How to live when the end of all things is near?

When the end is near, our lives will have a special meaning. The birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ became the culmination of world history. Ever since then, everything is over. The old world will disappear, the kingdom of God will come and win.

In the light of this, everything changes. A lot loses its meaning. And what really matters becomes the most important.

In prosperous years, the end seems far to come. On difficult days the end is close.

In times of persecution, the apostle Peter urges Christians in Asia Minor to suffer fearlessly for the sake of righteousness and to be ready to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have (1 Peter 3: 14-15).

Short-term suffering for Christ is not as terrible as long years of ungodly life (1 Peter 4: 1-7). Therefore, you must endure hardships and focus on doing God’s will. The days of suffering and toil will soon be over. So don’t miss the last chance to serve God, even in difficult circumstances.

With the words “the end of all things is at hand” (7), the apostle invites us to reconsider our lives in the light of this impending end and gives us important counsel: “Be wise and sober for prayer” (7), “love one another fervently” (8), “be hospitable ”(9),“Let each one serve others with the gift he has received ”(10).

In the context of persecution, Christians were able to show their faith by loving one another, so the words of their apostolic counsel may be summed up: “Serve one another with your gift, that God may be glorified in all things” (1 Peter 4: 10-11).

The words “be reasonable and sober for prayers” can be considered a condition for serving one another and glorifying God.

I would therefore like to highlight two interrelated points in this text. First, in light of the approaching end, we must be intelligent and sober for prayer. Second, given the brevity of earthly life, you must focus on serving one another to build the church, testify to the world, and glorify God with the gifts you have been given.

When the end is so close, there is no time for sleeping and secondary things. You need to be as careful, sober and cheerful as possible.

In the opening verses of the chapter, Peter reminds us that we have served ourselves for too long, wasting time on nothingness, impurity, exaggeration, and absurdity. Now the rest of the days should be spent very carefully to serve one another, build the church, and glorify God.

The apostle reminds us of the shameful facts of how we lived in the world. He makes this a comparison so that we don’t get used to living as we used to, and to teach us to live in the church by building it up and praising God.

How was it before? According to evil human desires.

How now, for “the rest of our earthly lives” (2)? Only according to God’s will.

“It is enough that in your past life you have acted according to pagan will, giving in to impurity, lust (pederasty, sodomy, conspiracies), drunkenness, exaggeration with food and drink, and absurd idolatry” (3).

It took a long time. Now the time has run out.

Therefore, you must be especially careful and sober to pray, show zealous love, receive guests without grumbling, serve one another with your gifts, and glorify God in all of this.

Before, everyone served themselves. Now each other. And God.

We may ask ourselves: who should we serve? God or each other? Peter repeats the same idea (1 Peter 4:10). As we serve one another, we build the church and honor God.

This idea of ​​serving one another and praising God overshadows the theme of suffering. Suffering is not long, we must hurry to do good. We have spent most of our lives in sinful pleasures and emptiness, now is the time to serve at least a little – no longer ourselves, but God and His Church.

I remember a conversation with an older friend. I knew him as a selfish and pragmatic man. I was all the more surprised to see his passion and sacrifice in serving in a distant and unfamiliar city. In response to my stupid question, he replied, “I have wasted so many years on myself. I want to give the rest of my life entirely to God and people.” Maybe the moment came when my friend said to himself, “Enough! Enough already! The rest of my time I will live according to God’s will! ”

Similarly, the apostle Peter admonishes the churches: say “to the past” “it`s enough” (3) and “live the rest according to God’s will” (2).

It is enough to live for yourself! Live the rest of your time in the flesh for Christ. How? “By serving one another” (10).

Thus, given the shortness of earthly life and regretting the time spent on themselves, Christians are called to serve one another with their gifts to build up the Church, testifying to the world and to the glory of God. Serving one another includes both hospitality and preaching; both words and deeds. But above all, we are called to love each other fervently (8). Because without it, it is impossible to serve each other. Without it, everyone serves only themselves. Without it, gifts are useless. Without it is each on its own. Without it, we would be selfish.


Source: Как жить, когда близок всему конец? (