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Our Living Hope

December 1st, 2019

Minoh International Church
Pastor Joseph Ricohermoso
Matthew 24:36-44
マタイの福音書24: 36-44


36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left. 42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.

Matthew 24:36-44

36 しかし、その日、その時がいつであるかは、だれも知りません。天使ばかりか、神の子さえも知らないのです。ただ父だけがご存じです。37-38 ちょうど、ノアの時代のように。当時の人々は洪水が襲う直前まで、宴会だ、結婚式だと陽気に楽しんでいました。 39 何もかも押し流されてしまうまで、洪水のことなど信じようとしなかったのです。わたしが来る時も、それと同じです。40 その時、二人の人が畑で仕事をしていると、一人は天に上げられ、一人はあとに残されます。 41 家事をしている二人の女のうち、一人は天に上げられ、一人はその場に残されます。42 主はいつ来られるかわからないのだから、いつ来られてもいいように準備をしていなさい。43 寝ずの番をしていれば、どろぼうに入られることもありません。 44 同じように、日ごろの備えが万全であれば、わたしが何の前ぶれもなくやって来ても、少しも困ることはないはずです。

マタイの福音書 24:36-44 JLB

Someone shared a story of a Bible Study group that had been asked the question: “In your troubled time, what is your favorite Scripture passage?” A married woman said, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want (Psalm 23:1).”
これはある人が教えてくれた聖書勉強会でのお話です。このような質問をされました。「悩んだ時に読む一番好きな聖書の箇所はどこですか。」ある既婚の女性は 詩篇 23:1の「 主は私の羊飼いですから、必要なものはみな与えてくださいます」と答えました。

A middle-aged man said, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1).”
ある中年の男性は 詩篇46:1「神は私たちの隠れ家、また力、苦難にあえぐときの確かな助けです。」と答えました。

Then Mr. John, who was 80 years old, said, “My favorite verse is, ‘… and it came to pass’…” which obviously is not a complete verse. He explained:

“At 30 I lost my job with six hungry mouths and a wife to feed. I didn’t know how I would make it. At 40 my eldest son was killed overseas in the war. It knocked me down.

At 50 my house burned to the ground. Nothing was saved out of the house. At 60 my wife of 40 years got cancer.

But each time I looked in the Bible I saw one of those verses that included the phrase, ‘And it came to pass.’

This story is less about recalling a favorite Bible verse or part of a verse, than about the promise of HOPE.

  1. HOPE demonstrated

During hardships, the Christian maintains HOPE. “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer,” says Romans 12:12.
ローマ人への手紙 12:12 – 12 あなたがたのために神が計画しておられることすべてを喜びなさい。困難に耐え、常に祈りなさい。

HOPE is a very powerful concept that one can literally HOPE against all odds, against all human evidence and against all opposition. The apostle Paul expressed it in Romans 4:18 as “Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed ….”
ローマ人への手紙 4:18 – 18 この時アブラハムは、そんな約束はとうてい実現するとは思えなかったにもかかわらず、神を信じました。

For the sake of Illustration, how do you like 2 to 1 odds? If you win, you’ll get paid double the amount of bet. I am not advocating that we gamble though.

Our Gospel reading today says: 40 “Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left” (Matt 24:40-41).
今日の聖書の箇所ではこのように書いてあります「その時、二人の人が畑で仕事をしていると、一人は天に上げられ、一人はあとに残されます。 41 家事をしている二人の女のうち、一人は天に上げられ、一人はその場に残されます」

On the surface, they may be about the same task, but one destined for life, one for eternal loss. Of these four, two are saved and two are lost.

Verses 38-39 in states that the flood came and “took all away” the people [carried them all away]. But Noah and his family were “left behind” and received God’s mercy.
38-39節では洪水のことについて書いてあり、「ちょうど、ノアの時代のように。当時の人々は洪水が襲う直前まで、宴会だ、結婚式だと陽気に楽しんでいました。 39 何もかも押し流されてしまうまで、洪水のことなど信じようとしなかったのです。わたしが来る時も、それと同じです」

This is a common pattern in the OT.

The remnant that is left behind is often contrasted with those who are killed or destroyed. It is symbolic for dying in the state of sin on the soul. Being born in sin, living a life of sin and not receiving forgiveness is spiritual death.

Our Lord intends that we see ourselves as being in a situation similar to that of Noah— a righteous remnant in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation— and thus to persevere in righteousness and have hope.

  1. HOPE for the believer

On the First Sunday of Advent, we light the first candle, traditionally called the Candle of HOPE to remember to look expectantly and with HOPE for the 2nd coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The virtue of hope originates from God through the grace of faith. It draws the Christian towards God, providing us with hope in God and eternal life.

God’s holy presence in a person’s soul caused by sanctifying grace is like a lit candle that we need covering to protect from getting blown out.

Have you heard the story of the frog and the scorpion? There’s a scorpion and a frog that meet on the bank of a stream and the scorpion asks the frog to carry him across on its back.

The frog asks, “How do I know you won’t sting me?” The scorpion says, “Because if I do, I will die too because we will both drown.” The frog is satisfied, and they set out, but in midstream, the scorpion stings the frog.

The frog feels the onset of paralysis and starts to sink, knowing they both will drown, but the frog has just enough time to gasp, “Why did you sting me,” The scorpion replied: “It’s my nature to sting…”

No person can be the sufficient cause of another’s spiritual death, because no man dies spiritually except by sinning of his own will.

Nevertheless, we need protection from ourselves and from bad company.

“The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light” (Romans 13:12), to protect yourself from sinful desires of the flesh. They are false hopes. They will sting you.
ローマ人への手紙 13:12-13 – 12-13 夜はふけ、昼がすぐそこまで近づいています。ですから、暗闇に属する悪い行いを捨てて、昼間にふさわしく生きるため、正しい生活という武具で身を固めなさい。

Purity in conduct and intention is parallel to faith. The reference to “the armor of light,” the metaphor of day, acknowledges that forces of nighttime still exert pressure and influence.

We must arm ourselves by taking on acts of kindness and generosity, with no rivalry and jealousy. “Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh” (Romans 13:14).
ローマ人への手紙 13:14 – 14 当然なすべき正しい生活ができるように、主イエス・キリストに助けを求めなさい。悪を楽しむような計画を立ててはいけません。

Traveling in the U.S., you’ll find interesting signs. Behind a car was a religious bumper sticker. I kept looking at it and finally figured out what it was saying. The top line of the bumper sticker reads, “Jesus is coming!” But, the second line underneath has just three capital letters R U E, but only the letter E was printed in red ink. If you say out loud the letters, the whole bumper sticker says: “Jesus is coming! Are you red-E?!”
アメリカを旅行すると面白い看板を見かけます。ある車の後ろに宗教じみたステッカーが貼ってありました。じっと見てやっとその意味がわかりました。上の行では「イエス様がきます」と書いてあって、下の行では大文字で R U E と書いてあったのですが、Eの文字だけは赤く塗られていました。。声を出して読むと「イエス様がきます。あなたは準備できていますか」となります。


We live at a time where people are searching for HOPE in their lives.

Some turn to money, thinking possessions will give them the hope, peace and stability they are seeking. Some turn to politicians with their promises of hope and a better life only to be later disappointed in the outcome.

Some travel far and wide to see places, experience cultures, enjoy the finest dining experience. While others seek relationships, drugs, or other vices to fulfill the void that God’s hope offers.

What people don’t realize is HOPE is here! Our hope came wrapped in swaddling clothes and was placed in a manger that very first Christmas. This is the message that we would like the world to hear.

As we revisit the Christmas story this season, we know that it is more than just a story about the birth of a child. Rather it is about the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ, the birth of HOPE in human form entering our world.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:13


ローマ人への手紙 15:13 JLB