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How to Prepare for the End of the World

07.24.2022

49M

“When you think about the end of your life, what do you want to be true of you?”

This week, Ben Stuart picks back up in our Take Heart series through 1 Peter. As Peter’s letter begins to wind down, he places a continued emphasis on how we live out the rest of our lives. Ben shows us three important guidelines to help us finish our race well.

Key Takeaway

Sin isn't freedom, it's slavery and Christ has set you free. You're going to endure some opposition if you choose to run with Him, but you don't let that bother you. There's a judgment higher than theirs and that gives you the ability to not judge them, but to be compassionate. The Spirit of God is empowering the people of God to extend grace to each other so that when the world sees us love one another, they'll want to gather around the same fire.

Live your life in such a way that everything you are doing now is what you want to be doing when the end comes. Eliminate the extraneous, and excel in the essential.

Whenever "end of days" or "end of time" is used, it means that there is only one day left on the calendar: the return of Jesus. So while we don't know when or how long it is going to be, everything in the Bible has come to pass except for Jesus coming back, and that will be the end.

So what do you want to be true of you in the end?

1. Bury Sin. 1 Peter 4:1-3

Christ died for our sins, so we don't walk in our earthly passions, but in the path of righteousness. We need to have the same mindset of Christ which is, that sin is not something to revel in, it's something to bury. You want a clean break of sin in your life. Peter is not saying that we make ourselves suffer (as in actions against the self), he's saying that we suffer vicariously through Christ's suffering for us.

The problem with our thinking is that we think sin equals freedom, but is sin that holds us captive. We're not "free to sin" because we know Christ forgives us. Sin is the poison that is killing us. When Peter uses the term "Gentiles", he means people outside of God's covenant who have taken good things and made them bad gods, it's why he calls the sin they are participating in idols.

"Living in sensuality" means living in abandonment of restraint in the pursuit of desire and Peter is focusing on food, drink, and sex. He's having to tell them to stop having drunken orgies. Much of our own culture is using sexuality and experiences to distort what God has given to us. We don't have to live that way, numbing ourselves to do the things we would never do sober. It's always life-taking, never life-enhancing. Our past does not define our present or future. Bury your sin and live righteously.

2. Endure Slander. 1 Peter 4:4-7

It's going to confuse your friends and family when you start living fully within Christ. They are going to reject, mock, and malign you. Realize that your judgment from God is bigger than theirs on earth. God is going to judge everyone, the living and the dead.

We believe there is a real God and we have a moral sense of oughtness because we have a moral God in the universe that He created us to use our lives in a certain way and He will hold us accountable for how we live. That reality beyond the grave changes how we live now. No one gets away with anything, so we are not worried if they're mean to us, we're worried about their soul. We don't get arrogant, we become compassionate. We pray for them, we don't persecute them.

In Genesis 18:22-33 God is about to wipe out Sodom and Gomorrah because of the absolute wickedness of the people. Moses doesn't sit back and grab a snack to watch all of it go down. He prays and pleads with God to relent. He wasn't arrogant, he had compassion and knew they were not right with God and therefore their souls were in jeopardy. So we endure slander not just because of what Christ did, but because of what's coming.

3. Love the Saints. 1 Peter 4:8-11

It's too hard to endure slander and rejection on your own, you have to do it in the community of the saints.

Earnestly "ektenes" means stretched out, fervent. When Peter says love covers a multitude of sins, he is using fire imagery and pulling from Proverbs 10:12 which says hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses. So, hatred stirs things up, you poke at it and it starts a fire, but love covers and snuffs the fire out.

In verse 9 he talks about showing one another hospitality: love with skin on. It's love that serves food, opens a home, it moves toward people. This is why you come to church and get involved. Peter says "one another" constantly, we're meant to take care of each other. God has given us a gift called us. And in verse 10 we see that He has given gifts to all of us for the sake of us. We are to steward, which means to be in charge of something we don't own, our gifts for each other. Our greatest significance in life will come from serving with others in the church. God empowers those who serve, so God gets the glory. The world will be repelled by your holiness and drawn by your love that's how the world works.

//

1. Bury Sin. 1 Peter 4:1-3

Christ died for our sins, so we don't walk in our earthly passions, but in the path of righteousness. We need to have the same mindset of Christ which is, that sin is not something to revel in, it's something to bury. You want a clean break of sin in your life. Peter is not saying that we make ourselves suffer (as in actions against the self), he's saying that we suffer vicariously through Christ's suffering for us.

The problem with our thinking is that we think sin equals freedom, but is sin that holds us captive. We're not "free to sin" because we know Christ forgives us. Sin is the poison that is killing us. When Peter uses the term "Gentiles", he means people outside of God's covenant who have taken good things and made them bad gods, it's why he calls the sin they are participating in idols.

"Living in sensuality" means living in abandonment of restraint in the pursuit of desire and Peter is focusing on food, drink, and sex. He's having to tell them to stop having drunken orgies. Much of our own culture is using sexuality and experiences to distort what God has given to us. We don't have to live that way, numbing ourselves to do the things we would never do sober. It's always life-taking, never life-enhancing. Our past does not define our present or future. Bury your sin and live righteously.

2. Endure Slander. 1 Peter 4:4-7

It's going to confuse your friends and family when you start living fully within Christ. They are going to reject, mock, and malign you. Realize that your judgment from God is bigger than theirs on earth. God is going to judge everyone, the living and the dead.

We believe there is a real God and we have a moral sense of oughtness because we have a moral God in the universe that He created us to use our lives in a certain way and He will hold us accountable for how we live. That reality beyond the grave changes how we live now. No one gets away with anything, so we are not worried if they're mean to us, we're worried about their soul. We don't get arrogant, we become compassionate. We pray for them, we don't persecute them.

In Genesis 18:22-33 God is about to wipe out Sodom and Gomorrah because of the absolute wickedness of the people. Moses doesn't sit back and grab a snack to watch all of it go down. He prays and pleads with God to relent. He wasn't arrogant, he had compassion and knew they were not right with God and therefore their souls were in jeopardy. So we endure slander not just because of what Christ did, but because of what's coming.

3. Love the Saints. 1 Peter 4:8-11

It's too hard to endure slander and rejection on your own, you have to do it in the community of the saints.

Earnestly "ektenes" means stretched out, fervent. When Peter says love covers a multitude of sins, he is using fire imagery and pulling from Proverbs 10:12 which says hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses. So, hatred stirs things up, you poke at it and it starts a fire, but love covers and snuffs the fire out.

In verse 9 he talks about showing one another hospitality: love with skin on. It's love that serves food, opens a home, it moves toward people. This is why you come to church and get involved. Peter says "one another" constantly, we're meant to take care of each other. God has given us a gift called us. And in verse 10 we see that He has given gifts to all of us for the sake of us. We are to steward, which means to be in charge of something we don't own, our gifts for each other. Our greatest significance in life will come from serving with others in the church. God empowers those who serve, so God gets the glory. The world will be repelled by your holiness and drawn by your love that's how the world works.

Quote

"How wonderful it was all at once to be rid of those fruitless joys I once so feared to lose. You drove them from me and You took their place, You who are sweeter than all pleasure."

Augustine

Discussion Questions

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Scripture References

  • 1 Peter 4:1-11
  • 1 Peter 3:18
  • 1 Peter 2:24
Ben Stuart Ben Stuart is the pastor of Passion City Church D.C. Prior to joining Passion City Church, Ben served as the executive director of Breakaway Ministries on the campus of Texas A&M. He also earned a master’s degree in historical theology from Dallas Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Donna, live to inspire and equip people to walk with God for a lifetime.