The power to live the Christian life comes from confidence in and gratitude for the marvelous, historic fact that Christ died for our sins, rose from the dead, and is now in heaven at the Father’s right hand. Yet there is another dynamic: the great hope of His soon appearing and of our appearing with Him as His bride at His side! This is no mere theological religious philosophy, but a vital, real relationship with One who could come at any moment to take us to be forever in His presence in a new, eternal dimension of living! Once that hope has gripped us, we have the motivation and power to live as truly born again and as God’s dear children, partakers of His divine nature.
Moreover, true Christians have a deep sense of the holiness of God and an awesome, respectful fear of the One to whom they must give account. They have a keen awareness of having broken His law, and they know the awful consequences of this. That is why they are so grateful that their sins have been forgiven. Until a person has been brought to these convictions, he is not ready to become a Christian on the terms that God offers in the Bible.
Yes, the Christian is crucified with Christ, dead to sin and to this world, and intimately identified with Christ in His cross. He has been raised with Him into new life—in fact, Christ is our life. But in addition to all of this, wonderful as it is, Paul exhorts us to live in this expectancy: “When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” The knowledge of that destiny delivers us from lusts and fears and causes this world to lose its attractiveness to us once and for all.
Christ could come at any moment to take us to His Father’s house, where we will be united with Him eternally. Then, when He appears and “every eye shall see Him” and Israel will recognize Him, we will be at His side in glorified bodies to rule and reign with Him—“and so shall we ever be with the Lord!” That is the Christian’s hope. Heaven is our real home and that is where our hearts are—with Him. The world has lost its appeal, sin has lost its power, and Satan must relinquish his claim upon those who belong to Christ. We have been set free!