By Scott Brown
Pastor, First Baptist Church, Waverly
It’s a particular peeve of mine when I see people going eschatologically crazy over every odd colored moon or some unique date.
There’s always inevitably somebody screaming that they’ve figured it out somehow and they know that Jesus is coming back on this specific day. They’ve always been wrong, no one knows the day or hour of His return.
We may not know exactly when Jesus will come back for us and make right all that sin has made wrong but we absolutely know that He definitely will be coming back for us and that it is sooner today than it was yesterday.
Martin Luther said there were only two days that mattered, “this day and that Day.” He was referring to the day of Christ’s return.
As followers of Jesus we work, we serve, we suffer, and we share without giving up because we know “that Day” is coming soon.
As the Jewish believers were being dispersed across the world fleeing the persecution, James reminds them to remain faithful because this life is not our home and it is not forever. Jesus is coming back to judge all things rightly and He alone is our hope so we don’t give up.
James finishes his letter with a quick list of teachings that all center on the importance of healthy fellowship. Whether it be healing of the sick, hope for the downtrodden, or restoration of the sinner James reminds us that the Christian life is a family affair.
We are in this together. Part of the joy of gathering regularly with other believers in the name of Jesus is that it serves as a foretaste of heaven. It sweetens our anticipation of the day when every nation will gather around the throne and every knee will bow before Him while every tongue sings loudly His praise.
The very last thing James writes in his letter crystallizes our mission until the day that Jesus comes back for us. We are not to be gathering together in our comfort resting while we wait for Jesus. We are to be actively warning people and weeping over them until He returns.
That day will be a great day for every believer but it will also be the most horrible day for everyone without Christ.
How can we long for His return without longing to take as many as we can with us to heaven? As we hope for the coming of the Lord with great anticipation let us be moved to tears and action for those who will be condemned to an eternity in hell and let it never be because we did nothing to stop it.
As we long for that day, let us take to heart Spurgeon’s charge, “If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our dead bodies. And, if they perish, let them perish with our arms wrapped around their knees, imploring them to stay. If hell must be filled, let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go unwarned and unprayed for.”
I long for my Savior’s return for His church on the day when He will destroy death and sin forever but I thank Him for His patience until then that always just one more might be saved and I pray He might find us busy striving toward that end.