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Here Comes the Judge

Highlights in James  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  18:15
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Nobody likes waiting, especially if it’s waiting for something bad to end. It may be physical suffering, it may be emotional trauma, it may be painful circumstances beyond our control. Whatever is causing us distress, we just want it to be over with as quickly as possible. Earlier in the letter James tells us to rejoice in our trials because they are meant to strengthen us and help us to grow. In today’s reading he tells us the attitude we should take:
James 5:7–9 NIV84
Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. Don’t grumble against each other, brothers, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!
James’ readers are experiencing trials and persecution and it’s understandable that they would want to end these trials. Injustice and undeserved suffering are always difficult to bear. It is easy to respond with either hopelessness or anger. Those James is writing to may be weakening in their faith, or wanting retribution against their enemies. We may also experience similar feelings.

James reminds them:

The Lord will come – This is one of the promises we have to look forward to, regered to over 500 times in the Scriptures. Jesus Himself said that not only was He going to prepare a place for His disciples but that He would come back for them.
Titus 2:13 NIV84
while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,
It is always good to remember that whatever we are going through at the moment will not last.

James tells them:

Be patient
Prolonged restraint waiting for God to act. Being slow to anger, God is patient with us. We cannot do anything to hurry the Lord’s coming. We mustn’t try to take matters into our own hands. He will return in His own right time.
Psalm 37:7 NIV84
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.
Does not mean doing nothing, however. James uses the example of a farmer. The farmer has to prepare the soil, plant the seeds, make sure the field is weeded. Having done what he is able to do, then the farmer waits patiently for the rains, and for the crop to grow.
Be persistent - stand firm, fix our hearts
Persevere – endurance, commitment to see it through
Don’t give up.
We can stand this way only if our hearts are firmly established in the Word and prayer.

James warns them:

Do not grumble
Do not blame God
It could be taking frustration out on others.
Complaining against others may also be considered passing judgment on others. This is something forbidden by Christ in Matthew 7:1, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.”
Or you will be judged
We also will stand before the judgement seat of Christ, not to determine our destiny in heaven or hell, but to assess the quality of our Christian life on earth
Romans 14:10 NIV84
You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.

James’ assures them:

The Lord’s coming is near - it could transpire within a very short period of time—not that it had to. Act as if their generation could be the last.
James’ readers will be delivered from their trials
The Judge is at the door
James is not just saying that Christ’s coming is at hand, but that He comes as judge. Those who are giving the readers a hard time will have to face Him and face the consequences of their actions.
Hebrews 10:30 NIV84
For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.”
So, when we experience trials, when other people take advantage of us, when we suffer unjustly, as followers of Jesus Christ we are to remember that He is coming back and will right every wrong, and will pay back those who trouble us. In the meantime we are to trust in Him and not lose patience but endure the situation knowing that we are in His hands.
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