How To Live In Light Of The End
I Peter 4:7-9
January 9, 2011
INTRODUCTION: If you want to make the best use of "the rest of your life" (4:2), live in the light of the expectant return of Christ. All believers will not agree on the details of the return of Jesus, but most can agree on the demands of the experience. The Bible teaches that we shall stand before God one day. Romans 14:10-23 and II Cor 5:1-21 both give the practical meaning of this.
As Peter pens this letter, remember he was a follower of Christ at His death, saw Him after His resurrection, visited with Him during His 40 days, saw Him ascend from the Mount of Olives, heard angels announce the promise of His return, etc. The whole N.T. emphasizes the expectation of our Lord's return:
Romans 13:12 - "the day is at hand"
Phil. 4:5 - "the Lord is at hand"
James 5:8 - "the coming of the Lord is at hand"
I John 2:18 - "it is the last hour"
Rev. 1:3 - "the time is near"
Rev. 22:20 - "I am coming quickly"
From the time of Jesus' earthly ministry to the present, the question concerning the end of time has been on the lips of men/women. When is the end near? In the early church, Christians expected the return of Christ in their lifetime. During the Reformation, believers thought that the consummation was at hand. And today, because of current international stress and declining moral standards, people frequently raise the question, "When will the end come?"
In the days of I Peter's writings, the church was living in difficult times, much like much of the world outside the U.S.; severe persecution. However, God was using this time to humble the Christians, to harmonize the church, and most of all to honor our Christ.
One of the main motivating factors in the life of the early believers was that they expected Jesus to return in their lifetime.
I. WE SHOULD LIVE EXPECTANTLY. 7
A. DOCTRINAL TRUTH. 7a
"But the end of all things is at hand" - is nea ...
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