Come now you rich weep and howl for the miseries that are coming up on you. Your riches have rotted your garments and an armada beating. Your gold and silver of corroded and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure in the last days behold the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud or crying out against you the cries of the Harvesters have reached the ears of the lord of the host. You have lived on the earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fat in your hearts in a day of Slaughter. You have condemned and murdered the righteous person. He does not resist you James 5 1 through 6 Ecclesiastes 5 10 through 12. He who loves money will not be satisfied with money nor he who loves wealth with his income. This also is Vanity when Goods increase the increase who eat them and what advantage has their owner but to see them with his eyes sweet is the sleep of Labor whether he eats little or much but the full stomach of the rich will not let him sleep. Luke 12:15 221 and he said to them take care and be on your guard against all covetousness for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions and he told them a parable saying the land of a rich man produced plentifully any thought to himself what shall I do for I have nowhere to store my crops. He said I will do this. I will tear down my Barns and build larger ones and there I will store all my grain and my goods and I will say to my soul soul. You have ample Goods laid up for many years relax eat drink be married, but God said to him fool this night. Your soul is required of you and the things you have prepared. Who's will they be so is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God. 1st Timothy 6 6 through 10 but godliness with contentment is great gain for we brought nothing into the world and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation into a snare into mini senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction For the Love of Money is the root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. 1st Timothy 6 17 through 19 as for the rich in this present age charge them not to be haughty nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but I'm God who richly provides us with everything to enjoy their to do good to be rich in Good Works to be generous and ready to share the storing up Treasures for themselves as a good foundation for the future so that they may take hold of that which is truly life. Matthew 6 19 to 21 do not lay up for yourselves Treasures on Earth where moth and rust destroy where thieves break in and steal but lay up for yourselves treasure in heaven where neither moth nor rust destroys where thieves do not break in and steal for where your treasure is there. Your heart will be also Hebrews 13:5 keep your life free from the love of money and be content with what you have for he has said I will never leave you nor forsake you Matthew 6 19 to 24 do not lay up for yourselves Treasures on Earth where moth and rust destroy where thieves break in and steal but lay up for yourselves Treasures in Heaven. Luke 18 18 to 25 a ruler asked him good teacher what must I do to inherit eternal life. Jesus said to him why you call me good. No one is good. Except God alone, you know the Commandments do not commit adultery. Do not murder. Do not steal. Do not bear false witness honor your father and mother and he said all these I have kept from my youth when Jesus heard this he said to him one thing you still lacked sell all you have and distribute to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven and come follow me. But when he heard these things he became very sad for he was extremely rich Jesus seeing that he had become sad said how difficult is it for those who have wealthy to enter the kingdom of God? It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God. Proverbs 23 4 and 5 do not toil to acquire wealth be Discerning enough to desist when your eyes light on it is gone for suddenly it sprouts Wings Flying Like an Eagle towards heaven Zephaniah 1:18. Neither silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them on the day of the Wrath of the Lord in the fire of his jealousy all the Earth shall be consumed for a full and said an end. He will make of all the inhabitants of the Earth. Luke 6:20, he lifted up his eyes on his disciples and said blessed. Are you who are poor for yours is the kingdom of God?
I have a question for you this morning. Do you want to be rich?
Do you want to be rich?
after that reading Do you want to be rich? After James chapter 5 verses 1 through 6 come now you rich weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you church. Do you want to be rich?
We've been walking through the book of James. And all throughout the Book of James, he's been encouraging us telling us fights your tendency to reject God fight against that wood would keep you from honoring the one who is saved you fight against it. now we look at something that seems practically unamerican here on this weekend before the 4th of July to even contemplate that we would fight greed that we would fight the temptation to seek wealth as the answer to our problems that we would fight against a culture that says the dollar will satisfy you if nothing else can a culture that says get rich or die trying James would say to us know. You need to fight that but what I wanted to establish by reading that long list of passages. Was the James is not saying anything new? We know. That wealth will take our eyes off of Christ. We intellectually recognize that money will set itself up as an alternative reality to that which Christ has called us to live in. And yet because we live in the culture we do many of us say still want to try it. Give me a shot. I'll be the one. Who can be rich and not lose sight of Christ. I'll be the one. Who can pursue wealth and not forsake?
Love God love others and make disciples. I'll be the one let me try it. James does not specifically call you out. James is he's been going through this. He's been talking to Believers telling Believers. This is what it means to fight for your face, but now it seems his attention and now he's looking at the people around them. But do not think that this doesn't apply to you or I hear in the church today as he looks outside and he says come now you rich weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. He's giving us a warning. And I think that warning is particularly apt for us today. He's saying don't put your trust here. Don't put your hope here. Don't don't don't assume that money will solve your problems because here's why here's why you shouldn't trust riches. Because riches are temporary. Riches are temporary and that's what he says their inverse to your riches have rotted right in this day. Right James is not writing in a 21st century American context, right? There's no stock market. Okay, there's no compounding interest. That's not the world that James is living in in James's day riches were measured by three things grain clothes and coins. gold and silver fine clothes And food to eat the rich fool that Jesus talked about in one of the passages that I read, right? What were his wealth? It was his wealth in green. I needed tear down my Barns and build bigger ones so I can store my grain and James says your grain is rotten. Come now you rich weep and howl for the miseries that are coming up on you. You are grain that measure of your riches was temporary and it's spoiled and it's no good anymore. He says your clothes are moth eaten, right your coins are corroded your silver and gold all of this is pointing us to this riches are temporary. And search the warning here for us as Christians. We shouldn't be looking at anything that's temporary and putting our hope in that or putting our trust in that when we come to Christ. We are coming to the one who John 1:1 says in the beginning was the word and the Word was with God and the Word was God and who at the end of Revelation the same John writes and says this is the Alpha and the Omega the beginning and the end the one who was in the one who is to come he's eternal. Answer you stack riches up. Whether it's grain or gold or stock options or real estate it goes quick. It's temporary. Couple years ago. We had a fire up on the mountain.
Some property that was really valuable depreciated really quickly. Some of you might have been affected by that don't mean to make light of your trouble but riches are temporary. Jesus is not. Well will evaporate in an instant?
Jesus will not. Don't put your trust Christian on something that James is warning as this is temporary. But he also says understand what riches might say. About the one who has them riches are not just temporary there also a testimony and that's what he says there in verse 3. Write your gold and silver of corroded there corrosion will be evidence against you. There corrosion will be evidence against you a evidence of what James?
evidence that that's where your Hope was instead of in Christ evidence of the fact that that is what you really valued. A preacher that I that I like to listen to. Said this she said the reason that Facebook and Twitter exist. Is so that on the last day nobody will be able to stand before God and say I didn't have time to pray.
James is saying something similar. The reason riches exist. The reason our eyes are so drawn to them. Are so on the last day. We'll see whether we really treasured that or whether we really treasured Christ and if we're putting our trust in these temporary corrosive things these things that break down and will not last the stuff that literally Revelation says it's like pavement right if we're putting our hope and something so mundane.
That's going to be evidence against us. When we stand before Christ when we bring our temporary Treasures before him and we say hey, look how good I did. And he says look how good I am.
Are Rich has become a testimony against us? Not only that but those riches are torment. Rich's our torment there corrosion all the evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. Come you rich weep and howl for the miseries that are coming up on you. James says, he says you put your trust in something distemper. Are you put your trust in something that will bear witness against you when you stand before the judge of all mankind and you've put your trust in something that is going to destroy you.
Something that is going to tear you apart. more money More Problems
That's a reality. We don't even have to wait for Judgement Day to know this. We don't even have to wait for someday to recognize that the riches we have here and now become weight around our neck and managing your funds. Takes all the fun. how to fix right Becomes of worried if it comes this thing that just this wait on you. I'm not speaking from experience. Your don't give me wrong. but when guys like Vanderbilt and Ford are standing up and saying every dollar I made has not made me a cent more happy. When Henry Ford says I was much happier as a mechanic than I am. Is this Automotive Mogul and all the funds that it brings. I'm going to pay attention to that when James says it reaches are a torment that they in there corrosion eats my flashlight fire right when your money starts to disappear what happens to your joy goes with it? When your retirements not stretching quite as long as you thought it would what starts to happen you freak out.
Right when the bills are this high in the money's this high. You worry? That's all James is saying anything look Christian. This is why you are not put your trust in riches because they're temporary 2nd Peter Peter writes that they're all going to burn. It's all going to burn their being stored up for a day of Fire. I was reminded of that by Alex's Bayhill some of you know, Alex some of you don't Alex leads the Spanish Bible study out in Milford and completely off topic. So just bear with me for a second, but I got to go out there last night the first time I've been out there and their in it in a couple months guys. There's a lot more of you in here this morning, then we're out there last night. But their worship was no less sweets to be a part of. We got to sing songs some of the words I even understood. And I got to hear. What is going to be like at R Us when we get Before the Throne of God and we hear every tribe and every tongue and every nation declaring the praise of God last night was amazing. Alex is the one who reminded me of this is that it is I was talking to him about the lesson. He was getting ready to teach his we're driving out and he was asking me about this morning's tax. I was talking about James and it talk about Ecclesiastes. He said don't forget about 2nd Peter. It's all going to burn riches are temporary riches may be the thing that testifies against you when you stand before Christ riches may be the thing that torment you in this life Christian. Do you want to be rich?
But it's not just riches is kind of this disembodied thing, right? That's not the problem. The problem isn't just the thing itself, but it's what we as humans become when we get our hands on those things and that's where he turns his attention next. He says, here's why you don't trust riches and here's what riches tends to make people into. He says you have laid up treasure in the last days talking to these rich. He says this is this is what your money does. Now let's talk about the sins that it produces in you. Let's call him Rich sins Rich sins. The first one he points to is hoarding. You have laid up treasure in the last days. Hoarding to lay up treasure in the last days doesn't make a whole lot of sense when you get right down to it. Now, let's just pretend for a second. Did I was a prophet? And I've been proven a profits and that I could tell you with certainty that you were going to die tomorrow.
Do you think the first thing you did when you woke up tomorrow would be to check your bank account. If you knew for a fact tomorrow 12:33 p.m. I'm going to get hit by a bus. Now. Let's make it better. I want to be hit by an airplane engine falling out of the sky. At 12:33 p.m. Tomorrow. I guarantee you at 10 a.m. You're not going to be wandering. I wonder what the stock markets doing right now.
he says to hoard wealth to store up wealth in the last days. Is this foolishness checking the stock market on the day you die. He says Jesus is coming. That's what that's what James means when he says that these are the last days. Jesus is coming back. What in the world? Would you try to cling to your wealth? Why in the world would you make this your life preserver when the king of creation is going to show up very soon. It's not just that you're hoarding money. It's that you're doing so in the last days you're doing so when Jesus is about to put it into this world.
It doesn't make any sense to store up. When everything's about to end. Put it all on the line for Christ would be the counterpoints instead of hoarding. Well use that well for the sake of Christ in his kingdom while there's still time after Jesus gets back Christian. Do you know what you can't do anymore?
When Jesus comes back in the kingdom is established Christian. Do you know what you no longer have the ability to do?
You can no longer share the gospel. With somebody who's never heard it when Jesus comes back evangelism is over when Jesus comes back making disciples is no longer an option.
Just like investing in the stock markets no longer an option once you're done breathing.
Use what God has given you for the task to which he has called you in Christ to make disciples. Don't hoard. Spread the next thing James says this is one of those Rich sins. It's Injustice. Injustice behold the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields Which you kept back by fraud they are crying out against you in the cries of the Harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. What do you know? About those with a lot of money. Generally speaking. They don't like to give it up. Generally speaking. They don't like to pay those who are working. And as I was reflecting on this passage this week, I thought you know what? Not a problem for me. I'm not paying anybody. This isn't an issue for me. Because there's nobody working. Do you know to harvest the foxtail in my backyard?
I'm not putting anybody to work Lord. You Can't Hold This against me? Then I thought about the fact that you're my number one object when it comes to buying clothes it is it cheap.
I mean, obviously
Is it cheap? Do you know the cost of cheap? The fact that I could buy this polo shirt this exact polo shirt for $8 at Walmart.
Comes at the cost of somebody who's working 14 hours a day in Indonesia. 4 less than you are I making an hour.
Cheap has a cost cheap contributes to ingest and while I don't want to think about that the fact that my cheap American Walmart way of life.
Is Injustice I have to because James says this is one of those sins that the rich commit and Global Perspective here. Where rich? But that comes at the cost. Of those laboring so to speak in the field. We need to think about this. We need to not just think about it. We need to do something about it. We need to change some of our perspectives. We live in a culture that says the more you can get for the left. That's a win. Right. We are the land of cheap polo shirts. We are the land of super sized fast food, but what's the cost of these things? They may not hit our wallets, but if somebody's not able to make a living wage because of my lifestyle do you think I'm exempt? from this call
Do you think it's not Injustice for me to benefit off of that system?
I know I'm stepping on toes. And I know that some of you disagree with me. And I don't mind. You disagree with me and if I'm wrong. I'm okay with that. But let's look at the words and let's think about these things. We don't want to hoard. We don't want to be unjust. He says the next thing that is the problem is this extravagance you have lived on the earth in luxury. Man, if ever there was a description. Of the 21st century life. That's it.
We have lived on the earth with luxury and extravagance extravagance is a rich sin. How many of you know the name Imelda Marcos some of you younger folks might not some of the older folks might Imelda Marcos is the most glaring example of conspicuous consumption. I think the world is ever provided to us. She she and her husband were deposed and as they were ran out of their country the forces that came in found her closets. plural now guys, you don't understand this. Some women have multiple closets Imelda Marcos took it to a whole nother level. She had over 300 handbags. Not like Walmart handbags. Like Gucci whatever that is sounds like an Italian pasta dish. I'm not a fashion guy. Can you tell? Over 3,000 pairs of shoes. It was not unheard of for her to go to Switzerland and spend 12 million dollars in a day of shopping.
And we're looking at that thinking my Amazon purchases. Don't look too bad.
and yet we need to evaluate on Amazon purchases not in light of Imelda Marcos been in light of this. Are we living on the earth in luxury. Are we living in extravagance? Are we living in such a way that our neighbors look at us and say man, that guy's got it made so that the people who see us out and about or like man, whatever that I need to get on that train. Are we living in such a way as to be seen as being wealthy or successful? Are we living lives of luxury of extravagance that the rich sin selfishness? You've lived on the earth in luxury and in Self Indulgence. I Jesus Jesus calls this out. If anyone would follow me. Let him deny himself. Take up his cross. daily and follow me and yes, it's Christians were so tempted sometimes. to follow Jesus for our own sake write to to not deny ourselves but to seek to fulfill ourselves as we follow Christ and that's the selfishness self-indulgence is my life geared around my needs being met or Christ Kingdom being served. That's the question that would differentiate this in James is mine, I believe. Am I Living For myself or Am I Living For Christ selfishness is a rich sin wastefulness. You at fat and your hearts in a day of Slaughter how many of you have like a nag background? Cows sheep pigs if you're a nag person raise your hand. Chicken sir will go with that. kind of egg All right. All right for those of you who aren't AG background, do you understand? What is meant by the day of Slaughter? Write the day when the cow is turned into the ribeye you enjoy? Okay? That's what we're talking about. You guys realize that right? Rib eyes aren't grown. Like just they don't come in styrofoam automatically. If you're a nag person you get this if you're not I wonder sometimes okay. That has to come from something right eye has to come from a cow that was breathing and then is not breathing. Okay that not breathing is the day of Slaughter the moment when that transition takes place. That's the day of Slaughter. You know, what no Rancher I know does No Rancher who raises cows no chicken farmer that I know know pig farmer that I know would say, you know what today we're going to slaughter. So let's make sure they get a good breakfast this morning. Why because the only purpose of feeding that animal is it at that animal can convert that feed matter into meat matter for somebody to enjoy and to fatten up in the day of Slaughter is pointless. It doesn't have time to transition from the stomach to the muscle mass. James is saying this is this is how the stealth foolish. the rich are there's still stuff in the gut. When they're about to turn everything else into me. It's it's a waste its wastefulness wastefulness is the problem.
And we don't do this right I mean so far as we know from the lack of hands that were raised not many of you were raising beef to be slaughtered right? You wouldn't waste a 50lb bag of corn on something you're going to kill that day. You would just let it be dead weight in the stomach. How much food do you throw away in a week? We had this situation this week at my house.
My wife God bless her and for the sake of our family does all the shopping if that was left to me it be cold cereal three times a day.
The job I have is the easiest job in the world. She goes she spends the time looking for deals shopping through the store. She puts it in the car. And then I when she gets home guess what I do I go to unload the car because I'm just so you know that amazing. right But hold your applause. Hold your applause. This last week. Tell Megan I got everything. Set the Trap shut the door walk inside. I didn't get everything. I left a bag with two things were getting ready to make some homemade ice cream, you know for the 4th to things quarts of whipping cream. Right. Yeah, I see the looks some half and half. What's that bag in the back seat of the car? all day long
I may not seem like much and yes, it was an honest mistake. That was a waste instead of looking at it and saying oh my goodness. I'm just like they got more at the store.
But I was convicted as I'm reading this that's like dumping that bag of corn into a stomach on the day of Slaughter that moment of inattention is wastefulness. Right, we've got to be conscientious of these things. James is challenging us don't live the consumerist lifestyle that your culture is begging you to live don't live as if there's always going to be more as if you can just walk down to the store and pick up whatever it is that you just wasted. What if it's not there and James tells us someday. It won't be there wastefulness is a rich send. Does false judgment is also a rich sin verse 6 you have condemned the righteous person. This is how we know that all Christians. He's not talking to Christians right in the last chapter. He said right and why do you do I do try to impress the rich. They're the ones who dragged you into the court now, he's finishing that thought and saying right that the rich are the ones who condemned the righteous person to the one who condemn the Christian. So Christian, why would you want to be rich?
if the purpose of wealth and wealth creation is to establish a world in which the righteous person does not gain but instead lose when the one who is not willing to sue is defrosted by the one who does
you're living in a world of richeson. Don't be like that. Don't be the one who would condemn a righteous person.
This is a warning to us. Don't bear false witness. Don't condemn the one.
I might have something to do my teeth.
How about now? Can you hear me now?
False judgment to condemn the righteous person and then to murder the righteous person. And we're like LK. Look James like we get the warning don't be wasteful. Don't be extravagant. Don't be a just okay? Okay. Okay, we won't hoarded wealth in the last days. But yeah, we wouldn't condemn a righteous person. We would murder someone.
And yet we would. James is working as he does so often he's working off birds of Jesus here and he's calling our minds back to a passage where Jesus says don't judge your brother. Don't look at your brother and say I see the speck in your eye. Let me get that out for you when all the while. You got a log in your own eye. Don't condemn the righteous person. When you're a sinner as well, and this is the this is the counter Temptation. The counter Temptation would be for us as Christians to say. Oh man. We should condemn every single person that's got money. write wealthy people Are unjust people they're automatically worthy of our condemnation. James is not trying to say that.
There were some very wealthy people who made sure you got the Bible.
How about now? Let's try this one.
We don't condemn people who have money. Just because they have money it's possible to have money and use it rightly. We don't Harbor some sort of classist warfare in our hearts and say well if you got money, you need to give it to those who don't and we're going to take it away by force. That's not the solution here. James is not talking about a redistribution of wealth. what he's trying to get to his our hearts do we have the kind of hearts that would condemn somebody for external things when we can't see Their attitude or their their relationship with Christ. Are we the kind of people who would Harbor anger which Jesus says in The Sermon on the Mount is the same thing as murder. are we the kind of people who would murder those who have what we don't have
it comes down to an issue of the heart. Do you want to be rich?
This awkward silence is not a technical problem.
It's me, encouraging you ask yourself this question. Do you want to be rich Counterpoint or is Jesus enough for you? That's the warning that James is trying to get us to that's the reason he gives the warning is so that we get to that question that really matters. Question is not do you want to be rich? It's not do you have money the question is is Jesus enough for you?
Is Jesus enough an American Christian? You're sitting here and you're thinking to yourself. Well, of course. No, I don't want to be rich just so that I can show off in front of other people.
But the deeper question remains is Jesus enough if God, took you. out of this country And put you in one that did not enjoy the freedoms that you have here. Would Jesus be enough for you?
if all of a sudden the stock market where the crash and all of the wealth that you've saved that you thought was your nest egg if that disappeared is Jesus enough for you.
The question isn't do you want to be rich? the question is
whether you're rich or whether you're not is Jesus enough. Here's what I want you guys to think about? What now? What now? What do you do with a message like this? Frankly? I didn't want to preach it. So I'm guessing that some of you don't want to hear it.
None the less we're told that when we are made aware of a truth of God, we're responsible for how we respond to it. Here's the truth. riches or temporary Rich's will be a testimony against you one day riches will torment you in this life and it is possible as a rich person to send in ways that are uncountable. Is Jesus enough for you?
If you aren't wealthy. Here's what I want you to do. Don't focus on that. If you aren't wealthy don't focus on that instead focus on using whatever you have for the sake of Christ Kingdom. You don't have money. Okay, do you have ears? Go listen to somebody who's hurting. You don't have money. Okay. Do you have food share a meal with someone?
You don't have money. You got time give it to someone who everybody else over looks. Do what you can with what you have don't focus on having money or not having money. Don't bemoan your situation take the resources. You do have Financial or otherwise and use them for the sake of Christ Kingdom.
If you are wealthy. Here's what I want you to do. Don't focus on it. Instead focus on using what you have to further Christ's Kingdom.
Yeah, it's the same thing you don't have money or if you do have money focus on using what you have for the sake of Christ Kingdom. If you have money give generously to causes that would promote Christ. If you don't have money give the thing is guys. Your money doesn't matter. The thing is what matters is. What are you doing with Christ? Jesus Christ had all of the glory of the father. He had all of the universe. literally in his possession and he left all of that. For the sake of you and me Jesus Christ came to Earth to live the life. We could not live die the death that we deserved and rise to give us hope everyone who trusts in him is completely changed for all of eternity.
Is Jesus enough for you? Do you trust him or are you still trusting that dollar? You need to make that decision and we're going to sing a song of response. We're going to sing and we are going to as the people of God in reflection on this word of God that admittedly is a hard word.
We're going to respond. You can sing. If you want to pray where you are. Say God change my focus help me to see Jesus is enough help me to use what you've given me for the sake of your kingdom not for myself. If you want to pray where you are, you can if you want to come here and you want to pray you can but respond during this song because Jesus is enough.