1 Peter 4:7
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer.

King James Bible
But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.

Darby Bible Translation
But the end of all things is drawn nigh: be sober therefore, and be watchful unto prayers;

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

Young's Literal Translation
And of all things the end hath come nigh; be sober-minded, then, and watch unto the prayers,

1 Peter 4:7 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

But the end of all things is at hand - This declaration is also evidently designed to support and encourage them in their trials, and to excite them to lead a holy life, by the assurance that the end of all things was drawing near. The phrase, "the end of all things," would naturally refer to the end of the world; the winding up of human affairs. It is not absolutely certain, however, that the apostle used it here in this sense. It might mean that so far as they were concerned, or in respect to them, the end of all things drew near. Death is to each one the end of all things here below; the end of his plans and of his interest in all that pertains to sublunary affairs. Even if the phrase did originally and properly refer to the end of the world, it is probable that it would soon come to denote the end of life in relation to the affairs of each individual; since, if it was believed that the end of the world was near, it must consequently be believed that the termination of the earthly career of each one also drew near to a close.

It is possible that the latter signification may have come ultimately to predominate, and that Peter may have used it in this sense without referring to the other. Compare the notes at 2 Peter 3:8-14, for his views on this subject. See also the notes at Romans 13:11-12. The word rendered "is at hand," (ἤγγικε ēngike,) may refer either to proximity of place or time, and it always denotes that the place or the time referred to was not far off. In the former sense, as referring to nearness of place, see Matthew 21:1; Mark 11:1; Luke 7:12; Luke 15:25; Luke 18:35, Luke 18:40; Luke 19:29, Luke 19:37, Luke 19:41; Luke 24:15; Acts 9:3; Acts 10:9; Acts 21:33; in the latter sense, as referring to time as being near, see Matthew 3:2; Matthew 4:17; Matthew 10:7; Matthew 21:34; Matthew 26:45; Mark 1:15; Luke 21:20, Luke 21:28; Acts 7:17; Romans 13:12; Hebrews 10:25; 1 Peter 4:7. The idea as applied to time, or to an approaching event, is undoubtedly that it is close by; it is not far off; it will soon occur. If this refers to the end of the world, it would mean that it was soon to occur; if to death, that this was an event which could not be far distant - perhaps an event that was to be hastened by their trials. The fact that it is such language as we now naturally address to people, saying that in respect to them "the end of all things is at hand," shows that it cannot be demonstrated that Peter did not use it in the same sense, and consequently that it cannot be proved that he meant to teach that the end of the world was then soon to occur.

Be ye therefore sober - Serious; thoughtful; considerate. Let a fact of so much importance make a solemn impression on your mind, and preserve you from frivolity, levity, and vanity. See the word explained in the notes at 1 Timothy 3:2.

And watch unto prayer - Be looking out for the end of all things in such a manner as to lead you to embrace all proper opportunities for prayer. Compare the notes at Matthew 26:39, Matthew 26:41. The word rendered watch, means to be sober, temperate, abstinent, especially in respect to wine; then watchful, circumspect. The important truth, then, taught by this passage is, "that the near approach, of the end of all things should make us serious and prayerful."

I. The end may be regarded as approaching. This is true:

(1) of all things; of the winding up of the affairs of this world. It is constantly drawing nearer and nearer, and no one can tell how soon it will occur. The period is wisely hidden from the knowledge of all people, (see Matthew 24:36; Acts 1:7,) among other reasons, in order that we may be always ready. No man can tell certainly at what time it will come; no man can demonstrate that it may not come at any moment. Everywhere in the Scriptures it is represented that it will come at an unexpected hour, as a thief in the night, and when the mass of people shall be slumbering in false security, Matthew 24:37-39, Matthew 24:42-43; 1 Thessalonians 5:2; Luke 21:34.

(2) it is near in relation to each one of us. The day of our death cannot be far distant; it may be very near. The very next thing that we may have to do, may be to lie down and die.

II. It is proper that such a nearness of the end of all things should lead us to be serious, and to pray.

(1) to be serious; for:

(a) the end of all things, in regard to us, is a most important event. It closes our probation. It fixes our character. It seals up our destiny. It makes all ever onward in character and doom unchangeable.

(b) We are so made as to be serious in view of such events. God has so constituted the mind, that when we lose property, health, or friends; when we look into a grave, or are beset with dangers; when we are in the room of the dying or the dead, we are serious and thoughtful. It is unnatural not to be so. Levity and frivolity on such occasions are as contrary to all the finer and better feelings of our nature as they are to the precepts of the Bible.

(c) There are advantages in seriousness of mind. It enables us to take better views of things, Ecclesiastes 7:2-3. A calm, sober, sedate mind is the best for a contemplation of truth, and for looking at things as they are.

(2) to be watchful unto prayer:

(a) People naturally pray when they suppose that the end of all things is coming. An earthquake induces them to pray. An eclipse, or any other supposed prodigy, leads people to pray if they suppose the end of the world is drawing near. A shipwreck, or any other sudden danger, leads them to pray, Psalm 107:28. So people often pray in sickness who have never prayed in days of health.

continued...

1 Peter 4:7 Parallel Commentaries

Library
Personal Experience
In conclusion I desire to add my humble testimony of a personal experience of the glorious work of entire sanctification. At the age of seventeen years I was converted. All who were acquainted with me had no reason to doubt the genuine, inwrought grace of pardon and the new life which at once began to bring forth fruit unto God. But the one to whom this mighty change seemed the most marvelous was myself. My poor soul, which for several years had been held under the terrible bondage and darkness of
J. W. Byers—Sanctification

A Battle with Smallpox
Soon after we began work in the city, my brother George went out to assist in a meeting at Edgewood, Iowa. A mother desired prayer for her little girl, so my brother and another minister laid hands on her and prayed for her healing. The mother said that some one thought her child was taking smallpox, but that she was sure it was a mistake. The ministers saw a few little pimples on the child's lip and asked her if the same breaking-out was on other parts of her body. The mother's answer was, "None
Mary Cole—Trials and Triumphs of Faith

The Foreshadowing of the Cross
The work of Christ on earth was hastening to a close. Before Him, in vivid outline, lay the scenes whither His feet were tending. Even before He took humanity upon Him, He saw the whole length of the path He must travel in order to save that which was lost. Every pang that rent His heart, every insult that was heaped upon His head, every privation that He was called to endure, was open to His view before He laid aside His crown and royal robe, and stepped down from the throne, to clothe His divinity
Ellen Gould White—The Desire of Ages

The Privilege of Prayer
Through nature and revelation, through His providence, and by the influence of His Spirit, God speaks to us. But these are not enough; we need also to pour out our hearts to Him. In order to have spiritual life and energy, we must have actual intercourse with our heavenly Father. Our minds may be drawn out toward Him; we may meditate upon His works, His mercies, His blessings; but this is not, in the fullest sense, communing with Him. In order to commune with God, we must have something to say to
Ellen Gould White—Steps to Christ

Cross References
Genesis 6:13
Then God said to Noah, "The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth.

Romans 13:11
Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed.

Romans 13:12
The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.

Hebrews 9:26
Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.

James 5:8
You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near.

1 Peter 1:13
Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

1 John 2:18
Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour.

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