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Institute in Basic Life Principles

Command 41 : Await My Return | Day 284

Embrace the Purifying Hope!

After peering through the front window, the father shouted orders to his family: "Quick! Dust off the Bible, straighten things up, and turn off the TV!" The unprepared family hurriedly dashed around as the pastor walked up to their house and rang the doorbell. If the condition of our homes when an unexpected visitor arrives can cause such embarrassment, how much more concerned should we be about the condition of our lives in light of Christ's imminent return!

“... When he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure” (I John 3:2-3).

One of the primary purposes of Christ's command to await His return is the purification of our lives. John presents the need for this purifying hope: “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law” (I John 3:4). In this verse, the word *committeth* is a present participle, which denotes a continuous or repeated action.

The verses that follow give us the key to purification: “... He [Jesus] was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him” (I John 3:5-6). Jesus explained that “if ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you” (John 15:7). Christ's words include His commands, which are foundational to the cleansing of the believer. (See John 15:3.)

Peter concluded his second epistle with an appeal to use the return of Christ as a motivation for Godly living. "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, and the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

"Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation [behavior] and godliness? ... Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless” (II Peter 3:10-11, 13-14).

Purity of soul comes by obeying the Word of God and should result in love for others. (See I Peter 1:22.)

Are there things in our lives that we know we need to be cleansed from? Would the condition of our lives cause us embarrassment and sorrow if Jesus were to return today? Let's embrace the purifying hope, looking for the “... glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works” (Titus 2:13-14).

“Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh” (Matthew 24:42-44).

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Contributing writer: Bill Gothard