North Anderson Baptist Church
The Kind of Hope That Changes Lives
Locations & Times
  • North Anderson Baptist Church
    2308 N Main St, Anderson, SC 29621, United States
    Sunday 10:30 AM
Alexander Solzhenitsyn was a Russian novelist, historian, and short story writer. He spent part of his life in a Soviet Siberian prison. He was a political prisoner and was treated harshly as many others were treated. At one point he was so physically weak and discouraged that he hoped for death. The hard labor, terrible conditions, and inhumane treatment had taken their toll. He knew the guards would beat him severely and probably kill him if he stopped working. So he planned to expedite his death by simply stopping his work and leaning on his shovel. But when he stopped a fellow Christian reached over with his shovel and quickly drew a cross at the feet of Solzhenitsyn, then erased it before the guard could see it. He would later record that his entire being was energized by that little reminder of the hope and courage we find in Christ. He found the strength to continue because a fellow believer cared enough to remind him of our hope.

Christian hope has the ability to change lives from death to life, as we see in the life a such a great man. When Solzhenitsyn was prepared to die because of the inhumane treatment, troubles and trials that he faced, the sight of the cross of Christ reminded him of the hope in Jesus that all believers have because of the promise found in the person of Jesus Christ. Only then could he make it through the life he was living with the hope of Christ in him.
We start this season of Advent off with the thought of the Hope of Christ that changes lives and futures. From the Old Testament to the New Testament we find that God has implanted hope into our hearts when He comes to live within us. Not hope for material things but in that which only God can give to His creation. God told His people that there would be One who would come to give them freedom from sin and a new life with God. They thought that could only come through a political leader who would release them from the oppression of their enemies and set up the Kingdom of God. During the day of the coming of Christ it was the Roman government who held them down and dominated all that they were. They were not free and they were oppressed and distressed on all sides. They needed a Messiah, a King who would free them from all that caused them troubles. They never once remembered the prophet’s true words that this Messiah would be a Suffering Servant with the desire and power to set them free, yes, from their sins and from the bonds of slavery to death and sorrow.
1. Hope for a weary people

The prophet Isaiah shared with those of his day, when the people of God were distressed and needed the help of their God, that this help would come and God’s strength and salvation would be theirs. He would provide HOPE for the weary people of God. That hope was a promise that would come in the form of a Baby born to a young virgin girl from Nazareth named Mary, whose child would be the Son of God, fully God and fully man, who would take away the sins that bound them and He would provide a sense of Hope that only He could bring.
As Christians who experience our own trials and troubles in this life, we need to hear the hope God gives us in our life as He says that He will be gracious to us and give us strength for the day and realize that He is our Hope and salvation in times of distress.

I had the privilege to remind a believer this week when her family was struggling and sorrow was real, that our Jesus, the Hope of the world, could help her and her family through the hurts and sorrows of this life because Jesus came to give us help and hope that can come from no where else but Him. We are to wait patiently for Christ’s help.
Speak hope into lives that are hurting this week, speak to them about Jesus, the real hope for all people.
2. The Messiah will come to being Hope

Once again one of the prophets declares Hope in a time of trouble and trials as the returning exiles come back to Jerusalem and their homeland. They were still being rejected, ridiculed and persecuted by those who lived in the land of their forefathers. Zechariah gives them hope of a Messiah that will come, One who would rescue them and reign over all the earth. The prophet detailed some of the things about the coming of this Messiah that excited them and for us as well, looking back, we can easily see that he was pointing to the God-man Jesus Christ. Zecharaiah spoke of the Messiah who would bring the message of Hope to these ex-captives that their King was coming.

For the Jews before Christ came, they wanted hope which would come from their Messiah, but for us who are Christ followers, we are now waiting in the expectation of hope for Christ to come the second time and receive all His children to Himself and usher in His full Kingdom here on earth as we await the final time He steps away from this old earth and makes a new heaven and a new earth. What HOPE we have!
3. My Hope is in God because of Christ’s death and resurrection

Christmas brings so much our way and it is a great celebration for the follower of Jesus Christ. As we think of the advent of Jesus, Hope is one of the four wonderful things about God that sets our hearts full. (The other three are peace, joy and love) As believers in Jesus He has set us free from sin and death! Praise the Lord! He has provided for us a way to live this life for Him in righteousness and truth as we allow the Holy Spirit of God to lead and guide us daily in that walk with Him. And then to finish our blessings off when we die or when Jesus returns for His children, whichever comes first, God has a place for each of us to be with Him forever prepared by the hand of His Son, Jesus, which the Bible calls heaven.

Looking at the passage by Peter, we see we have been redeemed from an “empty way of life.” That life came from those before us who lived in sin and passed it to us that not only did we have sin because we were born with a sinful nature we were taught how to sin from those around us and then we decided to live a life of sin. We have perpetuated that “empty way of life.” How were we redeemed? Not with silver or gold, things of this world, but by the “precious blood of Christ.” Our Hope is that we, who now follow the Lord, can begin to change the cycle of an empty way of life, and teach those we have brought into this world to have life that is meaningful and full of hope, by having a personal relationship with God’s only Son, Jesus Christ.

Our redemption came not from the things that pass away but from the precious blood of Jesus Christ that the scriptures tell us is the perfect, unblemished Lamb of God. This Savior and Lord Jesus Christ was chosen from eternity past to be the Savior of the world which He created. It is in Him we have hope, that hope which provides absolute confidence for the salvation from our sins and the certainty for everlasting life.
How do we know? Peter reminded us of the way in which we have had redemption and forgiveness of sins. The hope of forgiveness comes from the fact that this Lamb of God went to the cross to pay a price I could not pay to give me a new life I do not deserve. Jesus Christ, the Son of God came to die for the sins of the world.
Lives throughout the world have been and will continue to be changed by the Gospel of Christ.

When you came to believe in Jesus as your personal Savior and Lord, was your life perfect and without trouble and trials? Certainly not! In some cases lives have more difficult times. But you have a hope in Christ who died on the cross; much like Solzhenitsyn, you have the cross to remind you of God’s love and to what extent He would go to show that love and grace. The cross brings us hope that sin won’t dominate our lives and have power over us and the resurrection gives us hope for the other life Jesus promises us in the scripture.
Jesus tells us who ever believes in Him we have another place to live with God when we die. Jesus is preparing it now and when that time comes He will come and get us and live with Him and our Father forevermore. The Hope of eternity! We know that this kind of hope changes lives!
My question for you today is two fold.

1. If you are a believer, a follower of Christ, are you living in that Hope of Jesus He gives us that trial or tribulation have no power over us? Are you living in the truth that we have been freed from what the world can do to us? Today, stand tall and declare that you are IN CHRIST and that you have the HOPE of Jesus in your heart and you will not allow the world to dominate you anymore. Claim the strength of Christ in your life right now and when you go away from here today allow the Spirit of Jesus, who lives in your heart, to guide you into all hope and life of the follower of Christ that He has planned for you.

2. If you have never trusted Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, today is the day. Are you willing today to surrender your life and heart to Jesus? Are you wanting a life free from doubt about God and eternity? You can find it today by giving your life to Jesus by confessing you are a sinner and that you want Christ to forgive you and become your Master and King. Without Christ there is no hope for eternity, just forever death and separation from God and all that is good, the Bible calls it Hell. We pray for you today that you will change the direction of your life by your surrender to the God who sent Jesus to die for your sins and was buried and then rose from the dead. In believing that He will take you as His own and give you the name of Child of God!


Dear friend if you are reading this by way of the internet please know that you are loved and cared for. If you have no relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ His Son, then I invite you to trust Him by faith and receive Him as your personal Savior. Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sin of everyone in the world that they may have eternal life. All of us have sinned and all are guilty before Almighty God who made us to have fellowship with Him. But sin broke that ability to have a relationship and Jesus has restored the possibility to know God personally through His sacrifice. Please know that if you will seek God and turn from your sin and pray He will respond with His love and give to you a personal relationship through your belief in His Son and the sacrifice He made just for you. He will call for a change in your life too. He wants you to follow Him, not the world, not your own desires, but to follow Jesus. That brings a life change when you turn from sin and self and by faith believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. There is no Savior without Him being Lord of your life. Your willingness to change by following Him daily in your life will be the proof of your faith. When life throws its curves your way and you have found yourself broken by others or by the world let us introduce you to the only One who can help you…Jesus! You can write or call the office and we will follow up by contacting you. Office phone number is 864-225-2575 and the website address is and the physical address is 2308 N. Main St., Anderson, SC 29621. Dear friend if you are a believer and you have been touched by the Lord and you would like to talk to someone at the church just contact us in one of the ways you see above. If you are a believer and would like to talk about the church and your interest in being a part, please call and we can set up an appointment for you and get to know you. It would be a great pleasure to share our Lord’s love with you. This is a loving church and you are important to us, so please let us know what we can do for you in the Lord.Pastor Bill Rigsby