“The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer. 8 Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. 9 Be hospitable to one another without complaint.” 1 Peter 4:7-9 (NASB)
This passage is an important reminder of the urgency of the times. We dare not waste a moment. We are to exercise “sound judgment” and maintain a “sober spirit.”
A “sober spirit” means we never lose sight of the countdown until His return. Every second past is gone forever…it means one less second to connect people to Christ.
“Sound judgment” means that we do not presume to know exactly when the last second will occur. So we continue to move forward while maintaining a winning pace. A long distance runner will save his final sprint to the finish line until he knows exactly where the finish line is. To sprint earlier is to run out of steam early in humiliation and actually result in losing the race.
This passage also says that “Sound judgment” and a “sober spirit” should produce a “fervent love for others” and ultimately “cover a multitude of sins.” As people respond to the gospel message we share there will be much forgiveness and cleansing of sin. We thus become a people who are known for our commitment to a “ministry of reconciliation.” (2 Corinthians 5) The end times should expose our urgency to connect people to Christ rather than efforts to remodel the ministries of a church.
As we move forward and follow Christ as a “fishers of men” three attitudes need to be maintained. As we proactively nurture a “sober spirit” and “sound judgment” we dare not allow ourselves to be distracted from three attitudes that significantly enhance our ability to lead a person to Jesus Christ.
1. “fervent love” – this is an intense desire for others to experience God’s call and plan for their life. A willingness to sacrifice personally in order for others to experience it will be required from every fisher of men.
2. “hospitable” – this a willingness to initiate relationships. We cannot wait for relationships to just happen. A welcoming and inclusive attitude are absolutely essential.
3. “without complaint” – this is not allowing a person’s initial rejection of your love and hospitality to detour you from the ultimate goal of connecting a persona to Jesus. Unconditional love is just that…unconditional. Our willingness to share the Gospel must not be determined by the anticipated response.
We are called by Jesus to be “fishers of men.” The end is near…when will you start fishing?