“Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” 1John 2:3-4
After recording Christ’s teaching in regards to the signs of his second coming, the apostle Matthew records Jesus’ teaching of the cautionary parable of the 10 virgins.
In this parable ten young women are described as waiting for the coming of the bridegroom to summon and welcome guests to his marriage feast. There’s, however, a delay in making the call and all of the young women fall asleep. This results in all their lamps running low on oil and it’s in regards to this need that the wise are distinguished from the foolish. For the wise have brought extra oil and the foolish have not.
Because of their preparedness, the wise are able to immediately add oil to their lamps and go out to meet the bride groom while the foolish have to go in search of oil.
Finally, after having completed their search, the foolish come to the house of the bridegroom and ask to be let in but the bridegroom refuses them entrance with the words, “I do not know you.”
This parable illustrates the fact that there are actions that we need to take if we’re going to be ready to meet Jesus when he returns. Those that are truly desiring to enter in will be obedient to take those actions and be prepared.
The apostle John, in our focus text, adds his agreement to this assertion. “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.”
Like Matthew, John presents our relationship with God as being the factor of primary importance. And so it is. God has never questioned the sinners desire to live in paradise, walking streets of gold, housed in a mansion of gold, wearing a robe of light, with all our difficulties and cares swept away. But God does question the sincerity of our sinful hearts expressed desire to know him, and to live with him, and to be his child.
So Jesus, through John, tells us that if we want to know him in heaven we need to begin the process of knowing him before we ever get there. We need to begin obeying him now. If can’t begin obeying him now then we can’t say that we know him. We can’t even say that we want to know him.
And what God is looking for in us is a genuine desire to return to what we lost in Eden. A relationship with him. A desire to know him.