The End Is Near

By Bobby Blakey on August 23, 2020

1 Peter 4:7-11


The End Is Near

By Bobby Blakey on August 23, 2020

1 Peter 4:7-11

This is a rush transcript.

[00:00:03] One of the things I've been hearing people say is that we are living in the end times who's heard somebody say that recently and this year, 2020, the end is near.
[00:00:16] I remember one time I was working with some high schoolers, some high school young men, and we were having a small group and we were actually talking about the passage we're going to look at in the scripture today. And I asked them a question and I want to ask you here this morning, if you had 24 hours, if somehow you knew the world as we know, it was going to end in 24 hours. Jesus is coming back. The tribulation starting 24 hour countdown is happening right now.

[00:00:47] What would you do with your last 24 hours before the end of the world? I really want you to think through that.

[00:00:56] What would you do if you knew you only had somehow, you know, there's 24 hours left? Where does your mind go? Right away. I would do what I remember one of those guys. He was like he knew right away. He was like, I would go to Disneyland. That's what he said right away. Like, I'm at Disneyland. And I was like, But what about when it closes? And he was a guy. They'll never find me. I'll be there. I'll blend in. I'll be there all night long. Right. I'm not leaving Disneyland. That was that was his idea. That was his answer. Another guy, though, he was like, I would get a big sign and I would ride on it. The end is near and I would start running down the middle of the street. You know, I was like, you got 24 hours and you're going to turn into crazy saying, guy, that's what you're gonna do.

[00:01:42] That that's your answer.

[00:01:45] Now, I wonder if you come up with an answer in your mind right now, if you had 24 hours, you would do what if what we learned from the Bible is something different than what you think? Does this book right here have authority to change your mind? Do you live by the will of God or do you live by what makes sense to you? So we're going to hear from Peter from the Holy Spirit what we should do if the end of all things is at hand and it really needs to change the way we think.

[00:02:19] So I invite you to open the Bible and turn with me to first, Peter, Chapter four, verses seven to eleven. This is pay a page 1016. If you got one of our books first, Peter, for seven to 11, I'm so glad you're here. We can have a shady, sweaty Bible study here together. I love study in the Bible with all of you in this passage. It's going to say the end of all things is at hand. Therefore, and we're going to get into what we should be thinking about if the end is near. So out of respect for God's word, I'm going to ask if we would all stand up as I read this scripture. Let's give it our full and undivided attention. This is the very word of God. The end of all things is at hand. Therefore, be self controlled and sober minded for the sake of your prayers.

[00:03:14] Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each as received a gift.

[00:03:27] Use it to serve one another as good stewards of God's varied grace. Whoever speaks is one who speaks oracles of God.

[00:03:36] Whoever serves as one who serves by the strength that God supplies in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ to him belong, glory and dominion, forever and ever a man.

[00:03:53] That's the reading of God's word.

[00:03:54] Please go ahead and have your seat. If the end of all things is at hand in, remember, Peter is writing to believers who have been scattered and they're having to submit to different authorities. And they are suffering. They are being persecuted for being Christians. And he's and they probably fell in the first century, maybe like we feel today in 2020, that the end is near. And he says, well, the end is imminent. It's at hand. It's right there. It could happen at any moment. And because the end is right there at hand. Therefore, OK. So if you're taking notes, let's get this down. Three questions to ask about the end. We're gonna see three questions we need to ask ourselves if we are ready for the end. Three questions to ask about the end. And the first one is right here in verse seven. The end of all things is at hand. Therefore, be self-control.

[00:04:55] OK, you got to get yourself together. Keep yourself under control, sober minded. Let's think clearly. Let's think reasonably about this for the sake of your what? For the sake of your your prayers.

[00:05:10] Wow. So first thing is, we've got 24 hours left. First thing we should think is I need to pray.

[00:05:19] Let's get this down for the first question to ask yourself if the end is at hand. Is God your first responder? Is God your first responder?

[00:05:30] We are very familiar in our culture with the idea of the nine one one call an emergency, an urgent situation, something where we feel like someone might die.

[00:05:43] We might be at the end, we call nine one one.

[00:05:46] That's our emergency call. And and we have, Silma, some brothers here at our church who faithfully answer those calls, who protect and serve. We have police officers, firefighters serving as first responders. Hey, when you have a situation in your life, can you honestly say that your go to first reaction is to pray to God like he's the one you need to come to your rescue, that he's the one you're expecting to come through? This God, the one you're turning to, and you're instead of getting anxious and instead of trying to just escape what's going on and get your mind on something else. Do you direct your thoughts in prayer to God? Is God the one that you're calling out to in case of the end, being near, in case of emergency? Are you calling out to him every morning? Like, the only way I'm going to make it through today is if the Lord is with me. Now, look here, and first, Peter, three, verse seven. Let's go back to chapter three, verse seven, everybody, and look at how he's been building this theme of prayer. He was talking to the husbands here and he said, we need to live with our wives in an understanding way.

[00:07:04] And he said at the end of that verse, look at first, Peter three, verse seven, so that your prayers may not be hindered.

[00:07:13] Hey, husbands, if you're not right with your wives, don't think you're going to be right with God. And you could just pray.

[00:07:18] Look at how he says it in chapter three, verse twelve. The reason we need to be right in how we deal with other people, even if people are being evil to us. We need to respond to them in the right way for the eyes of the Lord or on the righteous. And his ears are open to their prayer.

[00:07:35] Now, in chapter four, verse seven, he's saying if the end is at hand, keep yourself self controlled and sober minded for the sake of your prayer. So we've seen now three times he's expecting that we are people who pray.

[00:07:52] There hasn't really been a passage where he's instructed us to pray yet. In the letter, but clearly he expects that we have a relationship with our father in heaven and that relationship includes prayer. Now, what I've learned about being in the church in America is we cannot assume that everybody here is praying and yes, we should pray without ceasing. We should be constantly directing thoughts to God. We should get together and pray with one another as often as we are able. But I'm talking about you spending quality time with God in the secret place. If you had 24 hours left. Would you spend the first hour of it, the first two hours of it, praying to God, thinking if anything good is going to happen in these other 20 hours, I need to start out with prayer.

[00:08:46] See, Peter has that expectation for these people and and I wonder if prayer is the first thing that Peter goes to. If the end is near because he remembers what happened in the last 24 hours of Jesus's life, everybody grab your Bible and turn to Luke. Twenty two. Forty four. It's on page eight hundred and eighty two. If you got one of our books. And let's now go back to Jesus last 24 hours on planet Earth, though, we're talking about the end is near for Jesus. He's going to die on the cross. And so he's had the Last Supper. He's passed around the bread. And he said, this is my body. He passed around the cup and he said, this is my blood. And now he's taken Peter, James, John, a few of his closest disciples. And they've walked down now towards the Mount of Olives outside the city of Jerusalem. And they've come now to the garden of GEF Salmoni. And because this is the last night of Jesus life, he's gonna go to this quiet place outside the city. And he is going to pray. Who here today has ever been to the Garden of Gas 70 before? Anybody ever been. One of the most powerful places you can ever go to on planet Earth. They've got these all live trees that are hundreds, if not thousands of years old. I remember once when I was at the Garden of guess 70, I asked somebody there. Could this tree? And I felt like foolish after I said it. But I was like, could this tree have been there when Jesus was praying on that night?

[00:10:20] Right.

[00:10:21] And they said, no, not because all of trees don't live that long, because they do live for thousands of years, apparently, but because the Romans burned down the entire city. That's why they didn't think it was those trees. But these trees look so old as you're in this garden.

[00:10:40] And you know what all those are used for. All lives are squeezed and they're pressed and they're turned into all of oil. And there's a picture of Jesus being there, lying with his face on the ground, praying to God, feeling the pressure that he is about to bear the weight of your sin. He is about to experience the judgment from God that you deserve. And yet he is going to stand in your place up there on the cross. He is going to take the wrath of God for you. And he's feeling the heaviness, the weight of that. And he is praying. He's pouring himself out. He's squeezed out in prayer. That's what's happening here. And Luke twenty to look at what he prays. Let's go back to verse 42.

[00:11:29] He's saying, Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours be done. I mean, he's feeling such a weight of having to drink the cup of wrath for your sin that he's asking the father if there is another way. But nevertheless, he's not in it. For what? For himself. Whatever it is, the will of God. And he commits himself to dying on the cross and he's spending time here praying about it to the father.

[00:12:03] And it says in verse 43, in answer to his prayer, there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him and being in agony. He prayed more earnestly.

[00:12:16] So he's given all he's got to this prayer. His he's poured himself out. He's doubling down on this passionate prayer to God. And his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. It's like he's getting just squeezed. And when he rose from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them, here's Peter, who is right now, that if the end is at hand, you should pray. And here's Peter sleeping for sorrow.

[00:12:47] And he said to them, Why are you sleeping? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.

[00:12:54] So when Jesus told the disciples that he was going to his father, that he was leaving them, there was such a sorrow, such a sadness on the disciples that that's such a burden on them. They don't know how to deal with it. It's so overwhelming that they're just like sleeping. They're so sad. They're just like, I got to go to sleep. I can't deal with the emotion, with the thought of Jesus leaving us.

[00:13:19] And so Jesus says, hey, you guys need to wake up and pray. Or you're going to fall into temptation.

[00:13:26] Now, if you read through the whole story in the Gospels, you know that three different times Jesus comes to his disciples, they're in the garden and they keep falling asleep. And he keeps saying to them, watching pray so that you're not tempted. And then later on this same night, three different times, someone's going to say to Peter, Hey, weren't you there with Jesus? Hey, why aren't you one of his disciples? And three different times. He's going to deny that even knows Jesus before the rooster crows. And then after Jesus rises from the dead three different times, he's going to look Peter in the eye and say, Do you love me?

[00:14:05] And Peter's reflecting on the last 24 hours of Jesus his life, and he's wishing that he had spent the first few hours of that in prayer. So he did not give in to temptation. And he's saying to you, if the end is near. The first thing to do is to pray.

[00:14:26] Prayer is what will make the difference in the rest of your time.

[00:14:31] And so Peter's learning from his mistake and he's learning from what Jesus did in his last 24 hours. And he went to the garden to pray.

[00:14:43] I'm here to ask you today, do you pray? I'm talking about meaningful times with God. And it's very hard for people to pray these days because there's so many notifications, so many distractions, so many things going on. You ask somebody, should I? Do you pray? And they say, well, what's the number one thing people are saying these days? I'm too busy to spend a lot of time in prayer. When are we going to stop it with that excuse? When is prayer going to become a first priority, when is prayer going to be more important than sleeping to you? When are you going to be willing to wake up early and stay up late because you need that quality time between you and the father. You got to keep yourself self-control. It's going to take some real self-denial. You're going to have to say no to other things. You're going to have to keep your thinking clear. You can't just be zoning out into entertainment, trying to escape reality. Now, you've got to keep your thinking clear and you need to go to God in prayer in a secret place. Close the door. Put the phone away. Let no one disturb you and talk to God and watch him show up as your first responder. Watch him come through and he will do what you ask him to do when you really pray. So that's a first thing we should be going to. If the end is near. Let's pray now. Go back to first Peter. Chapter four, verse seven, everybody. Because even though the prayer is the first thing he gets to, he then says in verse, say, above all. So even though this is now going to be the second thing, he's going to give it a place of importance.

[00:16:30] He's going to give it a place of priority. Hey, you need to be ready to pray. But above all, hey, and look what he says here. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly.

[00:16:43] Suits love, covers a multitude of sins. So that's verse a verse nine, show hospita hospitality to one another without grumbling. And then verse 10, as each has received a gift. Use it to serve one another. So there's a phrase. Inverse eight. Verse nine. Verse 10. Above all, love one another. Show hospitality to one another. Serve one another. Who should be come into your mind if the end is near the people right here. One another. The brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ. We need to make it very clear today that church is not a building. Church is not a service that you go to at a certain time. Church is people that you are here to love.

[00:17:34] That's what the church is.

[00:17:36] And it says, above all.

[00:17:40] You should be thinking about the one another's and you should be loving them earnestly, like you're pouring yourself out.

[00:17:47] You're given everything you've got. You're doubling down. You've got 24 hours left. Is the end near then double down in your love for one another. Make those people a priority.

[00:18:01] It talks about loving, talks about hospitality and serving, but it's the same group of people in all three, the one another's.

[00:18:12] OK, so the one another's are the people that we get to know as the Church of Jesus Christ.

[00:18:20] So the first question that all of us need to be able to answer is, do you have one another's church?

[00:18:28] Can't just be this where we come and everybody faces forward. The focus of this time is to worship God and hear from the word of God. But church is also where we get our chairs and we face one another and we look each other in the eyes and we get to know one another and we open up about what's going on in our lives.

[00:18:50] And we get honest about our temptations and we share our prayer requests. And as we get to know one another, we share life. We have fellowship. We care for one another. That's the idea of what church is really supposed to be. Were called to be not just an assembly of people, but a family of people who really do care about one another. And we can't care for one another if we don't even know one another. So do you have one another's? Might be the first question.

[00:19:21] And then the second question to ask about the end point number two, are your one another's a priority? Are your one another's a priority? Are they in an above all category?

[00:19:35] OK.

[00:19:36] To the people that they you are getting to know and one of the ways, the main way we're encouraging everybody to do this here at CompassHB HP is through our fellowship groups. We have 31 different fellowship groups and all of those groups are kicking it back up this week, who is a part of a fellowship group who loves the people in your fellowship group here at CompassHB HP. All right. Now, do those people know to you that they are, above all, kind of a priority in your life or when you got something going on with your family, when you got something going on with your work to those people feel like you're always gonna choose something else more than them. And you've had a long day and you're quick to let them know you're not going to make it to the group that night. You're not going to be able to do this. Or do they know that rain or shine, no matter what's going on. You're going to be there because you love them and you have their back. And even if you're having a bad day, you're going there because you're wondering what their day is like. Are those people would they think you're they're a priority to you?

[00:20:42] Above all, it says, keep loving one another earnestly. See, the earnestly is the same word of how Jesus is pouring himself out when he's being squeezed in the garden of gas. Salmoni. It's this giving. It's this passion. It's like I'm at the limit and I'm still going. That's the idea. Not just loving one another. One of the things that we do a lot is we assume that we love people because our intentions towards them are good. I'm not asking it. Do. Does it feel to you like you love people? I'm asking what do you actually do to show that you love them?

[00:21:22] Whereas the earnestness in your love for them. In fact, I want to really strongly encourage you stop assuming that you love people and ask yourself, do you act like you love people? I'll tell you what. First, when I first got married to my wife, if you were to ask me, do you love your wife? I would have said, Of course I love my wife. Absolutely. I love my wife. You asked me today. Do I love my wife? Here's what I would say. I sure hope I'm going to.

[00:21:50] I sure hope I do.

[00:21:52] Because I realized that even though I might have the best of intentions, that's not often what my actions display.

[00:22:00] You look at your group, you think? Yeah. I love these people, how do they know that? How do they know above all?

[00:22:06] How do they know it, not just in your in your words, but in your deeds? How do they know that it's true that you love them?

[00:22:13] And then look what it says in verse nine, going in with this same idea. Show hospitality to one another.

[00:22:19] We need to make sure everybody knows what hospitality is because it's not a clean house and fresh cookies. That's not what hospitality is. Hospitality. Let's write this down. If you're taking notes, it means to befriend a stranger. That's the idea. A friend of a stranger. That's the idea behind hospitality.

[00:22:39] Even though you're strange to me, even though I'm still getting to know you, even though we're not that close yet, I'm already going to start out by treating you like a friend. You're new. I don't know you, but I'm going to welcome you in like you're my brother or my sister. That's what hospitality is. It's a love for strangers. It's the hey, we don't know each other yet, but we're going to be friends.

[00:23:03] That's the way it should be, a church.

[00:23:05] People at church shouldn't be friendly. They should actually be friends. And we start out being friendly. But the goal is, I want you and me to really get to know one another. That is what hospitality really is. And so we're supposed to show hospitality to one another, not just huddle down with the people we already know, not just go into our comfortable circle of friends or click and just keep talking to the people that we already know know. We're here to befriend strangers. We're here to welcome new people. We're here to say, hey, I don't know you yet. Let's get to know one another now. Let's just get honest. We're no good at that.

[00:23:46] In Southern California. All right. In other parts of America, if you drive by somebody on the road, they'll wave at you. They don't even know you. They're waving at you. I don't know if you ever been to one of those places. You're like, this is a little disturbing. Everybody around here is very nice. Here in California, if I drive by you, I'm probably angry at the way you're driving and that's how we roll around here. I see you in the store. I'm like, hey, I won't make eye contact with you if you won't make eye contact with me. How about that? We were all a little different around here, and there's a lot of people around, you get numb to that. You can get cold to that. In fact, if we're living towards the end, if the end of all things is at hand, one of the things we know about the end is the love of many is going to grow cold. Is your love grown cold? So, Peter, he knows about what it's like to welcome people you don't know.

[00:24:35] He knows how churches can turn into clicks very easily. He knows about how even the scattered can want to just wholly huddle up and not really reach out to those around them. So look what he says here in verse nine. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. If love is just something we're all going to naturally do for one another, why does the apostle Peter have to say? And when you're welcoming someone who's a stranger and you're becoming a friend with them, don't grumble about it. Stop your complaining about welcoming new people you ever heard. So I've literally heard people say that at this church. Oh, we've got to keep welcoming new people.

[00:25:12] I've heard people say that. Like maybe you've said that. Hey, Peter's talking to you. Where? Quit the grumbling. This is what we're here to do.

[00:25:22] We are here to welcome people. And there's something powerful about love. There's something powerful when you show people a kind and generous response. Look what it says in verse eight. This this phrase that's actually a quote from the book of Proverbs. Love covers a multitude of sins.

[00:25:41] When you love people, you can actually cover over a lot of offenses, a lot of ways that people might rub each other the wrong way or offend one another. If you come in ready to love people, you can actually cover over a lot of those offenses.

[00:25:56] By the way that you love, go to Proverbs, chapter 10, verse twelve. Everybody turn there with me. Proverbs, Chapter 10, verse twelve, because that's where this is quoted from. So let's go get some wisdom from the Book of Proverbs. Chapter 10, verse twelve, page five hundred and thirty four. If you got one of our Bibles, we're going through this right now on Scripture of the Day. Who's getting wisdom from the Book of Proverbs right now with us, who's read in the scriptures? All right. More valuable than gold. Well, let's get some of this wisdom, Peter clearly thought this was important. He said love one another earnestly because here's the thought. Here's one of the motivations to love. Love covers a multitude of sins. What does he mean by that? We'll look at Proverbs Chapter 10, verse twelve. One of the things we've learned about studying the proverbs is that when there's two lines, sometimes they're a contrast, they're opposites. And so when you compare the two lines to one another, you can understand what it means by seeing how they are opposite of one another. So it says here, hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.

[00:27:09] So here's what's gonna happen if you're in a fellowship group. If you're trying to love other people at church. Strange people coming in, you don't know. And you go up to him to try to give him, well, the social distancing of fellowship, I guess. Basically these days. Right. You try to come and welcome them with your eyes above your mask, whatever you can do to communicate to them that you care. You're trying to bring them in. Inevitably, if you try to love people, somebody is going to hurt you. They're going to stab you in the back. They're gonna say something bad about you to your face or to somebody else. At some point, someone is going to say something in your group or something to you personally that will offend you. You might even feel like they've sinned against you. How are you going to respond in that moment? Well, you've got different options, according to Proverbs ten twelve. What? You could decide that even though they've offended you, your love could just cover over that offense. You could just go earn Estyn your love and keep giving yourself even past your limit. And you could just keep loving them. Or you could say, I didn't like what they did to me and you could start stirring up strife. That would be the opposite of love. That would actually be a response of hatred. And you could take that evil that was done to you and you could respond with evil yourself and we could start dividing, separating, isolating. We have a choice. Every one of us is going to face this situation. If you're here, a church loving people, someone at some point, I guarantee you will offend you. And that's your moment right there. You're going to double down on love or you're going gonna start stirring up the pot a little bit.

[00:28:50] Because after all, they started. Now, if anybody here at church want to say a man that people at church are going to offend you, anybody want to get honest here today?

[00:29:01] We're supposed to cover over that. See, we have this idea today that because they did that to me, like my rights have been violated, I've been disrespected as a person. And so therefore I need to, like, defend myself. And wisdom is telling. You know, you don't just love right over that cover that offense with your love.

[00:29:22] That's what wisdom says. That might be different than how we think. But that's real wisdom, wisdom that Peter thinks is worth bringing back up, because when you love one another earnestly, we can cover over those sinful offenses.

[00:29:36] Go over here with me to chapter 17, verse nine. This is standard church procedure in southern California these days, unfortunately. Look at Proverbs, chapter 17, verse nine. It says, Our same principle. Whoever covers an offense seeks love.

[00:29:52] When somebody does something, you're not feeling it. You're not appreciating it. You could cover over that with love. But here's the other option, another contrast here.

[00:30:03] But he who repeats a matter separates close friends.

[00:30:11] See, sometimes what we do is somebody says something we don't like. And instead of addressing it with that person or just choosing to love that person, or if we think we've really been sinned against just going to our brother or sister and keeping it between us and trying to win them over and seeking to restore the relationship, what we do is this person said something I didn't like. So then I go tell my other brother or sister over here, hey, this is what so-and-so said to me.

[00:30:36] And I start talking bad about them with somebody else. And sometimes we do it in a real spiritual way where it's like, hey, you really need to pray for our brother or sister because they did this and they acted like this to me. And so let's go pray for them. But really what we're doing is we're repeating an offense and we're separating. Relationships were causing divisions.

[00:30:58] This is unfortunately, people at church are doing this all the time. I've got a problem with so-and-so, so I'm gonna go ask somebody over here what I should do about it. No, the Bible's very clear. What you should do about it. You've got a problem with somebody. The only person you talk to about the problem is either God in your prayer or that person as you seek restoration. You don't bad mouth them to other people.

[00:31:19] But there's a lot of that going on. One of the ways we can show love to cover an offense is not repeating a matter to other people, not starting a chain of gossip in the Church of Jesus Christ, not slandering someone behind their back.

[00:31:36] So we can't repeat the matter. We need to cover it up to cover that offense up with our love. In fact, look at this chapter 19, verse 11, just across the page if you've got one of our Bibles. Chapter 19 of Proverbs, verse eleven. Good sense. Makes one slow to anger. And here's a line to under underline right here. It is his glory to overlook an offense.

[00:32:01] When somebody offends you and you decide to keep on loving them and you overlook it. That is a glorious thing to do. That is something pleasing to God.

[00:32:10] That is something that that shows the glory of God's love in heaven here on earth. This is the right and glorious thing to do. In fact, it's so disarming when somebody is talking about you and you just kill them with kindness. Right. You just respond to them, not in reviling in return, but you respond to them with this genuine love that shows you really care for them, like the person who's offending you. They don't know what to do because they're picking a fight and you're not fighting back. It's glorious. When God's people turn the other cheek, it's glorious when God's people walk an extra mile. It's glorious. When God's people say, you just took advantage of me for one cloak. Would you like my other as well? That's the way the people of Jesus are called to live. We don't get personally offended. We love to cover over those offenses.

[00:33:11] We could use less hurt feelings and more love in the Church of Jesus Christ. Can I get any man from anybody on that? That's what we're being called, to love one another earnestly.

[00:33:24] To befriend strangers.

[00:33:27] Trumping the Hebrews Chapter 10 versus 24 and 25. Hebrews Chapter 10 versus 24 and 25. You know, this is kind of the the proof texts. The go to cross reference for church these days is Hebrews ten, twenty four and twenty five. But I think we need to look at this verse and really saying what it was. Let's see what it's telling us to do if we're going to be the church.

[00:33:53] If churches really if we're gonna get out of the mindset that church is a building we go to and we're gonna get out of the mindset that church is a service on a certain day, at a certain time. But churches, all of us, we are the Church of Jesus Christ. Then how do I think about going to church when it's not a building or a time? That's what Hebrews ten, twenty four and twenty five teaches us.

[00:34:18] Look at what it says. Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works. Not neglecting to meet together or not neglecting to synagogue together, as is the habit of some but encouraging one another and all the more as you see the day drawing near. So first observation about these two verses is they both use to one another. So this is a clear way that you need to learn how to think. If you haven't already there, you have one another's. You have other Christians that are your brothers and sisters and clearly hear your call to consider these people and to encourage them to lift them up, to build them up as the church. So we've all got to have one and others to be able to apply these commands to our lives. And then the question we're asking here today is, are those one another's a real priority in my life? Are they in above all kind of category where I'm going to love them earnestly?

[00:35:22] So if I think about going to church, I'm not thinking what building am I drive in to? I'm not thinking what time do I need to get ready and be there? I'm thinking about specific people that I know and love. Then I want them to live for Jesus till the day they die. I want them to go to heaven and be with him in glory forever. And I'm concerned about their soul. How could that person love Jesus more, run harder to do good deeds for Jesus? How can that fire stay lit in their soul to love Jesus with all they've got? And I'm praying for my brother. I'm thinking about my brother. I'm considering him because I need to lift and build my brother up. That's going to church.

[00:36:09] That's what we're called to do.

[00:36:11] We're not just here to show up. Head not at one another and walk away. We're here to be so involved in each other's lives that I know you well enough to know what you're going through. And I'm thinking about you. I'm considering I'm in my free time, my house, my space. But I'm not thinking about me. I'm thinking about you. And how can I get you run in order for Jesus Christ?

[00:36:34] How can I stir up your soul towards real love and obedience?

[00:36:39] That's what churches about. It's about really caring for other people.

[00:36:45] And it brings out this accountability, it brings out this honesty and this transparency, it forces all of us to do something that in Southern California we're not comfortable with, which is to open up, to get real, to be honest about our lives.

[00:37:02] And so because of that, some people, they want to withdraw. They want to for sake, they might be fine coming to church if it's a group like this where we're we're just talking about it. But when we actually have to talk face to face and say what we're really doing in our in our secret lives, in our private lives, and we're nobody knows. And now we're gonna offer that information to one another publicly. See, a lot of people it says here there's a habit of people who forsake that kind of assembly, then neglect to meet together. There are some people they isolate. They withdraw. They separate themselves because they don't really want that open and honest encouragement.

[00:37:47] And says, don't be one of those people.

[00:37:49] Keep going towards the church. Keep going to consider others, in fact. Verse 25 says encouraging one another.

[00:37:56] All the more as you see the day drawing near if the end is at hand. If the day is drawing near. We should love one another more now than ever before. We should crank up the encouragement to the maximum. If this is the hardest time in our life, then we should be helping each other more than ever before.

[00:38:16] No, if the end is coming up goes the encouragement of the one others. I got to ask you a personal question, because that's what we're here to do at church. I'm here to consider you. And I want to ask you when I said, what would you do with your last 24 hours? Did you think about these people?

[00:38:34] Because that's the first place our minds should be going above all. How are my brothers and sisters? Are they going to endure to the end? Are they going to keep the faith? Are they going to persevere all the way to the finish line? Because I don't want anyone that I know at this church fallen away from Jesus Christ.

[00:38:55] So I'm here to encourage that.

[00:38:57] To give my life for them, if this is the end, we should go down together. If this is the last 24 hours, I remember looking at those young men in that small group and say, hey, guys, if we've got 24 hours, I want to spend it right here. I want to spend it with you. If this is the end, let's do it together. Let's encourage one another all the way to Jesus.

[00:39:19] That's what the churches.

[00:39:22] A group of people that have each other's back, no matter how bad it gets, no matter how hard it gets. We are in it to the end.

[00:39:33] Go back with me first, Peter. Chapter four, because he says we're supposed to love one another just a few pages over to the right here. We're supposed to love one another, earnestly, show hospitality to one another. Even if we don't know each other, we're trying to befriend each other.

[00:39:48] And then it says this here in verse 10, as each has received a gift. Use it to serve one another. And then look at this idea right here as good stewards of God's varied grace.

[00:40:04] OK. So each of us, it says here in this passage, and this is one of several passages in the letters that are written to churches. This is a common idea that each one of us has a gift, a spiritual gift. Maybe you've heard that that phrase before. And sometimes there's even lists of different ideas of what those gifts could be here. And first, Peter, for it just breaks it down into two broad categories, speaking or serving. OK. And if you're a speaking if you're speaking in the service of God, you should use the Oracles have got make sure you're saying what God says. If you're speaking to encourage someone to teach someone, to evangelize someone, you better be saying what God says. Use God's words, make his words, your words when you're speaking. And if you're serving well, it's hard to serve other people. It's hard to put them is more important than yourself.

[00:41:01] We had a great group of servants. I mean, these easy ups, these tents don't just pop up themselves. Right. Since we're not in the box right now, we've got to come and set this all up. And there's guys getting here. I could before six o'clock. There's men here in this parking lot setting this place up. Can we give them a round of applause to show our appreciation? I am. I am at high. I am at new levels of appreciation here today.

[00:41:26] This is glorious. Everybody, this this is this is beauty. This is the shadiest sermon I've ever preached out here in the parking lot. This is beautiful.

[00:41:35] So we got to see it. And there's there's this strength, the God's supply. See, serving other people is people's gonna push you past what you feel like your limit is. But God gives you out of his everlasting and energy, out of his grace. That is sufficient in your weakness. He gives you what you need. He gives you the strength. He supplies it so that you conserve. So that you can keep giving keep going. So if you're speaking or your servant, if you're doing something where you're really trying to reach somebody's soul or you're just doing something practical to help us all gather together, hey, do that through the words of God by the power of God. And then it says very clearly, do that for the glory of God in order that in everything God may be glorified.

[00:42:23] Please don't serve here at the church. So people will think you're spiritual. Please don't serve here.

[00:42:29] So people will think, wow, look at that person and see how they're serving. Serving is not about us. Serving is about the glory of God. And you have a gift that God has given you that he is expecting you to use to serve him. So the very idea of church is that at being a part of the body of Christ, being one of the one another's, we are here not for ourselves, but to serve others.

[00:43:01] We are here not because we're the most important person in the church, but because we're the least important person in the church and we're here to lift everybody else up.

[00:43:11] Now, let's just get honest. In Southern California, Christianity. That's not why people go to church. In fact, many people are deciding what church they're going to go to based on how it works for them.

[00:43:25] But it's saying we're not here to make the church work for us.

[00:43:29] We're here to make the church work. We're here to do work for one another.

[00:43:35] We are here to serve. Let's get that down for question number three to ask about the end. Are you here to serve or hear for yourself? Are you here to serve or here for self?

[00:43:48] What was your motivation coming to the parking lot here this morning?

[00:43:54] Were you thinking. I've got a gift and I want to see how I can use it, how I can glorify God. And I hope you're encouraged by that thought that you have a gift. God has given you something to do. In fact, what you have to do is something unique that you bring to the body. This is an analogy that the scripture often uses of the church, that we are all like one body. We're called the body of Christ. And just like our physical body, we would say that's that's my body. I got one body. But then we got fingers. We got hands. We got arms. We got legs. We got eyes, ears, nose. Right. Head, shoulders, knees and toes. We got it. All right. We got a we got many parts. One body that's us. You have a role to play. You have a specific part.

[00:44:45] God, when he put his spirit in you. There was something the spirit gave to you that you're meant to use that nobody else can do what you're here to do here at this church. That makes every one of us essential. That makes every one of us integral to this body. Really operating. There's parts of the body you could you could survive without, but you would rather have those parts of the body operating at maximum efficiency.

[00:45:15] You are a part of the body. Go to First Corinthians, Chapter twelve, where it really develops this analogy of the body, First Corinthians, Chapter twelve, and it talks about the same idea of spiritual gifts and then it takes it into this idea of the body.

[00:45:33] Look at it with me here in First Corinthians, chapter twelve, starting in verse four. Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same spirit. There are varieties of service, but the same lord.

[00:45:47] There are varieties of activities. But is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. And to each is given the manifestation of the spirit for the common good.

[00:46:01] Hey, so everybody, we all have the same experience that when we were saved in Jesus Christ. When we believe that Jesus died for us and he rose again. So I my old life to Ensign is now dead and I have a new life in Jesus at that moment. We have a new heart.

[00:46:19] It's like our soul was awakened. And God put his spirit in us. All of us have the Holy Spirit of the living God in us as Christians. But the spirit is gifting each one of us differently. He's doing a different work. So it's the same spirit, but different gifts, different ways to serve, different things. We're going to do so. We can all relate to it. But it's different for every one of us. And look at verse 12, look at how it says it here. Just as the body is one and has many members and all the members of the body, though many are one body. So it is with Christ four in one spirit. We are all baptized into one body. So it doesn't matter if you're a Jew or a Greek, it doesn't matter if you're a slave or free. We were all made to drink of one spirit for the body does not consist of one member, but of many.

[00:47:18] If the foot should say because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body. That would not make it any less a part of the body.

[00:47:26] And if the ears should say, because I'm not an I, I do not belong to the body. That would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were in I, where would be the sense of hearing if the whole body were in here? Where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body. Each one of them as he chose.

[00:47:49] Goes on to say here that every single part of the body is indispensable. Literally, we cannot do church without you.

[00:48:01] You're a part of this body of Christ.

[00:48:04] And so the question is, are you serving? Are you using the way that guy is?

[00:48:11] And I hope that encourages because some of you think, why am I like so-and-so or I can't do this like that?

[00:48:16] That's fine. You don't need to compare yourself to other people. You just need to be who God made you to be. He saved you to do something you are not just saved for yourself to go to heaven, you are safe because God wants to use you to do something here on earth. Are you fulfilling your purpose?

[00:48:38] Are you doing what God got you to do?

[00:48:42] And maybe some are just getting saved. You're just figuring out how to walk in the spirit. But if you have been a Christian brother or sister for any length of time, you need to be using your gift to serve the church.

[00:48:59] So what are you doing?

[00:49:01] If somebody came up to you and asked you, how do you serve? How do you use your gift? What would your answer be? Now, I understand we've been going through a unique time where it's been harder to serve because a lot of the ways we serve one another are when we gather together and our gatherings have been limited.

[00:49:21] But we are now fully operational outside, and that means every single thing we do there is set up and there is tear down. You want to talk about practical needs that we've got. We need people to get here early and set up all of this.

[00:49:38] We need people to stay after the second service and tear it all down. Please don't tear it down after this service. Don't get so inspired by the sermon that you want to start putting stuff away. OK. But after the second service, we're going to need to tear it all down. All of those goody bags that are on your seats, they don't magically appear. People are putting those together here beforehand. So we got lots of practical opportunities to serve with these outside services, another thing that we're out there doing again now on Saturdays is we are out there speaking to people. The good news of Jesus Christ. So we are going to be out there serving. People are out and about. I don't know if you've seen the parks or the beaches, especially when it's not super hot. There are tons of people outside these days. And we are finding that people are open to talking about some good news because they're tired of the bad news. They're sick of the fake news. And you. We had a lady yesterday. We were preaching the gospel there. A few of us had gathered. We were preaching it out there at Central Park. Huntington Beach. And this lady, she just came and sat down with us, started listening to the gospel. I got to talk to her. And she shared with me that she came to the park just to get away from all of the next negativity going on in the world. And what did she stumble upon? The best news she's ever going to hear in her life, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We are out there. We're gonna be out there every Saturday from this point on serving, speaking the very words of God. So those are some things we're going to be officially doing. But you don't need an official role to use your gift to serve the church. You don't need a recognized position. You don't need a name tag to build up the body of Jesus Christ. There is nothing keeping you from doing what God has equipped you to do, from using your gift to serve others here in the Church of Jesus. So what are you doing now, if you look in that goody bag that somebody served you by put in there on your seat, everybody open up that goody bag and pull out the card that says love and serve. That because let me just make it very clear that we have three pastors here at this church, though. And I'm so blessed to work with Pastor Bill and Pastor Dan. And the way we think about being a pastor is that we are here to serve you OK. We are here to shepherd your soul. We really care about you.

[00:52:02] And so if you are not a part of one of our thirty one fellowship groups, if you're newer to our church or maybe you've been here for a while, but it's been hard for you to get really connected, really plugged in with the one and others. If you fill out there's a card in there. Does everybody see that love and serve card. Can everybody pull that? Hold it up if you got it. Anybody got love on one side, serve on the other side. So if you would like the any to meet with a pastor on the love side, if you're like, hey, I want to get into fellowship group, I'm not in one. Hey, I've had some problems with my fellowship group. Maybe I could get some some counsel about you fill out the love side of that card. You could put it in the baskets, the be the church baskets on your way out. You could hand them to one of the pastors. We will respond to you this week. We'll we'll meet with you. We'll we'll talk about how you can get into the one another's here at the church. Will we'll help you get plugged in to one of the fellowship groups. That could be a good fit on the other side. If you're like, hey, I want to do more at the church, put me in.

[00:53:04] I want to I want to do something. Hey, fill out that served side, fill out the serve side and let us know maybe if you want to do speaking. If you want to do serving, maybe you have an idea, maybe you're just ready. You're just here to serve. What do you need. I'm here to do it. We have a lot of needs. Hey, I want to help meet those needs. Great. Fill out that serve side. If you're not already serving somewhere, you can fill that out. We will get back to you about it. We want to help you do what the scripture is commanding you to do. It is telling you this is how to think you got 24 hours left. Pray and then think about the one another's. How can you love them? How can you reach out to them? I mean, the idea is if the end is at hand, I would still be reaching out to strangers to befriend them down to the very end. I'd still be trying to serve and pour myself out and give of myself earnestly down to the very end. And I know when we go through these things, we go through these three questions, is God your first responder? Are your one another's a priority for number two? Are you are you here to serve or here for self? I mean, those can be intense questions that might challenge you to really change how you're thinking about your life. Let me encourage you. You're not being asked to do anything here that Jesus Christ didn't do for you in his last twenty four hours.

[00:54:28] When Jesus knew the end was near.

[00:54:31] I mean, it says this, John 13, verse one, that when Jesus knew that the tell us the end, the time had come, the end was at hand. You know what Jesus did? He loved his own who were in the world and he loved them to the bloody. And that's what he did. And when he knew he got to that last 24 hour count down, he went down to that garden and three different times. He poured out his soul in prayer to God. And then he got arrested. He got betrayed with a kiss. He got falsely accused. He got beaten up. He got mocked. He got mistreated. And he got nailed up on that cross. And they pounded that crown of thorns into his skull. And here he is bleeding out. And here they are just making fun of him. Save yourself.

[00:55:22] And Jesus loved you earnestly, his love covered the multitude of your seeds when you were a stranger and a sinner to Jesus.

[00:55:33] He treated you like a friend.

[00:55:37] And he did it without grumbling, not one word of complaining came out of his mouth when he was paying for all of your sin. Even the son of man did not come down here to be served, but to serve and to give his life completely away until there was no more life to give.

[00:56:02] So I want to tell you, I understand it's hard to do these things, but the reason that you can that you will that you are able to love and befriend and serve is because Jesus Christ did it for you. Father in heaven, we come to you in the name of your son.

[00:56:25] And father, we need to confess.

[00:56:29] That a lot of times we're acting like it's hard to love one another. A lot of times we're acting like it's hard to pray.

[00:56:39] A lot of times we might be grumbling about reaching out to new people. People we don't know leave in our comfort zone, even our circle of safety and security with the people that already have accepted us. Sometimes we're not coming to serve and we're thinking about ourselves.

[00:56:58] And father, how can we call ourselves Christians?

[00:57:02] When we're active, the opposite of the way the Jesus acted for us.

[00:57:07] We know what love is.

[00:57:10] Love is what Jesus did for us. Love is when Jesus covered all of our offenses. Love is when Jesus bought the church with his blood. Love is with Jesus. Served when he had nothing left to serve with.

[00:57:31] He served to the point of death.

[00:57:34] The father, they're supposed to know the word Christians by our love. And I'm not sure they're seeing that. It's father, we pray that this would be a church where people really love one another earnestly. That CompassHB Bible Church would be short for compassion. When people come here, they would say there's something different here. I can't walk in and out of here without somebody coming up to me like they want to get to know me. I can't even defend people here because they keep on loving me. I can't even it's hard to find a place to serve around here because there's so many people already serving. God, please let us be your people.

[00:58:16] Let us be done with the excuses and let us say if this is the end. Let us go down together. If this is the end, let's go all the way to the end, like Jesus win for us. Father, please let us be the Church of Jesus Christ. Let us be worthy of his name. Let us lift his name high that there is someone who will pray for you, who will love you, who will befriend you, who will serve you. And his name is Jesus Christ. We pray this in his name. A man.

[00:58:51] And in the spirit of being God, we are in despair. We are in the Lord and we pray.

[00:59:07] I didn't see his own eyes, which is.

[00:59:28] She. She is.

[01:01:24] Okay.


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