Checking Up Before Checking Out – Dr. Tim Hill
1 John 3:2-3 … “Beloved, now we are the children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”
The importance of maintenance on a car isn’t fully appreciated until you are right in the middle a long trip and suddenly that little irritating rattle becomes a loud knock. Oil begins to pour, water is going everywhere, and steam is rising from the radiator. Too many delinquent lessons have been learned from people who have put off doctor visits or blood pressure checks. None of us like the cost that comes with maintenance. A good amount of money can be spent before you know it when going in to only have a check-up. But how insignificant that cost is if it saves you thousands over time. Here in 1 John 3, the beloved disciple seems to be urging the people of his letter to have a spiritual check-up. Let’s quickly take a look at two or three things that John makes obvious before we look at the checklist he gives them:
- He is talking to believers: “Beloved, now we are the children of God.” None here today have served God so long that you don’t need this message.
- He is certain of the appearance of Jesus Christ: “When He is revealed, we shall be like him.” He did not say, “If He shall appear, but when.”
- He tells us that as believers looking for the appearing of Christ, we will accept the call to remain pure. He uses the words “purifies himself.” He is literally saying that we will permit ourselves to be placed in a position to become pure every day. None of us here today were able to save ourselves. None of us were able to do such a work in our own lives that we are able to boast of our own purity. But we made ourselves available to the grace of God and continue to do so on a daily basis as we walk in fellowship with Him. Notice also the timing involved in this need for purity. Certainly at all times we should live holy before God in love. But John seems to imply that there are times when the coming of the Lord is so obviously near that we will want to do everything within us to make sure we are ready for His coming.
In the story of the ten virgins, when did they trim their lamps? When they knew that at any moment the bridegroom would appear. Jesus is soon coming and too many are living as if they do not expect Him. John gives us a checklist in the third chapter:
- Where do we stand in relationship to sin? (1 John 3:4-9).
- Where do we stand in relationship with our brother? (1 John 3:11-17).
- Where do we stand in our prayer life? (1 John 3:22).
Without doubt, Jesus is coming again soon. Don’t become so occupied with this world and its distractions that you fail to maintain the basics of good Christian living. Check-up before it is too late!