SCRIPTURE: 1 Peter 4:1-11 (NIV)
In football, the manner of play I’ve noticed over the years changes when the “TWO MINUTE WARNING” has sounded. And in VERSE 7 in our study together, Peter says “The end of all things is now.”
I think that thought gives meaning to the whole passage as the Holy Spirit is saying through the Apostle that we should live our lives on earth as if Life’s TWO MINUTE WARNING has sounded.
The question becomes…we should ask ourselves while investigating this passage of Scripture, the same one Peter asks his readers (2 Peter 3:11)–“What kind of people ought you to be?”
So with that in mind, let’s look for ANSWERS to that question:
First, as Christians living in a lost world at the end of time, we should be ARMED with an ATTITUDE. By the way, I didn’t steal that idea from Dr. Laura–it comes right out of this passage of Scripture (1 Peter 4:1-2).
Peter is giving us a picture of putting on our ATTITUDE as part of a suit of armor. Very similar to the passage Paul wrote in his letter to the Ephesian church–“Putting on the whole ARMOR of GOD” (Ephesians 6).
So What is ATTITUDE?
The English Oxford Dictionary: “A settled way of thinking or feeling about something.”
Referring to “ATTITUDE”, Peter is saying it’s the same one that Christ took towards suffering–ARMED WITH THE KNOWLEDGE that He once had, completing the task, never again to wrestle with sin or temptation–that would all be over with, “It is finished!”
What it’s not saying is that if you suffer once, you’ll never suffer again. It’s saying that we should “understand” suffering for what is right and it sometimes part of life in the body.
BIG PICTURE…as a result, you won’t live your life as if you must satisfy your earthly appetites–your desires, your pleasures, for a little suffering here. It can’t be compared with an eternity FREE from SIN & SUFFERING.
The ATTITUDE we should arm ourselves with is like that of a quarterback in the Superbowl who gets injured in the 4th Quarter of the game and the TWO MINUTE WARNING begins. He would be willing to play through a great deal of pain for the sake of that victor’s ring because he know’s everything is at stake and the end is in sight.
We who are Christians, who stands on the edge of history should arm ourselves with the ATTITUDE that says, I can see the goal line and it’s worth any price to obtain it!
That’s the ATTITUDE that free’s us to do God’s will in our lives.
That’s NOT the Way We Used to Live, however.
VERSE 3 actually is a direct contrast to Verse 2, It literally says enough time has been spent doing the will of nations (worldliness) in CONTRAST to our NEW ATTITUDE which frees us to do the “will of God”–we used to live our lives to PLEASE the World and ourselves; not anymore.
And now the World doesn’t understand this new attitude of ours; why we don’t plunge into a life of SENSUAL PLEASURE–drunkenness, sensual immorality, worshipping money and fame. The will of the WORLD summed up in the phrase “If it feels good, do it!”
Secondly, as Christians living at the end of times, we should have…AN AWARENESS OF ACCOUNTING.
To live as followers of Christ we need to understand that AN END IS COMING!
Coaches begin to watch the clock very carefully inside the TWO MINUTE WARNING. It’s important to know where they stand in the time they have left.
Peter says that we need to understand the end is near and living in this time requires clear headedness, self-control, allowing us to keep in communication with the Coach.
It is important as well that we understand what “the end” means–that it means there will be an ACCOUNTING…whether we are LIVING when that time arrives, OR…whether we have already passed on, that we’ll give an account to our lives.
Even those who have gone before us will be judged and this is why they needed the GOSPEL too–it’s not just for those who will be living when the ACCOUNTING comes. And when those who have gone before us put their TRUST in Christ Jesus, thought by human standards being judged GUILTY, in the spirit, they live everlasting because of the work of Christ.
As we sit on the edge of history’s end, we must be aware that Christ will judge the living and the dead. We then must consider how we will be judged on that day. Our DEEDS will be laid before Him.
Woe unto us on that day if our SINS are not covered by the BLOOD of Jesus.
Those who trust the SAVING GRACE of Jesus whose BLOOD was shed on Cross, understanding that only HIS BLOOD can cleanse them; that nothing we could ever do or say will make us worthy.
Those who have put their TRUST in Him alone…ALSO, commit their lives to Him–to live for Him, not to earn His affection, but to demonstrate our affection–because we have been ARMED with the ATTITUDE of Christ.
And because we are aware of an ACCOUNTING…
Third, as Christians living during the “TWO MINUTE WARNING” we should be…
ABOVE ALL AFFECTIONATE (Verses 8-9)
 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.  Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. (NIV)
JESUS’ top TWO LIST was this: Love God, Love your neighbor–everything else, He said, All of the Scripture is tied up in those TWO!
Church tradition says that when the Apostle John, the beloved disciple, became too old to even walk, used to ask to be carried to the local church meetings, go before the assembly of believers and say only this: “Little children, love one another.” Well, that sounds sweet enough but after a while, it started to get on people’s nerves. Finally, the elders of the church went to John and asked him why do you keep saying that? His reply was short and to the point: “Because it is our Lord’s command and because it’s enough!”
LOVE COVERS A MULTITUDE OF SINS.
The Lord knows as well as my wife, I have a multitude of sins. That said, my wife also knows that I LOVE her. Sometimes I hurt her feelings and I’ll demonstrate that LOVE in a tangible way–in an exercise that some have said is a “suck up gift”. But that “suck up gift” works NOT because I spend money, but because she knows that I genuinely care deeply about her!
But it works the other way too. Our LOVE for others covers a multitude of OUR sins toward them but our SIN should also cover a multitude of THEIR sins. About 70 times seven I’d say.
There’s one last thing I want to mention that we should do as Christians while living at the end of time. That’s ADMINISTERING GOD’S ANOINTING (vs. 10-11 a).
Each one of us should use whatever GIFT he/she has received from the Holy Spirit to SERVE others, faithfully administrating God’s GRACE in its various forms (verse 11).
Here is this passage of Scripture, Peter urges us to be “faithful stewards” of the GIFTS God has given to each one of us. And as ADMINISTRATORS (Stewards) of God’s GRACE in various forms, that is of the gifts that God has given YOU (put your name in place of the word “you”), NOT for your pleasure but for His, to SERVE OTHERS.
And notice also that emphasis is given here as it has in the passages found in 1 Corinthians 12 and Romans 12, to the fact that these Spiritual Gifts are exercised not in our own strength BUT in the strength of the Lord. And this is the part that makes it important for us who live in History’s TWO MINUTE WARNING…to OPERATE in the GRACE (the FAVOR) God gives to us through SPIRITUAL GIFTS.
So as the BUZZER, the whistle approaches (or actually, as the TRUMPET sounds), we must work in God’s strength, FAITHFULLY ADMINISTERING as good stewards, God’s Anointing in its various forms.
ARMED with an ATTITUDE that says I have my eyes on a prize above and I can’t be distracted by the pleasures below.
AWARE of the ACCOUNTING–keeping our focus and ready for that day!
Above all AFFECTIONATE–because it’s the Lord’s command and because it’s enough!
And ADMINISTERING faithfully God’s Anointing that through HIS STRENGTH we might accomplish ALL that He has for each one of us as the day approaches!
VINE’S COMPLETE EXPOSITORY DICTIONARY of Old and New Testament Words.
PHOTOS: Advance Settings–Gooogle Image Search.
Bible Translations: The New International Version (NIV), EXCEPT WHERE NOTED.