you answer a question like that? The truth is that we cannot have hope in our world, but we can have hope in the world.

The one thing that the world could never provide is hope. Hope is elusive. You can never find it by searching for it. It is inadvertent, coming from something else. The world -- possibilities, people, progress -- are all unreliable sources of hope. They always let us down. The reason for the hopelessness of our time is that it has finally dawned on us that no leader, no negotiated peace, no armed might, no human cleverness can bring the utopia that we have believed was the goal of history. The only way that we can live with confidence in any period of history is to have an ultimate conviction about what will happen at the end of history. Where is it all leading? Authentic hope must have an ultimately reliable source, and only Jesus Christ can give that kind of hope in a world like this.

Now, as we look at our text for this evening there are five things that I ...

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