I Corinthians 15:50-58 “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”
Text I John 3:3 “And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.”
The subject of which Paul and John are speaking is the second coming. The major difference is Paul speaks of the rewards of His coming and John speaks of the response to His coming. With respect to the second coming; “Is it fact or is it fiction?” The problem is: with our lips we declare it fact while our lives declare it fiction. John points out that the anticipation and confidence of His coming is revealed in our attitude toward sin. John speaks of two responses. There is effectual sanctification, “purifieth himself.” The word “purifieth” means to make clean or to sanctify. Convinced that Christ could come at any moment, the believer makes choices that lead them away from the pitfalls of sin. When found in the presence of sin, the believer flees to the Father and openly confesses any involvement, seeking forgiveness and cleansing! The believer’s motivation is that “we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming” (I John 2:28). Secondly, there is an elevated standard, “even as he is pure.” The standard the believer desires to attain is not that of the saints, but the Saviour! Saul of Tarsus met all the religious standards of the Pharisees (see Phil. 3:4-6), but Jesus said, “except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:20). Speaking to young Timothy, Paul said, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier” (II Tim. 2:4). It’s all about pleasing Him! The Second Coming, is it fact or fiction?