1 Peter 4:7, "The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray."
Peter says, "The end of all things is near..." Peter is not just stating a fact but describing an attitude.
Amazingly, this idea isn't foreign to our culture or times. We hear this message when someone points to global warming, or deforestation, or nuclear weapons, or some phenomenon happening on the sun, or the melting of the polar ice caps, or Ebola, or an increase in natural catastrophes, or some possible future event like a meteor hitting the earth. It is touted from the evening news to the front page of the papers. People are saying, "See! The end is near." And we have our fair share of "Armageddon" type movies coming out every few years to reinforce the thought.
We Christians say the same thing but in a much different tone. For the world the end of all things is "doomsday." For the Christian it is VC Day (Victory in Christ day). We are taught to long for this day. We are taught to pray for this day. We are taught to live for this day.
It's Dead Poet's Society where Robin Williams' character takes his students into a hall in the school where the walls are lined with pictures of students who had passed before and are now gone. He tells them to peer into the faces in the photographs for a while. Then he whispers, "carpe diem." Seize the day. He makes them look into the face of their own mortality and gives the message that those who have gone before would speak if their photos could give voice, "seize the day!"
That's the attitude Peter is talking about. We live with the expectancy of the immanent return of Christ. To wake each day and think, "this is the day!"
But you can't live a carpe diem life of expectancy without living a different kind of life. Recently I read a book called, "One a month To Live." The premise: What if you only had one month to live. What changes would you make in your life? Kerry and Chris Shook's book is subtitled, "Thirty Days to a No-Regrets Life" and encourages readers to face their own mortality and live life to the absolute fullest. Because living a life of expectancy changes your focus. You focus on what is really important. Of all the people's hands I've held who were dying I can tell you from experience the only thing you care about when the end comes is relationships and regrets. Living each day as if it is your last strengthens relationships and eliminates regrets.
Peter says, "The end of all things is near..."
"The Spirit and the bride says, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life" (Revelation 22:17).
Jesus says, "Yes, I am coming soon" (Revelation 22:20).
Now, we just have to live like it.
Prayer: Father, we cry out to You, "come quickly!" We are pilgrims and aliens in this land. We long for the end of all things and our heavenly home. Help us, by Your Holy Spirit, to live, and to love, as if today were the day. In Jesus, amen!
[Adapted from, "Rock Solid: Part 4: Jesus, His Immanent Return." Listen to the full message at: www.arvadachristian.org/sermons]