“And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming. If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him. 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. Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother. For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous. Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us. Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.” (1 John 2:28–4:6, ESV)
The child of God will not have to shrink in fear at the appearing of Christ. Jesus righteousness is the confidence that we have God's favor and will not come under condemnation. God's love is so lavish that he goes so far as to make us family. The world does not recognize those that belong to Jesus nor do they know believers. We may not know exactly what we will be like when Jesus appears but we know that we will be like him. Jesus is the first fruits of resurrection life and the guarantee of the resurrection life that we as believers will enjoy. We will see Jesus and be presented as pure to the Father through Jesus' finished work. If one's life makes a regular practice of sin, it is indicative of lawlessness. Jesus came to take away sin, and if one abides in Jesus, they will not continue in sin. We must not be deceived. Belief must align with behavior as the evidence of grace at work in our lives. The devil has been sinning from the beginning, but Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil. Our love for one another will demonstrate that we belong to Jesus and not to Cain. Our love must be genuine and cannot simply be empty words that never show themselves in deeds toward one's fellow man. Love is not optional; it is a command. Obedience, belief, and love will be the evidence that gives confidence that one belongs to God.
Just because someone preaches, writes books, or hosts a show does not mean that they are teaching truth. These things must be tested against the truth of God's word. The apostolic witness about the person and work of Jesus has to be affirmed or the teaching presented is false and John does not mince words over the reality that there are false prophets in the world. The believers that John writes to have overcome some of these false teachers because they have measured these teachings against the tests of belief, morality, and love. Also, the Holy Spirit guides them into truth and exposes the error of the false teachers.