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The End of All Things Is Near

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Since the end of all things is very near, we should live our lives according to God's Word and God's will.

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Introduction

Good evening and welcome back!
I hope that everyone had a good afternoon and maybe even were able to get a nap in today.
Tonight we are going to continue our study in 1 Peter, moving forward to .
I will be focusing in just a moment on , if you would like to start turning to it in your Bibles.
Continuing the theme from this morning’s message, Peter is going to pretty much call us out in chapter 4.
He has established that Christ is sufficient for the salvation of us all and that if we want to enjoy eternal life, which I would assume everyone here tonight wants, we must accept Jesus Christ.
We must accept the gift of salvation that Jesus is offering.
And while I do not like to make assumptions, I would assume that most of you here, who have come by your own will have chose to accept Jesus Christ as Savior.
And if you are here and you have not, then tonight I would invite you to make that choice.
There is no shame in admitting that you need God’s forgiveness - We’ve all be there.
The same is when we refuse the offer that God his giving us.
But for those of you who have chosen Jesus and chosen salvation through Jesus, then Peter also has a message for you.
Accepting Jesus as Savior is one thing, but living for Jesus as LORD is something entirely different, which is where we are going to pick up tonight.
Peter is going to invite us into a relationship with God, with Jesus not only being our Savior, but our Lord as well.
So, if you have found in your Bible, I’d invite you stand with me.
Again, we will be reading from . . .

Scripture Focus

1 Peter 4:1–7 NIV - Anglicised
1 Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. 2 As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. 3 For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. 4 They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you. 5 But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6 For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to men in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit. 7 The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray.

Having a Right Attitude

Now, I had a hard time finding a stopping point in this passage because the whole thing is full of good information.
And while we do not have time to cover it all in one service, I would invite you to take some time and read through this entire chapter because if you have not read in 1 Peter much, this may change your attitude on some things.
However, in our passage for the night, Peter continues with the thought we left with this morning.
This morning we focused on Jesus Christ as Savior and our need to accept and follow Jesus.
We ended this morning talking about the fact that Jesus has been given all authority and that Jesus is returning one day for His Church and how we had better be ready for His coming.
Tonight we are going to get deeper into how we are to get ready and stay ready.
Peter starts out in verse one . . .
1 Peter 4:1 NIV - Anglicised
1 Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin.
So, Peter lays it all out on the line here and doesn’t pull any punches.
He doesn’t give us the “easy-peasy” answer that we would like to hear.
He doesn’t tell us that “it’s okay, Jesus suffered and died, you go and do whatever you want, God understands.”
We hear that, don’t we?
“I can’t help it, God understands.”
Or, “God is only worried about big sins, He doesn’t care about these little ones.”
Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but that is 100% WRONG.
God does care.
It does matter to God, even the little ones.
Jesus himself tells us to . . .
Matthew 5:48 NIV - Anglicised
48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
The writer of Hebrews . . . .
Hebrews 12:14–16 NIV - Anglicised
14 Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no-one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no-one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. 16 See that no-one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son.
Hebrews 12:14-
This perfection and holiness that the Bible is talking about leaves no room for “little sins.”
It leaves room for mistakes and errors , but there is no room for sin.
And the reason there is no room for sin is because to sin in this sense is to have an unrepentant heart.
To have things within us that we know are wrong and offensive to God and not allow the Holy Spirit to deal with them.
To purify our hearts.
Because even with pure hearts we will still make mistakes, but mistakes become sin when we keep them from God and do not allow the Holy Spirit to deal with them.
And Peter tells us we are to be armed with the same attitude as Jesus.
Much like Paul who tells us that . . .
Philippians 2:5 NIV - Anglicised
5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
And that attitude according to Peter is one that is done with sin.
I wonder how many of us are done with sin tonight.
I wonder if we have been able to reach a place in our lives where we are tired of fighting within ourselves.
Paul tells us that . . .
Galatians 5:17-
Galatians 5:17 NIV - Anglicised
17 For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.
You may not realize it but as long as you are living within yourself and within your own power and authority, the Spirit and your flesh are in conflict and at war with one another.
You gain no ground, no peace, no satisfaction because your soul is in conflict with the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit wants to lead, guide, direct, and deliver you; but your fleshly spirit wants to resist and fails to submit.
And until you reach the place where you are tired of the fight and tired of the constant conflict, and finally give in, NOT TO THE FLESH, but TO THE SPIRIT, you will never have peace or satisfaction in life.
You will never experience deliverance or victory.
But you have to make that choice, no one else can make it for you.
So, tonight the first question is, are you done with sin?
Are you done with sin tonight?
Are you finished allowing it to reign in you and control you?
Are you ready to submit yourselves fully to God and allow the Holy Spirit reign supreme?
That is the choice that is before you today.
And before you leave tonight, you will have to make that choice.
And if you choose Christ, if you choose the Holy Spirit, here is what the result is . . .

Living For God

1 Peter 4:2 NIV - Anglicised
2 As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God.
Can you say that tonight?
Are you living your life for the will of God?
If not, then you are living your life for evil human desires.
And that’s a harsh way to put it but if it is not for God then is it not against God?
If it is not for the will of God, then is it not against the will of God?
And things against God’s will consist of evil human desires.
Fulfilling the things of the flesh.
Again, back to Paul . . .
Galatians 5:16–18 NIV - Anglicised
16 So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 17 For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.
Galatians
And what are these things of the flesh?
Galatians 5:19–21 NIV - Anglicised
19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Galatians 5:
2 Timothy 3:2–5 NIV - Anglicised
2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.
2 Timothy 3:2-
John tells us . . .
1 John 2:15–17 NIV - Anglicised
15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives for ever.
1 John 2:
And back to our text for tonight, Peter tells us that . . .
1 Peter 4:3 NIV - Anglicised
3 For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry.
1 Peter 4:
And the one thing I want you to notice about all these things that we have listed here is not necessary the act themselves, but the attitude behind the act.
If you will notice, all these things originate from a selfish heart.
These are all things that take advantage of someone else or exhibit the “me” attitude.
“It’s all about me and what I want.”
Fulfilling that immediate desire, not caring about who it hurts or how it effects anyone else.
Immediate gratification.
It is impossible to list all the sins of the flesh, but they all point to a heart that has not been cleansed by God.
They all point to heart that has not been submitted fully to God.
Peter tells us that we have spend enough time living that way.
We are called to rise above it, but are we willing?

Giving an Account

We have better be because what Peter is telling us is not just good advice.
One day we will stand before God and give an account.
Peter writes . . .
1 Peter 4:4–5 NIV - Anglicised
4 They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you. 5 But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.
1 Peter 4:4-
Anybody ever been made fun of because you didn’t go along with the crowd?
You didn’t engage in their sin with them.
Peter acknowledges that.
Those living in sin, cannot see past their own sin to realize the truth and really do think it’s strange that you do not live the way they do.
Peter says they may even heap abuse on you.
But he also says not to worry about it because one day they will have to give an account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.
They will have to give an account and so will you.
2 Corinthians 5:10 NIV - Anglicised
10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due to him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.
Every single last one of us will appear.
And every single last one of us will give an account of our lives.
And that account will not be how much money we put in the offering, how many functions we attended, how many good deeds we did.
That account will be simply, as to whether or not we lived for Jesus.
Whether we accepted Jesus as our Savior and made Jesus our Lord.
We will each one be held accountable for our choices in these matters.
EVERY SINGLE LAST ONE OF US.
No exceptions!
The accountability to God is so great that Peter writes . . .
1 Peter 4:6 NIV - Anglicised
6 For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to men in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit.
1 John 2:15–17 NIV - Anglicised
15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives for ever.
Remember this morning we talked about Christ descending then ascending; here is the answer as to why.
ALL OF US WILL BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE.
And all those people heaping abuse on you, making fun of you, ridiculing and persecuting you.
1 John 2:15-
Don’t worry about it because they too will stand before God and give an account to God as to why they acted the way they did.

Altar Call

And Peter finishes up here with something I want us all to hear.
If you have heard nothing else this evening hear this . . .
1 Peter 4:7 NIV - Anglicised
7 The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray.
I do not think we realize sometimes how close to the end we are.
How near it is.
If we really did I think that we would all, me included, be doing things differently.
We would be living our lives with more of a sense of urgency.
I realize that tonight we may not be living a life of sin, apart from God, but are we living with the urgency we need, knowing that Jesus is coming soon?
Are we living in such a way that we are keeping watch?
Warning others?
That is where this effects us tonight.
Have our minds been clouded by the world?
Peter says we are to be clear minded and self-controlled, so that we can pray.
It is in prayer that God speaks to us.
If we are not clear minded, then we cannot hear God speak.
And if we can’t hear, how can we respond?
Maybe that is how we should pray tonight.
If you need salvation come and pray.
If you need clarity, come and pray.
If you need that sense of urgency, then come and pray.
I’m going to ask them to put on some quiet music in the back and give you the opportunity to pray, either at the altar or where you are.
Above all though, pray.
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