Do people really hold up signs that proclaim “The End is Near?” What good is accomplished by that? Those passing by could just as well think, “Good, it’s about time this mess got cleaned up.” The statement says nothing about the end being good or bad and I doubt that many folks stop to engage the sign-holder in conversation.
Jms. 5:7-8 “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.”
I’m not a farmer. I didn’t grow up on a farm. But Laura Ingalls Wilder brought home to me the vicissitudes of farming in her “Little House” books. Reading those to my children I was made aware of the uncertainties, the great difficulties, the sometimes little reward of farming and the Bible’s references like this one in James 5 took on greater depth for me. Thanks, Laura.
Farmers wait… for rain… sunshine… sprouts… harvest… good prices for their crops. James says we are to take our cue from the farmers’ patience and continue waiting for the coming of the Lord, though it seems he has delayed a long time.
His coming may be to take his own to be with him at our physical death or to return all the way to earth and usher in the end of the end times and establish his kingdom on earth. We are not to lose hope, give up, quit waiting and go off after something else. We are to Watch for him expectantly because his coming is near.
How near? Very near in terms of all eternity. How near? Much nearer than it was yesterday. How near? Near enough that God wants his coming to remain in the forefront of the mind of those who belong to him. Near enough to affect our choices today as we live expectantly, wanting to be found eagerly ready to welcome him with all that is within us!
James is writing to those who have been redeemed from the kingdom of darkness and brought into the kingdom of light, those whose hearts and souls belong to God. But there is in his words a strong warning for those who do not yet belong to God.
When the Lord comes back to take those who belong to him, he comes to judge those who have continued to reject him from the moment of their birth. And that coming is near!
If you have never acknowledged to God that you are sinful and sought from him the forgiveness he makes available in the death of Christ, then you will be very sorry indeed when the Lord returns. I would welcome the opportunity to dialogue with you.