I John 2
I John 2:2:
2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.
I John 2:19:
They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.
I John 2:28:
And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming.
To live without regard for the return of Christ is a dangerous error. The return of Christ forms the foundation of the fifth test John gives us in 1 John to help us know whether we have eternal life: How do we relate to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ? John makes it abundantly clear that those who have eternal life, those who truly have believed in Christ for salvation, are those who are prepared for His return and who are living in the light of His return.
We see in verse 28 of 1 John 2 that when He appears, there will be two options of what will occur for people. Those who know Christ and have eternal life will face that day with confidence based on our relationship with Christ. But other people who do not know Him will be put to shame as they fall under His wrath.
This is the test. The key differentiator, between those who have confidence when Christ comes and those who are put to shame away from His grace and mercy, is that those with confidence abide in Him. We are commanded to abide in Christ, and this is how we prepare for the return of Christ.
John follows up with this command by giving three traits of the people of God who are abiding in Christ.
The first characteristic of those abiding in Christ is that they are pursuing righteousness.
Those who belong to Christ, those who have been born of God, those who genuinely hope for the return of Christ, pursue righteousness. This Greek verb in the present tense indicates that something is in process; those abiding in Christ are in the process of doing what is righteous – or being sanctified, which is the process of becoming more holy, becoming more like Christ, or growing in righteousness. So if we are those who are in the process of doing righteousness, that means we are growing more righteous and obedient to Christ.
The second trait of those who are abiding in Christ and prepared for His coming is that they are rejecting rebellion.
No one can serve two masters. We will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. We cannot serve righteousness and rebellion at the same time. And those who are abiding in Christ are characterized as rejecting rebellion against God. We are either growing in obedience or growing in disobedience; no one is standing still (although some may move slower than others).
The third trait of those abiding in Christ is that they are resisting deceivers.
The world hates God’s truth. Deceivers claim that individuals can have Christ and they can have sin at the same time. They argue that sin is not really that big of a deal, or that people can abide in Christ and abide in sin simultaneously. We are not supposed to let anyone deceive us in this manner. Those who practice sin are of the devil. We resist deceivers by remembering this simple truth: Christ abides in those who abide in Him. And this means that it is impossible that we should be in the process of rebelling against Him and joining hands with the devil. The one who practices righteousness is righteous.
--Rob Brunansky; The Cripplegate; How to Prepare for the End of the World 9.21.23