When I made the previous post, I intended making this one a couple days later…well life took a sudden turn for the busy and I have been delayed in doing the follow-up. In many ways my active mind has moved on from this thought and there are other things I feel like I should post, but since I somewhat promised a sequel to “Now and Then” I might as well deliver. Besides, it’s been good to review this thought.
So in the last post I shared one applicational thought from 1 John 2:28-3:9, namely that we should live now as we shall live then. The second thought is similar in that it deals with this idea of “the end” (which is appropriate in lieu of another Harold Camping debacle). It differs slightly from the last thought simply because it’s a little more theological.
First, read the passage as I have it linked in the previous paragraph. It’s in the New King James Version. John mentions “appear” or “reveal” or “manifest” 4 times throughout that passage. They are all basically saying the same thing. One day Christ will appear or be “revealed.” This struck me since we often talk of His coming as simply a coming. He is away now, but He will return. We hardly look at it as a “revealing.”
By way of exegesis, there are 2 “revealings” or revelations in this passage: a future revelation and a past one. The future revealing is two-fold. Obviously it deals with Christ. “When He appears” in v.28 and again in v.2. Can you picture the day when Christ is revealed to the world? No longer will a veil lay on the hearts of men. Christ will come galloping through the skies and all will see, believers, doubters, and non-believers alike. Those expecting it will rejoice and those surprised by it will weep.
But there’s a second aspect to this future revelation, which deals with the revealing of the Church (v.2-3). Now we believers look like anyone else, we can easily blend into the crowd. Yet when Christ appears, we too will appear just like Him. Not only will the hidden King come forth, but so will His hidden kingdom burst out in full radiance. As we await this day we are purified with hope.
Aside from these future revelations, there was a past “revealing” of Christ as noted in v. 8. This was His first coming, as recorded in the Gospels. This manifestation accomplished the defeat of Satan. This defeat has present ramifications since we who are His are no longer under the power and enslavement of sin. We have been liberated and we have nothing to fear.
And there you go! A couple weeks later I finally finish the thought. I guess the application would be to continue longing for His appearing, but until then live in the freedom of the Christian life.