Monday, December 28, 2015

How to Live in View of the End (Part 1)

SERMON               GMT15-041

SERIES:              Topical Messages:  Special Days – New Years

SETTING:          North Kelso Baptist Church

SERVICE:          Sunday AM (December 27th, 2015)

SUBTITLE:        How to Live in View of the End (Part 1)

SCRIPTURE:     1 Peter 4:7-11

SUBJECT:          The impact of the end of all things

SUMMARY:       The realization that the end is now here serves as the motivation for Peter’s call to prayer, love, and service towards one another which leads to the glory of God through Christ.

SCHEME:           To enable my people to transcend unbiblical means of motivation for the ministry they are to have for one another in view living at the end of all things

Our theme is:  The end motivates our ways

Proposition:  The Christian’s awareness of the end of all things impacts their present daily conduct

Interrogatory Sentence:  How does the awareness of the end of all things impact your daily conduct?

Transitional Sentence:  Our passage describes three (3) aspects of how the awareness of the end of all things has an impact on your daily behavior; The Assertion of the Apostle, The Application of the Apostle, and The Admonition of the Apostle.

[The Title of the Message]
How to Live in View of the End (Part 1)

[Announce the Text]
Please open your Bibles to 1 Peter 4:7-11

Prayer for illumination & understanding
Our gracious Father, help us to hear your holy Word that we may truly understand; and that, understanding, we may believe and believing, we may be in all in all things faithful and obedient. Father by understanding your word may we seek your honor and glory in all that we do; through Christ our Lord. So Father we ask you, through your Holy Spirit to open our hearts and minds for the sake, the honor, and the glory of your Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, so that as the Scriptures are read and your Word explained, we may hear with joy what you say to us today. We ask you Father to show us all that Christ is and what He has done for us. Amen.

Re-announce and read the text
Our text for today is 1 Peter 4:7-11

[Main Introduction]

 On a warm summer day in June a teen-age boy lost one of his contact lenses while he was playing basketball in the driveway. After a lengthy fruitless and frustrating search he went inside his house and told his mother that he could not find his contact lenses anywhere in the driveway. So his mother, stopped what she was doing and went out to the driveway in order to search for his lenses.

In a short while she came back into the house with the lenses in her hand. While her son was putting it back into his eye, he asked her why she could find it and he couldn’t. She said it was because they were not looking for the same thing. She said, “You were looking for a small piece of round plastic, I was looking for 150.00.” She was motivated by the cost of the lenses!

Orient the Text:
Motives shape and determine our strategy, our service, and our success

This morning I want to speak to you about the impact of the presence of the end of all things – or more specifically how the Christian’s awareness of the present end of all things impacts their present daily conduct by serving as a practical motivation.

It is obvious that any number of means and methods can be made up to force, command, demand, or persuade believers how to treat one another. 

You are all aware of the legalistic means of motivation –

·        God will love you more,
·        God will accept you more,
·         your prayers will be answered the way you want them answered,
·        the church will accept you,
·        you will feel good,
·        and on and on it goes.

 Others motivate believers by harping on what is expected of believers.

Whatever motivation you accept or utilize will shape your strategy or your plan of ministering to one another, it will affect your actual service or ministry to one another.

Raise a Need:
Christian priorities and their detractors

There are an innumerable types and kinds of distractions that are designed to derail your responsibilities toward one another and your interpersonal relationships. Satan, your flesh, and this world seemingly works “over-time” to change your priorities. 

When our priorities are wrong we fail to relate to one another as God intended and we focus on our own personal desires. It is the failure to maintain Christ-like priorities or maintain godly motivation that causes believer to fail one another. 

How else can you explain, for example, believers living in sinful patterns of unbiblical behavior toward other believers in the same fellowship? Any time your priorities fall on yourself or your motivation is turned from God’s glory and the good of other believers it robs fellow believers of what they need to maintain biblical priorities and motivation.

There is only one response to the care, welfare, and benefit of God’s people, and that is being fully aware of and responding properly to the awareness that the end is here.

The Christian’s awareness of the end of all things impacts their present daily conduct.

State the Purpose

My purpose today is to challenge you to rise above any and all unbiblical means of motivation for the ministry towards one another and live biblically in view of the fact that the end is now here. I want you to resist any and all unbiblical reasons for ministering to one another by seeing the real reason we are to minister to one another.

Let’s look at the impact that the realization of the end of all things has on the daily life of believers.

[Sub Introduction] 

[Scripture Introduction]
First Peter is considered as one of the General Epistles in the NT. Peter’s letter was written to provide encouragement to the Christians who lived in northern Asia Minor who were undergoing intense persecution. This letter was designed to encourage these persecuted believers to remain faithful and obedient under this persecution.

Peter particularly emphasized the holy lifestyle that they were to maintain since they were only temporary residents in a foreign land. Peter wanted his readers to know that as they suffered for Christ’s name and for his sake in a hostile non-Christian land, they were to always remember that they were citizens of heaven and the children of God.

Peter urged his readers to stand firm against the persecution by focusing on their spiritual privileges, promises, and preservation. So Peter reminds his reads that they are called to holiness, a life of sacrificial love, a life of ministry and service to fellow believers, which ultimately culminates in the glorification of God through Jesus Christ.
And so I remind you, The Christian’s awareness of the end of all things impacts their present daily conduct

[Analytical Question]
How does the awareness of the end of all things impact your daily conduct?

Transitional Sentence:  Our passage describes three (3) aspects of how the awareness of the end of all things has an impact on your daily behavior; The Assertion of the Apostle, The Application of the Apostle, and The Admonition of the Apostle.       

A fruitful, faithful, and obedient Christian life is inspired or motivated by the hope of the future. The strength to endure persecution and hardship is also inspired or motivated by the hope of the future. Of course the future is the release from this world by the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. So we look for this release and this return.

Your anticipation of the end of all things should have an impact on your present day conduct and Christian experience. So, as believers experience persecution and as we wait for Jesus Christ we should be motivated to band together and minister to one another to the glory of God. The justification for this premise is found in
Peter’s opening statement in verse 7.

[So, let’s look at the first aspect of how the awareness of the end of all things has an impact on your daily behavior which is made known to us through…]

1A     The Assertion of the Apostle (Vs 7a)

“Now the end of all things is at hand…”

This statement, the end of all things is here summarizes every Christian’s anticipation in regards to the future.

The first words of this sentence in the Greek is “of all things.” This is what is called “the emphatic position.” Peter did this in order to demonstrate just how comprehensive was the end that he was talking about.

The word telios or end refers to the absolute completion or consummation of this present course of history. It refers to the goal that this present age has been moving toward.

[For example:]

1 Corinthians 15:24-28 states, “Then will be the end, when he hands over the kingdom to God, even the Father, when he abolishes every ruler and every authority and power. For he must reign till puts all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death. For he has subjected all things under his feet. But when that this is except for him who subjected all things to him. Now when all things are made subject to him who subjected all things to him, in order that God may be all in all.” (1 Corinthians 15:24-28, English Majority Text)

The Christian’s hope is the return of the Lord Jesus Christ who will put an end to every wicked person, all wickedness and will even put an end to death.

The verb “at hand” or in some translations, “is near” is used often in the NT. It is used in relation to the coming Kingdom of God. (Matthew 3:3, 10:7’ Mark 1:15; Luke 10:9, 11) It means “to approach, to draw near.”

The exciting thing to take note of here in 1 Peter, Peter uses the verb in the perfect tense. This means the end of all things is here, the end is impending. The end of all things has drawn near and is now in the position to “break in.” 

Peter’s assertion that the end is here was the belief of the early church.

[For example:]

Paul told the Roman believers, “The night is advanced, the day is at hand…” (Romans 13:12, English Majority Text)

The author of Hebrews said, “…not forsaking the assembling of ourselves, just as is the custom for some, but exhorting one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:25, English Majority Text)

Philippians 4:5, “Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.” (Philippians 4:5, English Majority Text)

[Let me give you one more if I could]

James, the Lord’s brother, and Pastor at Jerusalem told his readers, “You also be patient. Establish your hearts, because the coming of the Lord has drawn near. Do not murmur against one another, brothers, lest you be judged. Behold, the judge stands before the door!”  (James 5:8-9, English Majority Text)

Where is Jesus standing? Right before the door. He is sitting at the right hand of the Father in heaven, but he is poised to appear instantly.

Remember Jesus’s parting words, “Therefore, you also be ready, for in that hour you think not, the Son of Man comes.” (Matthew 24:44, English Majority Text)
Nathaniel Williams wrote this in his commentary, “His anticipated return was ‘always near to the feelings and consciousness of the first believers. It was the great consummation on which the strongest desires of their souls were fixed, to which their thoughts and hopes were habitually turned.” [1]

Now, we are well aware of at least four things:

·        The delay in Jesus’ return caused some problems in the early church. For example in 2 Peter 3:4-5 the believers were questioned about where the coming of the Lord was and what was the delay. You said he was coming, where is he?

·        Some 2000 + years have gone by since Peter used the perfect tense verb stating the end of all things was here, present, at the door, ready to break in to our age.

·         We know that this “delay” is part of God’s plan. This delay does not destroy our hope or render it impotent. We do not give up, become discouraged, disobedient, or unfaithful because God’s timing is much different than our timing.

·        We are instructed, just as the early believers were, to be faithful, to be ready and to be waiting with great expectation and anticipation!

Listen Peter stated that the end of all things is here and remains here. The HS inspired Peter to use the perfect tense of the verb. Human history has always been moving toward this goal. As of late it seems as if history is plummeting at an uncontrollable and unstoppable breakneck speed. The time separating God’s timetable and ours is razor thin.

Proposition:  The Christian’s awareness of the end of all things impacts their present daily conduct. How does the awareness of the end of all things impact your daily conduct? We have been made clearly aware that the end is here by the assertion of the apostle. The end of all things is here!

Your anticipation of the end of all things should have an impact on your present day conduct and Christian experience. As you experience persecution and as you wait for Jesus Christ you should be motivated to band together and minister to one another to the glory of God. The justification for this premise is found in the second part of Peter’s opening statement in verse 7.

[We have looked at the first aspect of how the awareness of the end of all things has an impact on your daily behavior, now let’s look at the second aspect of how the awareness of the end of all things has an impact on your daily behavior, which is made known to us through…]

2A     The Admonition of the Apostle (VSS. 7b-11a)

First of all, the word “therefore” was used by Peter to fully or completely plant the duties of every believer deeply into the soul of each believer since they have been made aware of the presence of the end of all things.

Second, Peter intends to use this truth and this hope to motivate the conduct of his readers.

[There two specific areas in which Peter admonished his readers to be controlled by their awareness that the end is here, their personal life and their public life. Let’s look at…]

          1B     Peter’s admonition to their personal life Vs. 7-b)

                   “…be of sound mind and self-controlled in your prayers.”

                   1C     Sound mind

This could be translated as “be clear minded.” It is a Greek imperative, it is a command. This is not a choice or a suggestion. Peter is commanding that all believers be clear minded. This word was used for a person who was in his right mind rather than someone who was under the power of demon possession. (Mark 5:15; Luke 8:35)

Later it came to be used of one who was reasonable, sensible, or even prudent. It characterized someone who maintained a clear mind.

Peter was admonishing or urging this people to be self-controlled, to have a proper perspective of the persecution they were suffering and how they were to respond to it.

What does “sound mind” mean? 

 This phrase is taken from the Greek word sophroneo, which is a compound word combining sodzo and phroneo. The Greek word sodzo means to be saved or delivered. It suggests something that is delivered, rescued, revived, salvaged, and protected and is now safe and secure. One expositor suggests that the word sodzo could actually depict a person who was on the verge of death but then was revived and resuscitated because new life was breathed into him.

The second part of the phrase “sound mind” comes from the Greek word phroneo, which carries the idea of a person’s intelligence or total frame of thinking — including his rationale, logic, and emotions. The word phroneo refers to every part of the human mind, including all the processes that are engaged in making the mind function and come to conclusions.

When the words sodzo and phroneo are compounded into one word, they form the word sophroneo, which pictures a mind that has been delivered, rescued, revived, salvaged, and protected and is now safe and secure. So, even if your mind is tempted to succumb to fear, as was the case with Timothy, you can allow God’s Word and the Holy Spirit to work in you to deliver, rescue, revive, and salvage your mind.

This means your rationale, logic, and emotions can be shielded from the illogically absurd, ridiculous, unfounded, and crazy thoughts that have tried to grip your mind in the past. All you have to do is grab hold of God’s Word and His Spirit.

A sound mind is very essential and important in living the Christian life. Right thinking leads to correct Living. The heart refers to our emotions and feelings whereas the mind refers to our thoughts, thinking, imaginations, comprehension and logical reasoning. Having a sound mind is very important because we move, make decisions and act according to the perception and comprehension of the mind.

The concept of a "sound mind" has more to do with our attitude than we may realize. If our mind is sound, it is not cluttered up with the cares of this world. Its processes start with God and end with God. It recognizes the power of God and His love for us.

However, having and maintaining a sound mind requires constant work, a positive approach, and an acceptance of both the good and the bad. It needs continual stirring, like a simmering pot on the stove. We have to guard it and exercise it at all times.

D. J. Kenyon in his book, He That Will Love Life, wrote, “The sound mind is equally far removed from the worldliness and unbelief of those who think to explain away the promise Christ’s coming again, and from the fanaticism and sensationalism of those who would fain predict the hour of it and the manner. 2

[So, Peter’s readers, even in the midst of confusion and persecution were to be of a sound mind. And so are we! Our mind has been delivered from the clutter, trash, foolishness, and fear found in this world. Secondly, Peter’ readers were also to be…]
                   2C     Self-Controlled

The second verb, nhfw, is translated as sober-minded, watchful, or circumspect. The verb does not mean to abstain from the use of alcohol but to refrain from abusing alcohol which leads to intoxication. Peter is admonishing his readers to be alert, self-controlled not alcohol controlled. He wants them to be in their full possession of their rational or thinking mind.

There are two reasons for these commands:

·        First – regardless of the circumstances that surround us by the way of persecution, trials, tribulations, temptations, and such, the believer is to be clear headed in regards to his/her relationship to these things. IOW, Peter’s concern is that they respond properly to the events that overtake them.

·        Secondly, - for some reason, storms, trials, persecutions stop or at the very least hinder a believer’s prayer life.

Peter writes, “…in your prayers.” These Christians were expected to have a balance of clarity and wisdom as they prayed.

What does it mean to be self-controlled? Self-control is defined as the ability to manage your actions, feelings and emotions.

In the New Testament the word is used figuratively: "to be free from every form of mental and spiritual 'drunkenness,' from excess, passion, rashness, confusion, etc."

What this implies is that prayer is a normal and an expected activity of the Christian life. But it is easy to get distracted and have a distorted prayer life if one does not remain clear in their thinking and self-controlled in their responses.

Kenyon writes, “It does not take much in the way of carelessness and disobedience to turn our prayers into confession sessions to clear ourselves with God rather than into communion sessions to increase our strength in Him.” [2]

Wayne Grudem said, “…the idea is not simply so that you can pray, but in order to pray more effectively, more appropriately; Christians should be alert to events and evaluate them correctly in order to be able to pray more intelligently. [3]

When trials, temptations, persecutions, or difficulties overwhelm you, stay clear headed, maintain control of yourself, and pray intelligently. Peter urged his readers to maintain the practice of prayer in relation to their personal lives.

Christians can become intoxicated with materialism, idolatry and worldly pursuits in order to pacify themselves during trials, and therefore, not have soberness in viewing the events happening around them. Trials also tend to be a catalyst in drawing people into addictions to alcohol, drugs, mood swings, or ideas that are worldly rather than biblically instead of dependence solely on God. None of these actions or attitudes are appropriate responses to trials. The Christian must have a sober mind that is “awake” and “alert” so it can properly interpret the events happening and be drawn into intercession.

The Christian must have a right mind which is full of the Word. He must be alert--not given to intoxicants whether physical or spiritual. He must be alert to the attack of the devil, things that are happening in society, the needs of others, and he must be self-controlled. All these things are necessary in order to be focused in prayer.

Focused-prayer is the only type of prayer appropriate in these last hours. Lord help us to have a right mind and be sober so we can pray in order that your will may be done on the earth.

So Peter admonishes these believers concerning their personal life because they are aware the end is here, it has arrived. Peter wants these believers to know how to live in light of the fact that the end is here. So he gives them instructions concerning their personal life.

Peter also gives some instructions and admonitions to his readers concerning their public or communal life also. However, we will have to look at next week, Lord willing!

[What do you say we wrap this up?] 

Fundamental to the Christian view of self-control is that it is a gift. It is the fruit of the Holy Spirit: “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace . . . self-control” (Galatians 5:22–23). How do we “strive” against our fatal desires?

Paul answers: “I labor, striving (agonizomenos) according to His power, which mightily works within me” (Colossians 1:29). He “agonizes” by the power of Christ not his own.

Similarly he tells us, “If by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you will live” (Romans 8:13). “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the LORD of hosts” (Zechariah 4:6). We must be fierce! Yes. But not by our might. “The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the LORD” (Proverbs 21:31).

And how does the Spirit produce this fruit of self-control in us? By instructing us in the superior preciousness of grace, and enabling us to see and savor (that is, “trust”) all that God is for us in Jesus.

“The grace of God has appeared . . . instructing us to deny . . . worldly desires . . . in the present age” (Titus 2:11–12). When we really see and believe what God is for us by grace through Jesus Christ, the power of wrong desires is broken.

Therefore the fight for sober-mindedness and self-control is a fight of faith. “Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called” (1 Timothy 6:12).

Let’s pray! :)

[1] D. Edmond Hiebert, 1 Peter, (|Chicago: Moody Press, 1994), p. 268
[2] D. J. Kenyon, He That Will Love Life, p.
[3] Wayne Grudem, p. 173

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