“Through me you pass into the city of woe: Through me you pass into eternal pain: Through me among the people lost for aye…Eternal and eternal I endure. All hope abandon ye who enter here.” (Extracts from ‘The Inferno’ written by Dante Alighieri)
The above extract is from a poem that depicts what the lost, that is to say, a person without Christ should expect when they are taken from their chosen path, which was broad and which led them to eternal torment.
The truth which is placed above the lofty arch of Dante’s hell, “Abandon all hope ye who enter here”, could be placed over the arch of all the Christ-less religions throughout the world. In other words, This truth is applied to the Buddhists, the Hindus, the Muslims as well as any cult that preaches “another Jesus”, such as Mormons and jehovah’s witnesses (the lower cased j is intended for their jehovah is not the Great Jehovah of Scripture). Some may think this is a harsh statement. It is a harsh statement however, it is truth nonetheless. None of these satan (lower cased s is intended) inspired religions offer any hope. These religions may offer a fine way to live one’s life in the here and now but they do not offer any credible hope of the eternal forever. Some may opine that the Muslim death cult offers a great and pleasure-filled tomorrow for their depraved and murderous men. We would then counter that opinion by simply stating that their pleasure-filled afterlife is to be ridiculed for it’s nonsensical perverseness. There is no sense to their beliefs. Their “faith” simply appeals to the carnal nature of depraved cowards.
What is said about religion is also true of the way many choose to pass their time in the hear and now. Many have given their lives over to the worship of business, wealth, self centeredness (idolatry), fame, covetousness (materialism/idolatry), etc. etc. etc. The point is any life that is Christ-less is hopeless However, the Christ-filled; Christ-centered life is full of Hope. And before we go any farther let hope be defined. Hope is a well founded and well grounded expectation. This hope provides the believer with as peace that passes all understanding.
Here is what the Scriptures say about those who are Christ-centered and have hope…
*For we are saved (persevere/endure) by hope…(Romans 8:24a)
*Now abideth…hope… (hope continues with the believer) … (1 Corinthians:13:13)
*…sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear:.. (1 Peter 3:15) Notice in Peter’s charge/statement which is based upon his experience: 1. the hope we enjoy can be seen. 2. It is attractive to those that see it because they ask you about it. 3. Our hope is reasonable for Peter says, ” give to every man that asketh you a reason” for your hope. Beloved, Peter says to give “a reason” for there are many. He also says “every man” so there will be many who notice. 4. This reasonable and attractive hope is “in you” as it dwells within the Spirit Who dwells with in you.
*And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself… (1 John 3:3)
* [H]ope [is] an anchor of the soul (Hebrews 6:19)
* Christ and His Appearing is called “that blessed hope…” For it causes happiness in the believer.
Christ-ians are the only ones that have reason to hope; for the Bible tells me so.
If we were to write a poem about Heaven using Dante’s lofty arch ours would say, “Because of Christ, all thine hope shall be fulfilled, ye who enter here.”