WE SHALL BE LIKE HIM
1 John 3:1-2 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is.
The last verse if the previous chapter tells us that all righteous men and women, who obey His will, and are baptized into the body of Christ, are born of God. This fact, more than any other blessing one receives while here on earth, demonstrates the wonderful love the Father hath bestowed upon us. This fact also demonstrates the greatest glory and honor that any human being can ever attain in this world in which we live, and that is to be called a childof God. Each and every person that heeds the call of His Son, Jesus Christ, that believes in Him, and is baptized for the remission of their sins, becomes a brother or sister of our Lord, and is adopted by God as His precious child. There is no greater love than that of our heavenly Father. He will forgive the lowest repentant sinner, call them His child, and, if faithful, reward him or her with an eternal home in heaven to live with Him forever.
It is essential that all Christians truly understand the wonderful love God offers to mankind. Notice what our Savior, Himself, said: God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16). The same inspired writer confirmed this teaching in his epistle. He wrote, In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins (1 John 4:9-10). Eternal salvation requires that we understand this sacrifice to its fullest extent. It was a sacrifice unknown to the world then, as well as now. Similarly, the apostle, Paul wrote, But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Eph. 2:4-6).
The saddest lesson in the subject text is that the majority of people in the world do not know the reason for the comfort and joy of faithful Christians - the hope of eternal life in heaven. And the reason for the total lack of their understanding is because they do not know, or accept God, and His Son, Jesus Christ, as the source of that hope. To know God is to love God. However, our Savior warned His disciples that the world would hate you, (because) ...it hated Me before it hated you (See John 15:18-19). Jesus also warned His disciples that they would be persecuted because they have not known the Father, nor Me (See John 16:2-3). The world does not know God, His Son, Jesus Christ, or Christians because they do not accept or approve of their righteous ways. They choose to follow their own self-wills; do what they deem to be right. They choose to allow their lives to be influenced by Satan, and live contrary to the will of God.
Indeed, even if the world knoweth us not, it is a privilege for Christians to know the love of God, and to be called His children. Yet, at the present time, it doth not yet appear what we shall be. That is, the future glory of heaven has not yet been fully made known to us. But this we do know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is. In whatever visual body Jesus Christ will have at His coming, His faithful servants will be transformed into that same image. Whatever His moral nature will be when He appears, the faithful saints of His church will also be changed into that moral image. In his letter to the church at Philippi, Paul gave us a vivid description of this event. He wrote, For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body, according to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself (Phil. 3:20-21).
The corrupt, human body will be cast off, and replaced with the divine nature of Jesus (2 Peter 1:4). The inspired psalmist, David wrote, As for me, I will behold Thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with Thy likeness (Psalm 17:15). On that glorious day we shall be like Him!