Faith and hope came into being through sin. Unfallen man knew nothing of faith, nor did he know of hope. Faith and hope were born after the Lord gave to fallen man the first promise, the first announcement of redemption (Genesis 3:15). Then Adam and Eve believed and hoped for that which the Lord had promised. And ever since, when man accepts what God has spoken, the exercise of faith and hope has followed. But those who do not accept God’s Word know no faith and have no hope.
What dying Jacob said, “I have waited for thy salvation” (Gen. 49:18), has been the faith and hope of all Jewish believers in the Old Testament. They believed in a coming One, they hoped for life and glory.
Beautifully it was expressed by that Old Testament saint to whom the Holy Spirit had given the assuring revelation that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. When Simeon held the Child in his arms, his faith and hope were realized. He blessed God, not the Child, for he knew that Babe he held in his arms was the Blesser and needed no blessing from him; then he said, “Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace, according to Thy Word; for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation” (Luke 2:25-30).
And we also who have accepted the Word of God and believed on Him Who came, live now by faith and look forward in hope, for we are saved in hope and wait for the hope of righteousness, the blessed consummation glory, which will come when He comes again.
Some day our faith will terminate in sight; we shall see Him as He is. In that day our hope will end for we shall possess all we hoped for. Unbelief knows no faith and has no hope. For all who do not believe, who refuse to accept God’s revelation, there comes the day when faith is impossible, and over the portals of the place of outer darkness is written “Leave hope behind.” What a delusion it is when men teach today that the sinner who lived on in sin, who refused God, who died without faith in Christ and without hope, will have another chance, or that there is such a thing as universal salvation. Now is the accepted time, and only now.