Titus 2:11-14: For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
The early church called the Glorious Appearing of Christ – the “blessed hope.” Paul penned this in the writing of his letter to Titus and the early church used this phrase to describe Christ’s return for his church quite often. I wonder how many in the church today even know about this phrase which anticipates the Second Coming of Christ. We don’t hear many sermons preached on this topic and I believe that to be very unfortunate. The Glorious Appearing of Christ should excite and motivate all Christians but the “blessed hope” is too often ignored.
Paul was given special insight by Christ to certain “mysteries” and it can often be difficult to determine just exactly what Paul is saying. However, the above passage from Titus is not one of those occasions. Paul clearly tells us that it is only by God’s grace that we can obtain the gift of salvation. Christ accomplished that work completely on the cross at Calvary and God raised him from the dead to conquer death and sin once and for all. So if we accept God’s grace and believe in Christ as our Savior, we naturally should say “no” to those things in our world that are ungodly and worldly.
Too many people in the church today are worldly people. They spend their time chasing after worldly gains and they don’t give a second thought to the things that God wants us to pay attention to. They are consumed with going after the things of this world and receiving praise from the world for their accomplishments. Many often seek the titles that the world bestows upon them rather than seeking the things of God and working behind the scenes. We want to be seated at places of honor and to be noticed instead of being the least and dedicated to serving others.
Paul exhorts us to live “self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age” while we anxiously wait for the “blessed hope – the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.” There is absolutely nothing wrong with joyfully thinking about and hoping for the glorious return of Christ in the near future to gather his church, his believers. This is the good news that should be proclaimed from pulpits, especially in our present day and age. So many people have lost all hope and they need to have it restored. What greater hope is there than the day the Lord returns to take us home to heaven?
The words of Paul: Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. We live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 5:6-8).