What the World's Hope Cannot Bring

“Having a hope in God, which these men themselves accept, that there will be a resurrection of both the just and the unjust” (Acts 24:15).

Both biblical and worldly hope look ahead to something down the road. In Christ, we look forward to an endless existence where God will abolish death, and usher in His eternal kingdom. The world, on the other hand, clings to future things, hoping they will bring happiness. They look to experiences, relationships, money, fame, and pleasures. But they come up short each time.

Let’s consider what worldly hope cannot bring:

1. It cannot bring peace.
Jesus said that His peace differs from the peace the world gives:

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27).

The world, on the other hand, cannot bring lasting peace. In fact, “There is no peace, says the Lord, for the wicked” (Isaiah 48:22). They fret, fight and flounder through life, but the peace they seek eludes them. Clearly the world cannot grant peace to those who seek it.

2. It cannot bring forgiveness.
Often we don’t know what we want or need, we just know we don’t have it. But the human soul needs forgiveness of sins. Jesus came to offer forgiveness (Luke 24:47). No person or entity has the authority to forgive sins. Only God can forgive the guilt in our hearts. When we confess that guilt, we experience God’s forgiveness and a calm assurance of hope.

Many people struggle with guilt feelings and despair over past failures. Their life burdens them with guilt that cannot find relief through good works. It can lead to all sorts of problems, both mental and physical. But Jesus came to bring good news: We can be forgiven and experience eternal peace.

3. It cannot bring victory over struggles.
The people of this world submerge themselves deeper and deeper into sin until they find no way out. But God brings victory (1 Corinthians 10:13; 1 John 4:4). Worldly hope promises much, but delivers little. It bids us into its web of deceit, only to trap us in. But Christ’s freedom brings release from those bondages (read John 8:32, 34, 36). Only the Son brings freedom. Trust in Him and stay clear of worldly temptations that lure us away from God.

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