Summary: 1. God gives a warning to the wicked rich. 2. God gives strength to the suffering saints: -Keep your perspective (vs. 1-6). -Keep your prayer life (vs. 4). -Keep your patience (vs. 7-11). -Keep your peace (vs. 9 &12).
Christianity Where the Rubber Meets the Road
Part 11: A Warning for the Wicked Rich and Strength for the Saints
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - April 29, 2012
*George Barna did a survey that showed the average American adult thinks their finances would be great, -- If they just had an extra $8,000-$11,000 per year.
*Then they tracked these same people, and when some of them got a big increase in income, you know what they said? -- “Things would be great, if we just had an extra $8,000-$11,000 per year.” (1)
*Have you ever wanted to be rich? -- God warns us against that in 1 Timothy 6:9-10. There the Apostle Paul said:
9. . . Those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.
10. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
*God warns us about loving money. And tonight we are going to see that being rich not always what it’s cracked up to be.
1. In tonight’s Scripture, God gives a warning to the wicked rich.
*And we see God’s warning starting in vs. 1, where James said: “Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you!”
 Now the problem here was not that these people were rich.
*There’s nothing wrong in itself with being rich. God is rich! In Psalm 24:1-2, King David said:
1. . . The earth is the LORD’s, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein.
2. For He has founded it upon the seas, And established it upon the waters.
*Then in Psalm 50:9-12 we hear God speak to the wicked of the Children of Israel, and the Lord said:
9. I will not take a bull from your house, Nor goats out of your folds.
10. For every beast of the forest is Mine, And the cattle on a thousand hills.
11. I know all the birds of the mountains, And the wild beasts of the field are Mine.
12. If I were hungry, I would not tell you; For the world is Mine, and all its fullness.
*In Haggai 2:8, the Lord said, “The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine. . .”
*God is rich! In Revelation 21:1, the Apostle John saw the new heaven and the new earth. Then in vs. 2, he began to describe “the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” And in Rev 21:21, John talked about the gates of the city, and said: “The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl. . .”
*What an oyster! -- God is rich beyond measure!
*Some of his most faithful servants have been rich too: Abraham, David, Solomon, Joseph of Arimathea. In 2 Chronicles 1:11-12 in the New Living Translation, God said to Solomon:
11. . . "Because this was in your heart, and you have not asked riches or wealth or honor or the life of your enemies, nor have you asked long life but have asked wisdom and knowledge for yourself, that you may judge My people over whom I have made you king
12. wisdom and knowledge are granted to you; and I will give you riches and wealth and honor, such as none of the kings have had who have been before you, nor shall any after you have the like.’’
*Proverbs 10:15 in the NIV says, “The blessing of the LORD brings wealth, and He adds no trouble to it.”
*Then Proverbs 22:4 in the NIV says, “Humility and the fear of the LORD bring wealth and honor and life.”
*The truth is that ALL of us are rich compared to most of the people in the world. And there’s nothing wrong in itself with being rich. The problem in James 5 was not that these people had money.
 Their first problem was how they got their money.
*In vs. 4, see that they stole it by fraud. James said, “Indeed the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth.
*Then in vs. 6, we see that they even resorted to murder. Here James said: “You have condemned, you have murdered the just; he does not resist you.”
*So the first problem with these wicked rich people was how they got their money.
 The second problem was what they did with their money.