“And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.”
we may have confidence
Secular Greek used the word “confidence” in the political sphere to describe freedom of speech. That was the special privilege of the democratic city-state of Greece. They did not permit slaves to speak in the assembly. Only freemen had the right to speak in the political assembly.
This word “confidence” carries the idea of courage to speak with candor. It comes to mean fearless confidence when Jesus comes. This is a person with nothing between the soul and the Savior who can meet Him when He returns with open arms.
and not be ashamed before Him at His coming
Shame is the opposite of confidence. A person with shame may express apprehension at the Lord’s coming. No Christian should be ashamed at the coming of Christ. Christians abiding in Him will not be ashamed at His coming.
The “coming” of Christ means presence. The Greeks used the word “coming” for the coming of a dignitary to their city. They made special preparation for his coming. He received pomp and circumstance. They put streets and buildings in repair. The coming of Christ will be an event of great moment.
PRINCIPLE: Christians who walk in fellowship with the Lord will not be ashamed at His coming.
APPLICATION: Dynamic Christians who live consistent lives in fellowship with the Lord will not be ashamed before Him at His coming. They will not be ashamed of their unbelief, cowardice, lust, resentment, hatred, jealousy, or any other sin.
Christians can have two reactions to Christ’s coming. They can “have confidence,” or they can “be ashamed.” Those are the two options.
A believer with “confidence” will not be full of regrets or shame. His conscience is clear before the Lord. The believer with a sense of “shame” will face the Lord with a sense of regret. However, it will not last long because there will be no regret in heaven.
There will be no rationalization or excuses before the Lord. He is omniscient and knows everything we have ever done and the true motivations for doing them.
1 Co 3:12-15, 12 “Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day [the Rapture and Judgment Seat of Christ] will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.”
1 Co 4:5, “Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God.”
What we do in time will count for eternity. Jesus will measure every motive, every act to see if they were worthy of His name. He will ask questions such as these: “Did you introduce anyone to Jesus? Did you bring others with you into my presence? Did you walk in the Spirit consistently?”
Some will hide like Adam in the garden when God called out to him, “Adam, where are you?” (Ge 3:9f). We will not be able to hide anything before the Lord when we stand before Him in stark nakedness.