I was raised by very strict parents and most often than not, my brothers and I always felt apprehensive when the clock ticked towards their return from work. We would check and double-check that everything was in place and that we had removed every trace of things we had taken liberty to do while they were away. In spite of every preparation and thought, it usually took less than 5 minutes from the time of their arrival to reveal most of what happened in their absence.

As a parent, I have learnt certain traits in my children which helps me deduce if they have done something wrong and anticipating my response to their actions. For example, when I ask them if they have done something I told them not to do, I could tell by their expression, even before they open their mouths what the answer is.

There are many Christians today who have some element of fear about the coming of Christ. They think they have not done enough and don’t feel confident enough to expect the commendation, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.” (Matthew 25:21)

To such Christians, God has this encouragement; “And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming. “ (1 John 2:28)

When Jesus died for us on the cross, He knew He was dying for imperfect, broken and sin-infested man. This was why He did not just pay the price and leave us with, “There, that’s the price for your redemption paid. Its left for you to find your way”. Instead, He told the disciples before going away, “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever- the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.” (John 14:18) He also promised to send the Holy Spirit.

When John gives the encouragement for us to be confident at the return of Christ, He also tell us what we need to do in that one verse. He says, “..abide in Him”. The key to being bold and confident when Christ returns - it could be tomorrow, next year or even after we have left this world, is to abide in Him.

What does it mean to abide? To abide means to connect and keep the connection open. When you switch on your computer, you can work on that computer with all the software installed on it but for you to access the internet, you will need a connection. If you attempt to execute any software that is dependent on the internet, it won’t run or will at best give you notice that you are not connected to the internet. When a connection keeps dropping, it can be very frustrating to the user and not much can be done.

This is why the Lord Jesus Himself instructed us, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me” (John 15:4) Using the internet analogy, “connect to me and keep the connection open. If you are not connected to me, you cannot do anything”.

How do we abide in Him? First, if you are not a Christian - by this, I am not referring to someone who attends Church. I mean if you have acknowledged your sinful state, confessed them and received Jesus Christ into your life as Lord and Saviour, then you have connected. This connection however has to remain on always. This is achieved by constant reading and meditating on the scriptures and practicing what we read.

Apart from the above, we also need the enabling power of the Holy Spirit whom Jesus promised us, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. (John 14:26)

As long as we are constantly and consistently connected to our source - the Lord Jesus Christ, we can be confident of His coming.

That is the confidence that prays, “Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!” (Rev 2:20)