“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.”
now we are children of God;
John contrasts the present and future state of the believer. The word “now” represents the present state of the Christian. A person becomes a child of God at the moment of salvation (Jn 1:12). Eternal salvation is not progressive but instantaneous (Jn 5:24). There will never be a time when a child of God is not a child of God.
and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be,
Although Christians are God’s children, they are not yet what they will be. They are in the process now, but they will come to the point of perfection at a future time.
We are “now” the children of God in contrast to the “not yet.” What we are now is a foretaste of what we will be. Our present state as a Christian is an indication of our future glory.
Our current state as a Christian is an earnest of what we will be.
Christians have a wonderful future. The Bible reveals something of what it will be like after we go into God’s presence. It gives a partial but not full revelation of what we will be like after Jesus comes back. Scriptures use mostly negative descriptions such as no more pain, tears, death, night, or sorrow.
We all suffer pain in this life. God has a purpose in everything we go through. He makes us more like the Lord Jesus in suffering. This is our “light affliction.” It is light in comparison to the benefit of entering the glory of the eternal state.
2 Co 4:161-18, 16 “Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
Growing old has to be painful for those without Christ. They have nothing for which to look forward to except the loss of health and the bleak, black terminus of the grave. Their limbs creak, and their bodies ache. The best is yet ahead for the Christian older person. He has a brighter and better day. Each is one day closer to the most blessed state yet.
Thank God that we are not now what we were. Again, we thank God that we are not what we shall be. Oh, what a transformation there will be when Jesus comes again.