“And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming.”
1 John 2:28
This verse hits me hard. It forces me to think about what it’ll be like when Jesus comes back. What will it be like when I come face to face with him in the end and he knows everything that I’ve done? It’s hard not to feel a wave of shame when imaging standing in front of the crucified Christ knowing that I’ve failed him time and time again.
However, John is saying that we should be able to have confidence when he comes back. That confidence certainly doesn’t come from being perfect. John says earlier, “if we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” He’s well aware of our sinful nature. But nonetheless he insists that we can be confident when Christ returns. That’s not because our sin is not really that bad or because Jesus doesn’t care about sin, but simply because we know why he has returned. He is returning to bring those that believe in him home to eternal life with him. Despite our sin, he has made us heirs with him of the promises of God, allowing us to inherit eternal life with him. What is required is not a life without sin, but simply faith that Jesus has the power and authority to forgive your sins, and knowing that he will.
That gives me more confidence even than if I wasn’t struggling with sin in my life. I’d rather know that my fate lies in the perfection of Jesus than in my own hands. If my life depends on Jesus, then I can have confidence.
Abide in him. Be close to him and live according to his own life. Build your life around his words. These are the things that mark a believer. These are the things that give us confidence not to shrink back at Jesus’ coming, but to rejoice.
Come back soon. I long to spend eternity with you, and I pray that you will forgive my sin and make me pure so that I may not shrink back but rejoice at your coming. Thank you for saving me. Thank you for loving me.
In Jesus’ Name,