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  • Shawn Thornton

The End is Near!

Wednesday - March 17th

Devotionals from the Book of James

Scripture to Read Today: James 5:7-12

Be patient and stand firm, because the Lord's coming is near.

James 5:8


"The End is Near!"

"Repent!"

"Turn to God!"

"The End is Near!"


The guy shouting this over and over again became an irritation to all of us in line. As we waited to go up in the Washington Monument, he just kept yelling these same phrases. During my seminary days in Washington D.C., Lesli and I had some friends from college visit us. Like us, they were a young married couple with no children yet. Our friends had never been to our nation's capital, and I had become quite adept at providing tours to visiting family and friends.


Lesli, our friends, and I went to D.C. for the grand tour. While the line was very long at the Washington Monument, my guests wanted to see the view from the top of the famous landmark. The line we waited in wrapped around the monument at least a dozen times.


About ten minutes after we got in the line, a man in a long white robe, sandals, and wearing a long beard stood up on a bench just at the fringe of the circling line. He had a large sign that simply said, "The End is Near!" He lifted up a hand-made cardboard bullhorn and began to shout at the crowd through it.


"The End is Near!"

"Repent!"

"Turn to God!"

"The End is Near!"


It did not take long for the crowd to get tired of his constant yelling the same phrases. Some began to shout back at him. Soon people were swearing and yelling nasty things at him. Unphased, he repeated the same things over and over again.


The white-robed man offered nothing to the crowd in terms of a Gospel message - just condemnation and a call to repentance. The people encircling the monument only heard a fanatical, odd man screaming at them. His method proved totally ineffective.


He had half the message. He was right. The end is near. We are living in the last days. There is nothing required to happen for Jesus to return and begin to judge the living and the dead. But, as we repent, we believe in the hope found in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Both the method and the message being preached by the white-robed preacher saddened us.


As followers of Christ, James admonishes us to "Be patient and stand firm, because the Lord's coming is near" (James 5:8). In the six verses in our passage for today (James 5:7-12), three times James indicates the end is near and final judgment before God is imminent. Because of this reality, the passage challenges us to be patient, not complain or grumble, and maintain our integrity with the promises we make. Verse nine gives the motivation behind these challenges - "The judge is standing at the door!"


If Jesus came today (which he might), would you be caught off-guard or unprepared in the way you live your life? Would he find you being faithful, not complaining, and cultivating your integrity?


As you move through your day today, ask yourself a simple question: What if Jesus returned today?


Since the end of time is near and the judge is standing at the door, we should live our lives as if Jesus will return today!

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