Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Future Prospects and Present Purity

I don't know of anywhere in Scripture that expresses the Christian hope more beautifully than 1 John 3:2 - "Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is".  This is the Christian's personal eschatology.  A few comments on it...

1.  It is hope, because although it is already ours ("we are God's children now") we do not yet see it ("...has not yet appeared").  We live for the future, because our present status is something that we will only enjoy and experience in the future.

2.  The Christian hope is entirely wrapped up in Christ.  To see Christ is at the heart of it.  That is why "the sky, not the grave, is our goal".

3.  To see Christ truly is a transformative experience.  We see this to some extent in the present life ("we all with unveiled faces...") but ultimately, when we see him - when faith becomes sight - then we will be like him.

It's worth noting the next verse.  "And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure".  If we expect this transformation in the future, if we hope to see him and be like him then, we should seek to be like him now.  To me, this makes good sense.  It is where we are going that decides the direction we strike out in.  If this is where I'm going - toward purity, toward Christ - then it makes sense to make today a step in the right direction.

Who I will be defines who I am, much more than who I was ever could.

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