Jesus is Coming Again
Life Lessons from Hard Times – Studies in James
As we have said, sometimes the hardest thing about life is it is so daily! Standing in, standing firm, keeping our eyes on the prize, running the race, all are pictures of the discipline of one of the five fundamentals of Christianity – looking to the return of Jesus. One of the criticisms of Christianity is we are so ‘otherworldly’ that we are of little use in this world. James has addressed living life usefully and wisely, but to the critic who says we are otherworldly, we say yes!
James 5:7-8 7Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the LORD’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. 8You too, be patient and stand firm, because the LORD’s coming is near.
1. Our faith has seasons – Wait for them!The farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop. To the ancient Palestinian farmer in this Mediterranean region, he was well aware of the seasonal rains. Autumn and spring rains. Even as we wait for Jesus, in the imagery of the seasons, even Jesus waits to return for the consummation of all things intended. For example, for the further salvation of many. 2 Peter 3:9. Of course, the time and number in His plan are known by God alone. Our job is to live and think in expectation. You too be patient.
2. Our faith has a certainty – Jesus is coming back! The great fundamental of the faith, in part, is Jesus’ return for his own. While certain national and spiritual issues are predicted before His return, His return is certain. Just as certain as the empty tomb. While He has not yet come, His coming is always at hand, meaning it is imminent, though no one knows the times and seasons. But we always live as if it could be today. After all, we are sojourners, just passing through this earth toward our heavenly home. This fact helps us to stand firm, to hold on, to be patient like the farmers and their seasons.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 13Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15According to the LORD’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the LORD, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16For the LORD himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the LORD in the air. And so we will be with the LORD forever. 18Therefore encourage one another with these words.
– John Moore