The End is Near
“The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.” 1 Peter 4:7-9 ESV
Few things motivate eager hospitality like an imminent sense of eternity.
“BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.”
That was the emergency government alert that residents of Hawaii received at 8:07 a.m. on January 13th, 2018. With fresh memories of an attack threatened only a few weeks prior, the island went into a panic. According to the public education on these types of warnings, most knew to expect impact in 12-14 minutes. To them, the end was near. And that perspective had a dramatic effect upon their choices and interactions with others, even strangers. Petty differences no longer mattered. The needs of other humans became visible and urgent. The imminence of eternity energized many into action.
By God’s grace the alert turned out to be a mistake. But there is another kind of message. An alert sounded by our conscience, informed by God’s Word that there is a coming judgment. And such an intense warning should motivate us to live differently before God and in our treatment of one another.
Hospitality is hard. It is the kind of service that can tempt even the most mature believers to grumble. But God knows one of the most helpful ways to overcome these sorts of frustrations is to keep a clear sense of eternity. The end is near. One day Christ will return. So let us seize every moment He gives us to care for others and ready them for that day.
- What things in your life distract you from the urgency of eternity?
- How do those temporary distractions tempt you to neglect hospitality or regard it as a burdensome obligation?
Take a moment respond in prayer to what this passage reveals about who God is, what He wants, what you need, and what you face.
Memory Verse: “Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.” 1 Peter 4:9 ESV