Listen to this Sermon: 07222012FirstPe4.7-11DonRuhl

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The End Is Coming! What Shall We Do?

If you knew that in one week the Lord would end all things, what would you do?

First Peter 4.7–11

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • July 22, In the year of our Lord, 2012

Scripture Reader and Reading: Kadin Lopez – First Peter 4.1–6

Prelude

  1. If you knew 
    1. that in one week the Lord would end all things,
    2. what would you do?
  2. We do not know when the Lord shall end all things, but 
    1. we do know that He shall end all things.
    2. Are you prepared for that greatest of all events in your life?
      1. Someday all of us will experience either death or the return of Jesus Christ,
      2. either of which will throw us into eternity.
        1. Your eternity depends upon your life now.
        2. How does the Holy Spirit say we should prepare for that event?

Persuasion

  1. First Peter 4.7 – What Shall We Do? Be Serious and Pray

    7 But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious[,] and watchful in your prayers (1Pe 4.7).

    1. “But,” indicating Peter continued a previous thought.
      1. In verse 5, Peter said that God is ready to judge the living and the dead.
      2. That being the case, the end of all things is at hand,
        1. not just the end of Judaism and the temple, or something else, but
        2. the end of all that we know of this life.
          1. Since 1900 years have passed,
          2. some people get the idea that the end shall never happen,
            1. even in the first century after a few years had past,
            2. Christians started to argue that the end was not coming.
              1. Hence Peter wrote Second Peter 3 to refute that thinking,
              2. teaching that God’s delay is our opportunity to repent.
    2. God never set a date to end all things, or
      1. at least He never revealed that date to us.
      2. Therefore, what Peter said here still applies, and
        1. we should be grateful for the apparent delay
          1. rather than scoffing, or
          2. rather than thinking we can live in sin.
        2. God knows what He shall do at the Judgment to most people, and
          1. He does not want something horrible for His children.
          2. Therefore, listen to what Peter wrote.
    3. The end of all things is at hand means
      1. that little else has to happen for
        1. the end to arrive and
        2. the Judgment to happen, and
      2. things that Paul said had to happen first,
        1. have already happened,
        2. so there is nothing holding God back,
          1. unless it be that He is waiting for the very last person to repent, and
          2. then when that has happened He ends all things.
            1. From God’s vantage everything is in place.
            2. From our vantage everything is not.
    4. Therefore be serious and be watchful in your prayers.
      1. We need to have a mindset that prepares us to face God at the Judgment.
        1. Yes, we can enjoy life, but
        2. consider what Solomon said to a young man that applies to everyone,

          11.9 Rejoice, O young man, in your youth,
          And let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth;
          Walk in the ways of your heart,
          And in the sight of your eyes;
          But know that for all these
          God will bring you into judgment.
          10 Therefore remove sorrow from your heart,
          And put away evil from your flesh,
          For childhood and youth are vanity.
          12.1 Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth…
          (Ecc 11.9–12.1a)

      2. We should also be watchful in prayers.
        1. Before you leave home to visit relatives in a far away place,
          1. you speak with them about various matters.
          2. Making sure they are prepared for your visit and so on.
        2. When God ends all things,
          1. we will leave this home and visit our Father in a far away place, and
          2. we need to make sure that He is expecting us by praying.
  2. First Peter 4.8–10 – What Shall We Do? Love, Host, Minister

    8 And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.” 9 Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. 10 As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God (1Pe 4.8–10).

    1. Let us be serious, let us pray, and let us love one another, for
      1. love tops all things.
        1. Can you name something that surpasses love?
        2. Jesus declared
          1. that loving God is the first commandment and
          2. that loving your neighbor is the second commandment, and
            1. all of God’s word hangs upon those two commandments.
            2. I do not know of another way to show the superiority of love.
        3. Can you remember everything the Bible teaches?
          1. Can you remember every command of Jesus Christ?
          2. Does that mean you shall fail?
            1. No, because if you love
              1. you shall do the right thing, and
              2. you shall not do the wrong thing.
            2. Love fulfills everything God wants us to do toward one another.
      2. However, let love for one another be fervent.
        1. Remember what Peter said in 1.22,

          22 Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth…in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart (1Pe 1.22).

        2. How do we love one another fervently?
          1. How does a new mother love her newborn fervently?
          2. How does a newlywed couple love one another fervently?
        3. Answer those questions and you will know what fervent love is.
      3. Then Peter stated why we need to love one another fervently
        1. with the coming Judgment in mind, because
        2. love covers a multitude of sins.
          1. Peter quoted Proverbs 10.12, which says in its entirety,

            12 Hatred stirs up strife,
            But love covers all sins.
            (Pro 10.12)

            1. We do not want to meet God
              1. having stirred up strife, but
              2. having turned from sinning against people.
            2. Love will keep you from sinning.
          2. Consider another thing King Solomon said,

            9 He who covers a transgression seeks love,
            But he who repeats a matter separates friends.
            (Pro 17.9)

    2. Be hospitable to one another without grumbling.
      1. Hospitality seems to be going the way of the dinosaurs, but
        1. only among us, not in God’s mind,
        2. that is why Peter brings it up in a context of the Judgment.
      2. If you cannot show it in your own home,
        1. show it here by greeting our visitors, or
        2. help other families who want to be hospitable,
          1. suppling food or money.
      3. However, do not nullify your good work by grumbling about it,

        14 Do all things without complaining and disputing (Phi 2.14).

    3. God has given everyone the ability to do something.
      1. The Holy Spirit says use it to minister to one another, because
      2. that makes us good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
        1. God’s grace comes to us in varied ways,
        2. do not let it go to waste in your life, for
          1. when you get to the Judgment,
          2. God will require an accounting, and
            1. what will you say to Him
            2. for not using what He gave you?
              1. Jesus showed a man who did not use His ability, and
              2. after offering an excuse,
                1. the Lord called the man wicked and lazy, and did this,

                  30 “And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matt 25.30).

                2. Therefore, whatever it is that you can do, do it.
  3. First Peter 4.11 – What Shall We Do? Third: Glorify God

    11 If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen (1Pe 4.11).

    1. If you can speak, speak as the oracles of God.
      1. Speaks as the Bible speaks.
      2. Truly, speak the Bible.

        2 “Thus says the LORD: ‘Stand in the court of the LORD’s house, and speak to all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the LORD’s house, all the words that I command you to speak to them. Do not diminish a word’” (Jer 26.2).

    2. Ministering with the ability that God gives to you prepares you for judgment.
      1. Why should we use our abilities?
      2. Peter said so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.
        1. Will that help us in the Day of Judgment?
        2. Peter said at the end of verse 11
          1. that to Jesus belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever.
          2. If we have lived our lives to promote that truth,
            1. do you think that will help us in the Judgment?
            2. God loves His Son, and
              1. if you show that you love His Son
              2. by doing all things for His glory,
                1. the Father will favor you in the Judgment.
    3. The Scripture urges us constantly to glorify God,

      16 “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matt 5.16).

      27 …to God, alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen (Rom 16.27).

      31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God (1Co 10.31).

      18b To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen! (2Ti 4.18b).

      18 …grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen (2Pe 3.18).

      25 To God our Savior,
      Who alone is wise,
      Be glory and majesty,
      Dominion and power,
      Both now and forever.
      Amen.
      (Jude 25)

Exhortation

  1. Peter gave direction to Christians. 
  2. What would, or did, Peter say to those not Christians? 
    1. The most well-known case you can read in Acts 2,
    2. after the people whom he convicted of killing the Christ cried out to him,
      1. Luke shows us what happened,

        38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” 40 And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.” 41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them (Acts 2.38–41).

        1. You did not kill the Son of God, but
        2. have you not committed other things of which you are ashamed?
          1. God knows about those things, but
          2. He still wants to forgive you of those things, and
            1. He wants to bring you into His family, because
            2. He loves you dearly.
  3. Why then hold yourself back? 
    1. Do you want to do something about it today?
    2. Are you confused?
      1. I, or someone else here, would be glad to sit down and
      2. sort things out for you, because
        1. we want you to know what God wants you to do.