ABIDE IN HIM
1 John 2:28-29 And now, little children, abide in Him; that, when He shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming. If ye know that He is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of Him.
John concludes this chapter of his epistle addressing Christians in the same manner as he began the chapter, by referring to them as little children. No doubt John was well along in years at the time of this writing. It is even possible, as many bible scholars contend, that he was the last living apostle at this time. This would make it even more plausible that John would refer to all Christians as little children having been begotten of Jesus Christ through His teaching and the teaching of all other apostles that preceded Him in death.
Throughout this chapter, John has encouraged Christians to refrain from sin, and if sin overcomes them, he exhorts them to return to the mercy seat of God, and seek forgiveness through the propitiatory blood of His Son, Jesus Christ. They were encouraged to truly know God by keeping His commandments - indeed to walk in the light, as Jesus obediently walked in the light of the will of His heavenly Father, and avoid giving in to the lustfulness of worldly things, which have no eternal benefit. And finally, John warns against devious false preachers and teachers of the world, that pretend to be sent of God, in order to deceive Christians for their own personal gain. They are deceitful liars. They deny God, and deny that Jesus is the Christ, the Savior of the world. He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son (Vs. 22).
In light of these erring teachings, John says let that therefore abide in you which ye have heard from the beginning; ...(let it) remain in you, that you might continue in the Son, and in the Father (Vs. 24). And continuing to do so, this is the promise that He hath promised us, even eternal life (Vs. 25). It was necessary in the day of John, and is just as necessary today, for all Christians to guard against false teachers - them that seduce you (Vs. 26). Verse 27 assures us that God has given us sufficient spiritual guidance from His holy word, to discern between true preachers of His word, and those preaching false doctrine.
Knowing, accepting, and believing God's will, John now tells all Christians to abide in Him. We can do this by continuing to let our lives be guided by the truths of His word, and only His word. It was God's word, which Jesus referred to when He prayed for His disciples by saying,thy word is truth (John 17:17). Christians abide in God, through Jesus Christ, by obedience to His will. Notice the assurance given all Christians that abide in Him. (W)hen He shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming. The second coming of Jesus Christ is referred to in this passage as Judgment Day - the end of time.
Obedient followers of Christ will meet Him with confidence ...at His coming. Used here, confidence carries the meaning of boldness. In a similar manner the writer of the letter to the Hebrew Christians said to them, that they have a High Priest in Jesus Christ, and all that are faithful can come boldly unto the throne of grace (See Heb. 4:15-16). So will faithful Christians on Judgment Day, realizing that a promised crown of righteousness awaits them in heaven. Many, coming before the throne of God on the last day, will be ashamed of their conduct on earth, and will be convicted of their unforgiven sins. To them Christ will say, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity (See Matt. 7:21-23).
However, coming before Him, face to face, on that glorious day, all Christians that continued to abide in Him,during their life on earth, will not be ashamed to come into His presence. They will meet a Savior who shall not be ashamed of them when He cometh in the glory of His Father with the holy angels (See Mark 8:38), and will be assured of a heavenly home.
A life of righteous conduct demonstrates that a Christian is indeed a true follower of the Savior. He is our righteous example, and every one that doeth righteousness is born of Him. This is exactly what Jesus told Nicodemus when He said, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God (See John 3:3-5). To be born of Him, is to be born of water.That is,to be baptized for the remission of sins (Matt. 28:19; Acts 2:37-40). The acts that led those on the Day of Pentecost to be born again are the same that are necessary to become children of God, and followers of Christ today. We must hear the word of God (1 Pet. 1:23), and believe that Jesus is the Christ (1 John 5:1),and obey all of God's other commands that lead to baptism for the remission of sins. O, the wonderful promises made to all little children that abide in Him.