John tells us in his first epistle that a lively awareness of The Lord’s soon appearance will cause us to walk in purity (1 John 3:3). A careful reading of the New Testament leaves us with an undeniable fact that they believed The Lord could come at any moment. Paul said to the church in Rome, “…the day is at hand.” (Romans 13:12) Peter wrote to the dispersed saints, who were experiencing great persecution, that The Lord was at hand (1 Peter 4:7). John wrote The Revelation from the island of Patmos, a message of the culmination of all things, of which he said that “the time is at hand.” (Revelation 1:3; 22:10)
The fact that The Lord was “at hand” was a doctrine meant to urge the saints to live with a holy expectancy of Christ’s return at any moment, coupled with a holy desire to walk in purity (2 Corinthians 7:1). And that is still true today. Of course, the very nature of the new birth is that we are changed people (2 Corinthians 5:17), and we are seeking to walk in Christ’s footsteps (1 John 2:6). As we study First John, we are being challenged to know what we believe and what that belief looks like in daily life. Paul likened the Christian life to taking off old, rotten clothes of the flesh and putting on fresh garments of The Spirit (Colossians 3:5-10). This transformation is done by The Spirit of God (2 Corinthians 3:18) as we yield our lives to His truth (Romans 6:11-13).
But John talks about Christ’s return and not being ashamed when it takes place (1 John 2:28). How might believing this blessed truth affect our daily way of living? It most certainly will cause us to examine our priorities in life (Matthew 6:24, 33). It will most certainly cause us to examine the motives behind what we are doing in the Name of The Lord (Revelation 2:4). God’s will for each and every one of His children is that we have hearts that are set apart for Christ and ready to share the hope we have in Him (1 Peter 3:15).
Bible prophecy is one of the most amazing studies in all of Scripture because God has already told us what is going to happen in the last days. Knowing that we are closer to Christ’s return than any other era of the Church ought to inspire us more to abide in Him (1 John 2:28; John 15:1-7) and walk in holiness (Titus 2:11-14).