The Approaching End

 

By Rev. William Ilnisky

Scripture:  1 Peter 4:7

Reflection with us on this Scripture 

 
Here is a note that is struck consistently all through the New Testament.  It is the summons of Paul that it is time to wake out of sleep, for the night is far spent and the day is at hand (Romans 13:12).  “The Lord is at hand,” he writes to the Philippians (Philippians 4:5).  “The coming of the Lord is at hand,” writes James (James 5:8).  John says that the days in which his people are living are “the last hour” (1 John 2:18).  “The time is near,” says John in the Revelation, and he hears the Risen Christ testify: “Surely I am coming soon” (Revelation 1:3; 22:20).
There are many for whom all such passages are problems because if they are taken literally, the New Testament writers were mistaken; two thousand years have passed, and the end has not yet come.

It may be that we have to interpret near in the light of history’s being a process of almost unimaginable length.  Peter’s immediate intent is neither to console nor to threaten his readers but simply to state a reality.  The present order of things will soon come to an end, and they must be ready for whatever comes.  Whether the end is viewed as salvation or as retributive judgment it is always the same event, the object of both hope and warning.

Peter’s meaning is neither that the present age has reached its end, nor that the end lies somewhere in the indefinite future.  His meaning is that the end will be very soon, although he has no interest in setting dates.  There is a time for action, but no time to waste.  Peter sees a continuity between the present situation and the last decisive intervention of God through Jesus.  In a sense, the end-time events are underway; the “end of all things,” although still in the future, is very close at hand.

 

Life Application:  

When do you think Jesus is coming?  Ever since I was a little boy I heard He was coming.  How about you?  It should determine your lifestyle.

Praise/Prayer

Dear Father, I am so thankful that I was young when I was told that Jesus was coming, and I needed to be ready by being a ‘good boy’.  All my life I have looked at the sky expecting Jesus to part the clouds.  The expectation is still there even though I am now old.  I long for Jesus to come! Amen!

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