Summary: John lived a life worthy of the high calling of Christ knowing that at any moment, He would return. We too should live a life worthy of Christ so that when He appears, we won’t be ashamed of Him at His coming.
The Purifying Hope
August 18, 2002
This week was a wonderful week as we were able to visit the Smoky Mountains and see the beautiful creation of the Lord. We had a front row seat to the Smoky Mtns. We hiked up into the mountains and saw the large rock formations, the huge trees and forests. We got to see some beautiful water falls. During some of our hiking, we all got thirsty. We didn’t take any water with us. I told the kids how pure the water was in the mountain stream and that it was ok to drink it. It tasted gooood. I got to pondering on why the water up their was so much better than the water down in town. I came up with a couple of conclusions:
1. Because it had never been touched by humans.
2. Because it came from the fresh, clean mountain springs.
Then I related that to our Christian lives. Our hearts are not pure because they have entered into this world. They have been touched by human hands (so to speak) which is a sinful nature. We also decide, all on our own, that we want to live in the world where the “action” is. I don’t mean ‘in town’ but “in this world”. That’s not bad all the time, but if you continually live there, there will be consequences. The Bible says to live in the world and not of the world. Keep our eyes fixed on things above. To understand that as a child of God, we are citizens of heaven. So the visible proof of being a true Child of God is to live lives that bear fruit (produce good deeds). Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Today, there is a call for Christian living
1. John shares 3 incentives for living a Christ centered life.
2. These combine to make up a purifying hope.
Central to this hope is the return of Christ
1. John had recorded the Lord’s promise
a. John 14:1-3 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
2. Later he wrote of it again in the Book of Revelation
3. His heart was tuned in to this truth
4. I have been asked the question, “Do you really believe Jesus is coming again”? Or “Are you sure there even IS a place called heaven?”
By nature, we have always longed for such a place. Whatever culture you stumble across, whatever time period of history, you will find some sort of belief in the afterlife. (Cherokee Indians believed in only one “great spirit”)
There is a longing to go to heaven. Like the little boy flying his kite and the kite was out of sight up in the clouds and someone asked him where it was and he pointed up to the sky. They asked him how he knew it was there if he couldn’t see it and he said, "I know it is there because I can feel it tug." We can know in a similar way that there is a Heaven, because we can feel the pull of it, the tug of it in our souls.
Why did John choose to live the pure life?
I. Because he Didn’t Want to be Ashamed
How we live now will directly affect how we stand before Christ when He returns.
Romans 5:5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
1. There is nothing more secure than the return of Christ.
a. The promise of Jesus
John 14:1-… I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
b. The promise of the angels
Acts 1:11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
c.The promise of Paul
i. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (Read)
d. Be assured, Jesus is coming again!
2. Christ will come when we least expect it
a. Matthew 24:44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.
b. His return will happen in the moment.