This week, we’re changing the topic we’ve talked about since the beginning and move onto what Isaac wrote about this week – the Church.
The Church is an intricate organism that does a lot to glorify the name of the Lord. One great “outreach” many churches do is serve others outside of the Church with the hopes of evangelizing and showing love. We build houses, fix roofs, paint walls, serve food, play with kids, hand out free stuff, and many other fun activities. This is all awesome work! I love the work that organizations and projects like World Changers, P2, the IMB, and NAMB all do. It’s even more amazing when local churches do this kind of work in their own communities.
However, the problem arises when we get too stuck in the mindset of serving non-Followers that we forget about our brothers and sisters who need to be served as well. And we can often neglect the fact that they are fun people to be around outside of Sunday gatherings. So, for the next couple weeks, we’re going to be in 1 Peter talking about serving and enjoying the other members of the church.
7 The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. 8 Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. 9 Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.
1 Peter 4:7-9
This passage of Scripture begins with Peter telling us that the end of the world is coming soon which is kind of ironic because Peter wrote this sometime in the 60’s. Like 60 years after 0. So now that we’re reading this nearly 2,000 years later, we might begin to question why Jesus has not returned yet. Naturally this could make us wonder if maybe Peter was overreacting or maybe even the Bible isn’t true at all.
Let’s think about it though. Peter is writing what the Lord wants him to write, and the Creator of Time has been around for a while. God has existed before time began. A thousand years isn’t as long to him as it is to us.
Furthermore, we don’t know how long it will be until Christ does return. Like Peter, we should be living with the belief that Christ is coming soon. If it all ended tomorrow, there would be thousands of people that did not hear the Gospel because hundreds of Followers didn’t take the opportunity they were given today. Thinking about it in this way creates the sense of urgency that with which the early Church lived.
So what does Peter tell these Followers to do in preparation for the end times? Does he tell them to evangelize like crazy men? Does he tell them to teach everyone everything? Does he tell them to have the best VBS possible? No, he doesn’t! Instead, he tells them to pray.
He does this because we cannot do anything for God without him. If we try to do acts for Christ without speaking to Him about it first, then we’re probably doing it for our own glory. Without the leading of the Spirit, we are doing it on our own, and that won’t work. We too often forget the power of prayer.
Next, Peter tells us to keep loving one another. In this book, Peter is speaking to people that are already believers. He’s telling Followers to love other Followers! Peter tells us to do this because love covers a multitude of sins. What this doesn’t mean is that we should do whatever we want and expect people to forgive us because they love us. They would eventually hate us! What it means is that if we love each other, we will forgive each other. Jesus sacrificed so that we can be forgiven because He loves us. We should forgive others because we love them.
Verse 9 is cool because I like hanging out with my friends. Hospitable in the Greek means to be generous to guests. Guests? That means we should invite people to our houses, and that’s awesome! I think, in a modern way, Peter is telling us to have parties. So, do that. Be an entertainer! Have parties! Hang out. The Church should be our closest friends anyway. God is the Creator of parties, and we get to enjoy that gift.
Next week, I’m going to continue on with the topic of enjoying and serving the Church.
Cover Photo: SAphotography