- The Apostles Creed
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The following is an excerpt provided by The Village Church.
Every religious tradition, every culture, every family, and every individual has some concept of hope. Of course, the object of hope can differ quite significantly from person to person, but everyone is hoping for something. For example, one of the main ideas of hope that has captured the minds and imaginations of our culture is the hope of progress. The promise of progress tells us things are constantly getting better; culture is making strides toward greater freedom, greater liberty, better health, greater medical advances, fewer problems, and more enjoyment. While these things might make our lives easier or more enjoyable, do these things actually make us better people? We may improve quality of life—maybe—but sin, brokenness, and death are still inescapable. We can’t repair the fracture in our lives or in the world around us.
Christians, however, have real hope. We’re not immune to problems, and we’re not perfect. We don’t have a forced smile that’s naïve to the pain and suffering in life. We don’t think that a believe-it-to-achieve-it kind of positivity is going to make everything work out in the end. We know something much, much better. Something true. Something real. We know the end of the story, and death isn’t the end.
The Christian view of life after death, “life everlasting,” as stated in the Apostles’ Creed, is a world characterized by resurrection and eternal life. Confessing, “I believe in the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting” is to place your hope in something very specific about your future and the future of all creation.
The Apostles’ Creed ends on an incredibly positive note by proclaiming our common hope: resurrection and everlasting life. The eschatology of our culture is built on progress. The eschatology of Christianity is built on death and resurrection. Our hope isn’t in human progress but in God’s raising the dead.
Hope is vital, but misplaced hope is catastrophic. Why? Because you’ll do anything for what you believe to be your ultimate hope. If your family is your hope, you’ll compromise or sacrifice anything for your family. If your hope is in success, you’ll do anything to succeed. But if your hope is in Christ and eternal life with Him, then you’ll do anything for your King. There’s nothing in this world that can destroy you or take your hope away. It’s what you’re hoping for and what you hope in that drives everything about the way you’re living your life.
This is our hope. We have a God—Father, Son, and Spirit—who made us, loves us, saved us, and will resurrect us when He makes all things new (see Revelation 21:5).
Paul wrote, “The last enemy to be destroyed is death” (1 Corinthians 15:26). Jesus’ resurrection is the firstfruits of His victory. Someday all believers will be raised from the dead to join Christ in His triumph over death—physically, bodily, and gloriously.
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” – Revelation 21:3-5