But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. (1 Peter 4:7 KJV)
Peter wrote this a long time ago, making me wonder if he was speaking about the persecutions Christians were enduring and the fact that the end of their lives were near. If you look further down in the context, verse 11 speaks of "the fiery trial which is to try you". Because of the context, I don't think Peter is referring to the end of the world or to the rapture.
At this moment, in our nation, most Christians are not suffering for their fath to the point of death as they were at the time of Peter or as they are in the Middle East right now. However, it very well could come to us in the near or distant future. Therefore, we are to be sober and watch with prayer.
It's my first inclination, when I see or hear about the atrocities and threats are happening in the Middle East, is to tremble in my boots with fear. But that's not what we are to do. Be sober. This isn't just referring to not being drunk. It has to do with thinking rationally. A person who is fearful is not thinking soberly about what God's purposes might be and about His soveriegnty in these circumstances. God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. We are to approach these things with prayer, not terror.