1 Peter 4:7, “The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers.”
A popular theme in the past few decades with the most popular fiction and non-fiction books deal with events surrounding the last days. These books display a fascination with trying to figure out the exact sequence of events that will lead to the return of Christ, and some have even sought to predict an exact date or time frame of several years in which the Lord Jesus must come back. Every generation of Christians since the early Church has had to deal with people who have tried to determine the exact time of the Lord Jesus return. The Bible does have much to say about eschatology (the doctrine of the last things), but such teaching isn’t concerned with the exact timing of the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus (Matthew 24:36-44). As 1 Peter 4:7 shows, the New Testament emphasizes the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus to help Christians live proper lives before the face of God in light of eternity.
Peter has already instructed Christians about the judgment of non-Christians and the vindication of the true Christian that will come at the Last Day. In 1 Peter 4:7, he writes of the Last Day- the Consummation of all things- “is at hand.” Peter’s teaching here focuses on the imminent return of the Lord Jesus. It may seem strange to read that the return of the Lord Jesus is imminent since it hasn’t happened yet and here we are in 2018. We must remember that the time in the Lord’s mind is not the same as time to us. To the Lord, a day is as a thousand years (2 Peter 3:8) but to us; a day is 24 hours. It is entirely appropriate for the Lord to tell readers of the Word of God the end is at hand even though we have been waiting over two thousand years. In the light of eternity, John Calvin teaches us, “if we could understand the perpetuity of future life, many ages would appear to us like a moment.”
Whether the Lord’s return is today, tomorrow, or a thousand years from now, from the Lord’s perspective, the return of Christ is imminent. As Christians, we must live in light of the new world that will soon arrive. Christians are to live sober and self-controlled lives for the sake of their prayers (1 Peter 4:7). Instead, of dating the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus, Christians should be praying that we might see it come (Revelation 22:20).
Today it’s vital as we wrap up this devotional to ask three questions. First, “How are you living in light of the return of the Lord Jesus?” Second, “Are you obsessed with trying to figure out the exact timing of the Lord Jesus?” Lastly, “How are you doing at praying and working in light of eternity for the glory of God?”
There is much work to be done before the Lord Jesus returns. 1 Peter 4:7 instructs Christians they must be praying. The Kingdom of God is not only future it is present and today if you are a Christian you are a member of the royal priest of the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus. Please take time today to pray about your part in witnessing and then go out in the empowerment of the Holy Spirit to share the glory of Christ with others. Each day is a new day but keep in mind also that each day is a fresh opportunity to share Christ and to live in light of eternity and with eagerness and sobriety of mind.