"The End of All Things Is at Hand"

1 Peter 4:7  •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 10
7But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. (1 Peter 4:7)The end of all things was at hand. The apostle, while speaking of the great principle of responsibility in connection with the testimony of God, draws the attention of believers to the solemn thought of the end of all these things on which the flesh rested. This end drew near.
Here, observe, Peter presents, not the coming of the Lord to receive His own, nor His manifestation with them, but that moment of the solemn sanction of the ways of God, when every refuge of the flesh shall disappear, and all the thoughts of man perish forever.
As regards the relations of God with the world in government, the destruction of Jerusalem, although it was not " the end," was of immense importance, because it destroyed the very seat of that government on the earth in which the Messiah ought to have reigned, and shall yet reign.
God watches over all things, takes care of His own, counts the hairs of their heads, makes everything contribute to their high est good; but this is in the midst of a world which He no longer owns. For not only is the earthly and direct government of God set aside, which took place in the days of Nebuchadnezzar; but the Messiah, who ought to reign in it, has been rejected, and has taken the heavenly place in resurrection, which forms the subject of Peter's Epistle.
The destruction of Jerusalem (which was to take place in those days) was the final abolition of even the traces of that government, until the Lord shall return. The relations of an earthly people with God, on the ground of man's responsibility, were ended. The general government of God took the place of the former; a government always the same in principle, but which, Jesus having suffered on the earth, still allowed His members to suffer here below. And, until the time of judgment, the wicked will persecute the righteous, and the righteous must have patience. With regard to the nation, those relations only subsisted until the destruction of Jerusalem; the unbelieving hopes of the Jews, as a nation, were judicially overthrown. The apostle speaks here in a general way, and in view of the effect of the solemn truth of the end of all things, for Christ is still " ready to judge " (ver. 5); and ff there is delay, it is because God wills not the death of the sinner, and that He prolongs the time of grace.
In view of this end of all that we see, we ought to be sober, and watch in order to pray. We ought to have the heart thus exercised towards God, who changes not, who will never pass away, and who preserves us through all the difficulties and temptations of this passing scene until the day of deliverance which is coming. Instead of allowing ourselves to be carried away by present and visible things, we must bridle self and will, and commune with God.
This leads the apostle to the inner position of Christians, their relations among themselves, not with God's general government of the world. They follow, because they are Christians, Christ Himself. The first thing that He enforces on them is fervent charity (' love'); not merely long-suffering, which would prevent any outbreak of the anger of the flesh, but an energy of love, which by stamping its character on all the ways of Christians towards each other, would practically set aside the action of the flesh, and make manifest the divine presence and action, "for love covers a multitude of sins." (Rev. Ver., and Trans.)