Yesterday I read through the Apostle John’s first epistle. John’s purpose in writing was so that believers may know that they have eternal life. He did not want believers to “hope,” he wanted them to “know” that they have eternal life (1 John 5:13).
John’s theme in his letter is love for brothers and sisters in Christ. He returns again and again to tell us that we should love one another as God in Christ has loved us. In fact, he wonders about a brother or sister who does not love and forgive.
These are powerful concepts, but neither of these is the most thought provoking verse in 1 John to me. That distinction is saved for 1 John 2:28: “And now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming.”
Here is the teaching of the Apostle: our Lord Jesus will return to earth. When He returns we will be in the presence of perfect moral purity. In Him there is no shadow of darkness.
John made a point that we all can understand. This point sobers me and probably does you as well.
When Jesus returns I want to be rejoicing at my redemption not ashamed in His presence, I do not want to shrink from Him in shame at His coming,
My wife taught young adults at our church for over 20 years, She had the distinct privilege of teaching the youngest adults in the church. She spoke truth into their lives, and her ‘voice’ had strength in our church. If you talk to many of these now median adults, they will remember fondly the day Martha asked them if they wanted to be found in a casino when Jesus returned.
That is what John meant with this sober verse.
Do you want to be found lazy? Indifferent? Selfish? Greedy? Unforgiving?
When I read this passage yesterday, I thought about my relationships. Do I want to have to forgive someone when I get to heaven?
Wouldn’t it make more sense to do that now?
Do I want to shrink in shame at His coming or do I want to lift up my head because my redemption is close at hand?
Think about it.