1 John 3:2b
2b But we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
Referring to Jesus’ return, John says that “when he shall appear, we shall be like him”. “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation” (Hebrews 9:28). Jesus shall appear again for His people, in order to take them to Himself.
Paul described Christ’s appearing in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 thus – “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
It is revealed to us that at Christ’s appearing, we shall be made like Him because we shall see Him as He is. Philippians 3:21 declares that the Lord Jesus Christ “shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.” 2 Corinthians 3:18 also reveals how glorious we shall be at His coming – “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
According to 1 Corinthians 15:49, “As we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.” Our body that is like unto Adam, who was made from the dust of the earth, shall be changed to bear the image of the heavenly, even Christ. Even though we die, we shall rise at His coming and put on a new celestial body. Concerning our resurrection body, Paul wrote that “It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: it is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: it is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body” (1 Corinthians 15:42-44).
To be like Christ in character and appearance is our grandest hope. As we live, toil and endure our trials on earth, we cherish a supreme hope that we shall be like the glorified Son of God, sharing His image and honour. We shall delight in the appearance of our glorious Saviour.