THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE WAY FORWARD IN CHRIST
THE END TIMES - 10
Today’s reading: James 5:7-10
James says that “the coming of the Lord is at hand.”
(v.8c). At the same time he says, “Be patient”
(v.7a). Considering that, after two millennia, the second
coming of Jesus has not happened, but also that we are today
indeed already in the end times, these two statements are
still so very relevant. We must anticipate and hope for the
coming of the Lord, but we must wait patiently until this
happens. “Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the
coming of the Lord.” (v.7a).
we patiently wait, do we just sit and do nothing? Of course
not. In fact, the delay in the Lord’s coming is meant
for good, so that many more can be brought back to him before
the final judgment. So how should we use whatever time there
we should be like the farmer. While he waits and depends on
nature to work, he also waters, weeds, fertilizes, etc. “See
how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth,
being patient with it until it receives the early and the
late rains.” (v.7b). The farmer planted; we too plant
the seed when we proclaim the gospel. Now the fruit is left
to God, but we still teach, admonish, counsel, correct, console,
encourage, inspire, and journey with. The first part of evangelization
is proclamation of the gospel, but evangelization continues
through one’s lifetime, because it is about one living
out the fullness of the good news, which actually takes a
lifetime to do.
even as we are patient, we should remain focused and determined,
wholehearted in our work of evangelization. “You too
must be patient. Make your hearts firm, because the coming
of the Lord is at hand.” (v.8). We must not relax in
our efforts. We must not lose hope in the face of challenges.
We must never give up on anyone (even as we move on and just
return to that hard soil later). We must endure and persevere.
We must try to expend our time and energy fruitfully for the
Kingdom, knowing that Jesus can return any time.
the work of evangelization is more effective when done by
a body, and so we should strive to be an active part of an
evangelistic community and work such that that body will be
united in its efforts. “Do not complain, brothers, about
one another, that you may not be judged.” (v.9a). One
reality about Christian community is that often there are
conflicts, even among top leaders. This usually happens when
the outward focus on the work is lost. When brethren are no
longer evangelizing, they will end up fighting with each other.
When they lose sight of the one enemy, they will find many
reasons to consider their own brethren as enemies. But we
are brothers, co-workers, comrades-in-arms! We must not tear
each other down.
gives a warning: “Behold, the Judge is standing before
the gates.” (v.9b). At the end of time we will be judged,
to determine whether we can enter heaven or not. One important
aspect of this judgment is how we related to brethren. Did
we assault them rather than assaulting the one enemy? Did
we cause strife and disunity in the community, such that the
body was unable to effectively do its work of evangelization?
Were we then in effect the cause of so many more souls being
lost to damnation? Remember, you will be judged.
we should look to the patience and long-suffering of the prophets.
“Take as an example of hardship and patience, brothers,
the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.” (v.10).
We too are called to speak in the name of the Lord. We are
called to do the very divine work of God, helping to bring
souls into the Kingdom. Like that great prophet John the Baptist,
our work is meant to prepare the way for the Lord. When we
do those things, contrary to the ways of the world and the
intent of the evil one, then we become embroiled in warfare.
We must then be willing to endure hardships. We will be oppressed
and persecuted. Through it all we rejoice in the privilege
of sharing, albeit in a much smaller way, in the cross of
patient and continue to plod on in the work of the New Evangelization!