The Purifying Effect of the Blessed Hope

December 15, 2014 | Tags: ,

Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.

-1 John 3:2-3 ESV

In this Christmas season, we celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus. God came down from heaven, put on flesh, and made His dwelling among us. He walked among us, talked among us, and went to the cross for our sins. He rose from the dead to give us new life. And as we think about our Savior born in a manger this season, we also can think about our Savior coming to rescue us at the rapture of the church. What’s the connection?, you may ask. The answer lies in a powerful promise that the Apostle John gives us in his first letter–when we put our hope in the glorious appearing of our Savior, we purify ourselves as He is pure.

It is growing increasingly difficult to remain pure (and by this I mean unstained by the lusts of the world) in our current culture. Every false god is vying for us to take our eyes off Jesus as the reason for the celebration of this season. Busyness and so-called Christmas “traditions” can easily steal the time we need to be in prayer and in reading God’s Word. The solution is to keep our eyes on Jesus’ promised appearance at the rapture. Think of it this way–if you really believed Jesus could come and take you home in the rapture at any moment (like the early church believed), how would you spend your time today? That’s the reason why the hope of the rapture purifies us. It keeps us focused on tasks and activities that are for the kingdom of God and eternal as opposed to activities and things which are fleeting.

Think about your task list today. How much of it is for eternal purposes, and how much of it is for temporary purposes? If Jesus came today, would you be confident or would you shrink in shame? If you keep abiding in Him, you will remain confident at His coming, but if you don’t, you would be ashamed because you realized that your pattern of activities has no eternal value.

Abide in Him today, and every day, until He comes. You will be so glad you did.

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. If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him.

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.

-1 John 2:28-3:3 ESV

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