Speaking the Truth in Love

Speaking the Truth in Love

What Shall the End Be?

   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
            an end.
   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
         for it.
      3. Hell will be exactly as horrible as the Bible describes it  
         to be.
   C. Let's look at what the Scriptures reveal about 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
         God's patience.
         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

   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
         about it.
         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.
         Rom. 13:11-12
   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
         other's company.
      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)