Surprised by Hope: Hope for the World

At Veritas this past Sunday we started our new series entitled "Surprised by Hope" based off of the book by the same name by N.T. Wright. My family and I were away on vacation, so Matt Wheeler shared instead. Below are his notes/outline. Take some time and read his notes and we'd love to hear your thoughts, comments, insights, questions, etc....

“Surprised By Hope: Hope For The World”

• New series inspired by British bishop N.T. Wright’s book Surprised By Hope. • Quote from N.T. Wright: • “Most people, in my experience—including Christians—don’t know what the ultimate Christian hope really is. Most people—again, sadly, including many Christians—don’t Christians to have much to say about hope within the present world. Most people don’t imagine that these two could have anything to do with each other. Hence the title of this study: hope comes as a surprise, at several levels at once.” • ? – What is the ultimate Christian hope? o Going to Heaven o Resurrection o How does it relate to life now? • ? – Name some world events that have made people lose hope. o 9/11 o Indian Ocean Tsunami o Newtown • These events beg the question – “In what should we hope?” • Two approaches that “go astray” o The “Secret Code” approach o The “Escape the World” approach • In a Hebrew context, “judging the world”—with righteousness & truth—means putting things right & bringing justice, not condemnation on the earth itself. • Psalm 96:13 • Isaiah 11:1-9 • What things look like when God is in charge • Revelation 21:1-5 • God isn’t tossing the world in a “celestial trash bin”—He makes Heaven & earth new & brings New Jerusalem down to earth. • Jesus teaches us not how to leave earth, but how to bring the Kindgom of Heaven. • ? – What does the word “kingdom” mean to you? • Kingdom=God running the show. Jesus describes what this is like in parables, such as the parable of the seeds & the prodigal son. • God sorts things out; Jesus started it moving on earth. • Christians=people who help make that hope happen. • Jewish & pagan rulers were shocked—they were being called to account. • Romans 15:13—Paul’s letters speak of hope. • Christ-followers—the church—a people of hope. • Hoping in God, hope for the world • Things can be put right. God will do it. That is the reason for hope despite pain & injustice. There are things we can do.