A. "What shall the end be?" is a question found in 1 Pet. 4:17-18.
1. "What shall the end be?" is a very important question for
all of us to consider.
2. There is an old saying: "All good things must come to an
a. Actually, all things, whether good or bad, will come to
B. Consider Eccl. 7:1,8.
1. Whether the end is better than the beginning or worse than
the beginning depends on us.
2. Heaven will be well worth every effort and sacrifice we make
3. Hell will be exactly as horrible as the Bible describes it
C. Let's look at what the Scriptures reveal about the end.
I. THE CERTAINTY OF THE END.
A. The Bible plainly speaks of an ultimate end.
1. It is sometimes called merely "the end." 1 Cor. 15:22-24
2. Peter spoke of "the end of all things." 1 Pet. 4:7
3. God has revealed the certainty of the end, but not the exact
time of the end. Mark 13:32
a. Look at the Lord exhortation which followed. Mark
B. There is much uncertainty toward the future in this life.
1. The future is uncertain; e.g., the weather, stock market,
inflation. Prov. 27:1
a. In all things we should say - James 4:13-14.
2. We know that death will come to all, but no one knows
exactly when it will come.
C. For every person "the end" will definitely be the end of
1. For the faithful Christian, it will be the end of his
conflict with the flesh. 1 Cor. 9:27; 2 Tim. 4:7-8
a. For the faithful Christian, "the end" will be the end of
his sufferings and trials. 2 Cor. 4:17
2. For the unfaithful Christian, "the end" will be the end of
a. God was patient and longsuffering with Israel, but that
patience eventually ran out. Rom. 10:21
b. For the unfaithful Christian, "the end" will be the end
of God's exhortations. Rom. 12:1; Eph. 4:1; 1 Cor. 1:10;
1 Pet. 2:11
3. For the unbelieving and disobedient, "the end" will
terminate their opportunity to be saved.
a. These were under consideration when Peter asked his
question, "What shall the end be?" 1 Pet. 4:17-18
b. For the unbelieving and disobedient, the day of grace
will have ended.
c. The precious invitation of Christ will no longer be
offered. Matt. 11:28-30
d. Jesus said - Rev. 3:20.
(1) Someday, Christ will cease His knocking. People
would then give everything for just one more
(2) But there will be none! The end has come, and all
men will now be forced to bow. Rom. 14:11
II. IT IS IMPORTANT TO CONSIDER THE END.
A. We must not deny that the end will come. 2 Pet. 3:3-7
1. We must not delay the end in our thinking, or just forget
a. Those in the days of Noah were quickly taken away by
the flood. Matt. 24:37-39
b. The evil servant became worse when he thought that his
master was delaying his coming. Matt. 24:48-51
2. We must realize that the end is nearer now than it has been.
B. Most people, Christians included, do not take time to carefully
consider the end.
1. My life is hectic! I'm running all day, meetings, phone
calls, paperwork, appointments. I push myself to the limit,
fall into bed exhausted, and get up early the next morning
to do it all again. My output is tremendous; I'm getting a
lot done. But I get this feeling inside sometimes, "So what?
What are you doing that really counts?" I have to admit, I
don't know. (From Game Plan, by Bob Buford, p. 57)
2. Like that busy person, many people today are energetically
using up their lives in worldly endeavors which have no
benefit for the soul.
3. Let us be wise enough to know what is truly important in
life, and live accordingly. Eccl. 12:13-14
C. It is important to consider the end because, hopefully, a
consideration will help us prepare for it.
1. Those who were victorious considered the end.
a. Noah looked to the end and obeyed God. Heb. 11:7
b. Paul looked to the end and pressed on. Phil. 3:13-14
c. Jesus looked to the end and endured the cross. Heb.
d. We, too, should look to the end. 2 Pet. 3:10-12
2. Considering the end will help us to be patient in trials.
a. Faithfulness to the end brings rewards. Matt. 10:22;
3. Considering the end will produce zeal. 1 Cor. 15:58
a. The Israelites were at ease in Zion. Amos 6:1
b. The landowner asked, "Why stand ye here all the day
idle?" Matt. 20:6
c. The Pharisees had a misguided zeal. Matt. 23:13
d. The disciples saw zeal in what Jesus did. John 2:14-17
e. Paul had unwavering zeal. Acts 20:22-24
A. Consider Matt. 8:11-12.
1. A father on his deathbed called his sons. They gathered
around him and to one he said, "Good night, son," and to the
other he said, "Good-bye, son." The second boy noticed the
difference and asked his father, "Dad, why did you say 'good
night' to my brother and 'good-bye' to me?" The dear old
man who loved both of them said, "Son your brother is a
Christian; I will meet him in the morning of eternity. So it
is just 'good night' to him. But you, son, are not a
Christian. I will never meet you again unless you change. It
is good-bye, son, throughout all eternity." (Author Unknown)
2. Heaven will be a wonderful place of pleasant associations
where the righteous of the ages will sit down and enjoy each
3. Hell will be a place of outer darkness where there will be
weeping and gnashing of teeth.
4. Jesus said, "Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for
many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be
able." (Luke 13:24)