“We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints, for the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;” Colossians 1:3-5
In this small portion of scripture, there are three key phrases, or words, found in the fifth verse that need to be understood in order to fully see the awesome position of grace we have!
First of all, we have a hope. This is not like a birthday wish where you close your eyes wishing that Mommy and Daddy bought you the present you asked for. In that case, you don’t really know for certain that what you want is in the box on the table. The hope we have of eternal glory is far different than this. We have been told in the Bible what the gift is. It is eternal life conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. And it’s not just a possibility. That fact was predestined before the world began (Ephesians 1:4-5). Therefore, our hope is an earnest and joyful expectation of the fulfillment of God’s promise for us.
Paul then reassures us that our hope is more than just a possibility. He says that it is laid up. This means that it is reserved and put in a safe place for keeping. This is not like a car or plane reservation that can be canceled on a whim. This reservation is kept not by our will nor our perseverance but by the promise of God. Just as Paul told Titus:
“In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;” Titus 1:2
Even further, Paul tells us that this hope is laid up in the most secure place there is -–heaven. Nothing but God, righteousness, and love dwell in that place. Sin and evil cannot exist in the presence of God. Therefore, sin and evil CANNOT get to where our hope is laid up.
With this proper definition of our eternal security, it is then very easy to see that the gospel is a declaration of that fact and not an invitation to believe that fact in order to make it so. Whether we believe it or not (for we often have doubts and fears), our eternal salvation is secured where Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father.