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James: A Warning to the Wealthy 


Imagine the world was going to end tomorrow. Or imagine that Canada was being invaded by a foreign army. What would you do? What would matter? What if a hurricane or a blizzard was coming? How would you prepare? What would you spend your money on? When an ice storm is in the forecast, or other extreme weather, people go out and buy survival packs for their home, stocking up on batteries, bottled water, blankets and such. Why?

When you know danger is coming, it changes your priorities! Your future goals shape how you use your money now. When the future suddenly become much shorter than anticipated, and more dangerous or final, it radically shifts how you spend your money! So, if an army was invading Canada, you wouldn’t care about your pension or mortgage payments. If the world was ending tomorrow, you wouldn’t worry about your investment portfolio. You wouldn’t care about how old your car was either! If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, it would change what you did today, including what you did with your money.

James gives a stern warning to carelessly wealthy people, people who have no sense of the coming judgment of God. They don’t realize that their destiny includes facing God, or that it may come significantly sooner than they wish!

This section in Chapter 5 fits with end of 4 “boasting about tomorrow.” Both passages are about having a prideful attitude about the future and are addressed to people with the wealth to make bold plans to make more money in the future. Our passage today, however, is different because this section seems to be addressing non-believers. How do we know? Chapter 4 ends with calls to repentance, whereas Chapter 5 opens with “pronouncement of doom” like Prophets of old. There is no offer of forgiveness or call to repentance. This is different from the rest of James which seems to be directed towards Christians. Let’s see what it says!

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Filetype: MP4 - Size: 124.44MB - Duration: 50:59 m