“But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers” (1 Peter 4:7).
What a sobering reminder of the brevity of this world and the necessity to be earnestly seeking God. I believe it is easy to coast through life and never seriously consider the importance of eternal things. Yet, at the end of the day, those things are all that matter.
We are told that the “end of all things is at hand.” It’s hard for us to sympathize with that statement. After all, it was written two-thousand years ago. It seems a terribly long time; and from our perspective it seems that “the end of all things” was not at hand. So we live our lives. We focus on the priorities of today. The “end of all things” seems a long way off.
The statement however, was written from the divine perspective. From God’s point of view, the world is finished. It is but a moment to its end; and everything within the world will be swept away forever. So God encourages us to “be serious and watchful in our prayers.”
To be serious in our prayers is to allow them to have a place of distinction and permanence in our lives. If I am serious about something, I will be diligent in its pursuit and earnest in its achievement. To be watchful is to be alert and anxious for the accomplishment of what we are seeking. In this case, we are expected to be anxious for God’s kingdom and looking for the return of the coming King.
This verse offers a perspective on life that we are not altogether familiar with. Yet it is also an invitation to faith. God seeks to expand the horizon of our faith. He wants that horizon to reach beyond this world and expand into the next. When our faith grows to such a degree that we are able to peer, however feebly, into that vast horizon of eternal life, we will suddenly see with brilliant clarity the futility, frailty and vanity of present things. We will understand that the “end of all things is at hand.”
The result of such faith is a radicalization of one’s life. Such a person begins to live as though they are a citizen of a world not yet seen – yet embracing with zeal and joy the honor and dignity of that kingdom. They begin to worship an invisible God as though they were visibly looking upon His glorious majesty. They express an unyielding devotion and love to a Savior they have never gazed upon; and because of their love, they are willing to die for the honor of His name.
Such has been the faith of many who have gone before us (see Hebrews chapter 11), and such is the faith that God invites you to enter today.
Do you have such faith? If not, “be serious and watchful in your prayers;” believing that God will not disappoint, but rather will lift you up until the horizon of your faith extends into all things eternal.