1 John 2:28
And now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming.
The Greek word in this verse, parousia, indicates His coming, and it means His presence. Thus “His coming” could be translated as His presence. The idea is that when He comes and appears to us we will be standing in His presence.
Here John encourages his readers to abide (or trust) in Christ, so that when He comes to us and appears to us (and we see Him), we will have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame.
Now some may think that the idea here is that we ought to be always beefing up our trust in Him and good works, and to be always confessing our sins (in fear) so that we will have nothing to be ashamed about when He comes. I used to think that way, but I no longer do. Rather, I think the correct teaching here is that if we have trusted in Him and are now continuing to trust Him—which is the evidence of a true Christian and what is termed here as “abiding in Him”—we will have confidence to face Him; that is, a freedom to face Him and talk to Him in love, because He has forgiven our sins and cleansed us.
In this verse I think John is telling these “little children” to be sure of their salvation; hence, when he said “abide in Him,” he was telling them to put their roots down deep into Christ in order to be sure of their salvation. And if we are abiding in Him this way, He makes us new creatures, creatures of confidence and without shame, because of the fact that our sins are paid for and forgiven at the cross, praise God! We don’t have to worry about what we will do or say when He comes and appears to us. If we are truly saved (abiding in Him) we will not be ashamed or fear Him. No. We will be glad to see Him.