THEREFORE #4: THE END IS NEAR!

“THEREFORE #4: THE END IS NEAR !” (1 Pet. 4:1-7)
1-2 Peter Series Message #9
FBC Earlville 3-15-15 10:30 AM Rev. J.B. Stopford, Pastor

INTRODUCTION Today’s Special: “Llama Tales”
Llama 1: We’re escaping this afternoon.
Llama 2: Alpaca bag.

We can live a life not dominated by sin (4:1) because of His Precious blood (1:19). A life not dominated by sin has nailed sin to the cross on which He suffered. But v. 7 says that “the end is near”! How are we to so live that our focus is on the eternal and not on the every day stuff? Vs. 2-6 will tell us why the therefore of v. 7 is…THERE FOR! PRAYER

# 1 IN CHRIST: GOD’S WILL (vs. 1-2)
* Reminder of Phil. 2:5-11 We are to die to self & sin because one day we will bow – with every one else – and declare Jesus as Lord. Why not do that now!
* As a result (v. 2) we are to live the rest of our lives to do God’s will rather than to please ourselves. Is God’s will generic or specific?
1 Cor. 1:1 God’s call to places of service [“Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God”]
2 Cor. 8:5 God’s will can be His pleasure “they first gave themselves to the Lord, and then to us by the will of God”]
Eph. 6:6 We can do our jobs first of all to God’s pleasure [not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart”]
Col. 4:12 He who is doing God’s pleasure is identified as mature in the faith [“Epaphras, who is one of you, a bondservant of Christ, greets you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.”]
1 Thess. 4:3-5 God’s will that we be sanctified/holy [“For this is the will of God, your sanctification…”]
1 John 2:17 He who does God’s will lives forever (compared with the world which doesn’t) [“…And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”]
Thus God’s will is God’s pleasure, as found daily in His Word

# 2 WITHOUT CHRIST: MY WILL (vs. 3-4)
Note that these verses now are understandable: There is a HUGE contrast to who we are while belonging to Christ compared with those who are without Christ and doing their own pleasure [They’re doing MY will rather than the revealed will of GOD]

#3 BEFORE CHRIST: MY FOCUS (vs. 5-6)
* The gospel is preached to the dead.
* What this DOESN’T mean: going to the cemetery with a Bible and yelling “John 3:16”!
* What this DOES mean: sharing Jesus with those who are without God and without hope

CONCLUSION: v. 7 stay ship-shape to do what? PRAY!!!
God hungers for holy people.
Illus.: one of the things football players used to do was spend the months of July & August getting in shape. Now their contracts demand a 12 month regimen to stay in shape.
APPLICATION: That’s what God wants us to be. WHY? So that we can pray – holy vessels focused on His will, His glory!
What does it mean “the end is near”? The Message: “Everything in the world is about to be wrapped up, so take nothing for granted.”
* Illus.: I read yesterday that the drummer for one of my favorite bands growing up – Three Dog Night – passed away of cancer this past week. Not only is the world passing away, but lives have no guarantee of length of life.
So are we going to live for ourselves? Or for the cross?
Are we going to be slouches spiritually? Or people of prayer?
To (W)hom [or to (w)hom] will we yield ourselves today?
CLOSE IN PRAYER

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