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Sermon Outlines - Sermons From First Peter - Living In The End Times (4:7-11)


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                      "THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PETER"
                    Living In The End Times (4:7-11)
INTRODUCTION
1. In 1 Pe 4:2, Peter wrote concerning the Christian that...
   "...he should no longer live the rest of his time in the flesh for
   the lusts of men, but for the will of God."
2. As an impetus to live out one's time in the flesh for the will of 
   God, one should remember that we are living in the "end times" - 
   cf. 1 Pe 4:7a ("But the end of all things is at hand;")
3. It might be that Peter actually had reference in this text to the 
   destruction of Jerusalem
   a. Which was the end of the temple, the Levitical priesthood, and of
      the Jewish economy
   b. As MacKnight points out in his commentary:  "This epistle being 
      written A.D.67, about a year after the war with the Romans began,
      which ended in the destruction of Jerusalem and of the Jewish 
      state, Peter, who had heard his Master's prophecy concerning 
      these events, and concerning the signs of their approach, had 
      good reason to say, that they had approached."
4. But whether Peter has in mind the destruction of Jerusalem, or the 
   Lord's second coming, we can still say "the end of all things is at 
   hand"...
   a. For even if the Lord Himself does not return for another two 
      thousand years, the time is not long when we who are alive today 
      will be "in the flesh" no more
   b. With every passing day, "our salvation is nearer than when we 
      first believed", and the "end" draws ever closer
5. How then should we live out the rest of our time, living as we do in
   the "end times"?
[Verses 7-11 provide guidance to "Living In The End Times" and we
notice right away that it should involve...]
I. PRAYER THAT IS SERIOUS AND ALERT (7)
   A. PETER STRESSES SERIOUSNESS THROUGHOUT HIS EPISTLE...
      1. The word here is sophroneo {so-fron-eh'-o}, which means...
         a. To be in one's right mind
         b. To exercise self control
            1) to put a moderate estimate upon one's self, think of 
               one's self soberly
            2) to curb one's passions
      2. Words closely related to this are found in 1 Pe 1:13; 5:8
         (the word "sober")
   B. THIS QUALITY IS NEEDED ESPECIALLY IN OUR PRAYERS...
      1. Otherwise we cannot pray as we ought - cf. Ep 6:18
      2. That is, with praying that is "watchful" - cf. Lk 21:34-36
[Serious, watchful praying is necessary, therefore, or we might not be
ready for that which will come.  As we continue in our text, we see 
that "Living In The End Times" also calls for a...]
II. LOVE THAT IS FERVENT & FORGIVING (8)
   A. THIS IS THE SECOND TIME PETER COMMANDS "FERVENT LOVE"...
      1. The first time was in 1 Pe 1:22
      2. Where we defined "fervent" as "constant" or "earnest"
      3. Here Peter tells us to make such "fervent love" the number one
         priority ("above all things have fervent love...")
         a. This is reminiscent of Paul's words in Co 3:14
         b. And perhaps a reflection of Jesus' words in Mt 22:36-40
   B. THE NEED FOR SUCH "FERVENT LOVE" IS SEEN IN ITS POWER TO 
      FORGIVE...
      1. "for love will cover a multitude of sins"
      2. This appears to be a reference to Pro 10:12 ("love covers 
         all sins")
      3. To "cover sin" does not mean to ignore it, but as used by 
         James it suggests "fervent love" does what is necessary to 
         restore and forgive the sinner - cf. Ja 5:19-20
[As the "time of the end" draws near, and the Day of Judgment looms 
closer, how important it is that we have the kind of love for one 
another which will encourage us all to get rid of sin in our lives!
As a further expression of "fervent love for one another", "Living In 
The End Times" will also involve...]
III. HOSPITALITY THAT IS GRACIOUS (9)
   A. THIS IS AN UNUSUAL USE OF THE WORD "HOSPITALITY"...
      1. For the word is philoxenos {fil-ox'-en-os}
         a. It literally means "love of strangers" and is normally used
            in reference to kindness to those we don't know
         b. But here Peter applies it to our love towards brethren
      2. But if we are to show kindness to those we don't know, how 
         much more towards those who are "of the household of faith", 
         our own brethren! - cf. Ga 6:10
   B. THE NEED FOR HOSPITALITY...
      1. There is always a need, as our love for one another is a sign 
         of true discipleship - cf. Jn 13:34-35
      2. But there may be a special need as "the end draws near"
         a. Several passages suggest that persecution of the saints 
            will increase before Christ returns (so I understand Re 20:
            7-9)
         b. In any period of persecution, when some Christians lose all
            they have, other Christians need to be ready to provide for
            their needs - cf. Mt 25:35-40
   C. FOR IT TO BE TRUE HOSPITALITY, IT MUST BE "WITHOUT GRUMBLING"...
      1. If one shows kindness with a begrudging spirit, can it be said
         they truly have a love of strangers (or brethren)?
      2. Only by placing a higher premium on our brethren than we do on
         our possessions can we show hospitality without grumbling
[Finally, in keeping with our Lord's charge to "Do business till I 
come" (Lk 19:13), "Living In The End Times" requires that we 
offer...]
IV. SERVICE THAT GLORIFIES GOD (10-11)
   A. EACH PERSON CAN PERFORM A VALUABLE SERVICE...
      1. By the grace of God, which is "manifold"  (multi-faceted), 
         there are various ways one can serve God
      2. And each of us are to be "good stewards" (accountable 
         servants) of whatever gifts or abilities we may have
      3. Even as Paul wrote to the brethren at Rome in Ro 12:3-8
   B. WITH TWO EXAMPLES, PETER ILLUSTRATES THE KIND OF SERVICE THAT
      GLORIFIES GOD...
      1. Those that speak
         a. They should speak "as the oracles of God"
         b. Understanding that they are speaking for God:
            1) They should speak only that which God Himself has 
               revealed
            2) With "sound speech that cannot be condemned" - cf. Ti 2:
               7-8
      2. Those that minister (serve)
         a. With the ability or strength supplied by God Himself!
         b. Certainly not with slothfulness - cf. Ro 12:11
CONCLUSION
1. "Living In The End Times", then, is living with the recognition
   that to God (and Jesus Christ) "belong the glory and dominion 
   forever and ever"
2. With that recognition, we will be careful to develop:
   a. Prayer that is serious and alert
   b. Love that is fervent and forgiving
   c. Hospitality that is gracious
   d. Service that glorifies God
How are you living now that "the end of all things is at hand"?  Are
you glorifying God through Jesus Christ?
 

 
 
 
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