“The hope of the righteous brings joy,
but the expectation of the wicked will perish.”
Hope is grounded on the certainty of future blessing. It springs up inside of people as they think about all the good that is going to come to them at a later date. And to some extent, everybody has hope. Everybody expects that, at some point, things are going to get better. . . . either now or after death. Biblically speaking, though, there are only two types of hope — a definite hope and a fabricated hope.
The Definite Hope of the Righteous
For the righteous, those who believe in Christ and are spiritually enabled to walk in accordance with His commandments, our hope is certain. The certainty of our hope is grounded on the very nature of our God. For our God is a God who cannot lie (Numbers 23:19; Titus 1:2), and He has promised His people an unspeakably bright future.
The Bible teaches that our exodus from this cursed earth to a new heavens and a new earth that is filled with the knowledge of the glory of God is right around the corner (Luke 21:28; Romans 13:11). Before long, Christ will descend from the heavens with the sound of a trumpet. At His command, we will receive imperishable resurrection bodies that are raised up in power, honor, and glory (1 Corinthians 15:42).
These future resurrection bodies will enable us to dwell on the new earth with our Triune God forever (Revelation 21:2-3). Sin and its devastating effects will be done away with. As we dwell with God on the new earth, “death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4). The blessed happiness that comes from perfect communion with the one True God will constantly fill our hearts. It will be both euphoric and Edenic. This is why “the hope of the righteous brings joy” (Proverbs 10:28).
The Fabricated Hope of the Wicked
For the wicked, those who are apart from Christ Jesus and living in darkness, their hope is a fabricated hope. They fool themselves into thinking that their future is bright when, in reality, it is unbearably dark. This is certainly the case for religious hypocrites. Though religious hypocrites walk contrary to God’s will, they convince themselves that they are heirs of the kingdom of God (Matthew 7:21-23; 25:11-13). As they perpetually sin against the Lord, they hear words of both promise and warning and say, “I shall be safe, though I walk in the stubbornness of my heart” (Deuteronomy 29:18-19).
This false sense of hope remains with the religious hypocrite all the way to the great white throne judgment. As they stand before Jesus Christ, the Lord of Glory, they will sincerely believe that they are about to receive the blessings of the righteous (Matthew 7:21-23). This will not be the case though. Christ, with blazing eyes of omniscience, will reveal to them that he never knew them in a covenantal way (Matthew 7:21-23; Luke 13:22-30).
After revealing to religious hypocrites that they had a fabricated hope, Christ will publicly condemn them before the eyes of all. He will then justly sentence them to a life of eternal conscience torment. They will never know the blessed happiness of perfect communion with God. All they will ever know is “the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger” (Revelation 14:9-11). As they perish eternally, their fabricated hope will perish with them.