Anticipation of Christ’s Return?
“Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (1 John 3:2-3).
True Christians long for the return of their King.
The words of the old hymn, “This world is not my home,” express the attitude of every true child of God. True Christians have a hope in their heart, a hope focused on the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. Like the apostle Paul, we long to be set “free from the body of this death” (Rom. 7:24); we “groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body” (Rom. 8:23). We long for the day when “just as we have borne the image of the earthly, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly” (1 Cor. 15:49).
Our hope is a sanctifying one. John writes, “Every one who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (1 John 3:3), while Paul reminded Titus that “the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus” (Titus 2:11-13). Our hope is a sensible one, leading to godly, responsible living. It does not justify careless living (2 Thess. 3:6-15); there is no such thing as someone who is so heavenly minded that he is no earthly good.
Do you find yourself longing for Christ to return and “transform the body of [your] humble state into conformity with the body of His glory” (Phil. 3:21)? If so, take heart. That’s another evidence that your salvation is genuine.
Suggestions for Prayer
Pray with the apostle John, “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus” (Rev. 22:20).
For Further Study
In Philippians 3:20 Paul reminds us that “our citizenship is in heaven,” while in Colossians 3:1-2 the apostle commands us to focus on heavenly things. Where is your focus? What do you spend your time on? Rearrange your priorities and schedule to give first place to eternal realities.
From Strength for Today by John MacArthur Copyright © 1997. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.com.