James 5:1-8 Come now, you rich! Weep and cry aloud over the miseries that are coming on you. Your riches have rotted and your clothing has become moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have rusted and their rust will be a witness against you. It will consume your flesh like fire. It is in the last days that you have hoarded treasure! Look, the pay you have held back from the workers who mowed your fields cries out against you, and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. You have lived indulgently and luxuriously on the earth. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered the righteous person, although he does not resist you. So be patient, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s return Think of how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the ground and is patient for it until it receives the early and late rains. You also be patient and strengthen your hearts, for the Lord’s return is near.
God is full of Grace, Mercy and Compassion offering it freely to all and waiting longer than any human would for a person to turn from serving evil and seek the way of life found only in Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:9). Because God shows His mercy by delaying the consequences of our actions - so that we are not all destroyed - people can wrongly think that God must either approve of what they are doing or overlooked it and they continue in sin (Ecclesiastes 8:11-13). Realize, while God is indeed love Himself He is also just (Exodus 34:6,7). Even as those who watched Noah build the Ark could have sought the Lord for a "boarding pass" yet they continued on with their sinful lives. Nevertheless, God waited patiently for them during the time it took Noah to build the ark (perhaps 100 years). But when the time came to execute justice it was too late... God shut the door... not Noah (Genesis 7:15,16) and all that had not entered the ark perished in the flood (2 Peter 2:5). Realize, grace, mercy and compassion is always extended by God but when we refuse the only thing left is wrath (Proverbs 29:1). Furthermore, realize that the Mercy of God extended to all living in Noah's day, but accepted only by Noah and his family, was greater than the wrath received by those that rejected it and subsequently perished. Throughout the Bible judgments that resulted in wrath were always from the refusal of the greater Mercy offered. That is, the Mercy of God is always much greater than the judgment of His wrath (James 2:13).
Even as in the days of Noah before the flood, while He was building the ark that could have saved others, people today go on blindly living as if nothing is wrong. This while Jesus' Bride, the Church (our Ark) is being made ready to be preserved during the upcoming judgment (Matthew 24:37-39). Furthermore, we are presently experiencing what Jesus said were the beginning of sorrows before the end times judgment is released (Matthew 24:6-8. 1 Thessalonians 5:3. 2 Thessalonians 1:3-10).
Lastly, while we are not saved by our works (Ephesians 2:8,9) we will be judged by them to determine our reward in Heaven (2 Corinthians 5:10,11.James 2:14-18). Note also that Jesus' letters to the seven churches of Revelation 2 and Revelation 3 all contained the phrase "I know your works" (KJV). Therefore, we must be diligent to do good works* for The Lord of the Armies of Heaven is coming soon! (Matthew 5:14-16. James 5:4. Revelation 22:20).
Lastly, 2 Corinthians 6:2, Hebrews 2:3
To be continued(1)...
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(1) Left click on underlined phrase to open another article in a different tab with more explanation.
*Good works are those done in the power of the Holy Spirit juxtaposed to dead works which are done in the flesh (i.e., our own ability).