Showing That You Are Saved-4
Authentic Believers Show They Are Saved By Their Hope
Pastor David L. Brown, Ph.D.
Sermon Delivered 2/8/04
This is the fourth message in our series on the book of James. Our topic has been, How Authentic Believers Show That They Are Saved.
In the previous three messages, we saw thatÖ
In this final message we will see thatÖ
Authentic Believers Show They Are Saved By Their Hope
"Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. 8 Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh." James 5:7-8
You will remember that James was writing to Jewish believers that were undergoing trials. They did not have an easy life. He exhorted
them to keep the faith and trust the Lord while they pass through the refinerís fires. James takes a different approach in James 5:7-8. In these two verses he tells the believers to anticipate the coming of the Lord! Letís take a closer look at the passage.
Verse 7 starts with, "Be patientÖ." This phrase is a translation of one word in the Greek, which means donít lose heart. It is a word that urges patience while under going suffering. Basically, James is saying, catch your breath and stay in the race Christians (brethren) until the coming of the Lord. In other words, keep your eye on the goal. Christ is coming again!
Now, letís look at the second phrase of verse 7 Ė "Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain." A husbandman is one who works the ground or, a farmer. James is using the illustration of a patient farmer to encourage believers not to lose heart until the Lord returns. He says, the farmer (husbandman) waiteth for. The Greek is one word, ekdechetai (ek-dekh'-et-i), means to wait for expectantly! And what is the farmer waiting for? "The precious fruit of the earth." The farmer is said to have long patience in waiting for the harvest. This is the same root word as patient used earlier in the verse. The growing season in Israel is different than our. In fact, it is nearly the opposite of ours. The farmer in Palestine looks expectantly, hoping for the early rain that came in October or November at the time of planting. The latter rain that came in April or May just before the harvest that helped the fruit to ripen.
So, what is James illustrating? In due time we may expect the Lord to return. We cannot hurry it up any more than we can control the rain, the sun, and the season. Just as the farmer patiently waits until in the regular course of events comes before the harvest, so we should patiently wait for the developments of Godís will, and the arrangements of His providence. Simply stated, Jesus will come again, but it will be in Godís time. Our Lord reminded us, "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only." Matthew 24:36
Now letís move on to Verse 8 --"Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh." Using the same word again, James urges his readers to "beÖpatient." Next, we need to examine the phrase "stablish your heart." The word stablish is a translation of the Greek word that means to stabilize, fix or focus. And what is to be stabilized, fixed or focused? "Your heart." The Greek word here is kardia. In this verse, as in most of the New Testament references, the word means the mind, the understanding, the faculty and seat of intelligence which is the fountain and seat of our thoughts, passions, desires, affections, appetites, emotions, and will.
Here is what old Dr. Gill said about verse 8 Ė It means, "be of good courage, pluck up your spirits, lift up your heads: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh; when he will render tribulation to them that trouble them (believers), free them (believers) from all their sorrows and afflictions, and enter them into the joy of their Lord." (Romans 8:18-19)
Christian friend, authentic believers show that they are saved when they hope for the Lordís return! (Revelation 22:20)
Turn with me to Colossians 3:1-4 "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory."
1 John 3:1-3 "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure."
John 14:1-3 "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 "But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words."
There are an increasing number of Christians who are looking for the Antichrist and the seven-year tribulation. But not me; I have good reason to look for the Rapture and not the Tribulation. 1 Thessalonians 5:9-11 "For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. 11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do."
Authentic believers hope in the Lord! They are looking
for the Lordís return.