Words like hopeless, or without hope, leave an empty, desperate feeling in our psyche, When the odds are stacked against us or someone we know and love, a ray of hope is the last thing we want to relinquish. As long as the possibility of escape from a dire situation remains, the human spirit can carry-on, can continue to struggle against the opposing elements. Without a belief in the possibility of escape, a debilitating malaise settles over the human spirit, sapping all strength and even our desire to live.
In light of the above, one can often hear that fulfilled eschatology (the understanding that all Bible prophecy has been fulfilled) leaves mankind in a hopeless state, robbing everyone of the one thing that allows us to carry-on in spite of earth’s daily trials and tribulations. The promise of Jesus’ future return to punish the wicked and to re-unite the Christians with their departed love ones is held up as the one great, bright spot in our otherwise uncertain existence. Without this future fulfillment, everyone supposedly is trapped in some state of incompleteness after physical death, unable to enjoy fellowship with God or our deceased fellowmen.
Admittedly hopefulness is better than hopelessness. However, the real question is whether hopefulness is better than current realization. In other words, is it better to maintain hope of recovery from a serious illness or to actually experience recovery. Is it preferred to anticipate fellowship with God and man in the indeterminate future or to recognize that such fellowship is currently available? There is no reason to hope for that which we already have.
So, does the expression “without hope”, really imply something lost? Not necessarily. It may simply mean that the patient recovered and we can move beyond hoping to thanking God for replacing hope with reality.
There remains a legitimate hope for mankind on this side of God’s completed work in Christ. That hope involves the elimination of all the age old misunderstandings about God’s working in Christ and when and how that working reaches a final conclusion. Replacing the misplaced hope of a future return is the much needed hope that men will shake off the misconceptions of the centuries and recognize their glorious state of reconciliation before God. This state exists here and now, ready to be embraced and enjoyed without a moment's delay. Like so much of reality as we experience it, this spiritual state is a matter of perception. If one chooses to deny its existence, it remains hidden from us, veiled by our refusal to see. Hopelessness then becomes synonymous with blindness.