“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
I wanted to read this verse briefly last night, like I sometimes do with God’s Word- just move on and hope everything is okay between the Lord and I. But the Holy Spirit started to grip me and moved me to stay on this one passage. And it wasn’t within a few minutes that the Holy Ghost began to strike deep conviction into my heart.
The second part of the verse I understand: John is exhorting us to not be found with shame when Jesus returns again. Not to have our heads down; not because His coming elicits that from everyone, but that only those who’ve wasted their lives will have their heads down.
The goal is confidence. He’s asking us: Will we have confidence when Jesus returns and with all his holy angels? Can we be confident in what we’ve done in life, knowing that we have given it all to Jesus? Or will we be in shame knowing that we didn’t live by faith, but short-sightedly lived a life apart from full surrender to Christ?
And so, what is the command to accomplish these things?
John does give not give a list of things we must do; he doesn’t send us scrambling. The Lord only instructs us to do this: to abide in Him.
I thought of what it meant to abide in him, but was immediately drawn to what it meant to not abide in Christ. To not abide in Christ means to live life by my rules, to live life by my plans, to live life by my strength, by my wisdom, by my hopes, by my dreams, by my wants. And this is not the way we learned Christ! Nor will Jesus be pleased with type of following!
Abiding has to do with surrender, and allowing the life of Christ to live through me. We must be crucified again and again and pick up that cross again and again, and deny ourselves again and again, and to follow Jesus closer and closer.
And the Lord instructs us to do these things so that we may not be filled with shame at His coming. For His coming is sure, his judgment is swift, and his recompense is with him; but when the Son of Man returns, will he find faith on earth?