As this is being written, we are in the midst of a wonderful series of revival meetings with local preachers Vicki Braun, Josh Lindsey and Dennis Ivey. May the Lord bless our congregation, our city, county, state and America with a mighty revival!
The Sunset pastor on Sunday continued our series in “First Peter—Trials, Pilgrimage, Courage and Hope” with a message, “The End Is Near.” The text was from 1 Peter 4:7: “The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray.”
The pastor made three points: (1) The End Is Near; (2) Therefore Pray; (3) Therefore Bless Each Other.
(1) The End Is Near. V7: “The end of all things is near.” It’s been nearly 2,000 years since Peter wrote this, and the end hasn’t yet come, so what could Peter have meant?
God does not reckon time as we do. In 2 Peter 3:3ff: “In the last days scoffers will come…. They will say, ‘Where is this “coming” he promised? …But do not forget this one thing… With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.’”
God lives in eternity—apart from time. He created time for our benefit. God works in the world not so much in terms of days, months and years but in terms of fulfilled purpose. It was his purpose to create the universe, to create a nation from father Abraham, to give the law to Moses, and to bring Jesus into the world in the first Advent—all 100s or 1000s of years apart.
The next big event on God’s agenda is the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. So Peter says, “The end of all things is near.” It is next—and it is near.
(2) Therefore Pray. In v7: “Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray.” In these last days it’s important that God’s people continue to pray and not give up. But in these days things will get mixed up, confused, muddied and muddled. Jesus said, “The love of most will grow cold.”
It will not be readily evident to all how we should pray, and what we should pray for. So Peter says “Be clear minded and self-controlled.” What does he mean?
He means that we should be aware and alert. So watch some news as a prayer prompter. You don’t have to be a news addict, but Christians should have some understanding of what’s happening in the world so that they can pray.
We have an important election coming in 37 days. Christians should know how to think about it, and what to do. Clarity comes when we feed on God’s word and will; apart from his wisdom, we’re apt to think and do anything.
Second, be in control of your faculties. Don’t waste your time or your mind on frivolous activities whereby you lose control of yourself.
(3) Therefore Bless each Other. The key phrases in vss8-11: “each other,” “each one,” and “one another.”
As the end draws near, God wants his people to be unified and supported by Him through the ministries of the body to itself. He says, V8: “Love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” Forgive, forget, and be one in the Spirit.
In V9: “Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.” Many First Century and modern-day Christians worshiped in house churches. Receive itinerant preachers and prophets. Assist them in their journeys.
V10: “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others….” The gifts of God for the people of God should be used to serve one other.
Don’t bury your gift, but use it “that in all things God may be praised.”
Our Sunset Music Director Jerry Hinson sang a beautiful special on Sunday, “Now I Have Everything (in Jesus).”
“Return to us, O God Almighty! Look down from heaven and see!… Then we will not turn away from you; revive us, and we will call on your name.” [Psalm 80:14, 18]
May your spirit be revived this week as you honor, love and serve Him—our prayer for you from your friends at Sunset Christian Church.