“And the LORD visited Sarah as He had said, and the LORD did for Sarah as He had spoken. For Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. And Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him—whom Sarah bore to him—Isaac. Then Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him. Now Abraham was one hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. And Sarah said, ‘God has made me laugh, and all who hear will laugh with me.’ She also said, ‘Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? For I have borne him a son in his old age.’”
Things That Seem Impossible
In today’s Scripture passage, Genesis 21:1-3 says: “And the LORD visited Sarah as He had said, and the LORD did for Sarah as He had spoken. For Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. And Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him—whom Sarah bore to him—Isaac.” When God spoke these words to Abraham, Abraham was already 100 years old, and his wife Sarah was 91. Who would have thought that this Sarah at this age would bear and wean a child? But, truly God allowed Abraham and Sarah at this ripe old age to bear a child.
Actually, Abraham had a child after waiting a very long time. Abraham left his country, Ur of the Chaldeans, and his father’s house when he was seventy five years old. This means that he left his home country when he was already deep in his seventies. And then, a few months later, God appeared to Abraham and said, “I am the Lord God, your shield, your exceedingly great reward. I will give you an heir who will come from your own body.” However, even though God had told him that He would give him a son, he replied, “I am now old and I cannot have a child, so I will have my servant Eliezer to be my heir.” In response to this God said, “No, I will give you an heir from your own body,” and clearly promised him one more time.
Did God fulfill this promise to him a few years later? No. It was only fulfilled twenty five years later. Twenty five years after God had promised that He would give him a child; the Word of God was eventually fulfilled. Twenty five years had passed since this promise and now Abraham was 100 years old and his wife Sarah was 91. They were now both very old. Who would have thought that in their condition that they would be able to bear and wean a child?
But God had brought this to pass. When this humanly speaking, seemed impossible God appeared to Abraham and Sarah and spoke to them again and then fulfilled all of His Words. Through this Scripture passage, we are able to know that Abraham and Sarah believed the Word of God and the Word was thus fulfilled to them; and we are able to know that Abraham especially was a true man of faith.
Nevertheless, what is the greater truth here? It is that our God is The God who absolutely fulfills the Words that He has spoken. God appeared to Abraham and said, “I will give you a son from your own body. I will give you a child through your wife.” And twenty five years later, God’s Word was fulfilled exactly as it was spoken. It is truly incredible that Abraham believed in the Word that God had spoken completely and waited for its fulfillment. Abraham is our father of faith and the head of our faith, and so he had to have had the faith which believed in the Word of God. But still, we really do have a great appreciation for him no matter how we think about it when we see the fact that he who was human like ourselves had such a whole faith.
Whatever God Has Spoken Is Surely Fulfilled
God had spoken a Word of promise to Abraham, and that Word was completely fulfilled. Let’s stop and think for a moment here. Jesus Christ said to His disciples and to you and me as well; after he had saved all of mankind through the water, the blood and the Spirit (1 John 5:8), “I will come in like manner as you saw Me being taken up into heaven.” Let’s think whether this Word will be fulfilled just as Jesus Christ said it would be. What do you think? The correct answer is, Of Course, “It will surely be fulfilled.” Since Jesus Christ is the Son of God and God Himself, He fulfills every promise that He has spoken. Now, the question lies in whether or not you and I can believe His Word and wait patiently like Abraham did.
Our Lord accomplishes whatever He has spoken. As the promise that God spoke to Abraham was completely fulfilled twenty five years later; the Word that our Lord has spoken to us as believers will definitely be fulfilled. I believe that this promise of our Lord that He will return around the time of the end of the world will definitely come to pass.
You and I must think deeply about this. God who fulfilled everything that He had spoken to Abraham has promised every believer a few more things through His Word. These promises are: “I will come to you again, I will prepare Heaven for you, I will return and resurrect you, and I will rapture all believers.” Among these many promises, the Word the Lord said about Him returning to this earth must absolutely be believed. God always brings to pass what He has spoken. We must believe that God always fulfills every Word He has spoken to those who are truly born again.
Our Lord told us that He will come again, but when do you think He will return? A while ago, some pastors who are not born again expected the Lord might be returning whenever they saw a strange cloud in the sky. Truly, many people have waited for the return of our Lord. Honestly speaking, these pastors were not qualified to wait for the Lord. If God really did come back then, it would have been terrible for them. This is because they still had sin in their hearts, so they would have had to meet this God who was carrying a rod of judgment.
The Lord told us personally that He would return to this earth, so our Lord will come again for sure. Will this Word be fulfilled or will it not be fulfilled, or do we believe in His Word of promise or do we not? Both of these mean the same thing. There is a need for us to test the faith in our hearts by asking: “Will every Word of promise that God accomplished in Abraham’s life also be fulfilled for those of us who are born again or not? Do I believe that it will be fulfilled, or do I believe that it will not be fulfilled?” Our Lord told us that He would come again and His Word will definitely come to pass. You and I must certainly believe this. We must be the saints who have the same faith as Abraham. We must be the saints who do not change and have faith that patiently and steadfastly waits for the fulfillment of the Word of the Lord.
This Happened During the New Testament Times Also
For a ninety year old barren woman to have a child is totally impossible. However, our God appeared to this old lady and said, “Around this time next year, you will give birth to a child.”
Dear fellow believers, let’s think about this honestly once again. If you had been in Sarah’s shoes, would you have believed this even if it was the Word of God? What would our response be if we were ninety years of age and God said to us, “I am the LORD God. You will give birth to a child around this time next year”? You would probably think, “How can something like this possibly happen?” I am saying that since it is the Word of God, one should believe just the way it was spoken, but it probably is hard to do.
Such an incident did indeed happen in the Old Testament. In the New Testament, a similar incident happened to Elizabeth, the wife of Zacharias the Priest. At the time, Elizabeth, the wife of Zacharias was also an old lady. Elizabeth was an elderly lady who was past the age of childbearing and Zacharias was also an old man. Physically speaking, both of them were people who were close to their time of passing away. However, God appeared to this Zacharias and said, “I have heard your prayers. Your wife will conceive a child.” Zachariah could not believe in this Word of God and because of this became mute. And so, he gestured to his wife and told her that an angel had appeared to him and told him that she would give birth to a child. And so, Elizabeth believed this.
After the angel had appeared to Zachariah and delivered God’s message, Elizabeth’s became pregnant and started to have morning sickness. In the Old Testament, God gave a child to an old woman called Sarah who was the wife of Abraham; and He also gave a child to Elizabeth in the New Testament. And, one day six months after Elizabeth became pregnant, the following events occurred to another certain young woman. God’s angel appeared to a virgin named Mary and said, “You have found great favor with God. You will become pregnant and conceive the Son of God.” In response to this, the Virgin Mary said, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” The angel of God then said, “With God nothing is impossible. Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has conceived and is bearing a son in her old age.” Mary when hearing this, trusted in this Word from God and in the way it was spoken to her because she was someone who had wholly believed in God’s Word throughout her life. And the child that was to be Jesus Christ began to grow in her womb.
Dear fellow believers, there are many wonderful promises like this which God has made. The Word of promise that God spoke to Mary and to Zachariah is the very promise that God gave us humans through His servants about 700 years ago before Jesus actually came to this earth. In other words, about 700 years after God had given His promise, the Word was fulfilled exactly as it was spoken when His angel appeared before Mary and Elizabeth. The Word that God spoke to Abraham twenty-five years earlier was fulfilled exactly as it was spoken twenty five years later through Sarah.
If this is so, dear fellow believers, will the Word of God that He has spoken to you and me be fulfilled or will it not be fulfilled? Our Lord clearly told us that He will come again, that He will renew all of His creation, that He will rapture us and that He will prepare a new heaven and a new earth and the Kingdom of Heaven for us. God said that He would transform our bodies so that we can live together with Him forever. This Word that God has spoken to us is no different than the incredible Word that God spoke to Abraham. God spoke to Abraham and to his wife Sarah and fulfilled His Word to them. This God also fulfills every Word that He has spoken to us also. Prophecies that seem like dreams to us will come to pass for you and me. God is the God of His Word and He fulfills His Words as they are spoken. God does not change. There is no shadow of change in God. Therefore, the Words that God has spoken to you and to me will absolutely come to pass. Everything will come to pass for sure.
Now Is the Time to Have Faith and Live in Hope
Through today’s Scripture passage we must have faith in the fact that the God who spoke and fulfilled the Word of promise to Abraham has also spoken to us in the same way and will definitely fulfill His Word. And, with this faith, we must live with the hope of Heaven in our hearts. Truly, we hope for the things that we would not be able to hope for if it were not for our faith. We wholly and completely trust in the written Word of God and that He will fulfill it exactly as He has spoken it.
We believe that the Great Tribulation will come upon this entire earth someday and that the Lord will return. And we believe that Satan will place the number 666 on every human being as it is written in the Book of Revelation. We further believe that God will prepare Heaven for us the truly born-again. The reason for this is because of this Word which cleansed us from all our sins with the gospel truth of water and the Spirit has been fulfilled exactly as was spoken to us.
When we read the Book of Joshua, it is recorded there that our Lord dried up the waters of the Jordan River so that a shortcut could be made to enter the Land of Canaan. And, God had also recorded in the Book of Second Kings the story where General Namaan was cleansed and healed of his leprosy in the Jordan River. In this manner, through many prophets in their respective times, the Lord spoke the Word of promise that our sins would be placed on Jesus Christ. And, at last about 2000 years ago, the Lord truly came to this earth and completely fulfilled all those Words. God said: “I will have John the Baptist baptize my Son to pass all your sins to My Son so that I can cleanse you from all of your sins. And I will make you My children who are without sin, the holy saints and righteous ones. And, the Word of promise of God that He spoke to us was completely fulfilled. We believe that all of God’s Words will be fulfilled concerning His return, concerning our being caught up, and concerning the fact that we will live on this earth for 1000 years. We also believe that we will live forever in the afterlife in Heaven and that people who are not properly born again will be sent to hell. As Abraham believed in the Word of God and received a child, you and I also like Abraham believe in all the Words of promise that God has spoken to us, and so we will receive all the blessings from His Word.
Abraham begot a child by truly believing in the Word of God and named this son Isaac. The name “Isaac” means “he laughs.” Shall we briefly examine this Scripture passage which deals with the origin of that name? An angel appeared to Abraham and delivered the Word of the God, and when Abraham’s wife Sarah who was behind the kitchen door happened to hear the angel’s message that around this time next year she would have a child, she burst out with laughter. And so, the angel of God said to Sarah, “Why did you laugh?” In response to this, Sarah tried to hide by lying, saying, “I didn’t laugh.” The angel then said, “No, you did laugh. Around this time next year you will bear a son and you are to call him Isaac. Call him so because you laughed.” And so, Isaac means “laughter,” and he represents or symbolizes obedience. It was not because Isaac had great faith but because he was the son who obeyed and accepted the Word of God which his father Abraham believed in, he is also commended for his obedience.
We Believe That the Word of God Will All Be Fulfilled
As we can see, every Word that God spoke to Abraham was fulfilled, and we believe that He will do the same for us. We can experience the fulfillment of the Word of God by faith of believing in the very Words which God has spoken. Truly, as I look at how God fulfilled His Word of promise towards Abraham, I believe that the Words that God has spoken to us will all be fulfilled as well. Although it may not take over twenty years like it did for Abraham, the Word which God promised us will all be fulfilled in the near future.
When we look at the Book of Daniel, our Lord said that He would fulfill all things in a time when many are running to and fro, and knowledge shall increase (Daniel 12:4). Our Lord Himself spoke these Words about 2600 years ago. And, God has told us everything that will happen in the Last Days. Almost everything has been fulfilled up to now. Do you know what is left still to be fulfilled from the Word of God? What remains is the promise that He will bless and send to Heaven those who have been saved by believing in the Word of salvation with which Jesus has blotted out all our sins by the water and the Spirit. And God will cast into the unquenchable everlasting fire of hell those who do not receive this salvation because of their unbelief in His Word. Now, only a few things are left which God said would happen in the end times is to be fulfilled.
Today, since we saw that God fulfilled His Word to Abraham, we have come to understand that every Word that God has spoken through the Bible will all be fulfilled in the near future. Those of us who believe and wait for God’s fulfillment of His promises are not an Abraham or a Sarah, but we follow in their footsteps. We believe that every Word God has spoken will be fulfilled both in the believer and in the non-believer. Through the work that He accomplished for both Abraham and Sarah, God is teaching us the truth that “everything that He has spoken will surely be fulfilled” to those of us who are truly born again. We give thanks before God who has allowed us to understand these deep truths.
Because we are weak and lacking, we are not patient with the fulfillment of the Word of God. We get worn out and it becomes hard for us. Nevertheless, we must wait, be patient, and have faith in God. The Lord clearly told us that He will come again and that He will renew all of His creation on this earth to personally reign over it for a thousand years. Because of this, we must believe that the Word of God will definitely be fulfilled and we must be ready. Dear fellow believers, let’s wait. In the near future, the Lord will fulfill His Word completely, and we have this hope in His Word and have hope during our lifetime.
We Give Thanks to the Lord Who Has Given Us Hope
We believe in God. We give glory to God. Truly, God does not lie and, if He says something once, He fulfills all of His Word just as He said. We believe this. And above all, we are thankful for this. While living in this world which is without hope, dull, and uncertain, we place incredible hope in the fact that our God who saved us is alive and that He has spoken His Word of promise to us. And we know that our hope will be fulfilled completely. You and I must therefore have hope within our faith in our lives. If there are people among you who are not born again, I ask them to listen carefully to the Word of God and be saved by hearing this Truth of how the Lord through the water and the Spirit blotted out all your sins. And, I ask you to join in with us as sinless saints and steadfastly wait for the return of the Lord. I pray that you will live with faith in the hope that all of God’s Words will be fulfilled.
We possess hope. We live our lives in this truly tiresome and suffocating world, but still there is hope. Dear fellow believers don’t ever be discouraged even in this hopeless world. In just a little while, the Lord will come again. And so, take hope! The God of Abraham is our God. It is written, “I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. God is not the God of the dead, but of the living” (Matthew 22:32). This God of Abraham also promised Abraham, “If there is anyone who is of your household who receives circumcision, I will be their God. I am the God of those who are circumcised.” In this way, God promised that He would be the God to the descendants of Abraham who would have received this circumcision. What does this promise mean to us? It is a promise that God will be the God of the righteous—people who have had all their sins eradicated by believing in the fact that all their sins were passed onto Jesus through His baptism, those who have no sin by faith, those who have become God’s children, and the saints who have received the remission of all their sins. And so, God is our God as well.
Dear fellow believers, let’s patiently wait for the fulfillment of God’s promise. Do not give up on the pretext that it is tiresome to wait for the fulfillment but rather wait with persistency. Why does the Lord delay in returning? Some people have said that since the Lord isn’t coming back we should rather then go to the Lord. But this does not even make any sense at all. If it is tiresome and difficult to wait for the return of Jesus, then we should diligently do the work of the Lord. If it is hard for you to wait as well, then find work to do for God and don’t cease working for Him. Then you will never get weary.
To be honest, a long time ago I experienced a difficult time in my life, trying to make a living in this tough world, and when I tried to live spiritually, it did not work out too well and so waiting for the Lord became very tiresome. The times of waiting were so very difficult and dull. But as my heart became drenched in the Bible, I thought that it would not be tiresome for me to live this way. So, I started to pretend that I was the main character of every account written in the Bible. I sang praises when people sang praises in the Bible. I thought to myself that if I became drenched in the Word like this, then I would be able to live a life without being worn out.
Dear fellow believers, God is our God. So let’s have hope as we lead our lives of faith. Let’s not become worn out, but have hope in our lives. It is written that tribulation produces perseverance, perseverance produces character and character produces hope. We must wait for the Lord in hope. What does tribulation bring about? It produces perseverance. Perseverance produces character. The faith in our hearts becomes seasoned with character. And it says further that perseverance brings about hope. To truly live in hope is to believe in and wait for God, saying, “Although it is tiresome and difficult, God has thus spoken, and according to the Word of the Lord, I believe that it will be fulfilled according to our faith.”
The name of our Church is “Hope Church.” In the Last Days, hope is necessary, and so we named our Church “Hope Church.” The Word God spoke to Abraham was fulfilled about twenty years later. Before twenty years is passed for you, the Lord will return. So, do not worry. We need to wait for the amount of time that the Word that God spoke to Abraham took to be fulfilled. Then, you too will bear a child. You will certainly burst out with holy laughter as Sarah did after giving birth to Isaac. Even in Heaven, your hearts will jump with joy with exceeding happiness. Today’s Scripture passage teaches us this.
In this manner, God has given hope to us. And He absolutely fulfills this hope. We believe this and give thanks to God with our hearts. Halleluiah!