The End of All Things
The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers.
1 Peter 4:7 (ESV)
Many lessons have used this text to promote the idea that the end of the world was upon us. Since Peter wrote this prior to 70 AD, we would have to say he was wrong if, in fact, he was saying that. It has been 2000 plus years, and the earth is still here. Peter is telling his readers and us that everything that needed to be done had been done for God’s narrative to reach its climax.
God had created Adam and Eve to be his image-bearers and partners on earth. Because of their yielding to the lies of the serpent, there had been a long journey to get a restored people on earth to reflect his glory and affect his purpose in blessing the earth. Jesus came as the final Adam and Israel’s king to establish a kingdom of people who could again enjoy God and partner with him in his work. The great event climaxed in the cross, resurrection, and ascension. From his ascended position, Jesus with the Father sent the Holy Spirit to indwell his body on earth. Nothing else needed to be done. The temple had been rebuilt. The creation had been renewed. The kingdom had been launched. The Law had been fulfilled. God’s people were scattered throughout the known world to make him known to all who would listen.
The new people of God could now pray on the basis of what had happened. Jesus is now Lord. He rules even in the affairs of those who don’t know he is ruling. God’s people are the true power-brokers of this age. They have the name of Jesus, the discernment of the Spirit, and the favor of the Father. There is nothing they can’t pray about, knowing that they are being heard. They aren’t praying like anyone prayed before the resurrection. Prayer is the essential privilege of fellowship and the essential tool of warfare. Those who see the power of the cross-event treat prayer with great respect. They realize the privilege and the power. It is more than a discipline. It is central to their worship and work.