That Blessed Hope
In Titus 2:11,12 the people of God are exhorted to live "looking for that blessed hope." This forces upon us the task of finding out with certainty what "that blessed hope" is. Some say that it is a pre-tribulation rapture, and others say it is the second coming of Christ. Statements such as these are easily made, and they do not seem to reveal any real exercise of heart and mind to discover what our blessed hope is from Biblical truth.
The very passage that exhorts us to live looking for it declares that the blessed hope is "the shining forth of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ." This is a literal translation of the original language. The Greek here is quite simple and no problem to translate. The two statements are appositional, one defines the other; "that blessed hope" is "the shining forth of the story of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ."
This is not a new truth which was suddenly declared to Paul by Titus. It is a restatement by the Holy Spirit of a prophecy which was spoken long before by Isaiah:
And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.Isa.40:5
The word glory here has to do with the esteem in which one is held by another. We constantly hear what men think about Christ, His enemies as well as His friends. However, the all important thing is what God thinks of Christ, the esteem in which the Father holds the Son. And, according to God's Word there is to be a miraculous act of divine intervention in which God's truth concerning Jesus Christ will be forced upon the mind of all flesh — every man, woman and child living upon this earth. Yes, even the babes will utter praise to Him. (Matt. 21:16).
The Greek word in Titus 2:13 which in the King James Version is translated "appearing," and which I have rendered "shining forth," is epiphaneia. This same word is found in 2 Tim. 4:1 in another appositional setting which reads literally:
I charge you before God, even the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall determine what is right in regard to the living and the dead in harmony with His shining forth, even His kingdom.
His "shining forth" is the event that introduces the kingdom, God's own government upon this earth. It will have a continuing effect that will give the character to the time when He governs. It is the initial event when God assumes sovereignty, takes the reins of government into His hands and the kingdom of God becomes a manifest reality upon the earth. This is our blessed hope. This is what we are looking for.
Otis Q. Sellers