Read 1 Peter 4:7-19
If today were your last day, what would you do? If we knew that to be true, most of us would gravitate towards our family…making sure that we gave those last hugs and kisses, being careful to attempt to verbalize those last words of love and wise counsel. Some might scramble to make sure that the will is up to date and financial matters are as clear as possible for their heirs. A few might tie up loose ends with work related issues.
Let’s face it, the idea of a “last day” is one that we give passing thought to now, but probably don’t take too seriously because our experience has caused us to expect a “tomorrow.”
Nevertheless, Peter gives us godly insight as to what this kind of expectant life should look like. He instructs us that “the end of all things is near” (v. 7a). True, this is not a “today is your last day” statement. It is, however, a reminder that Christ’s return is imminent. It could be today. I realize that may sound trite. After all, those reading these lines have seen thousands of “todays” become “tomorrows.” Nevertheless, as Paul puts it, “our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.” (Rom. 13:11)
So what do we do with that reality? Nod our head and go on unaffected by it? Of course not! The immanency of the return of Jesus should motivate us to…
- Be sober-minded
- Love people
- Be hospitable
- Use the gifts God has given us
- Handle adversity well
While each of those merits special attention, I feel as if I (and perhaps many reading these lines) need to be reminded of the last. When we forget that we are just passing through this world and that this is not yet our final home, we somehow expect to sail through life without major challenges. Instead, Peter reminds us to not be surprised by trials. After all, why should our experience be any different from our Savior’s?
As we expect share in the return of Jesus, we can also expect to share in sufferings.