Posted by: missionventureministries | October 11, 2018

HAVING CONFIDENCE AT HIS COMING -1 John 2:28

“And now, little children, abide in Him; that, when He shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.” (1 John 2:28)

John indicates that there are two possibilities when Jesus Christ comes: either we will have confidence at His appearing or we will be ashamed of our behavior when He returns.

There are many that for a while, professed to know Jesus Christ, but then turned away, showing that their faith was not a genuine saving faith (1 John 2:19). They have denied Him His rightful place as the Sovereign Lord and have turned, instead, to foolish speculations that puff them up with pride in their supposed knowledge. Their denial of Christ means that they are ashamed of Him, therefore, when He comes He will be ashamed of them (Mark 8:38). They will hide in fear and shame when they see Him in His glory (Revelation 6:15-17). But, for those who abide in Christ, they will be confident when He comes.

To abide in Him means to live righteously, and because God is righteous, those truly born of Him will be righteous in the way they live their lives; because, when we are born of Him, He grants to us “everything pertaining to life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3).
Ephesians 4:22-24 further explains that: “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” That new life in us produces godliness, or righteous living therefore: “No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God” (1 John 3:9).

Living righteously is a lifelong process of growth in obedience to God’s Word. It does not happen instantly or without setbacks and struggles; but if we are born again, we will be learning to evaluate every thought, motive, and attitude by God’s Word. We will seek to please the Lord, beginning with our thinking and actions as He warned us in Mark 7:20-23, “What comes out of a person is what defiles them. For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person.”

If you are truly born again, the fruit of the Holy Spirit will be growing in your character, “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23), and you will be disciplining yourself for the purpose of godliness (1 Timothy 4:7). Of course, all of this is done in dependence on the Holy Spirit, but we must be involved actively in the process, “walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16).

We are to abide in Christ so completely that we would be like a branch growing from the vine, thus making “fruit” possible (John 15:4-5). We are to continue in His Word so thoroughly that our prayers will be in synchronization with His will (John 15:7) and our behavior will be in synchronization with His commandments (1 John 3:24). To abide in Him means to be at home with Him and to be an alien in this world.

“Little children” implies that abiding in Christ is simple, not something that we need a seminary degree to understand or practice. In fact, Jesus said, “unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3).

Ask yourself these basic questions:

  • Do I spend consistent, regular time alone with the Lord in the Word?
  • Do I trust God by drawing near in prayer to His throne of grace in all of my trials?
  • Do I memorize and meditate on God’s Word, applying it to my life?
  • Am I faithful as a steward of all that God has entrusted to me, maintaining integrity and refusing to be greedy?
  • Am I growing in holiness, developing the fruit of the Spirit by walking in the Spirit?
  • Am I confessing, and forsaking sin?
  • Am I working at maintaining relationships, especially with my family? This includes sincere and loving communication; listening; being kind, having patience; forgiving and being humble.

When trials come into our life, we must actively draw near to the Lord and depend on Him as we have never had to do at other times. If we do not actively do this, we will become angry and bitter and will drift away from God. This is why Peter writes to suffering believers: “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time,  casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.  But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.  After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 5:6-11)

So, are you ready for the return of Jesus Christ? If not, why not start today? Get alone with the Lord and confess all known sin to Him. Accept His gracious forgiveness. Change your daily schedule to dedicate time to your Creator and Savior and as you do, you will grow in confidence anticipate His coming.

Remember that the lifestyle of abiding in Christ while we are on this earth builds the sanctified relationship with Christ that we are going to enjoy for eternity.

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