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Living On The Edge Of Eternity


"The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer. Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaint."

Good Morning my beloved,


Welcome to worship this Lord's day! We're so glad to have all of you here with us today. We continue to pray for those of you who are facing persecution for your faith in Christ. We respectfully ask that all of you would also pray with and for one another. We are so grateful for those of you who have been sharing the ministry website with all of your family and friends. Your faithfulness to share God's Word with others has helped to spread God's Word to those who need to hear it most. Where will God's Word be heard today?  We encourage you join us in praying that it reaches those who need to hear it most. 
In the great state of Colorado, you can find a sign that marks the "Continental Divide." On the right side of the sign is the word "Pacific" and on the left side is the word "Atlantic."
If you were to stand there watching rainwater fall, you would soon realize that two raindrops falling side by side could end up in different oceans. If one raindrop landed on the eastern side of the ridge, it would drain toward the East into streams and rivers that would take it eventually to the Gulf of Mexico and into the Atlantic Ocean. Yet the other raindrop that fell just inches away on the Western side would have a different destiny. It would flow westward into streams and rivers that would eventually take it to the Pacific Ocean.
Jesus Christ is like the Continental Divide. People can go through life side by side, however, they can end up in totally opposite destinations which is determined by their response to Jesus Christ.
Being an authentic Christian demands a willingness to pay the price. I believe that rather than to just encourage people to follow Jesus, we need to do as Jesus Himself did and encourage them to count the cost, to measure the price, to consider what it is that Christ asks of us. It is costly to follow Jesus Christ.
You will be required to give your life of sin. You may called to give up all that you have. You may even be called to sacrifice your life, after all, our Savior did.
Matthew 10:24 says "A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master."
In the end, the real price is paid by the one who will not pay the cost of true discipleship. Proverbs 13:15 tells us "Good understanding produces favor, But the way of the treacherous is hard." The way of a true disciple may be costly, but it's not hard. Jesus said, “Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for My yoke is easy."
As we live in obedience to God’s Word, as we have God’s divine priorities in focus, as we walk within the parameters set forth by the Word of God, as we learn to call the sin in our lives what God calls sin, we then become a channel through which Christ can build His church.
While being a true follower of Christ demands a willingness to give up all we are, to give up a way of life that God says is sin to follow Christ, it is a very small price to pay when compared to the high cost 
of refusing to become a true follower of Jesus Christ.
We have been given clear instruction in the Bible, of what God expects from each of us. We are also given the enabling power by the Holy Spirit to fulfill those commands. Yet, the contemporary 
Christianity seems bent on following Christ on their own terms, by attending church, doing good deeds, yet refusing to sacrifice giving up what the Bible clearly commands. The foundations of the Christian life, are not complex, the are clear and direct.
It is the same as when Jesus confronted those who would become His disciple when He walked upon this earth, "Drop your nets, and follow Me, give up your way of life, the matters of your life in exchange for following Me." Scripture says "Immediately they left their nets and followed Him." Are you willing to drop everything, and truly follow Jesus Christ?

Let us pray

Heavenly Father,

Father, we thank You for Your Word for us today. Thank You for this great reminder, help us to fulfill that calling to which we have been called. May we joyfully embrace the high cost of discipleship, knowing the rewards are greater than anything we can imagine. Help us to be prepared for the inevitable hour of trial which tests our faith. May we grow in the understanding that that only comes to fruition by pursuing the daily commands You have so clearly laid out for us in Your Word.

Lord, we pray that those who would seek to follow You, would count the costs of discipleship and be willing to take up their cross, and follow You, doing it without grumbling. May we all pursue holiness with You, pursue love with others and a generous hospitality toward those we do not know, as we have been instructed. May we by the opening of our hearts, meet the needs of friends and strangers.
We pray this in Christ's precious name

Today's Message: Living On The Edge Of Eternity

In Luke 21, Jesus taught about the signs which were to come leading to the end.  In verses 5 through 11 He said " And while some were talking about the temple, that it was adorned with beautiful stones and votive gifts, He said, "As for these things which you are looking at, the days will come in which there will not be left one stone upon another which will not be torn down."

They questioned Him, saying, “Teacher, when therefore will these things happen? And what will be the sign when these things are about to take place?" And He said, "See to it that you are not misled; for many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not go after them. When you hear of wars and disturbances, do not be terrified; for these things must take place first, but the end does not follow immediately."

Then He continued by saying to them, "Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be great earthquakes, and in various places plagues and famines; and there will be terrors and great signs from heaven."

Jesus is giving us an undefined span of time. Peter was there when Jesus taught this and learned it from Him. Both Jesus and Peter connect the urgency of prayer with the drawing near of the end of the age. That's exactly what we need in order to have the strength to escape from the trap of worldliness as the end draws near.I would like you to note, that when Jesus gave the warning signs, He was careful to add that when we see these signs "But the end does not follow immediately."
Then Jesus adds some more signs that will occur as we approach the end, again without being specific or directly connecting them. We know that Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans around AD 70. At the time when I Peter was written, Jerusalem had not yet been destroyed. Peter was later killed around 65 AD.
I believe that we can all agree, that persecution, all around the world is increasing, there are rumors of wars and Israel judgement appears to be becoming nearer and nearer. The very things that the Lord said must happen before He returns are taking place all around us, and as we saw with the arrival of Covid-19, that it can occur very quickly. In the blink of an eye, the world around us has been changed. 
In I Corinthians 15:52, the Apostle Paul said "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed."
While I do not claim to know when it will happen, I assure you, if God says it will happen, and He does, it will happen. I believe that it may well happen in our lifetime.
Open with me your Bibles to the fourth chapter of first Peter. As we continue in our study of this wonderful epistle, we come to verses 7 through 9. I would like to invite you to follow along with me as I read to set the text in our minds. I ask that we would prepare our hearts as we listen for the voice of our Lord. I Peter 4:7-9
"The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer. Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.  Be hospitable to one another without complaint." 
If I had to summarize the age in which we live, I would have to say that we are living in a time where worshipping celebrity has replaced worshipping God, that pride has replaced humility, and that the church has become little more than an elite social club, having less redemptive impact, and poses very little threat against sin. 
Modern Christianity has made the basis of faith something other than the Word of God. Discipleship is more about ones own personal experience, rather than what God's Word commands. Obedience is no longer required, in fact, we don't even talk about it. Sin is no longer defined by the Word of God, but what the current culture tells us it is. And according to society, sin no longer exists. I believe that all of things indicate a less than biblical foundation to our faith.  
Not only has the church today moved far from the biblical definition of faith, it has moved away from the true person of Jesus Christ. Anything and everything but Christ has taken center stage. It's the pastor, the fund raising, it is the new carpeting or the new organ project, everything except for Jesus Christ. They are in love with a nebulous faith, that affixes itself to ones personal comfort and prosperity, everything but Christ Himself.  
And so, in this environment, easy believism and cheap grace flourishes. Christ is no longer our primary focus of our worship, the Word of God is not the basis of our teaching, it's a form of modern philosophy, how to handle our problems, how to live better and make us feel better about our sin. We simply drop His name from time to time.

We don't dare talk about sin, hell or the Second Coming Of Jesus Christ, that would abruptly bring to an end our self-pleasing worship experience. I can think of nothing more that Satan could do to destroy the church, than undermining the basis of faith which is the Word of God, the object of our faith which is Jesus Christ and the goal of our faith which is purity and holiness.
Yet, the day is quickly approaching when nothing will be swept under the rug. Nothing will be forgotten. And we will all give an account before the Righteous Judge will be God.
This section of God's Word runs from verses 7 to 11, however, I have decided to break it up into two parts, because this is a loaded portion of Scripture. This passage provides for me an infinite number of possibilities are endless on which to preach, I will however refrain from doing that to the best of my ability.   

Throughout every chapter of his epistle, the Apostle Peter has really challenged us as believers. And as you will remember, those to whom he was writing, were scattered, they were being persecuted, they were being maligned and abused. They were living in a hostile environment and so in each chapter, Peter has called on them to focus on the truth, to focus on the Lord Jesus Christ and to focus on holy living. We can sum it up by saying we are to live a godly life in suffering in the light of the Second Coming.
Verse 7 "The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer." Peter begins verses 7 with "The end of all things is near." The word end is the Greek word "
télos," and when it is translated as the word end, it can convey the wrong meaning.  It could convey the idea of termination. It is never used as if it means something stops. It always has the idea of a consummation. It carries with it the idea of fulfillment realized, ultimate destiny. It’s not just the end of something, but the conclusion, the consummation of all things is at hand. It is closure with all its results.
We could assume that Peter is talking about a number of things, perhaps a new government, maybe the difficulty in their situation, maybe the people who were hostile against the Christians would begin to treat them more kindly. But Peter doesn't say that. He says the culmination of all things. The consummation of all things points directly to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. For that event alone is when all things are indeed consummated.
In Chapter 1 verse 5, he says "who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time." And, in verse 7 he says that we "may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ."  
In all of these passages, Peter is connecting the end of all things with the Second Coming of Christ. And, I believe that is exactly what He is doing here. The end is near indeed. And so the rest of our time should be spent in earnest prayer, not seeking the pleasures of this world.  My heart aches more than ever for the lost of this world, and for the church, who has been mislead, who has been misguided by those teaching less than the truth. 
Notice the next thing he says is that the end of all things "is near." It is near. In the Greek that is one word, the verb "eggízō," it is in the perfect tense. It is in the indicative mood. It occurs 14 times in the Greek. In the New Testament, it expresses "extreme closeness, immediate imminence.  I believe that here, he's talking about immanency. The coming of Christ is imminent , and the next event can happen at any time.  Peter is then reminding us that we are to live in anticipation of the nearness of the return of Jesus Christ. Allow me to remind you that every generation since that time has lived in anticipation of Christ's return. 

2,000 years ago, they were anticipating the Second Coming of Christ, and we should be living in that same anticipation today. Not to do so, is to not be a faithful church. Even today, I am waiting for Christ to arrive at any moment!
Over the years, I have heard many Christians say, "Well, they were waiting over 2000 years ago, and you're telling us to anticipate His coming at any moment, it still hasn't happened yet." In Acts 1:7, Jesus said "It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority."
And, in Matthew 24:36, He says "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone."
Then in Luke 17 Jesus tells us "And just as it happened in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: they were eating, they were drinking, they were marrying, they were being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. It was the same as happened in the days of Lot: they were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building; but on the day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. It will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed. On that day, the one who is on the housetop and whose goods are in the house must not go down to take them out; and likewise the one who is in the field must not turn back. Remember Lot’s wife." 
The bottomline is, God doesn't want us to know exactly when it will come, just that it will come! If we knew for certain that He wasn't coming soon, we would become lazy. And, on the other hand, if we knew it would happen in an hour from now, we would be panicked. So, God has eliminated both of those and all of us have to live in expectancy.  Peter is saying "You must live in constant expectancy as if Jesus was to come at any moment."  
I must say, this is not a very popular doctrine in the church today, they don't want to hear it. Most people are not interested in hearing that Christ could return at any moment, they want to hear that they've got plenty of time to prepare. I believe that is why the post Tribulational Rapture teaching is so popular today, it gives them a lot of warning before Jesus comes. It removes that pressure of imminence and of expectancy that calls us to a higher level of accountability. In other words, "I can live any way I want now, because I'll recognize the abomination of desolation, I'll know when those horrific plagues come upon the world, then I can get everything in order and be ready!"  So allow me rain on your parade, that’s not Peter’s message.

Earlier in this chapter, in verse 5, Peter said "But they will give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead." When Christ comes, He will judge the living and the dead in His great Second Coming. In verse 5, He tells us that He's ready to come, and in verse 7, he says the end of all things is near, it's imminent.
There are quite a number of passage that deal with this expectancy, I won't go through them all, but allow me to give you a few of them. Romans 13:12-14 says  "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. Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts."
In I Thessalonians 4:14-17 , Paul says "For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive  and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord." 
I believe that Paul's language is a tone of immanency. And, in James 5:7-8, he says "Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near."
The immanency of Christ's return is always on the heart of the true believer. We are to live in the light of the expectancy of His glorious return. If they could see the immanency of the day drawing near 2000 years ago, how much nearer are we? Think about that ...
I'll just give you one more before you move on, I just really want to make sure you understand this. I 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." The last hour had begun already when John wrote 1 John, it began with the first coming of Christ. That is the event that ushered in the last days. This is why the Apostle Paul is so explicit in writing to Timothy about the last days. The Spirit explicitly says that in the later times, some will depart from the faith.
When the Messiah came, they had seen in their lifetime, the end of an era, at the time of Christ’s arrival.  They saw the end of the old covenant. They saw the end of an Old Testament dispensation. Messiah came into the world to inaugurate the new covenant. The prophets of old said Messiah would come in the latter days, He would come in the end of the age.
They had seen the system of ceremonies,  rituals, sacrifices, and temples, and priests, and offerings all collapse when the veil of the temple was ripped from top to bottom and God opened the Holy of Holies to everybody, He said that’s the end of the system. It happened in their life time. Then, in 70 AD when God sent judgment by way of the Romans, He destroyed the temple, He destroyed Jerusalem, and the whole sacrificial ceremonial system. 
Jesus told them in Matthew 24:2, "Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here will be left upon another, which will not be torn down." On the cross, Jesus said "It is finished." He finished the inauguration of the new covenant. The order of the last days had begun when the ages were consummated in the arrival of Messiah. He established His own Kingdom. 
Paul says in Colossians 1:13-14, "For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins." So, we are living in the last days. The Kingdom has come in a state of grace, it will soon come in a state of glory. 
In verse 8, Peter says "Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. Peter, here, turns from the vertical aspect of living a holy life before God to the horizontal aspect of living a loving life before men. 
Jesus said in John 13:35, "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."  So Peter is concerned about our relationships with other Christians. In fact, I'd like you to note the importance he gives it, "Above all." In other words, after you have strengthened your relationship with the Lord, through the study of the Word of God, and communion with the Lord. After you have developed a biblical mind and a spiritual attitude, and you have a flowing prayer life that readies you for any crisis, then turn to those around you and keep fervent in your love for one another.
By the way, the verb here is a participle, it modifies the verbs of verse 7. If you're in sound mind and sober in spirit, and having sweet communion with God, then look where that had ought to flow. Keep your love fervent.  The word fervent, is the word "ektenḗs," it means stretched, intense, strenuous. At maximum potential, without slack because fully extended to its necessary outcome. It is used of a runner, who is running at maximum output, straining to the limit. That's the picture here.
You will remember this is not the first time that Peter has used this word, back in I Peter 1:22, when he said "Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart."  I believe that fervent love is the kind of love that is so wonderfully described in I Corinthians 13
Why should we love this way? Peter gives us the answer at the end of verse 8, "because love covers a multitude of sins." Let me tell you this, if all we do as the church is run around pointing out one another's sin, then we are severely shattered.  Because as long as we are living inside this fallen flesh, we all will sin, we're not perfect! The only thing that is going to cover that, is love. The character of love is always to hiding or kalupt. In other words, love always forgives! If we as Christ's church don't have that, we are really in big trouble.
In Matthew 18:21-22, "Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?" Jesus *said to him, "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven." This is the true heart of the church, love.
Then, in verse 9, Peter goes one step further. "Be hospitable to one another without complaint." It is the word "philoxenos," it means loving strangers. Peter adds this because we tend to love our friends and family, we readily cover up their sins. So he's saying extend that to strangers. And, more than that, open up your hearts and your homes for those in need, for love is intensely practical. Love strangers in a practical way. That is the essence of what Peter is saying here. 
The spirit of Christianity is more than opening a door, it's more than providing a meal, its opening our heart, loving and embracing those outside of our normal circle.  And to do it without grumbling and complaining. That is the essence of love.
In Closing..
I believe that many Christians today are afraid that if we focus on the end times too long, we'll turn into that guy walking around downtown with a sandwich board sign yelling about judgment and the end of time. For others, they have a fear of examining the Bible’s message on the future. It's too frightening, it's too confusing. So they tend to focus on the here and now. Jesus said that in the last days, the love of many will grow cold. The pressures, stresses and tribulations of the last days will put relationships under tremendous stress.

Christ is magnified through our serving. May I simply suggest that because the end is near, pray, love, and serve.
May it be so..
And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name
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The Brian Monzon Ministries



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