1 John 2:28 says, “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.” This is a challenging verse that we should meditate on often. Let’s break this down phrase by phrase and see what the Lord has for us.

The apostle John is speaking to the whole family of God when he addresses them as “little children.” They had been “born again” and because they possessed “eternal life” they were in the family of God.

It’s one thing to have eternal life; it’s another thing to “abide in Him.” The Lord Jesus exhorted His disciples in John 15:4 to abide in Him. He said, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me.” He emphasized this even more strongly in verse 5, “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing.” Just as a branch must abide in the vine in order to produce fruit, so we, as children of God, must abide in Christ in order to bring forth fruit for God’s honor and glory. What exactly does it mean to “abide in Him?” I believe it means to have fellowship with Christ through reading His Word and through prayer. As we commune with our blessed Lord we are abiding in Him; we are clinging to Him in dependence and allowing Him to live His life through us. This alone will give us the ability to bear fruit for God. The apostle John knew this, so he exhorted believers to “abide in Him.”

John’s exhortation was in view of the time “when He shall appear.” This speaks of the Lord’s coming. He will come first to receive believers home to heaven and He will also come some time later to appear before the world and set up His kingdom. John is thinking of His manifestation to the saints at the Rapture when He appears to us and escorts us home to the Father’s house in glory.

John goes on to say that if they were enjoying sweet fellowship with Christ “we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.” Who is John speaking of when he says “we?” Because he does not say “you,” we take it he is referring to himself and all other servants of Christ who had a part in leading these dear saints on in the Christian faith. The writer to the Hebrews speaks to this in Hebrews 13:17, “They watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.” All servants of Christ realize that when Christ does come their service will be evaluated by Him at His Judgment Seat and they will give an account of their labors. John’s earnest desire was that his readers would take to heart his exhortation and “abide in Him,” so that when they all stand before Christ he could do so with confidence and without any shame. He would be able to say to his Savior and Lord, “These dear saints continued to grow spiritually by abiding in fellowship with You and have brought forth much fruit to the glory of God.”   John would give his account with great JOY, knowing that the Lord Jesus would receive the glory He deserves. He also knew that this would also mean great PROFIT for the saints, for both the servants and the saints they served will be rewarded for abiding in Christ and bearing precious fruit for God.  (177.8)  (DO)