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Jun 26, 2022

Living with the End in Sight

Living with the End in Sight

Passage: 1 Peter 4:1

Speaker: Matt Petty

Series: Joyful Exiles

Category: Sunday Sermons

Keywords: truth, worship, faith, jesus, sunday, god, sermon, cross, christian, bible, christ, gospel, hope, word, preaching, salvation, holy spirit, believe, serving, jesus christ, lord, serve, book, end, testament, bible study, satisfaction, near, first peter, verse, chapter, live music, serving god, the end, satisfied in god, livestream, burnt hickory baptist church, the end is near, burnt hickory worship, serving god sermon

As we continue to explore 1 Peter, we learn how to live with the end in sight. We see in scripture that the end of all things is near, and because of that, we need to be alert and sober minded. God’s desires need to be placed before ours and we need to love each other deeply while practicing caring hospitality. The real question is, if you knew Jesus was returning today, what would you change about how you are serving him right now? In light of the end being near, we don’t need to get mired down in depression, but strive even more to point all glory to God and serve him faithfully. John Piper says – “If you are most satisfied in family or job or fame or success or money or food or music or health or staying alive — if you are more satisfied in any of those than you are in God — then you diminish the glory of God, and you magnify the glory of what you’re most satisfied by. The Bible makes clear that we should live in order to display the supreme worth and beauty and glory of God. That’s our primary reason for existence.” Based on this, how is your love for others? What things do you need to change? Are you satisfied in God? As always, if you’ve got questions, you can reach out anytime – burnthickory.com/next. We’d love to connect with you, answer any questions and take time to pray with you.

Church, if it wasn't enough last week for us to begin an incredibly big spiritual high. From watching the 70 plus kids and students who gave their lives to Christ at VBS and at middle school camp. This Friday, this past Friday, we had the opportunity to watch our nation's Supreme Court overturn one of the most grotesque liberties that has ever been given, ever. Amen. For the first time in my lifetime, I can say today that we are not giving people a national liberty to kill children. And I am incredibly, incredibly encouraged. I'm incredibly excited. I know that the voices of the saints for the last 50 years have been echoing into the ears of our Lord. And this past week, we're watching, man, what I'm just praying is a movement from the Lord. Let me say a couple of things about this, though, because I think there's a couple of things that we need to point out. Number one, church, we need to realize that our stance of being pro-life has just began. It's just began. This is a court case. Now it is time for the court to be the population. It's time for us to now stand and take care of lots of ladies that are in incredibly difficult situations. It's time for us as the church to love and not hate. It's time for us as the church to look through the lens of Christ at thousands and thousands of babies that now may have the opportunity to live. And church, may we be the people who take them into our homes, who give them a chance of life, who come behind them and love them and support them. And care for them. Here's the thing. We can't just be people about laws. We got to be people who love people. In church, it is now time for us to say, yes, we care. We care. So, in the next days that come, may we herald the cry of love. May we not just try to cover up some injustice that has happened, but let's come behind people in love. And let's love these babies from this point forward.

Secondly, we're not only excited about that, but we are excited about the fact that starting today, about a hundred of our students and leaders are going to be heading to Alaska for a mission trip. It's been a weird travel season over the last couple of years. Amen. But today, they are getting ready to head out to be the hands and feet of Christ to stand for those who need to hear Jesus. And I want us to do something today as a as a commissioning moment and as just a symbol of our heart towards them. If you are going on this trip, if you're a student or if you're adult and you're going to be on this trip for the next couple of weeks, if you are a parent of one of the students or a spouse of one of the adults, or if you are a grandparent of one of these, would you do us a favor and just stand where you are, and we want to pray over you today. We want to use this as a time to show you that the rest of this church is behind you. And we are incredibly excited about the next days in the life of you being the hands and feet of Jesus. Let's pray, Lord Jesus, today, God, we do. God, we come to you in this moment and ask you to literally walk with us in the next couple of weeks. Lord, allow us to be your hands. Allow us to be your feet. God, allow us to reach the state of Alaska for your cause. God, we pray for strength. We pray for mercy. We pray for endurance. We pray for grace. But God, most of all, we pray that your name and your renown would be herald to every single person that we come in contact with. God, thank you for putting us here as a church that loves people enough to send people across the state, this nation, and this world. It's in your name. Jesus. Amen. Amen.

You guys can have a seat. Can we just give them a hand for the next coming up weeks in their lives? I do want to say this. I can't wait to be with the students over the next couple of weeks. Or a week and a half. Melissa and I are going to be there. And here's another thing. I can't wait. I can't wait for the fact that I'm not leading this trip. I'm just hanging out, and I'm just going to be there as another adult. Well, hey, let's jump into the message. If you've got a copy of scripture this morning, we are going to be in First Peter, chapter four. First Peter, chapter four. If you haven't been here for a while, or if you've been a baseball family or lacrosse family or beach family, welcome back. This week, we're glad that you're here. We're in a series called Joyful Exiles where we're walking through the book of First Peter. And here's what we're doing. We're taking this book or this little letter that the apostle Peter wrote to the church that had been scattered out, that had been moved away from their home, that had been persecuted, knocked down, some had been killed. And Peter is looking into their lives and telling them that they can still have hope, that they can still live joyful lives. But they've got to realize that they're never going to look like, smell like, be like, or accepted like the rest of culture because this is not their home. We've made the distinction every week that there's an incredible metaphor in this, and there's an incredible message to us as Christians in 2022 that we are exiles on this planet, that we're people that are living in a place that's not our home, that we're just passing through, and that we can indeed have joy and have hope. Week one was all around this idea that we can have this common hope. Week two, Peter looked at us and told us if we're going to have common hope, then we're going to have to grow up. We're going to have to grow up in our spiritual lives. We're going to have to grow up and our love for Jesus and our sense of purpose and our calling of what we're to live.

Last week we looked at chapter three and the third week and he looked at us and said that even in the middle of suffering, in the middle of pain, that we can still proclaim the hope of Christ. And we said that in all of our lives there's been moments of suffering. It's been moments of pain, moments of shame. And the world is looking at us in the middle of those and asking us, how do you have peace? And that's the moment that we get to step in to show them that we can suffer well for the cause of Christ. I love this little book because everything in it that Peter gives us, he seems to speak a big theological truth over us, but then he fleshes it out to make it understandable for us common people. Right? He gives us a list of things that we can work through, that we can do. And then he also always points it back to this idea that we are to be people that are living for eternity. But while we're living for eternity, we need to have an incredibly relevant respect for what is going on here, where we're living.

Well, chapter four, what Peter does is he takes that theme, and he moves into it even greater by saying, Hey, eternity is coming. Here's how you should live. So, we're going to jump into chapter four. We have to give it a title this morning. It would purely just be live living with the end in sight. So, Peter, last week left off chapter three with Jesus being in his seat of authority, and he encouraged us last week that we're to live lives, that that point to Jesus, that He's our model, that the Christian faith is not a difficult faith to understand. We really just watch the life of Christ, and we emulate the life of Jesus. We in every situation and every decision and every lifestyle decision we have, if we look at how Jesus walked on this earth, and what Jesus did, that's what we're called to do. Well, last week we looked at Jesus. He's in a seat of authority. He's in heaven. He's being worship. And watch what Peter says. In Chapter four, he says this. Verse one, therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves, also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin. As a result, they will not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather they will live it for the will of God. So, what's Peter saying? Peter's pointing to this idea that that in our suffering and our suffering for doing right, that we are in line with Christ. So, we are living for Christ. And that when we are suffering for the cause, when we're pointed to the direction of Christ, what we are doing is we're moving away from those human desires that human bent, that we have to seek out sin, that human idea in us, that when our life is in neutral, we send we tend to always drift over into the simple world.

Now, what Peter is doing is he's pointing out an incredible principle that separates believers from those people that are just purely seeking out the world. And here's the principle. I want you to put it in your notes. The principle is this. The principle is that our desires, Peter, would say, should come way behind God's desires. That our desires in whatever area in life that it might be, should come way behind the will of God for our lives. Now, look, I know that seems so elementary, and I know that seems so common, but I want you to just feel the difference in that statement and then the difference in what the world would say. You see, most of the time, our culture that we live and the culture that they were living in would say something like, this, man, if your heart is drawing you there, then that means you need to go there. Our culture would say, If your heart's desire is to do this, then you should do this. If your heart is pointing you in a direction that this is going to make it easier for you, this is going to make it more common for you. This is going to give you more peace, then that's the way you should walk. But Peter says, Listen, you don't follow your heart. If you follow your heart, you are going to be in a rough spot. And Peter says, Look, your desires should be God's desires. That's what he's saying here. So, Peter's saying, don't follow your heart. He says, no, no, no. Seek God's will and God's heart for your life. Now, remember this. Peter is speaking to Christians. This whole letter was written to people who have proclaimed that they are followers of Jesus. And when he does it, he knows that this is not the thinking of the culture he is speaking to, just like it's not ours. Right. Why? Because our culture would say, if your heart says it, if you're not hurting anybody else and you're drawn to that and that's where you should walk to fulfill yourself. But he's saying Listen, your desires come way behind where God's desires should be. And this is incredibly countercultural then and now.

But Peter's no stranger to our heart’s desires. In fact, what's the next verse? Watch what he says in verse 3. He says, For you have spent enough time doing what the pagans choose to do, living in debauchery and lust and drunkenness and orgies and carousing and in detestable idolatry. Students, ask your parents what all those are today at lunch, it'll be a great day for you. Right? Verse four, they are surprised it says. One mom was like no, don't, don't, don't ask me that. Verse four, they are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living and they heap abuse on you. Watch verse five But they will have to give an account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. Now, look, we don't have time to walk through every specific sin that is on this list, which would be a great it will be a great study for you and your time with the Lord this week. But the warning and the directive here that Peter has given us is that we are to live differently. In fact, write the second principle down. True Christ following will always distinguish us. It will always distinguish us, and it will distinguish is in like, hey, that's just a weird person, but it will distinguish us in the fact that, hey, they don't think like I think they don't act on things that I act on. They don't spend the same. They don't dress the same. They don't believe the same. And what Peter is saying is, is that true Christ following will distinguish us in every area of our lives. He's already pointed to the fact that it distinguishes us in our suffering, that we suffer well as ones that know where our home is.

He says that we are distinguished in how we make our decisions, that we make our decisions based on who God is and what God wants to do. And then he makes the point here that it distinguishes us when Christ returns. That's the that's the greatest joy in it, is that our lives under the banner of Jesus will distinguish us when Christ comes to judge. So, he says, quite frankly, to fix our eyes in our hearts on things above, to leave these worldly desires. And when we do that, even the culture is going to be shocked at us. Have you ever had a major, major life change? Think back to the time that you gave your life to Christ. Some of you did it later on in life. Think back to the time that your life was just radically changed. Do you remember some of the crowd that you used to run with, looking at you going What happened to you? Something happened. That's what he's talking about. He says even the world is shocked that you're moving in such an opposite direction. Now, I do want to point out that this is not an exhaustive list of all sins, but the sense that Peter is mentioning here all point to the fact that we as sinful people that he's showing here are governed by our appetites for the world Appetites of what fills us from the world. And Peter is warning us that the next world is coming, that we should be pointing in the direction of living in the spirit and not living how the culture tells us to live. Now, that's the introduction. All right. That's that just got us to the point that I want us to look at this morning in in the text. The next seven words are the seven words that that really just pulled my heart into why I wanted to study this book over the summer.

The next seven words, Peter shows us why we do all of what he's told us to do. I want you to look at it and I want you to watch this next seven words. And I want you to see here that this statement he's about to make is so countercultural. But if you see it through an eternal lens, you'll grab it. Watch what he says to these hurting and persecuted people. Verse seven. Peter tells them the end of all things is near the end of all things is near. Now, that's worth circling because this whole book kind of collapses into this one statement. It is such a great statement. The end of all things is near. Now, when I say that statement, though, I can feel the tension. I can literally feel as someone who’s talking to you, the tension in the room. Right? Because here's what I know. Some of you had incredibly bad experiences in church, and this is all that was ever talked about. Right? Some of you are new to church, and you're like, OK, I don't know what this is. Some of you are thinking, yep, that's all the church does. It talks about doom, and it talks about gloom. And there's always these scare tactics. There's always judgment and wrath and the raining of fire. But I want to remind you that what this point here is, is, yes, it points us towards the end of all things coming, but it pointed us to it in a positive way. Why? Because who was Peter talking to in the book? Context matters. Is he talking to unbelievers? No. Who is Peter talking to? He's speaking to believers. So, when you look at the fact that Peter is talking to people who know that their security is in Christ, when he says something like the end is near, it's such an incredibly helpful statement.

It's such an incredibly joyful statement. Why? Let me say this statement in two ways. Maybe this will help you understand. Let me say it in a scary way. The end this near you better turn or you're going to burn, right? That's how you would hear it, wouldn't it? You've been in those messages before. You like sitting on the stove. You're better because that's where you're going to be the rest of your life. You know, we've all heard those statements before. You better get used to this heat because that's where you're going, right? No, that's not how Peter uses this statement. That's the scary way. That's not how he did it. Here's how Peter said it. Man, the end is near. Just hold on. Just hold on. Just point your lives. Know that he has come to take you with him. The end is near. And I love how that statement really just depends on where you are in your faith and how you hear it. Now, this makes a bigger point, right? This is why people get so many things mixed up in church. You know what that preacher always does? All he ever does is talks about giving. No, the reason you think that, is because you don't give, right? Now, I mean, all he ever talks about getting in a small group. Well, that's because you're not in one, right? That's why you care that I'm saying that. All he ever talks about is commitment. He just wants us to make a commitment. That's because you're not committed. That's what I'm saying. And this when you say the end is near. If you're hearing it and you're not a believer, you're like, ooh, that's big time. But if you're hearing it as a person is barely holding on, just going, Jesus, we need you. And you hear the apostle Peter looking at you going, just hold on.

He's coming, just hold on. Isn't that way different? Context matters. So, Peter jumps into a thought. That is incredible. Here., He jumps into some end time conversation, but he does it because he sees where their culture is. Think about the Roman culture, where they're at right here. Moral confusion is at the height right here. Relativism has taken over in our culture. The globe, the global in the political scene was being turned over into evil hands. People were running and turning to all these little "g" gods everywhere. And all of it seemed to be pointing toward the end of times. And Peter, in an encouraging way, as only the apostle Peter could do it is saying, just hold on. He's coming back. He's coming back. The signs are there. He's coming back. You say, Matt, how do you know he's doing that? Well, I'm glad you asked, because if you remember. If you remember the disciples. They asked Jesus one day. They looked at Jesus, and went, hey Jesus, tell us when all this is going to happen. Jesus was talking about the end of times. He was talking about the return to gather his church. And they looked at Jesus like, Hey, tell us about the end. And Jesus, when he gave them the description of when the end was coming. Let me tell you something. He didn't give them a date to circle on the calendar. If anybody ever gives you a date, they're a false prophet. But what he did was, is he gave them a snapshot of what the culture and what the world would look like when he returns. Let me just read it to you. It's kind of lengthy, but I think it's important. Matthew 24 verse 36, listen to the conversation from Jesus. He said to the disciples, but about that day or hour, no one really, no one knows. Not even the angels in heaven nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be in the coming of the Son of man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking and marrying and giving into marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark.

In other words, they had no clue that it was coming. Verse 39, and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. Was that a knowledge that they have? No. They had the knowledge they just didn't pay any attention to it. Watch what he says. That's how it will be at the coming of the son of man. Two men will be in a field, one will be taken up and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the hand mill, one will be taken and the other will be left. Verse 42. Therefore, keep watch because you do not know the day that your Lord will come. For understand this, if the owner of the house had known what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and he would have not let his house be broken into. Verse 44 incredibly, incredibly clear. Watch what he says. So, you must also be ready because the son of man will come in an hour in which you do not expect him. So, when Jesus was talking about the end of times, Peter was in the crowd. He knew this message. When he was speaking, he wasn't concerned Jesus with the when, he was concerned with the how, and he was concerned with how we are living in the meantime and what we are doing in the waiting.

So, Peter, takes this message of hope from Jesus saying, Hey, when things are bad, when culture is shifting, when people are running in every direction, you better be ready because that's a sign of Christ returning. And Peter says, Listen, the end, the end is near. Let me say something, church, it's near to us than it was for them. That's profound, isn't it? It's a whole lot nearer. And it could be today. It could be tomorrow; it could be next year. It could be the year after that. We don't know when it is. So, Peter looks at these people and he's looking at us and I know that culture is crazy, but how do you live with the end in sight? So, he spends the rest of these verses giving us. In fact, let me tell you what he says. Let me read it to you. We're going to walk through it. 1 Peter 4:7. How do we live with the end in sight? Watch this. Verse seven. The end of all things is near. Therefore, be alert and sober minded so that you may pray. Above all, love each other deeply because love covers a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. And if anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides. So that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.

So how do we live with the end in sight? This is what Peter tells us. Number one, here's what he says. He says, Be alert and sober minded. Be alert and sober minded. Now Peter says, Listen, when we are in a posture that we are looking for the return of Christ, whether that's tomorrow, next week, five years or tonight. I don't know why it's always tonight in every evangelist minds. But if you were to die tonight, right? It's always tonight, right? Peter's telling us that our minds should always be in tune. That our minds should always be clear. And to seek God's plan. And this makes sense, right? Why? Because in times of turmoil, in times of stress and times of sickness, it's those times that the chaos begins to weigh into us. And he's saying it’s at those times that we need to be more alert and more sober minded. And let me point out the two words that he is. The first one is the word alert. The word alert just means that our head is up. We know what is coming. And it means as believers in Jesus, we're not to live lives with our heads in the sand, not knowing what's going on in culture. That we got to understand culture enough. That we can say, I can see it. I can perceive what's going on. I can discern God's plan for my life. And I've got to be alert to what's going on. One of the harshest and worst things that ever happened to Christendom is when we retreated to the monasteries of Christian life, and we don't know what's going on in culture. You see, we need to know what is there. We need to be like a boat on the water of culture that we're not in it, but we know it's there and we know what's around us. The second word he used is just the word sober. It's the word sober.

Most of the time in Scripture, sober is used to contract drunkenness, right? It is used to contrast the idea of being drunk. But here it just means to be clear headed. It means that our minds are able to think clearly. We're able to take in information, and there's not so much happening in us that we now still have the ability to know what is happening. So, when you put these together were to be positioned to take in the info. We're to have a clean heart, a mature spirit, a clear mind so that we're ready for God to move. So, let me just ask you this morning, what is it in your life that is clouding your mind? What is it in your life that is dragging you down? That's making you not even think about the fact that the end is near. Christ is going to return, that's not making you live towards that return. It points us to the second point, though.

Look at the rest of the verse. Verse seven. It says the end of all things is near. Therefore, be alert and of sober mind. Watch, here's the main point. So that you may pray. So that you may pray. If we're living with the end in sight, we're going to see that we are to make prayer. Number two a first priority action. That we're to make prayer a first priority action in my life. Now, prayer is the main idea of this verse. I love how the new American standard translates it. It says, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer, for the purpose of prayer. What Peter is pointing out here is that prayer is not a last resort. It's not a last resort. Prayer is the primary tool of power for every believer's life. And as God's people, listen to me closely, it is a crucial role in our lives. Internally, it's a crucial role to keep us connected to the power of Christ. And externally, prayer is a crucial role so that we can release the power of God to a culture that desperately needs them. Now, look here. Let's go back to chapter two. I know you're going to remember this because you were here, right?

Chapter two, Peter, told us that we are part of the royal priesthood. What part of that being of the royal priesthood means is that we as believers catch this, have the ability to unleash and to tether the power of God to a simple world. Here's what that means. It is our role to not just pray for ourselves, but it is our role to pray for this world. It's our role to pray for our community, for our culture, for everything that is going on. And there is a sense in Scripture that God will hold his power back until the believers in God begin to pray the power of God and come Lord Jesus. That's what he's saying. If we're not going to pray for our community, that I don't know who is. Peter says prayer is so important. And listen, Peter knew something about prayer. You say Matt, how do you know that? Well, think about it. It's logical, right? In the Gospels, Peter was there when Jesus taught them how to pray. Remember, he is our model. Not only was there when they taught him to pray, he was there in Luke eight when Jesus gave the parable about Keep praying, keep praying, never give up praying. Not only that, but Peter was also there in the garden when Jesus was taking on sin. And Jesus told him, You pray while I pray, and let's see how God moves. I love it in Mark 14:38, Jesus looked back at them in the garden and said, watch Peter and pray that you will not fall into temptation. The Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.

Look, we pray to see God move outward, but we also pray to see Him move in us. And if we're going to live like Christ is returning. Then let's be people of powerful prayer. We pray in our time alone with God. We pray as we walk through the day, we pray honestly, as a kid calling home to the Father, we pray. It's our first responsibility. Number three, how do we live? Like the end is coming. We love each other deeply. We love each other deeply. Now, notice when Peter says this about love, he he's not talking that good southern bro hug love. Right? You know what I'm talking about when I say that man? Love you, love you too man. No, that's not what he's talking about. But that's a flippant love, right? You don't love that person. You're just saying that because they said it to you, right? He's talking about a deep love. He's talking about a love that changes things. Peter's describing a love that is a response to Christ loving us. Look at verse eight. Watch a Peter says you want to live like the end is coming.

He says, above all, love each other deeply because love covers over a multitude of sin. The word love here, if you've been in church a long time, you've heard it. It is the most extreme love that can be described as the word agape. It's the word agape. And it's the love that God has for us. And agape describes a love that is present. Catch this no matter what the response of the object that you are loving has. Now, let me flesh that out and tell you what it means. That means this we love people no matter how much they love us back. That's what he's saying. We love people despite the fact that they hate us. We love people, even in the case that we know they're not going to reciprocate. That's the love here. You see, agape love is a sacrificing love. It's a love that cares more for the other than it does itself. It's a love that knows no bounds, and it's a love that will literally place its neck out for the other person. That's what Christ did for us. That's the love of Christ. The Greek here describes a love that is like a racehorse that is running with every bit of energy that it has. Or it's like a race, like a sprinter that runs. And just before the finish line, it gives every bit of energy it has, which means this. That love takes effort. It's not going to come natural to us, Peter would say. In fact, John 13:34, there has to be a command. Watch what Jesus says. A new command I give you love one another as I've loved you.

So, you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you're my disciples. If you love one another. If you're calling yourself a Christian, we've got to love people. We got to love people. And I also want to point out that this love changes people. Peter says something here that's a little bit confusing that I want to put out, because I know somebody asked me. Peter says that this kind of love he mentioned this earlier, you can look back, it covers sin. Now, don't mistake the word covers with forgives. You don't forget God forgive sin. Right? God forgives what he means by our love covers sin is this he means that when we love people with the sacrificial agape love that Christ loved us with that, we will show people a better example of how to live. And we will show them the love that Christ can bring them. That's what He means.

In fact, Randy Alcorn says it like this. He says Kindness and love for others is one of the greatest forces for helping other people stop sinning, helping them stop. Why? Because it causes others to see their sin, and it causes them to see the hope in our lives, and it causes them to see the love in our lives. And then they want to see what we have. When people see how Christians can love people, forgive people, treat other people, show empathy and lead their family, it gives them a small picture of the love of Christ he has for them. This was the secret sauce of the early church. I said that two weeks ago. Why? They love people well, but here's my question to us. Exiles, how are you loving people this week? Here's the question. How? How is your love for others? If you had to rate yourself in this past week, how's your love for others? Especially, catch this, those who won't love you back? How's your love for others this week? Are you known as a person of love, or are you known as a person of hate? He's saying we're living with the end in mind. We've got to love people. Matt, are you saying we need to throw down our principles of the scripture? No, don't go there. I'm saying we need to love people though, with the love of Christ. Here's number four. Not only do we love people, but it also shows how we love people.

Number four is if we're going to live with the end in sight, we practice caring hospitality, practice caring hospitality. Now, to most Christians, hospitality seems like such an insignificant thing. But Peter would say, no, no, it's huge. In God's eyes, it's super clear. Look at Scripture, verse nine, offer hospitality to one another. Now notice what it doesn't say. It doesn't say. Practice hospitality. Only if you have the gift of hospitality and your husband wants you to. That's not what it says. No, no. Peter says hospitality should be a part of every single Christian's life. That's the deal. Now, what is hospitality? In the New Testament time? It would be inviting people into our home. It would be sharing a feast or a meal with them, providing for their needs, giving them a place to stay, because none of that was readily available in their days. You say, well Matt, what is hospitality? What is biblical hospitality that I'm being called to live in today? I'm glad you asked. Let me ask you this is biblical hospitality you inviting your best three couple friends over and having a great night of dinner and cards together? Well, kind of. More likely or better to find biblical hospitality is you opening your heart and your home in order to minister to someone.

In fact, the word hospitality literally translates friendly to stranger. Friendly to strangers. It's pretty easy to just invite your friends over, right? Come over. Let's hang out. Let's do this. But it's a whole lot different when we're looking at this through the lens of biblical hospitality. The truer sense is meeting others, opening our homes, opening our hearts in order to minister to them. So, what does that look like? It means inviting our neighbors over, inviting the tennis team over, inviting our kids’ sports team over, inviting new families that just popped into the church. When's the last time anybody looked at a new family as like, hey, you, you're at my house for dinner today. I know you're new, I can see on your sticker. I know you don't go here you're with me. That's biblical hospitality. And I feel like we've lost that. I feel like we've lost it. And I don't know why we've lost it. But here's what hospitality does. You say Matt, It's not a big deal. It's a huge deal. Here's why. Biblical hospitality shows the love of Christ and what a biblical home under the love of Jesus can look like.

I've told this to families for years when they were host families for disciple. Now they're nervous as can be. It's like, what's going to get torn up? Let me tell you. Here it is. When you are inviting others into your home for the cause of the gospel, here's what you're doing. You're showing them what the love of Christ can look like in a home that's been taken over for Christ. And catch this you may be the only Christ following home they have ever shared a meal in. And you know what that does? It gives them hope. That's what biblical hospitality is. And when you do it, Peter says, verse nine, Let me read it to you. Offer hospitality to one another. Do it without grumbling, without grumbling. If I put that as number five, just not as a joke, but it's real. He says, be hospitable and quit your grumbling when you're doing it. You've heard these people, right? My wife's making me do this again. Here we go. Right? You've heard it, in other words, you can have the right action without having the right attitude, and we shouldn't. We should be joyful in the fact that God has given us this and He blessed us with this and now use it for the kingdom. We serve with joy.

Which leads me to number six. You want to live with the end in mind serve faithfully, serve faithfully. Peter points out that in the serving that we are to use the gifts that God has given us. Obviously, yes, we can serve out of our natural gifts and abilities, but here He's pointing towards the spiritual gifts that believers have been given at the moment of salvation. Now, obviously, he doesn't give us the whole list of spiritual gifts here, right? You can find those in Romans 12, and first Corinthians 12, Ephesians 4, a couple other places. But what he's doing here is giving us two categories of the speaking gifts and the serving gifts. And he's saying, whichever way that God is gifted you, live that life for people. Speak the gospel into people. Encourage people with the gospel, speak the promises of God over people. But then on the other side, serve them well, serve them well. Be hospitable, show them how the love of Christ has changed you.

But while you're doing it, let me just point this out. The most incredible word is that you do it as a steward of what God has given you. A steward is just someone who takes something and cares for it until the return of that person. Do you know that God has given you gifts to steward and that one day we're going to have to give an account of how we have stewarded them? That's what he says. Man, this question got me all week long about serving, and it was this - if you knew that Christ was returning today, if you knew He was returning, here's the question, what would it change about how you're serving him right now? If you knew that 6:00 tonight, Christ is returning. You don't know that, but just go with me. Would it change anything about how you're serving people? Would it change it? Man, I guarantee you it would for me. Which is a shame. I guarantee I'd probably complain a whole lot less, right? Today. I'd probably be more bold in what I'm telling people. I probably have some conversations with some people that I probably needed to have for a long time. Probably be serving people a little bit different. I would probably be telling people a little bit more about Jesus. Right? That's the point of this whole chapter. The point of the whole chapter is Peter's going, end this near. It's near. Live like the end is near. And here's the last one. Number seven, we're going to live like the end is near.

Quite simply, we need to point all glory to God, point of the glory to God. Peter says, In times of suffering, give God the glory. In times of success, give him the glory. When you're able to use your gifts, give him the glory. When your God blesses you. Give him the glory. When God seems to be quiet, you still give him the glory. Why? Because all of it is about God. It's about God. Look at verse 11. It says to him, be the glory. Does it say to you? Notice that, it's a difference. To him be the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen. Peter says, You know what would make this whole waiting on the coming of Christ a whole lot easier and a whole lot more fruitful? It would be to quit living like this world is all about you. I wish I learned this lesson a lot earlier in life. I can't tell you how much of my life I thought this whole world was a movie about me and I was starring in it and everybody else was just a supporting actor. But that's how we live, isn't it? What is he saying? To God with the glory. Why? Because he's the one who's coming to get us. He's the one who has saved us. He's the one who is sustaining our salvation right now. And he's the one in eternity that we will spend being redeemed by him. But, Matt, how do I give God that glory?

Well, we point the attention to him and off of me. Point attention to him. You find your satisfaction in him, not the things of the world. In fact, John Piper says it incredibly well. He says this, and I quote, If you're more satisfied in the family or job or fame or success or money or food or music or health or staying alive, if you're more satisfied in any of those areas than you are in God, then you diminish the glory of God and you magnify the glory of what you're most satisfied by. The Bible makes it clear that we should live in order to display the supreme worth and the beauty and the glory of God. Catch this. That's our primary reason for existence. If you really believe the gospel, then you believe what Peter believes Christ is coming. So, here's how I want to close this. I think it's important to point out Peter really believe this He didn't just kind of believe it. He really believed it. He believed it so much that it cost him his life, but he believed it so much, it really gave him life.

My question to you is this Do you really believe the end is coming? Do you really believe it? And then secondly, to follow that question up is how has it affected you or how is it affecting you? Are you living sober minded, clear minded? Are you praying like it It's up to God? Are you loving others? Are you being hospitable to those around you without grumbling? Are you giving God the glory he deserves be serving him?

Lord Jesus. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you that you're coming. God, I pray in these next couple of minutes, God, that You would set us free from our temporal thinking and God fix our minds on the things above. Lord, I just pray that for people that need to meet you in this house this morning, that God, during in this brief moment of invitation, they would step out from wherever they are. They'd walk over here to the front to me and just look me in the face. Say Matt, I need Jesus today. What do I do? There’re people online that need you today. Got I pray that they reach out on the next steps app, and they just say the same thing. I need Jesus today. God, if there's people that need to turn from the ways of this world, God, I pray that happens today. God, may me we give you glory in these next couple of minutes Jesus, it's in your name.

Amen.

Let's stand and sing.

Follow Along with the Message


Living with the End in Sight

June 26, 2022

1 Peter 4:1–2
1 Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin. 2 As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God.

PRINCIPLE: Our should come way behind God’s desires.

1 Peter 4:3–5
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 are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, 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.

PRINCIPLE: True Christ-following will always us.

1 Peter 4:7
The end of all things is near.
Matthew 24:36–44
36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left. 42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.
1 Peter 4:7–11
7 The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. 8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 9 Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

How to Live with the End in Sight

1. Be and sober-minded.

1 Peter 4:7
The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray.

2. Make a first priority action.

Mark 14:38
Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.

3. Love each other .

1 Peter 4:8
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
John 13:34–35
34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

QUESTION: How is your for others?

4. Practice hospitality.

1 Peter 4:9
Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.

5. Stop .

6. Serve .

1 Peter 4:10–11
10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 14:25
…as the secrets of their hearts are laid bare. So they will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, “God is really among you!”

QUESTION: If you knew Jesus was today, what would it change about how you are serving him right now?

7. Point all to God.

1 Peter 4:11
To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

“If you are most satisfied in family or job or fame or success or money or food or music or health or staying alive — if you are more satisfied in any of those than you are in God — then you diminish the glory of God, and you magnify the glory of what you’re most satisfied by. The Bible makes clear that we should live in order to display the supreme worth and beauty and glory of God. That’s our primary reason for existence.”
— John Piper

1 Corinthians 10:31
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
1 Peter 4:7
The end of all things is near.

Additional Notes

 

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