The End Is Near
The nearness of Jesus' soon return should be the most important news that people could ever want to hear. But unfortunately, even Christians get scared of the uncertainty of what can happen when the world is falling apart. The Bible is chock-full of relevant scripture of how the history of the world will come to a close. Instead of echoing others, the Apostle Peter seems to give some counsel on how a Christian should behave as time ends. In 1 Peter 4:7, Peter emphatically tells us that the world, as we know it, is definitely coming to an end. As a result of that, he has some counsels for us as Christians living in the last days. The first thing that Peter wants us to be sure to do is to keep it together. He says, "...Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray." It seems that to Peter, our ability to stay connected to God in prayer is dependent upon our ability to remain calm and clear of mind. Next, Peter tells us to, "Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins." Not only does he believe that we should love above all things but connects it to our ability to forgive others and to admit our faults. This is super important for the people of God that are on the brink of the end because love will be something that people will not have as the day comes near. Peter then tells us in verse 9 that hospitality is paramount in the last days. The word that he used for hospitality implies that we should open our resources up to people that we don't know and may look or act totally different from us. This reminds me of the last parable in Matthew 25, where Jesus prevents a whole group of people from entering heaven because they are not hospitable to the less fortunate. Finally, Peter tells us to use our gifts to glorify God so that as people see us, they will see God and come to him through our actions. The end is near friends. What will you do? How will you react to the closing of earth's history?
Someone asked Martin Luther what he would do if the world were to end today. He replied that he would plant a tree and pay his taxes*. What Luther was trying to say is that he lived every day as if it was his last; and that he would be the same person no matter what happened. Are we living what Peter says every day? If not, I don't think anything will change in you when the end really does come.
*Schreiner, T. R. (2003). 1, 2 Peter, Jude (Vol. 37, p. 211). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.
** All scriptures come from the NIV.