The End is Near!

Two thousand years ago Peter wrote, “The end of all things is near” (1 Peter 4.7).

If the end was near in the first century, consider how much nearer it is in the 21st century.

I have never had a lot of interest in predicting the second coming of Christ. I believe that if we take Jesus’ words to heart, then we will be ready no matter when or what happens.

Jesus said this about the end, “But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven nor the Son, but only the Father.

“Beware, keep alert, for you do not know when the time will come” (Mark 13.32-33).

What can we do?

Since we don’t know the Lord’s timing, what can we do to “keep alert” and ready for his coming?

According to Peter, this is why we should “be serious and discipline yourselves for the sake of your prayers” (1 Peter 4.7b).

The two words “be serious and discipline yourselves” can be combined to indicate a sober approach to life. The end of all things necessitates a self-controlled and right-minded lifestyle.

Prayer is central to Peter’s message.

He counseled husbands to treat their wives with loving care “so that nothing may hinder your prayers” (1 Peter 3.7).

He encouraged his audience toward right living because God’s “ears are open to their prayer” (1 Peter 3.12), that is to the prayers of the righteous.

I can’t think of a better way to follow Jesus’ direction to “stay alert” than by keeping a continual conversation with Jesus.

Loving Service

Jesus made love for one another very clear in his teaching and behavior.

He told his followers, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13.35).

As we “stay alert,” love for others will be incorporated into our daily behavior.

Above all, maintain constant love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4.8).

“Constant love” is fervent and does not stop. It is willing to be stretched to care when we are tired or annoyed by its recipients.

“Constant love” is “hospitable to one another without complaining” (1 Peter 4.9).

One of my friends described performing a loving act for a stranger as “digging in his heels and being dragged along by God like a petulant child.”

The kind of love that keeps us alert to the coming of the Lord is willing to show hospitality when stretched, annoyed, and tempted to complain.


What is the motive for the kind of love that Peter writes about? Peter’s logic for such love is as follows.

(1) We are stewards.

Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received (1 Peter 4.10).

God’s grace toward us is not our personal possession. Like stewards, we are a conduit of his grace.

God’s grace flows to us, but must also flow through us to other people.

(2) God makes fervent, committed, and non-complaining love possible.

Whoever speaks must do so as one speaking the very words of God; whoever serves must do so with the strength that God supplies, so that God may be glorified in all things through Jesus Christ.

To him belong the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 4.11)

God gives us the words and ability to be a conduit of his love. When we live in this fashion, God will be glorified through our attitudes and actions.

The End is Near

The end is nearer than when Peter wrote 2000 years ago. Jesus instructs us to “stay alert” at all times.

Peter gives us two excellent ways to stay alert.

Continual prayer of people who are aligned with God’s plans and purposes is crucial to actively await Jesus’ return.

Fervent, caring, and non-complaining love is the other component of being ready for the end.

YouTube Video

Rudy Ross and I discuss this passage on YouTube today. It can be found on the Bob Spradling channel.

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