1 John 2:28-29
And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence…
The term "little children" is a term of endearment. John was a man of love, those who loved Christ he loved dearly. "And now, little children," or better, my little children. The good have a property in the good. The words imply three things —
I. AN ACTUAL EXISTENCE IN CHRIST. You cannot "abide" in Him unless you are actually in Him. What is it to be in Christ? To be in His school as His disciple, in His family as His brethren, in His character as His imitators. Spiritually, all men live more or less in the character of others. The existing generation lives in the character of its predecessor, loving children live in the character of their parents. To live in His character, actuated in all things by His Spirit, guided in all things by His principles, is the highest state of existence for man.
II. THE POSSIBILITY OF LOSING THIS STATE OF EXISTENCE. If not, why should we be exhorted to "abide"? First, the constitutional freedom of the soul implies the possibility. Secondly, the corrupting influences of society are hostile to this state of existence. Thirdly, the exhortations of Scripture imply the danger of its decay. "Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." "Be steadfast," etc.
III. The NECESSITY FOR CONTINUING IN THIS STATE OF EXISTENCE. "When He shall appear we may have confidence, and not be ashamed at His coming." Or, according to the New Version, "that if He shall be manifested we may have boldness, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming." The idea is that a continuance of this high state of existence, this life in Christ will enable you to meet Him with unabashed confidence. Sooner or later He will come to all. He comes to all at death.
(D. Thomas, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.