World Wide Study Bible
a Bible passage
7 The end of all things is near; therefore be serious and discipline yourselves for the sake of your prayers.
7 But, or, moreover, the end of all things is at hand Though the faithful hear that their felicity is elsewhere than in the world, yet, as they think that they should live long, this false thought renders them careless, and even slothful, so that they direct not their thoughts to the kingdom of God. Hence the Apostle, that he might rouse them from the drowsiness of the flesh, reminds them that the end of all things was nigh; by which he intimates that we ought not to sit still in the world, from which we must soon remove. He does not, at the same time, speak only of the end of individuals, but of the universal renovation of the world; as though he had said, “Christ will shortly come, who will put an end to all things.”
It is, then, no wonder that the cares of this world overwhelm us, and make us drowsy, if the view of present things dazzles our eyes: for we promise, almost all of us, an eternity to ourselves in this world; at least, the end never comes to our mind. But were the trumpet of Christ to sound in our ears, it would powerfully rouse us and not suffer us to lie torpid.
But it may be objected and said, that a long series of ages has passed away since Peter wrote this, and yet that the end is not come. My reply to this is, that the time seems long to us, because we measure its length by the spaces of this fleeting life; but if we could understand the perpetuity of future life, many ages would appear to us like a moment, as Peter will also tell us in his second epistle. Besides, we must remember this principle, that from the time when Christ once appeared, there is nothing left for the faithful, but with suspended minds ever to look forward to his second coming. 4646 There is no ground to suppose, as Hammond, Macknight, and some others have supposed, that “the end of all things” was the end of the Jews as a nation, the destruction of the temple and its worship. And it is strange that such a notion should be entertained, especially when we consider that the Apostle refers to the same subject in his Second Epistle, where the end of the world is plainly spoken of. — Ed.
The watchfulness and the sobriety to which he exhorted them, belong, as I think, to the mind rather than to the body. The words are similar to those of Christ:
“Watch ye, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of Man cometh.” (Matthew 25:13.)
For as an indulgence in surfeiting and sleep renders the body unfit for its duties, so the vain cares and pleasures of the world inebriate the mind and render it drowsy.
By adding prayer, he points out an exercise especially necessary, in which the faithful ought to be particularly occupied, since their whole strength depends on the Lord; as though he had said, “Since ye are in yourselves extremely weak, seek of the Lord to strengthen you.” He yet reminds them that they were to pray earnestly, not formally.