Today passwords can be preaching from James chapter 5 verses 7 to 12. Be patient therefore Brothers until the coming of the Lord see how the farmer waits for the precious fruits of the Earth being patient about it until it receives the early and the late rains. You also be patient establish your hearts for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not Grumble against one another brothers so that you may not be judged behold. The judge is standing at the door as an example of suffering and patients Brothers take their profits who spoke in the name of the Lord behold. We consider those blessed remain steadfast. You have heard that the steadfastness of Jobe and you have seen the purpose of the Lord how the Lord is compassionate and merciful but above all my brothers do not swear either by heaven or Earth or by any other oath to let your yes be yes and your no be no so that you may not be you may not fall under condemnation.
Amen. Thank you Simon.
Simon was reading from James chapter 5 and we are in the last couple days of this message series looking at the Book of James and asking ourselves. What is it about the Christian faith that calls forth a response from us. Not just what are the intellectual attributes of Christianity? What are those set of doctrinal distinctives that would make us different from any other world religion not just a a series of beliefs that we might be able to verbally declare but what is it? That we actually have to fight for what is it that we have to engage with? What is this Christian message with all of its doctrinal distinctives? What does it call us to do and that's the question that we've been looking at as we've gone through the Book of James in and James is all about action. It's all about engagement and he says pure and undefiled religion in the side of our God and Father is this to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world. He says and fights among you is it not your desires that wage war within you? Right fight that that's the message of James but here as we come close to the end of the book.
He says okay. Everybody take a deep breath. Everybody waits for a second. Be patient and really today's passage ties in with last week's passage. If you're a guest with us this morning a we're really glad that you're here. Thank you for joining us or if you were out last week you weren't able to be a part of the message then understand this when we look at James it's a whole book and we take these little passages we look at it, but we shouldn't separate them from their contacts in last week. James was giving a warning to the rich and this was a warning to those who would persecute the Christians, right? It was a warning to those who did not acknowledge Christ. We talked about that as Christians. Why would we want what James would warn against but in today's passage, he turns his attention. 2 hour response to that morning He says in verse 1 or excuse me a verse 7. He says be patient therefore Brothers until the coming of the Lord this whole time. He's been telling us fight this whole time. He's been telling us engage in now. He says be patient. It would have been very tempting for his original audience to get discouraged by the fact that there were these people who were oppressing them who weren't paying their wages were making it difficult for them to exist in the world. He says be patient in light of the fact that living for Christ is going to hamper your ability to get ahead in the world in light of the fact that living for Christ is going to bring the hatred of Minnie and bring persecution upon you in light of these things be patience. Why patients every other time James is come up with a problem. You said you got to engage you got to do something you got to act on your face and now he just says weights he says wait because James knows something that each of us needs to know and I I don't I don't know where you're at in your journey with Christ. I don't know if you are a Christ follower or not this morning, but I do want to tell you the best possible news ever. And this is why James says we can be patient as the people of God. Jesus is coming back.
Jesus is coming back now before I get another round of amiens.
Jesus has been coming back for almost 2000 years now. It would be very tempting to look at James and say okay like there's patience and then there's two thousand years worth of patience. Come on, James. What's the deal man? Why are you telling us to be patient? Like we get it when you're telling a bunch of first century Believers. Be patient. Jesus is coming back right there only like 30 years removed from Jesus leaving the first time. Right when he says be patient, it makes sense for two thousand years later. Why should we be patient?
because Christian every single Godly desire you have Will be fulfilled by Jesus Second Coming. Every single Godly desire you have will be fulfilled when Jesus comes again. Here's the thing as Christians those who worship the God of all righteousness the God of all Justice we long for justice to be done. And when we see a situation like what James talked about there in the earlier section of this chapter when we see a situation where the rich are oppressing the the poor and we see a situation where Injustice is being carried out as Christians. We should say this is not right this ought not to be
But James says be patient because when Jesus comes again.
She is going to bring Justice. We are told and and I've got several verses that'll be up on the screen and got some they won't be up on the screen. Sorry, Don. We're told that Jesus is coming back. We're told in Hebrews that when he comes back, he will bring Justin. We're told that multiple other passages in the Bible that when Jesus comes back, he will judge everyone according to what they have done. He will bring Justice with him. We all want Justice we want right to be known as right and wrong to be punished as wrong. Jesus is coming back be patient. This will be accomplished. This is going to happen. This was the message for every single one of the New Testament Christians every single one of those that got inspired to write the New Testament. They seems like a hit on this theme the theme is like Richard talked about as we took the Lord's supper, right Jesus Christ came to Earth. He died for our sins. He was varied and he rose again. And in the final piece of that gospel message that is proclaimed. Is this he rose again, and he's coming back one day.
He's coming with Justice this longing for justice us we have be patient Christ is coming back and he will bring Justice and Acts chapter 17 Paul is preaching and he says the times of ignorance God overlooked but now he commands all people everywhere to repent because he is fixed today on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man who has a pointed end of this is given Assurance do all by raising him from the dead. We want Justice. Jesus is coming back to bring it. So James says be patient. Just Justice we desire. Peace. We desire peace. It's really sad. If you were to graph worldwide the years were in which there been no conflict around the world. Do you know how many years? In the global timeline you would have with zero interpersonal conflict with total piece raining throughout the Earth. I don't even have to take off my shoes to count it zero.
Is humans are constant reality is one of conflict. And yet we long for peace. We want peace. Dad comes home from a hard day at work kicks his shoes off turns on the TV. I just want a little bit of peace. Mom sneaks away to the bathroom for 5 seconds kids start pounding on the door and she's like all I want is a little peace. We all long for peace. Guess when we get it. when Jesus comes back when Jesus comes back he brings peace not just a temporary not just an easy piece where it's like you go to your corner and you go to your corner and everybody is good now because we won't interact with each other. That's not piece. Peace is when we're together and we're still not fighting. That's what Jesus brings the possibility for us to be together to live together to talk together to work together to play together to interact with one another and not fight. James says be patient. Jesus is coming. He's bringing peace the book of Isaiah. I'm really looking forward to later this year. We've got the past two years. I have got a sermon series planned on the words of the prophets were going to look at each of the Old Testament prophets and kind of think about their message for us. And the book of Isaiah is one that I'm particularly excited about putting Isaiah chapter 54, we get a sneak preview of the reality when Jesus comes back the mountains May depart the hills may be removed, but my steadfast love will not depart from you. My Covenant of Peace shall not be removed says the Lord who has compassion on you. You guys are familiar also with another passage in Isaiah. You hear about the the lion lying down with the lamb, right? If you're familiar with that, that's Isaiah talking about the peace that comes when Christ comes back when his kingdom is established peace Reigns. We want that James says be patience. We also want our inheritance Christ follower the call of Christ is Dietrich Bonhoeffer said when Christ calls a man he bids him come and die, but that is not just a self-immolation. That's not just a desire for self-sacrifice that is a recognition of sacrifice now brings the reward of eternal life for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son bit what
have everlasting life. That's what we want. We are we are built as human because we reflect the image of God. We are built to desire eternal life, but our sin brings the consequence of death. And yet we're promised it when Jesus comes back. We receive the inheritance of eternal life in 1st Peter. Now know this we've talked about James we've heard from Paul in Acts. Now we heard from Isaiah somebody who was born. Well before Jesus was on the scene and now we're hearing from Peter. So four different voices all saying the same thing when Jesus comes back it's going to be good. Peter says this blessed be the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ. According to his great Mercy. He has caused us to be born again to a Living Hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead to an inheritance imperishable undefiled and unfading kept in heaven for you who buy God's power are being guarded through faith for a Salvation ready to be revealed in the last time when when you see that last time Peter talk about when Jesus comes back. Our Salvation right now means that our life is transformed. It's not transformed by Good Works that we're doing. It's not transformed by the fact that we're just kind of mustering up enough grit to patch plaster a smile on her face and dress up and show one another just how cool. Are salvations effect right now has been to change Us by grace through faith. But our Salvation is not fully realized yet. Our Salvation is true. It is certain. It is based in Christ, but we don't experience everything that that means we're waiting for Jesus to come back so we can inherit eternal life. This is salvation. That we would have eternal life with Christ. He's got to come back.
Be patience. You're going to experience Brokenness. If Christ has not returned before it you will breathe your last. You will be buried you will be cremated. Sorry to be a downer at the party here. That's just reality.
But be patient when you attend the funeral be patient When You Weep be patient. He's coming back. And when he comes back, all of our Godly desires will be fulfilled. Here's the trouble. We don't know when he's coming back. Wouldn't it be so much easier to be patient if we knew that like 2,000 years + 50 days. Jesus be coming back to be easier to be patient if we had a date circled on the calendar, but we don't and James tells this first generation of Believers. Be patient. Jesus coming back every generation since then has needed the same message. Be patient. Jesus is coming back. Your desire for justice will be fulfilled. Your desire for peace will be fulfilled. Your desire for eternal life will be fulfilled. Every generation has to have patience because we don't know when Jesus is coming back. But James says Weights but now he gets to the part where James being James. He just can't help telling us to do something while we wait. While you're waiting. Why you're being patient, here's what you need to do because when you're waiting for a while, it gets really difficult.
To obey it gets really difficult to hold on to the fact that this is coming this happens at my house with my kids probably happens with Megan and I too but we'll blame the kids for today.
Big event is coming right birthday Christmas, whatever. And it seems like the closer that gets the more rambunctious. The kids gets and and they're so excited waiting that sometimes it creates conflict between them. Yes familiar with this phenomenon. Where any of you kids once? Are any of you still kids?
Yep, right waiting sometimes leads to some problems James recognize this and he says be patient. But while you're being patient look at look at verse.
Look at verse 9. Verse 9 do not Grumble against one another as brothers so that you may not be judge behold. The judge is standing at the door right you be patience. But don't fight with each other be patient, but don't Grumble with one another be patient. Preserve peace you're waiting for peace. Don't cause conflict you're waiting for Jesus to come and bring Justice don't create Injustice. Don't Grumble against one another were tempted to fight with one another while we wait. This is an unfortunate reality of living in the in between times. Jesus said this was going to happen though. Jesus tells a parable. He says a master was going away on a long journey and as he left he told his servants wait for me. He put a servant in charge and he said keep the order keep the peace. If that Master comes back and he finds the servant waiting for him with the house in good order. Will he not say Well done good and faithful servant, but if he comes back and he finds that servants saying my master is delayed in coming and he begins to Lord it over his fellow servants causing them to be beaten. Will not the master punish that servants when he returns. Here's the problem Church. We've had two thousand years of trying to be patient and you know what we've ended up doing with that fighting. James Scott coming Jesus sight coming but Jesus calls us to something different. He says keep the peace don't Grumble against each other. Don't fight with one another keep the peace. Just because Jesus hasn't come back yet doesn't mean he's not coming back soon. That is the reality we live in so do not Grumble. Don't fight with one another look at verse 12.
If we look at it the wrong way, but looking first 12 with me verse 12, but above all my brothers do not swear either by heaven or by Earth or by any other else to let your yes be yes and your no. No so that you may not fall under condemnation. This is still even though it's like, okay, where you going with this James be patient. Don't fight. Don't swear Oaths. When we are waiting not only is it a temptation to start fighting with one another it start. It's a temptation to start over promising and under-delivering one of my bosses. When I worked in the automotive industry. That's what he used to tell me. He says always under-promise and over-deliver and somehow I always screwed up and over promise and under-deliver. Right? I worked in retail Automotive. So we would do like Tires and Brakes that kind of stuff in a customer would say I'd I need new brakes on my car. How long is it going to take? I'll be like 2 hours.
4 hours later the bolt that was stuck in a caliper finally comes out and were able to do the brake change in the customers math. Right. I was I was saying we can do this without taking into account. Oh snap things break. Things don't work according to plan. That's all James the saying here. He saying don't pretend that you have more control over circumstances.
Don't say yes. I'm going to do this when you don't know that don't presume to know what you cannot know instead say as he said that earlier in this book simply say if the Lord Wills will do this. If the Lord Wills will do this, right. We have a temptation as s Christians. To promise things that we can't deliver. There's actually a church I've heard of where they they encourage their people to go pray for people they meet on the street. I'm all for praying for people by the way, not against that if you go up to a person and you say hey, I want to pray for you there something I can pray for you about and that person says yeah, you know my mom's in the hospital. I'm really worried about her. They're taught go pray for them and pray and faith that Jesus will heal them and tell that person you just met God's going to heal your mother.
I know. As I have that works God is not some sort of genie in the sky that if we get the magic formula, right? He's bound to do what we say. Right, we have this tendency though because we've been waiting so long we want to show people God is amazing. God is powerful, but he hasn't showed up. So let's let's kind of show people. Let's let's make this happen. Let's make them see how great God is Yeah, what you end up doing is God says I'm not going to be jockey to round. My thoughts are not your thoughts. Write my plan is not your plan. And so we ought to pray as the Lord Wills. We can't go beyond that when it says don't swear Oaths. He's not talking about four letter words here. Right? He's not saying he's not saying. Oh don't don't use cuss words, although hey good idea. Don't use cuss words, but that's not what James is saying James is saying don't say that God will deliver just because you said he will deliver let God be God and you be you that's what he saying. He's echoing Jesus Jesus teaching let your yes be yes and your no know anything about this is from the evil one, right? This is where we get that we've been 2,000 years were like show up. God loves you. Let me prove that you're real. God doesn't need you to prove that he's real. Richard you talk about the power being out. Where is Richard is Richard you talk about the power being out and seeing the Stars? How are any words that I speak going to convince somebody that God's real if the Utah night sky unencumbered by man-made lights doesn't prove the power and Majesty. I've got God doesn't need us to promise anything on his behalf. He's already promised us. He's coming back. He will fulfill our desires. We don't have to be tempted. To get ahead of him on that what this all comes down to is we are tempted to be inpatient. We are tempted to be impatient. James says be patient six different times throughout this passage, right? Let's look at this real quick. Come now. Nope wrong one be patient therefore Brothers. See how the farmer Waits being patient. You also be patient establish your heart as an example of suffering and patient for the take the prophets remain steadfast the steadfastness of Jobe. Do you get this? Be patient because our temptation is to be impatient to say God. Why is it taking you two thousand years to fulfill your promise? Peter says he's not slow in keeping his promise for with the Lord a thousand years is a day and a day is a thousand years rather. He is patient with you. He is patient with you Christ follower not willing that any should perish why is Jesus delaying his coming because his people have delayed doing what he told us to do, which was make disciples. When we do what he tells us to do when we live in obedience to his grace. He'll be back Matthew 24 this Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in all nations. And then the end will come. Until then be patient. God is patient with us not willing that any should perish. How can we get impatient with him? God is patient with the patience for him. The Temptation for us to be impatient leads to all kinds of other sins leads to us try to manufacture a movement of God leads to us grumbling and fighting with one. Another James would say keep your eyes focused on Christ. Be patient until the coming of the Lord being patient does not mean an action. But it does mean avoid losing hearts. This is what we'd says though. He knows this temptation. He knows that we're to be tempted to be impatient when were tempted. We need to remember and heat. So he gives us for analogies for illustration is when you're tempted to be impatient. Remember the farmer look at verse 7. Remember the farmer when you're tempted to be impatient because a farmer plants his seed and waits for the rain, right he waits for the precious fruit of the Earth in patient about it until it receives the early and the late rain. Do you know what the farmer can't do?
He can make it rain. No matter how many rain dances he tries no matter how many times he carries that umbrella. He can't make it rain. No matter how faithful we are to Christ no matter how much we try to bring about the second coming. We still have to be patient. Work but be patient a farmer any of you farmers. Is the is the farmers patients like this kind of patients? You ever been on a farm? There's not a whole lot of this.
There's always something to do. So, he's patiently waiting for the rain knowing that he can affect that but he's got a job to do in the meantime. That's us be patient. Like a farmer is patient keep working.
But don't grow impatient with the things you can't control keep working, but don't grow impatient about the prophets in verse 10. He says what it is. If you need an example of suffering and patients take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Now when James says this he's riding to people who are very familiar with the Old Testament. He's riding to people who understand what he means when he says as an example of suffering take the prophets every single one of the Old Testament prophets was persecuted for their message. As an example take them for patients every single one of them preached. Before there was a response some of them preached and there was no response. God actually tells Jeremiah Jeremiah was one of the prophets and God tells him this in Jeremiah chapter 7. So you shall speak all these words to them, but they will not listen to the to you you will call to them, but they will not answer you and every single preacher sent has understood what God was saying to Jeremiah.
Sometimes I feel that way I look at it. You guys didn't like I'm saying it but nobody's here in it. Right. He says be patient like the prophets were patient. They preach their entire lives and people didn't listen to them. You may have a kid in your house who you will speak to time and time again about the goodness of God about the grace that is offered in Christ time and time again, you demonstrate love and forgiveness to them and time and time again, they reject it. James would say be patient like the prophets were patients. You may have a co-worker who you struggle with. Be patience like the prophets were patients. If we're tempted to forget, we also need to remember Jobe. He says this in verse 11 behold. We consider bless those who remain steadfast as you've heard of the steadfastness of Jobe. How many of you are familiar with the steadfastness of Jobe? Joba suffered more than anybody in here has suffered. I'm sorry. Some of you have had a rough life doesn't compare to Jobe. In the span of a few hours Jobe loses everything he has. He loses his family. He loses his wealth. He loses everything and then he loses his health and then his friends start showing up and telling him. It's all his fault.
And Joe grumbled. But he never rejected God. He never finally rejected God. He struggled and that's not to say the struggle for patients will not be real but consider job who at the ends God steps in and Jobe says. I shouldn't have said anything. And he submits in faith to the God who cared for him all along so he couldn't see it. consider job who God was faithful to So when were tempted to be impatient? We should remember the farmer. We should remember the profits. We should remember Jobe but there's one last thing that you did James tells us. We should remember we should remember our own experience of God's mercy. Look at the end of verse 11 there. You have seen the purpose of the Lord how the Lord is compassionate and merciful. If you're here this morning and you are a Christ follower, you should know this the Lord is compassionate and merciful. If you're a Christ follower this morning. How many of you would raise your hands, please nobody and say that Jesus saved you because you are so doggone amazing. He had to have you on his team.
We know that while we were yet sinners you guys finish the verse for me earlier while we were yet sinners. God loved us right. God loved the world the world full of a messy broken people world full of us. And then you guys weren't going on to the next verse. I was going to go to write it was while we were Sinners that Christ died for us. Right. God loved us one of your sinners Christ died for us when we were Sinners. We are saved not because we're so good. But because we were so bad that we needed Jesus to die for us, you know, the Lord is compassionate and merciful because the wages of sin is death and yet the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus. You've been given eternal life, you know, he's compassionate you deserve death. And yet he's holding out to you the promise of life. You know, he's compassionate response. So don't grow impatient. Don't fight with one another.
Be patient. You've experienced this Christ follower. If you have a testimony of God's compassion and mercy, which is every single one of you. Remember that but don't just remember it share it tell others. This is why we can be patient. This is why I can wait for the coming of the Lord. This is why I can trust that. He will fill these desires because he's been compassionate and merciful to me.
That's why I can be patient share the truth of the Gospel. But here's the reality it with this many people here. There are some of you who have no idea what I'm talking about. You have no concept of God as a god of compassion in mercy God for you is either a fairytale that mankind is created to give them some sort of comfort in the cold dark night or God for you is some being up above was just waiting for you to screw up so we can Smite you What God is some sort of cosmic scientist just kind of throwing all of us humans down here like rats and amazing saying I wonder what happens.
That's not the God who really is. That's the God you've made in your mind. The God who really is a God who loves us is a God who not just loves us but a God who is righteous and when we sin we transgress that righteousness, he says the wages of that is deaf not with this. You don't hand-wringing like maniacal laugh. Hahaha. You're not that kind of God, but a Justice that says, I wanted Beauty for these people that I love I wanted life for them. I wanted their lives have purpose and meaning I wanted them to create. I wanted them to enjoy the gift that I have given them instead. They've broken it and instead of leaving us in that Brokenness this righteous God this loving God would send his son and say to his son. You take the death they deserve and give them the life that you deserve you take their wickedness on your Perfection and give them your perfection in place of their wickedness That's The God Who is So if you're here this morning and you're not a Christ follower, I would challenge you to consider the claims of Christ. I would challenge you to have a knowledge of this God of compassion and mercy, I would challenge you to go to the gospels in to read about Jesus. And 2cm in him God extending an offer of love for his many confess him as Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead. They will be safe. right Here's the thing. If you're not a Christ follower today, you should choose to accept the love in the mercy in the grace that he offers to you. And if you want to talk about that, I would encourage you Dan. Would you raise your hand? Richard would you raise your hand Bryant would you raise your hands?
You can talk to any of the four of us where the pastor's here. That doesn't make a special. It just means that we can tell you a little bit more about that. But here's the cool thing if you're a Christ follower raise your hand.
any of these people can tell you to so you don't have to come and talk to me you can if you want to but if you want to know what it is to know a god of compassion and love talk to a Christ follower and look at Jesus. Let's pray.