Things will not forever continue the way they do now. God declared through the pen of the apostle Peter, “But the end of all things is at hand” (1Pe 4:7). Most people, even the non-religious believe the world will one day come to an end. The October 2000 issue of Discover Magazine included an article, “20 Ways the World Could End” in which the authors finally arrived at the correct answer with their 19th option, “Divine Intervention.” The prospect of the end of the world including Christ’s Return and a day of judgment is referenced in the New Testament to motivate Christians to live godly lives (Matthew 24:44; Titus 2:11-14; 2Peter 3:10-14).
Peter’s announcement to the recipients of his letter that the end of all things had drawn near would have been both a motivation to holy living, and an encouragement to endure persecution and unjust treatment (4:7). They were being persecuted, but perhaps Christ would come in their lifetime, maybe even during the persecution, and deliver them (1Pe 4:12-17). And since God judges without partiality they (and we) must conduct themselves throughout their lifetime in reverent fear of God while living holy lives (1:15-17). Because the end of all things is imminent, we must be clear-minded and self-controlled in order that we might be effective in our prayers (4:7). Like the persecuted Christians Peter addressed, we must not be distracted by the threat of persecution. So many things in this life can occupy our minds and distract our attention from the important work of prayer. May we live with the end in sight focusing our minds on the Lord Who will soon appear.