In James 5:7-9, he’s telling Christians they will be judged . . . or am I reading that wrong?

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In James 5:7-9, he’s telling Christians they will be judged . . . or am I reading that wrong?

Post by Admin on Tue Jan 26, 2016 2:20 am

James 5:7-9 says this: 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 one another, brothers, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!—James 5:7-9. One thing these verses reflect is the fact that, in difficult times, people may be more quick to judge and lash out at each other. Certainly, the Christians of the first century in living with the persecution they endured would have understood this. But there is more: In the Greek, the operative words are “grumble” (grudge) and “judged” (condemned). It suggests the idea of a grouchy grumbling that ultimately, while pointed at our brothers and sisters in Christ, actually reflects onto Christ Himself. Do difficult times suggest to us that God is any less in control? Do our difficulties suggest any weakness or lack of love for us on His part? If we believe that God is truly in charge, then the admonition was to rest in Him (“remember the hammock”) in all circumstances, because He rules in all circumstances. And because He perfectly rules, that gives Him the right to judge. That is underscored by the picture that these verses present of Jesus as a Judge, opening the door to His judicial chambers. Now, for Christians it is important to keep in mind that our judgment was taken by Christ when He died on the cross. The covering of our sins by His substitutionary death is something that can and will never be undone. But the judgment being talked about here is judgment for the sins we commit as Christians. First and foremost, it is a reminder that all our sins—past, present and future—are covered by the salvation that Christ offered on our behalf. We can never forget that all our sins nailed Jesus to the cross. But secondly, these are sins that become part of the judgment of Christians that follows our coming into heaven—the works of our lives that are evaluated by fire, burning and destroying some while retaining those that truly reflect our Savior. The effect of those sins will be on our ultimate eternal reward; as the apostle John said in his second letter, Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully—II John 8. We should always live to please the Master; we will be evaluated on how our lives accomplished that, but remember: This effects our eternal rewards, not our eternal salvation. That—and our home in heaven—is eternally secure for all Christians.

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