The Nearness of Eternity
1 Peter 4:7-11
But the end of all things is at hand: be you therefore sober, and watch to prayer.…

I. THE END OF ALL THINGS IS AT HAND. Nothing abides around you. Like the stream which wanders through the valley, everything is flowing by. A single year is often sufficient to change the whole complexion of life. The Christian contemplates, if with awe, yet in peace, the breaking up of all human schemes, and societies, and pleasures, and gains, and losses. He anticipates the wreck, but he feels himself to be in the ark.


1. Sobriety of mind is that temperate use of all earthly things, and that moderate estimate of their worth, which disposes the Christian rather to detach his affections from present objects, than to be inordinately excited by them. The near view of eternity peculiarly assists him in this moderation as to worldly enjoyments.

2. Prone, however, to be misled by his senses, he feels the necessity of incessant watchfulness. "Be ye therefore sober, and watch." His natural love of ease, his reluctance to self-denial will but too readily dispose him to adopt the theory rather than the practice of sobriety. Hence it becomes his duty to be ever vigilant over his own spirit, to examine candidly the actual habit of his mind; to watch diligently lest he act inconsistently with his professed principles; lest the world exert an undue influence over his heart; lest self-delusion put him off his guard.

3. But the apostle directs believers to connect this sobriety and this vigilance with prayer. Indeed prayer is the only source of this sobriety and this watchfulness of mind. The brightest impressions fade from the soul if they are not renewed continually by the grace and blessing of God. Hence prayer is to the Christian the very life and health of his soul.

(G. S. Noel, M. A.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.

WEB: But the end of all things is near. Therefore be of sound mind, self-controlled, and sober in prayer.

The Nearness of Eternity
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