The Hope that Purifies

Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

1 John 3:2-3

John speaks to us in 1 John 3:2-3 of a hope that purifies. What is this hope? Knowing that we are children of God, we have the hope of the triumphant return of our Lord Jesus Christ. Upon His return, we will be transformed into a blink of an eye and John tells us that we will be like Him. Why does this hope purify us? When Christ returns for His church, He wants it pure, without blemishes or wrinkles. Therefore, we who await His coming, in order to be like Him, must purify ourselves to be ready for the marriage of the Lamb.

Chapter 19 of the book of Revelation describes the triumphal return of Jesus Christ and His encounter with His church. In Revelation 19:7-9 we read, Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.”

Before our Lord returns, we must prepare and clothe ourselves with holiness and purity. Our finest linen garments are our righteous actions, which are the result of our redemption. Ephesians 5:27 says how the church is expected to be when the Lord returns, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. Once we are saved, our response is to keep His words in thanksgiving for our salvation.

The hope that the coming of Jesus Christ should move us to live in holiness and not to be contaminated with the things of the world. 1 Thessalonians 3:13 says, so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints. We do not know when His return will be, therefore, we must always be prepared to receive Him at any time. It would be foolish to stop being present at the wedding of the Lamb for neglecting our relationship with God.

In order not to lose our wonderful encounter with Christ, we must always abide in Him. 1 John 2:28 says, And now, little children, abide in Him, that when[a] He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming. Staying in the one who overcame the world will have His strength to resist the temptation to contaminate us and thus we would keep on our way to our purification. Clinging to this hope our actions keep us without blemishes or wrinkles.

This must be the motto of all who look forward to the coming of the Lord: And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. And our expectation will not be without reward, for the Bible says in 2 Timothy 4:8, Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing. Let us await His coming in holiness. God bless you.

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