We sometimes hear people say something like this, “I sure hope I make it to heaven”. When stated like this it sounds more like a wish. A wish is often expressed for something we want but never expect to have. We might say “I wish I had a billion dollars” but in our hearts doubt if we ever will.
Hope has a much different meaning and especially when used in the Scriptures. It carries the idea of “desire joined with expectation”. Biblical hope is much more than just wishful thinking. When a Christian says, “I hope to be in heaven”, it is an expression of desire to be there and an expectation that it will really happen. We have this assurance because Christ is our hope (1 Tim. 1:1); He is the one in whom hope is found. Notice some things for which the Christian has hope:
1. Being resurrected (1 Cor. 15).
2. Eternal life (Titus 1:2; 3:7)
3. A better home in heaven (2 Cor. 5:1f)
4. Avoiding eternal punishment (2 Thess. 1:7-9)
5. Receiving a prepared mansion (Jn. 14:1-3)
6. Being with the redeemed forever (Rev. 21:22-27)
7. Being in heaven where there is no more death, suffering, pain, sorrow, crying etc.
This hope is found in Christ (Eph. 2:12). If one is not in Christ then he does not have this hope (2 Tim. 2:10). The only way to get into Christ is to be baptized into Him (Gal. 3:27; Rom. 6:3-4). So the sinner must believe in Christ (Jn. 8:24); repent of sins (Lk. 13:3; Acts 2:38); confess their faith in Christ (Acts 8:37; Rom. 10:9-10); then be baptized into or immersed into Christ (Acts 22:16). Initial obedience must be followed by a life of faithful living (Rev. 2:10). This is the one who has true hope. The hope (desire and expectation) of being with God in eternity!