Not Ashamed at His Coming

“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 John 2:28)

Have you ever arrived at a destination and been disappointed in the result?


A police officer in Connecticut noticed a speeding car that matched the description of a robbery getaway car. He started pursuit, and during the chase, the suspect made a wrong turn – into the MacDougall Correctional Institution, a high-security prison. He then jumped from his car and ran into the front office. “I believe he thought it was a mall,” said the police officer. “But I’ve never seen too many malls with a razor wire across the top.”

In 1 John 2:228, John presented a challenging idea. When we arrive at our eternal destination, some may be disappointed in the result. When Jesus returns, some people will be afraid, because they never knew Jesus at all. But among those who know Him, some will not be afraid, they will be ashamed before Him at His coming. They will realize that they have lived worldly, unfruitful lives. In one moment, the understanding will overwhelm them that whatever else they accomplished in life, they did not abide in Him as they could have.

Paul the Apostle spoke of those who are barely saved: “he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire” (1 Corinthians 3:15). There are those who, for at least a moment, the coming of Jesus will be a moment of disappointment rather than glory. It might only be a moment; but suffering loss or to be ashamed are not ideas we want to connect in any way to our meeting with Jesus.

Some might say, “What difference does it make? As long as we make it to heaven, we’re good.” Not really. How narrow is the distance between “barely saved” and “not quite saved”? When one asks, “How little can I do and still make it to heaven?” or “How far can I stray from the Shepherd and still be part of the flock?” they then ask some pretty dangerous questions.

We wait for the return of Jesus, and want to be ready for him. But we remember the absolutely best way to be ready for His return. The best way to be ready isn’t to be a master of every prophecy in the Bible. The best way to be ready isn’t to retire to a monastery, away from the wicked world.

John 2:28 says it simply: If you want to be ready for the return of Jesus, and know that you will not be ashamed before Him at His coming, then abide in Him. Live in Jesus. Make Him, and not yourself, the focus of your life. Then, no matter what hour Jesus comes for you – you will be ready, and unashamed to stand before Him.

Want to be ready for the return of Jesus? Live in Him.

Click here for David’s commentary on 1 John 2

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