Purifying Ourselves For Christ’s Return
By Rich Carmicheal
When Jesus died on the Cross for us, He demonstrated the greatest love possible – “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13). He also gave the greatest gift possible – He “...loved the church and gave Himself for her” (Eph. 5:25). He gave Himself and redeemed us with His own precious blood (1 Pet. 1:18-19).
His great sacrifice demonstrates beyond question how much He loves us and desires our redemption and cleansing from sin. He “gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people...” (Titus 2:13-14).
The Day is approaching when He is going to return. On that Day we will see Him who gave His life and His precious blood for us. 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” (1 John 3:2-3).
Are you living a holy and pure life now in anticipation of the Return of Jesus or are you continuing to live in sin? The Apostle John reminds us that Jesus “was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him” (1 John 3:5-6).
A Gift Too Costly to Take Lightly
The sacrifice that Jesus made on the Cross on our behalf is too costly and too precious to be taken lightly. Consider this warning from the writer of Hebrews:
“For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. …How much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?” (Heb. 10:26-29).
What a serious matter it is for a person to sin willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth! Instead of treating Christ with such disrespect, we are to honor and cherish Him and His precious blood. As we look forward to His Return, we are to “be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless” (2 Pet. 3:14). As He who called us is holy, so are we to be holy in all our conduct (1 Pet. 1:15).
Likewise, the Apostle Paul instructs us that “denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of...Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:12-13). Paul also gives this exhortation: “When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them. But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth” (Col. 3:4-8).
Out of honor, love and appreciation for all that Christ has done for us, and in anticipation of the Day that He will return, let us forsake sin and embrace holiness. Not only will we be blessed now and for eternity, but we will also bless the One who gave His precious blood to redeem and purify us.
“…May the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thes. 5:23).
We are thankful for everyone who provides encouragement, prayer and financial support for the Herald ministry. What a privilege it is to serve together with you to encourage others in Christ as we look forward to His glorious Return! We hope to hear from you soon, and invite you to write to this main address:
Herald of His Coming
P.O. Box 279
Seelyville IN 47878 U.S.A.