MONDAY MINUTES With Pastor Chris McCool (October 5, 2020)

We had a wonderful weekend of worship and fellowship! It was Bethlehem Primitive Baptist Church’s yearly Anniversary Meeting, and their pastor (and my brother) Elder Tim McCool had six preachers at the meeting! On Saturday, five of those preachers preached, and what an amazing day it was!

It never ceases to amaze me how the Holy Spirit can coordinate a meeting much better than any man could. These preachers had not consulted with one another, nor had they been assigned topics, but nonetheless every message was consistent with and built upon the ones that went before. And the theme of all of the messages was summed up by Elder Mike Ivey’s final message regarding “hope.”

In our world today, we often use the term “hope” in a vague and unbiblical sense – I “hope” it doesn’t rain, I “hope” I win the lottery, etc. In this sense, hope is nothing more than a fanciful “wish”, which most likely will never come true!

The Bible uses “hope” in a completely different sense. In the sixth chapter of Hebrews, the writer gives a summary of the covenant God made with Abraham (which is one of the Old Testament manifestations of the gospel message) and then tells us this: “Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.” (Heb. 6:18-19). The “hope” under consideration here is NOT some “fanciful wish,” but rather a “confident expectation” that the promise of God in Jesus Christ WILL be fulfilled. In other words, because God made this covenant with Abraham – and God cannot lie – there is NO DOUBT that it will one day be fulfilled!

If we go back to Genesis 15, which is being referenced by the passage in Hebrews, we find that God confirmed His covenant with Abraham by engaging in a common covenant-making practice of that day. This practice involved sacrificing several animals, dividing their bodies up into parallel lines, and then having the two parties to the covenant pass between the sacrificed animals together. The idea being conveyed by each party was that, “if I break this covenant, may I become as these animals are” – i.e., may I die! But you will notice something interesting about the confirmation of the covenant in Gen. 15:17-21: ONLY GOD PASSED BETWEEN THE ANIMALS! Thus, while Abraham was a beneficiary of this covenant, he was NOT a party to it – only God Himself entered into this covenant.

I am so thankful that it was God Who covenanted without Abraham’s participation! If there had been any part of the covenant that Abraham had to fulfill, he would have messed it up! This covenant was a visible demonstration of the covenant of redemption that God made with His people before the foundation of the world, when He purposed to save His people from their sins (Mat. 1:21). And who are His people, you might ask? Those who were chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4; Rom. 8:29).

And that is why we can have this “confident expectation” (hope) that is an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast. It is because God Himself purposed to save us, without regard to our faults and failures and feeble efforts. Any part of eternal salvation that involves us would be royally messed up, because we are sin-sick sinners. But praise be to God, He “brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings” (Ps. 40:1) when it comes to eternity.

May we live and serve Him each day in the glorious hope of eternal life.

God bless you all!

Elder Chris McCool, Pastor