1 PETER 4
1 Peter 4:7-11
BE READY EVERY DAY – Vs. 7 – Be serious! Watch! Pray!
But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.
BE RESPONSIVE EVERY DAY – Vss. 8-9 – Love others! Be Hospitable!
And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.  Use hospitality one to another without grudging.
BE RESPONSIBLE – Vss. 10-11 – Use you gifts to serve others!
As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.  If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
1 Peter 4:7-11
SO, YOU'RE A CHURCH MEMBER!
In these last days, the church member who does these things will not "sit, soak and sour", but have a vital ministry for Christ and His church.
BE SENSIBLE (sober) Vs. 7
BE PRAYERFUL Vs. 7
BE LOVABLE (loving) Vs. 8
BE HOSPITABLE Vs. 9
BE USEABLE Vss. 10-11
1 Peter 4:7-11
Ever since we were small children we have been taught to share.
We've been told that it is not nice to be selfish.
We've been told that it is good to let others have some of what we have.
Sharing is a Biblical principle.
The Bible teaches us to share our faith with others. In light of eternity, that's something too important not to share.
The Bible also teaches us to share our joys and sorrows with fellow believers, and to share our wealth with the church and with those in need.
In 1 Peter 4:7-11 we find some verses that encourage us to do some sharing.
The beginning of verse 7 says, "But the end of all things is at hand:"
The next event on God's prophetic calendar is something we call the rapture. Jesus Christ will come for his church, His followers and take us to Heaven. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
Of course there are more events that will take place after the Rapture of the church, but we won't get into them now. We might say that the Rapture is the beginning of the end.
In verse 7 Peter says, "The end of all things is at hand." That means the end could come at any time! There is no other event on God's prophetic schedule that needs to be fulfilled before Jesus returns. Titus , 2 Peter 3:8-9
Jesus could come at any time for His church and we will all go home on "the family pan".
But let me remind you of
something else. Jesus could come at any time for you. Just after Christmas a man in our son Dave's
church died suddenly of a heart attack. He was only about 50 years old. When I was in college a 19 year old friend of
mine named Dave Davies went to
We never know when Jesus will say, "My child, it's time for me to take you home." Therefore, in a real way the coming of the Lord Jesus is always at hand.
If the coming of Jesus is so close at hand, we need to be those who live in a way that pleases the Lord. We need to obey the teachings of verses 7-11 and learn to share.
SHARING WITH GOD - Vs. 7
The end of all things could happen to us at any time. Therefore, God says be sober. This means to be "sober-minded".
People who are "drunk" do not think clearly.
Christians who are "sober-minded" think clearly and seriously.
When we are thinking clearly we will be watching in prayer, because the Lord could come and take us home at any time!
We share with God when we pray. He has decreed that He will accomplish His work on earth through our prayers. Matthew 7:7-11, 1 John 5:14-15
Is living a Godly life God's will for you? Ask God to help you!
Are people getting saved God's will? Ask God to save souls!
Is Christians living Godly lives, God's will? Ask God to help your Christian friends. We should pray for our friends the way Paul prayed for his in Ephesians -23, -21, Philippians 1:9-11 and Colossians 1:9-14.
SHARING LOVE - Vs. 8
We are to have fervent love for fellow believers. Such love covers the multitude of sins.
I believe that this means that we deal with sin Biblically, not broadcasting the sins of others when it is not necessary.
I believe this also means that when we love fervently we will forgive others. Ephesians 4:32
SHARING OUR HOMES - Vs. 9
Although there does not
appear to be as much need for hospitality today, we should open our homes to
fellow believers. When we open our homes we should not do so grudgingly, but
willingly. On our missions trip we
visited in a home that was poor by
SHARING OUR SPIRITUAL GIFTS - Vss. 10-11
Vs. 10 - God has given you a Spiritual gift. It is a supernatural ability given to you so you can bless others. We are to use these gifts as good stewards. A steward was a household manager who was responsible for the distribution of his master's property.
Vs. 11 - Spiritual gifts fall into two categories. There are speaking gifts and serving gifts. Those who speak should speak as they are speaking for God. Those who serve should serve according to the ability that God has given. Whatever our gift, we are to use it for the glory of God.
1 Peter 4:7-11
END TIMES BEHAVIOR
Whether we want to admit it or not, we are living in the end times. I say that because Jesus could come at any time. How should be behave as we anticipate the Second Coming of Christ?
THE WATCH OF PRAYER - Vs. 7
THE WALK IN LOVE - Vss. 8-9
THE WORK OF STEWARDS - Vss. 10-11
A steward is responsible for something that belongs to someone else.
We should use whatever spiritual gifts God has given us for his glory.
1 Peter 4:12-19
PREPARED FOR THE WORST
It has been over two months since Y2K. There was the possibility that when Y2K arrived there would be terrible problems with the computers. Many difficulties were anticipated, including the loss of power, banking, gas, food deliveries and a number of other things.
In the months, weeks and days before the arrival of Y2K people handled the possible difficulties in various ways. Some people simply ignored the warnings and did nothing. Others, like myself made a few last minute preparations, just in case. Still others were fully prepared. They had lots of food and water on hand, generators ready to fire up, full gas tanks, and cash money available if needed. These people were prepared for the worst.
As it turned out, enough preparatory work had been done on the computers, and there were no major problems. Those who had done the most work to be ready for Y2K were probably not too disappointed. After all, they were prepared if something did happen, and there's nothing wrong, within reason, with being prepared for the worst.
We know that as Christians, we will face some trials. We also know that that these trials are a tool by which we learn patience. James 1:2-4
1 Peter seems to take these trials to an even more intense level. Here, they are called "fiery trials". Peter is telling his followers not to be surprised, that is, think it strange, when fiery trials come. Indeed these trials, which may have had already started, did come to the early church. Once the Romans figured out that Christianity was not just a sect of the Jewish religion, but its own separate religion, Nero and other emperors began to persecute the church.
Peter warns here in
Verse 12, "Don't think if strange if you are persecuted for your
faith." And I say to you my friend, don't think it strange if in the near future in this
country Christians are more actively persecuted for their faith in Christ. Persecution took place in the 20th century in
many parts of the world. It can happen in the 21st century here in
This passage before us can help us to be prepared for the worst.
If it turns out that there is no fiery trial there is no harm done if we are prepared.
If there are fiery trials of persecution, we will be glad we were prepared for the worst.
When fiery trials come we must do four things.
WE MUST REJOICE - Vss. 13-14
As Christians, according to Verse 13, we should count it a privilege to suffer for the sake of Christ. 2 Timothy 3:12, Philippians 1:29
Why should we consider it a privilege to be a "partaker of Christ's sufferings"? Because He suffered for us that we might have eternal life. He went to the cross in your place. He went to the cross in my place, that we might have forgiveness of sins and everlasting life. Isaiah 53:3-7
Verse 13 continues by telling us that those of us who suffer for Christ's sake will have exceeding joy when Christ comes. Those who have been faithful to the Lord during times of suffering for his sake will have great joy when He returns. Why? Those who suffer willingly for Jesus' sake love Him! Therefore they also love His appearing. They are most eager for His return. Also, those who suffer willingly for Jesus' sake will receive rewards. James 1:12
Vs. 14 tells us that we have reason to be "happy" when we are approached for the name of Christ.
"The spirit of
glory" in the Old Testament was called the Shekinah Glory. This glory appeared to
The spirit of this Glory rests upon us because the Spirit of God rests on God's children. Actually He indwells us.We go nowhere without the Spirit of God.
He is always present to help, to encourage and to strengthen us, especially in the times of our greatest need!
WE MUST REFUSE - Vss. 15-16
It is he easy for us as Christians to think of all forms of punishment as persecution. That just isn't so. Some times we are punished because we deserve to be punished. Sometimes things don't work out well for us because we've simply messed up. God doesn't promise to insulate us from the consequences of mistakes that we make or sins that we commit. (Proverbs 13:15) Peter is making it clear here that we as Christians should not be suffering because we have chosen to sin. We must refuse to act the way that the unsaved act.
In Vs. 16 Peter tells us we have nothing to be ashamed of if we suffer as Christians. To call someone a "Christian" in those days was not a compliment. My friend if you suffer today because you are making a true stand for Christ do not be ashamed. Instead of being ashamed of being a Christian, we should bring glory to God by our behavior as Christians.
WE MUST REMEMBER - Vss. 17-18
Vs. 17 - God allows "judgment" or discipline, or trials to come upon the Christian. These judgments, when handled correctly become a strong testimony for the Lord Jesus Christ, and they help mature the Christian.
It is very easy to get discouraged during trials.
It is very easy to wonder why God permits so many bad things to happen to His children.
And yet, consider the non-Christian who is persecuting you.
If judgment is so hard on us, how much harder is judgment going to be on the person without Christ?
What does the unsaved person have to look forward to? He can look forward to the Great White Throne judgment. (Revelation 20:10-14) Eternity without Christ is eternity in hell.
Your persecutors who do not know Christ are in far worse shape than you'll ever be as a Christian.
Vs. 18 - If the righteous, those who know Christ as Savior have so much trouble on the way to Heaven, think of how much more trouble the unsaved are in! They are in big trouble!
Our attitude should not be one of anger towards our persecutors, but one of compassion. We have eternal life. They do not. They face eternal death. We do not!
Jesus prayed for those who persecuted Him on the cross. He prayed, "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do."
WE MUST REST - Vs. 19
This verse is addressed to the one who is suffering for Christ's sake. He is suffering because God has decided according to His perfect will that this man or woman should suffer for Christ's sake.
The person who suffers for Christ sake should first commit the keeping of His soul to Christ.
Jesus has promised, "...I will never leave thee nor forsake thee." Hebrews 13:5
Jesus has promised, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28
Not only do we commit our very souls to Christ, but we are also to continue to do well.
We are to continue to do what's right in spite of mistreatment. Romans 12:19-21
I believe that the coals of fire mentioned in Romans are conviction. When we are kind to our persecutors we are heaping coals of conviction upon their head. This will help them to see their wicked ways and come to Christ. If we do evil to our persecutors, they will feel justified in persecuting us. If we are kind to our persecutors, they will not feel justified in persecuting us.
When persecuted let us commit ourselves to the one who is called here the faithful creator. He created us twice. He created the first time as human beings. He created us the second time as new creatures in Christ. As new creatures in Christ, let us rest in Him, and do well to those who would persecute us!
I hope the worst never comes.
But if fiery persecution ever does come, let us be prepared!