Jam 4:13-5:6; Psa 10:14, 37:7-26, 68:4-6; Isa 10:1-4, 58:6-8; Pro 28:8-11, 29:7; Luk 6:20-25,
PRCHR-97-170521 - length: 67:14 - taught on May, 21 2017
In Chapter 4 verses 13-17, James is reproving businessmen who are believers.
JAM 4:13-17 is an exhortation.
But in chapter 5, verses 1-6, James is pronouncing impending doom on rich people who are unsaved.
JAM 5:1-6 is a prophetic pronouncement.
They are not condemned because they are wealthy.
They are condemned because they abused their riches for evil.
The rich that James is addressing in chapter 5 are in the last days, and they will soon face the Judge.
In that day of slaughter, they will weep and howl for the miseries which will come upon them.
James addresses the unsaved rich in keeping with what the Old Testament teaches about wealth and the poor.
First, God has a special concern for the poor and the downtrodden.
God defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing. (DEU 10:18)
Second, God’s people are to adopt God’s attitude and behavior towards the poor and disadvantaged.
A third Old Testament theme is the association of the poor with the righteous, …
and conversely the wicked with wealth.
The Lord’s dividing line is between the righteous and the wicked.
But He does not ignore the reality that so often the wicked prosper - at least for a while.
In JAM 5:1-6, James condemns the rich on the basis of their sinful actions:
hoarding money at the expense of the poor (versus 2-3)
self-indulgent, flagrantly luxurious living to the exclusion of God’s priorities (v5),
defrauding workers who are barely making ends meet (v4),
and persecuting the righteous with injustice, putting their very lives in danger (v6).
Yet woe to us if we try to take the sting out of James’ indictment of the rich.
Hoarding wealth, when others in the community are going without the basic necessities, is sinful.
Fourth, the wicked rich are storing up wrath for themselves in the day of judgment.
The New Testament does not condemn those who are wealthy.
The New Testament condemns the love of money. It rebukes those who abuse their wealth and resources.
There is a proper way to use the financial and material wealth that God has blessed you with.
It is a trap to live for wealth, taking advantage of others in your pursuit of more money than you really need.