What Shall The End Be

(1 Peter 4:17)
INTRODUCTION: This will be the most important question when the end of time comes! Our eternal salvation depends upon the answer. To reflect upon the end often serves as a preventive to wrong doing. It may also serve to do that which is right.
    A. The Bible plainly speaks of an ultimate end.
        1. It is sometimes called merely “the end” (1 Cor. -24).
        2. Sometimes the “end of the world” (2 Pet. ).
        3. Or, “the end of time” (Rev. 10:6).
        4. Or, “the end of all things” (1 Pet. 4:7).
    B. For every person it will be the end of something.
        1. For the faithful Christian.
            i. The end of fleshly conflicts (1 Cor. ; 2 Tim. 4:8).
            ii. The end of suffering and trial (2 Cor. ).
        2. For the unfaithful Christian.
            i. The end of God’s patience (Rom. ).
            ii. The end of God’s exhortation ( Rom. 12:1; Eph. 4:1).
        3. For the unbeliever and disobedient.
            i. End of an opportunity to be saved (Rev. 3:20).
            ii. End of rejection and rebellion (Phil. ).

    A. God has revealed the certainty of the end, but not the time.
        1. The future is uncertain – weather, stock market, etc.
        2. is unpredictable as to time (Pro. 27:1; Jas. ).
        3. Time of Christ’s return is unknowable (Matt. 24:36).
    B. Our attitude toward the end.
        1. Must not deny there will be an end (2 Pet. 3:3-4).
        2. Must not delay the end in our thinking (Matt. 24:48-51).
        3. Must recognize the end as a definite appointment (Heb. ).
        4. Must realize the end is nearer than it has been (cf. Rom. ).

    A. Important because the end will be the beginning of something else.
        1. Time will end, but eternity will begin (Rev. 10:6).
        2. Physical existence will end, but spiritual existence will begin
            (1 Cor. 15; 2 Cor. 5:1).
        3. Earth will end, but heaven or hell will begin (Matt. 25:46).
    B. For the saved, it will be the beginning of:
        1. A new life with Christ (Phil. ; Rev. 21:4).
        2. A new life of supernal joy (Matt. 25:21).
    C. For the lost it will be the beginning of:
        1. An eternity of (separation from God) (Rom.
            Lk. ).
        2. An eternity of horrible punishment (2 Thess. 1:9; Matt. ).
    D. Important because considering the end will prepare us for it.
        1. Those who have lived successful lives have considered the end.
            i. Noah look to the end (of the flood) and obeyed.
            ii. Paul look to the end and pressed on (Phil. ).
            iii. Jesus looked to the end (glory) and endured the cross
                 (Heb. 12:1-2).
        2. Considering the end will result in:
            i. Patience in trials (Matt. ). The end? Reward (Phil. ).
            ii. Zeal in endeavors (John 9:4). The end is coming
                (cf. 1 Cor. 15:58).
    E. Important because the end will determine our destiny.
        1. Ultimate end of every person is heaven or hell.
        2. God has designed whereby we may avoid hell and gain heaven
            by obeying his will, living a life of devotion and sacrifice.
CONCLUSION: Compare Eccl. 7:8 – “better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof,” with 2 Pet. – “the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.” Whether the end is better or worse than the beginning depends on the answer to the question, “what shall the end be?” Consider the end and prepare for it.