1. The apostle Peter wrote 2 of the 21 New Testament "epistles" [letters]. 2. In his first letter,: a. Peter addressed a number of responsibilities that God has given to His people b. Peter showed how Christians must fulfill these responsibilities, even while suffering persecution from unbelievers c. Peter emphasized how Christ suffered unjustly for doing the Father's will. 3. This lesson is a study of the information presented in 1 Peter 4:7-11. 4. In these verses Peter dealt further with the responsibilities that God has given to His people. 5. However, before doing so, . . . Discussion: I. PETER FIRST REVEALED THE BASIS FOR THESE RESPONSIBILITIES
A. (vs.7a) "The end of all things is at hand." B. The Bible uses: 1. the expression "the end" to refer to several great calamities, including: a. "the end of all flesh" (Genesis 6:13) b. the destruction of Jerusalem (Matthew 24:14) c. "the end of the world" (Matthew 28:19-20) 2. the expression "at hand" to indicate that: a. something/someone is nearby (Philippians 4:5) b. something will occur soon (Matthew 4:17). C. To properly understand this statement, we must keep in mind that: 1. Peter wrote this letter around 65 AD 2. the emperor Nero was responsible for a horrible persecution against Christians in Rome 3. this persecution against Christians spread to Asia Minor 4. the context indicates Peter was writing about a "fiery trial" that would test the Christians in this area (4:12: 1:1) 5. Jerusalem would soon be destroyed (70 AD). D. On the basis that a great calamity would soon occur, . . . II. (vs.7b-11) PETER PRESENTED A VARIETY OF ADDITIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES
A. Vs.7b 1. Be "sober" [of sound mind] (Titus 2:6). 2. "Watch unto prayer" (Mark 13:33; 14:38; Ephesians 6:18; Colossians 4:2). B. Vs.8 1. "Above all things have fervent charity [love] among yourselves" (1:22; John 13:34-35; 1 Corinthians 13:4-7). 2. "Charity [love] will cover the multitude of sins" (Proverbs 10:12; Ephesians 4:32). C. Vs.9: "Use hospitality one to another without grudging" (Romans 12:13b; Hebrews 13:2; Philippians 2:14). D. Vs.10-11 1. (vs.10-11a) Christians are to use their God-given talents to serve one another "as good stewards" (Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 4:2). 2. (vs.11b) The purpose for doing this is to glorify God through Christ "in all things" (1 Corinthians 10:31).