Hope for Uncertain Times
Sermon shared by David Flowers
Summary: Are we living in the world’s last days? Jesus and the Biblical writers said that is not for us to know, and taught that we are to live our lives fully and freely, hoping in God always. Based on 1 Peter 4:7-19.
Denomination: Free Methodist
Audience: General adults
Unfortunately it is normal. But I don’t have to deal with it, because one day, God is going to deal with it.”
The Christian believes that God has a plan for history, and that God’s plan for history will come down exactly as he determined it would. The Christian looks around at the state of the world, watches world leaders scurrying to this summit and that summit and trying desperately to plug every hole that springs up in the dam, and rejoices that God is sovereign over a world that seems to have spun completely out of control. All is not as it appears. Hope is not lost. The Christian hopes in God. Let’s read from God’s Word about hope this morning.
1 Peter 4:7-19 (NIV)
7 The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray.
8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
9 Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.
10 Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.
11 If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.
12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.
13 But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.
14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.
15 If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler.
16 However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.
17 For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?
18 And, "If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?"
19 So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.
I want you to note, first of all, Peter’s first words in this passage, “the end of all things is near.” 2000 years ago, Peter wrote, “the end of all things is near.” The early Christians believed they were living in the end times (as have all Christians all throughout history). After all, how could things get any worse? Peter and his contemporaries lived during Emperor Nero’s persecution of Christians. Many of you have heard about this. Christians were thrown to lions. They were impaled on poles, dipped in oil, and used as lamps in the emperor’s gardens. They were thrown in prison. Crucified. It was not a great
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