See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure. (ESV – emphasis mine)
Man, that is powerful! Why will we be transformed to be like Christ? Because we will see him as he IS! In his majesty and glory and greatness and power! The thing about that is that the same is true of every person RIGHT NOW! If we were to see God for who he is, we would be instantly and truly transformed. And the more we seek after him – to know him better and more deeply, the more we will be transformed.
A Bible study leader last night referenced a similar passage in 1 Corinthians 3:18:
And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. (ESV)
Again, transformation comes directly from seeing God! Breathtaking.
Unfortunately, there is a flip side to the absolute glory in this truth, and that is that upon entering into his presence, which according to the biblical record, everyone will at death, EVERY knee will bow and EVERY tongue will confess Jesus as Lord. The devastatingly tragic part is that it will not be until then that those who did not follow him in this lifetime will recognize Jesus as Lord of all, but also that they chose to ignore that fact on Earth, making them enemies of the Omnipotent. That is sobering, scary even. And if you’re reading this and in that position, I beg of you to consider Jesus, the Savior.