The End is at Hand
Last night our family was reading Radiant Word together. In 1 Peter 4:7 we read Peter’s words, “But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers.” This verse struck me as very pertinent to our times and how we should currently be living.
When Peter writes “the end is at hand” he is speaking of Christ’s return being imminent. It’s the idea that all is ready and there is not one prophetic event to be accomplished before Jesus returns for His church. As you look at all that is happening in our nation and our world, we see every piece of the puzzle in place for the Scripture’s end times prophecies to be uncovered. If the end was near when Peter wrote this nearly 1,960 years ago, now it must be right at the door.
Considering the imminent return of Jesus Christ, Peter tells us we must be “serious and watchful.” These words contain the idea of being alert, self-controlled, and aware. If it is the end of all things, we can’t live as if it’s not.
The NIV translates “be serious” as “of sober mind.” If a man knows he’s about to take a sobriety test to keep his job, he’d be an idiot to decide the time is right to chug a pint of bourbon. Peter is telling his readers this is not a time to be spiritually intoxicated but to be sober in their spirit and not drunk with the cares and lusts of this world.
We are to be serious and watchful in our prayers. During the time of the “end of all things,” the follower of Christ is to be in prayer. Not coincidently in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus had told Peter, James, and John to “Watch and pray” (Matt. 26:41). Instead, Peter and the others watched the inside of their eyelids as they slept.
The greater we sense we are living in the time of “the end of all things” the more prayerful we should be. Right now, Radiant Church is engaged in 21 days of prayer and fasting. As a church, we’re in a prayer surge. Considering “the end is near” this is far more than a religious exercise, but it is the most sober and necessary action for all of us to take.
When the world seems out of control, there are three basic tendencies that are all wrong and to be avoided. The first is to freak out, live in terror, and frighten those around us with predictions of gloom and doom. Another is to hunker down, isolate ourselves, protect our family and territory, and wait for the return of Christ. Maybe worst of all would be to do nothing, saying God is sovereign and will do what He will do and I’m just a victim of what He decides. Followers of Christ are not to be fatalists. Our choices matter, and how we respond in times like these is vitally important.
In the Last Days, we are to partner with God to see His will be done and His Kingdom to come on earth as it is in Heaven. One of the greatest ways we do this is through serious and watchful prayer.
We can’t stick our heads in the sand and pretend nothing is happening. It’s critical we be aware of what is occurring around us and what the Scripture says about it. That’s what Peter calls being “watchful.” Of course, there is a wise balance to this. Some people are living in low grade depression, unhealthy anxiety, and brooding anger because of watching too much secular news and immersing themselves in the rancorous politics of the day.
God has not called us to be political. He’s called us to be biblical. Radiant has started a blog to examine current events through a biblical lens and to respond to them according to biblical truth and scriptural admonitions. We can’t be silent, we must speak out against evil, perversion, oppression, and injustice. Yet, instead of negatively reacting, or losing our cool we are to vigilantly, fervently, and thoughtfully pray.
The Apostle James tells us, “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (James 5:16). Our prayers influence influencers, affect nations, and change destinies. Regularly, as I read the news, I turn my concerns for our world into prayer requests. J. Sidlow Baxter said, “Men may spurn our appeals, reject our message, oppose our arguments, despise our persons, but they are helpless against our prayers.”
The end is at hand; it is time for the church to rise up with watchful, serious, fervent prayer. Join us in these 21-days of prayer and fasting as we pray for revival in the church, awakening in our nation, and God’s kingdom will to be done in our hour.
Pastor Todd Hudnall
Written by Todd Hudnall
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