Confidence at His Coming

March 24, 2018

 

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

1 Peter 2:6, “Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture, ‘Behold, I lay in Zion a Chief Cornerstone, elect, precious, and he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.’” This is a quote from Isaiah 28:16. This can only refer to Jesus Christ as being this Holy Rock. He is, “The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief corner stone” (Psalm 118:22; Matthew 21:42).  “Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea,  all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, all ate the same spiritual food,  and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ” (1 Corinthians 10:1-4).

Three words stand out for us in 1 John 2:28, “Abide,” “Appears,” and “Ashamed.” That’s my message for today.

Verse 28a: “And now, little children, abide in Him…”

The Greek word for “abide” is meno, and means, to remain, stay, lodge, dwell, continue, or endure. In simple terms meno means to remain in the same place or position over a period of time. It means to take up permanent residence, to make one's self at home. Meno is in the  present tense, so it says that we are to continually “abide in Him.”

The words “abide in Him” are vital to our understanding of what being a Christian is all about. It describes the relationship between every believer and Christ, and the permanence of the believer in Christ and of Christ in every believer. “For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen” (Romans 11:36). “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me” (John 15:4). “Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him (Ephesians 3:17). This verse could read, “That Christ may finally settle down and feel completely at home in your hearts.”

 

“Abiding in Jesus (living in Jesus) is not a passive thing; it is an active thing. We must give ourselves, mentally and spiritually, to living in Jesus. We abide in him, not by a physical law, as a mass of iron abides on the earth; but by a mental and spiritual law, by which the greatness of divine love and goodness holds us fast to the Lord Jesus. Yet, not only are we called to abide in Him; but we also know that He abides in us. It is a two-way relationship. You are to take care that you abide in Christ as much as if all depended upon yourself; and yet you can look to the promise of the covenant, and see that the real reason for your abiding in Christ lies in the operation of his unchanging love and grace.” –Spurgeon

If you have accepted Christ as your Savior and Lord, you are “in Him.” “…for in Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). But it’s possible to a believer, but not abiding in Jesus…not walking in fellowship with Jesus every day. How can we “abide in Him?” How can a believer abide in Christ? Let me give you several suggestions from Scripture:

We “abide in Him” by abiding in the word of God.

John 17:17, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.”

Psalm 119:105. “Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.”

Psalm 119:11, ““I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”

1 John 2:24, “Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.”

1 Timothy 4:16, “Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.”

John 8:31,32a, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

“Live in God’s word, breathe it in, meditate on every meaning, abide in it, remain solid, accept it as the undisputed word, wait on it, remain steadfast in your beliefs, building foundations on solid ground as God builds your foundations of precious stones, alive and powerful, sharper than any two edged sword, a lamp for your feet, a light to your path, enduring forever, blessed are those who hear and obey, God’s word will be here even when heaven and earth have passed away, know that you cannot live on bread alone, praise God in whose word you trust, get rid of all moral filth and lust, humbly accepting God’s word given to you, draw from the depth of his word planted within you.” –newchristianmusings. wordpress.com

We “abide in Him” by walking in the Spirit.

If you are a believer, God’s Holy Spirit lives in you! “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?” (1 Corinthians 6:19,20). The Bible says that If the Holy Spirit is not in you, you do not belong to Christ. “Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His” (Romans 8:9). “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Galatians 5:26).

Those who walk in the Spirit will show forth daily, moment-by-moment holiness. Walking in the Spirit produces in believers the “fruit of the Spirit,” which is, “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:22,23).

“Walking by the Spirit denotes reliance upon Him. He leads the way, and we follow Him. As He speaks, we listen, heed His warnings, and obey His directions. The Spirit’s way is a path of surrender which, although difficult, leads to fullness of life.” –intouch.org

“Walking implies that the Spirit is going somewhere—there’s a destination. He always goes to the same place, to that which brings God glory. In contrast, the flesh is always moving to that which will please itself.

Walking is continuous. Like the filling of the Holy Spirit, our walk in the Spirit is ongoing, so we must maintain our dedication. To walk is to continue taking one step after another.

A third aspect of walking includes dependency. The key to walking in the Spirit is to look to Him to give us the ability to do what we know we can’t do on our own. The moment we try to do it on our own, we reject the work of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is our source to true power and victory.” –tonyevans.org

We “abide in Him” by abiding in His church.

 

The local church is “the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15). The New Testament church is the trustee of God’s truth. So the church is to uphold God’s truth to its deepest foundation.

We have a mandate from God to walk in truth. “walk before Me in truth…” (1 Kings 2:4).  “Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth; unite my heart to fear Your name” (Psalm 86:11). If a lost world can’t find truth in the church, where will they find it?

What do we owe the church?

 

We owe the church our presence.  “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near” (Hebrews 10:25 NLT)

 

We owe the church our participation. We are not just spectators! What is my responsibility to my local church? It is giving, going, loving, and serving others. When I am in fellowship with my church, I am in fellowship with God.

We owe the church our prayers. Jesus said, “My house shall be called the house of prayer…” (Matthew 21:13).  “Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you…”(1 Samuel 12:23).

The church is the rapture preparation center! It is where we get ready for flight! So wake up, look up, pack up, shape up, Jesus is coming! I’m heading for heaven! I will see you there or in the air!

To “abide in Him,” takes for granted that you are “in Him.” You cannot “abide in Him” if you are not His child. When you trust in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, you are placed “in Him.” This experience comes to everyone who has been-born again into God’s family. Have you genuinely trusted in Jesus Christ alone for salvation? Have you repented of your sins?

John 15:4-5, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. ‘I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.’”

Verse 28b: Appears, “…that when He appears…”

The Greek word for “appears” is phaneroo, it literally means to bring or come to light, to illumine, to make manifest, to make visible and thus to make known, to clearly reveal, to cause to be seen.

This refers to the personal, bodily return of the Lord Jesus Christ to earth, to receive to Himself His own. He is coming again! And He will not return in anonymity, but in great glory for all to see. In Acts chapter 1, as Jesus was ascending, right before the astonished eyes of His disciples, two angels appeared and told them, “This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner (bodily) as you saw Him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11).

We who know Jesus have an excited expectancy of His coming. We are looking constantly for His return! We are listening for the trumpet! “We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed.” (1 Corinthians 15:51,51 NLT).

When I became a believer, and first learned that Jesus is coming back again, I began to look for Him. The first book in my library was, “Things to Come” by Clarence Larkin. I have been a believer now for 60 years and I am still eagerly waiting! Our prayer as born- again believers is, “Even so come Lord Jesus” (Revelation 22:20).

Jesus Himself said, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:1-3).

Our attitude as believers should be one of excited anticipation, eagerly looking for the coming of Jesus, “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him (‘eagerly waiting,’ NLT) shall he appear the second time…” (Hebrews 9:28, KJV) “…looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13). The Greek verb for “looking” is prosdechomai. It describes one who is waiting for something (in context Someone) with a sense of expectancy, to accept deliberately and readily. Prosdechomai describes accepting a person with open arms, minds, and hearts, even going beyond normally expected gracious hospitality. The term was often used of welcoming honored guests and meeting their needs with special attention and kindness.

He is coming soon! All prophecy is fulfilled! He may come today! If He should come before your next heartbeat, would you be ready to meet Him in the air? If you are not certain that you are a true believer, do not delay, accept Christ now! He is ready and willing to receive you, if you will just call on Him. After His second coming there will not be another chance for you! It’s now or never!

There's no time to change your mind,

How could you have been so blind

The father spoke the demons dined,

The son has come and you've been left behind.

–Larry Norman–

Why are we eager? Paul writes, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:7,8 NLT).

Verse 28c: Ashamed, “…we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.”

 First let’s look at the word, “confidence.” The Greek word is parresia, meaning freedom, boldness, and openness, especially in speech. It is used to describe a slave who had done nothing to displease his master, who could face the coming of the master with absolute boldness and freedom of speech, because he had nothing to hide.

“Christ's return will inevitably cause one of two reactions. For the believer, the response is confidence…Confidence is indicated in the believer's ability to verbalize, in contrast to the silent terror and shame of those who must quake before Him at His return.” –Criswell

“Ashamed” means, “a sense of terror or fear because of the disgrace connected with the performance of some action” –Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary.

“This does not mean loss of salvation, but rather shame and loss of confidence if we are behaving inconsistently when Christ returns.” –Henry Morris

“All believers are ‘accepted,’ but there is a difference between being ‘accepted’ and being ‘acceptable.’ A disobedient child who goes out and gets dirty will be accepted when he comes home, but he will not be treated as though he were acceptable. ‘Therefore also we have as our ambition...to be pleasing to Him’ (2 Corinthians 5:9 NASB).  A Christian who has not walked in fellowship with Christ in obedience, love, and truth will lose his rewards; and this will make him ashamed.” –Weirsbe

Verse 28d: “…at His coming.”

The Greek word for “coming” is parousia. is a combination of two Greek words para, which means, with, or alongside and ousia, meaning being. These 2 words literally describe being beside, personal presence.

Parousia refers to more than just coming; it includes the idea of ‘presence.’ Perhaps the best English translation would be ‘arrival.’ The church’s great hope is the arrival of Jesus Christ when He comes to bless His people with His presence. That glorious truth appears in more than 500 verses throughout the Bible.” –MacArthur

The next event on God’s timetable is the rapture, the catching up of all believers (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17).

“I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope”  (1 Thessalonians 4:13).

A little five-year-girl was watching her older brother, whom she loved very much, dying of a very painful disease. After he died and the funeral was over she said to her mother, “Mommy, where did brother go?” to which her mother replied, “He went to heaven to be with Jesus.” That satisfied her little mind so she just said, “oh.” Not long after she overheard her mother in a conversation with a friend, she was weeping and saying, “I’ve lost my son!” “I’ve lost my son!” Later that day the little girl asked the question, “Mommy, is someone lost when we know where they are?”

When I was pastoring a church in Augusta, Georgia an infant died of SIDS (crib death). Her older sister, about 3 years old, was lifted up to see her sister in the casket, as she viewed the little body, she waved at her and said, “See ya’ later!”  That’s Bible truth! “Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8 NLT).

Unless otherwise noted, the New King James Version of the Bible was used. Also The New Living Translation (NLT); The New American Standard Bible (NASB); The Message (MSG); The New Century Version (NCV); The Amplified Bible (AMP); The King James Version (KJV), The New Life Version (NLV); English Standard Version (ESV); J.B. Phillips New Testament; Easy to Read Version (ERV); Common English  bible (CEB); NET Bible (NET) and The Living Bible (TLB). Contemporary English Version (CEV).

Marlena and I support this ministry with our Social Security plus donations from a few of our friends. We need more friends! Will you be a friend to us and God’s word For You? Your financial support of this ministry is much appreciated. You may send your support to God’s Word For You, 25413 Alpha Street, Moreno Valley, CA 92557

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