The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers.

1Peter 4: 7

 

Although the events of our days might suggest that this world is ready to explode into a form of chaotic and cataclysmic self-destructive furry that will culminate in the return of Christ, that is not necessarily any more true today than it was when Peter wrote these words. What is true is that everything that was essential in preparation for that time of purification and restoration of creation to the righteous glory of God’s intent has been accomplished. Jesus has come, He has died the sacrificial death of the crucifixion, and He is risen from that death to ascend to the glory of Heaven so that the Holy Spirit could come to dwell with and in God’s people.

 

God has completed all of this. Now we are living in these end times, and the nature of our times are such that the return of Christ would be highly desirable. However, that event is far beyond our control, and it is God’s intent that none of us will have even the slightest clue as to when and even to exactly how all of that will happen. Instead God wants His people to live in the here and the now with Christ on full view to our world through our words and our actions.

 

As we are in Christ and His Spirit is in us we are different from this world. We are now dwelling in the presence of God, Himself, and we also bring the essential nature of the Kingdom of Heaven into our immediate world. I think that what Peter means by being self-controlled is that we are under the influence of the Holy Spirit rather than being people who are tossed about by the fears, the anger, and the lies that permeate our world. Likewise, being sober-minded does not mean that we are serious to the point of being joyless. Instead we are to be clear headed and informed by God’s truth as we live our lives under the direct counsel of God’s word and His Spirit.