What is the "Blessed Hope"?
by Sheila Lewis Busby
Looking for that blessed hope,
and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
This verse is the only place in scripture that uses this phrase, yet
many people are completely convinced that this is a reference to the rapture.
And not only that, they use this verse as proof of a two stage return.
Is the "blessed hope" the rapture?
Sometimes, our "hope" is in the resurrection of the dead.
Sometimes our "hope" is in something we will receive here in this lifetime,
and sometimes our "hope" is in things we will receive during the endtimes.
Acts 24:15 having a hope in God which these
themselves accept, that there will be a resurrection of both the just and
Romans 8:22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning in travail
together until now; 23 and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who
have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for adoption
as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope
we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not
hope. For who hopes
for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what
we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
1 Thessalonians 4:13 But we would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning
those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no
1 John 3:2 Beloved, we are God's children now; it does not yet appear
what we shall be, but we know that when he appears we shall be like him,
for we shall see him as he is. 3 And every one who thus hopes
in him purifies himself as he is pure.
Romans 5:2 ...we rejoice in our hope of
sharing the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 9:10 ...and the thresher thresh in hope
of a share in the crop.
2 Corinthians 1:7 Our hope for you is unshaken...
you will also share in our comfort.
2 Corinthians 10:15 ...but our hope is
that as your faith increases, our field among you may be greatly enlarged,
Galatians 5:5 For through the Spirit, by faith, we wait for the hope
Ephesians 1:18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you
may know what is the hope to which he has
called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,
Philippians 1:20 as it is my eager expectation and hope
that I shall not be at all ashamed...
Colossians 1:4 because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and
of the love which you have for all the saints, 5 because of the hope
laid up for you in heaven...
Colossians 1:22 ...not shifting from the hope
of the gospel which you heard, which has been preached to every creature
under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister. 27 To them God chose
to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory
of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope
1 Thessalonians 1:3 ...and steadfastness of hope
in our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Thessalonians 2:19 For what is our hope
or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it
1 Thessalonians 5:8 But, since we belong to the day, let us be sober,
and put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope
1 Timothy 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by command of God our
Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope,
1 Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!
By his great mercy we have been born anew to a living hope
through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and to an inheritance
which is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,
5 who by God's power are guarded through faith for a salvation ready to
be revealed in the last time.
Consider this. In Titus 2:13, does the word "and" <2532> (in Strong's
Concordance) necessarily mean that the two are two separate events? The
same word "and" is spoken by Paul in Acts 23:6.
Are the hope and the resurrection of the dead two separate events now?
Acts 23:6 But when Paul perceived that one part were Sadducees and the
other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, "Brethren, I am a Pharisee,
a son of Pharisees; with respect to the hope
AND <2532> the resurrection of the dead I am on trial."
And what did Paul have to say about "hope?" Paul, who in Titus 2:13
speaks of the "blessed hope," had already spoken of hope earlier in his
He continues to speak about hope later in the letter. so that we might
be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope
of eternal life.
Titus 1:2 in hope of eternal life which
God, who never lies, promised ages ago
Can we assume that out of three references to "hope" in Paul's letter
to Titus, the middle reference refers to a different hope without stating
Now, eternal life for us will be realized at the rapture, but the rapture
will only be the first moment of eternal life for us. Our hope would not
change if we were to endure tribulation before being raptured.
Even if we could show that "blessed hope" definitely does not refer
to the rapture, it would neither prove nor disprove the pre-tribulation
view. The point here is this. If we have no proof that the phrase, "blessed
hope," refers to the rapture, and if it cannot be shown that the word "and"
necessarily separates two separate events, then
Is it a good idea to base doctrine of a two stage
return on such flimsy proof?
Copyright © 1997, 1998
Sheila Lewis Busby