Summary: Christians are often accused of hypocrisy. With that in mind, it is a legitimate question to ask, “What is the root of this hypocrisy?” or “Where does this hypocrisy come from?” There is a simple answer to these questions, hypocrisy come when we allow o
THE HORRIDNESS OF HOARDING
James 5:1-6 (NIV) 1 Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you. 2 Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. 3 Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. 4 Look! The wages you failed to pay the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. 5 You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. 6 You have condemned and murdered innocent men, who were not opposing you.
James 5:1-6 (MSG) 1 And a final word to you arrogant rich: Take some lessons in lament. You'll need buckets for the tears when the crash comes upon you. 2 Your money is corrupt and your fine clothes stink. 3 Your greedy luxuries are a cancer in your gut, destroying your life from within. You thought you were piling up wealth. What you've piled up is judgment. 4 All the workers you've exploited and cheated cry out for judgment. The groans of the workers you used and abused are a roar in the ears of the Master Avenger. 5 You've looted the earth and lived it up. But all you'll have to show for it is a fatter than usual corpse. 6 In fact, what you've done is condemn and murder perfectly good persons, who stand there and take it.
INTRODUCTION: Christians are often accused of hypocrisy. With that in mind, it is a legitimate question to ask, “What is the root of this hypocrisy?” or “Where does this hypocrisy come from?” There is a simple answer to these questions, hypocrisy come when we allow ourselves to imitate the ungodly culture around us. Wherever we allow this imitation to come in, it will ultimately reveal itself in hypocrisy; personal, or corporate. One of the areas where followers of Christ and Bible believing churches are often accused of hypocrisy is the issue of hoarding our wealth.
1. THE CONSTERNATION OF HOARDING
a. Hoarding is defined as dread that results in utter dismay.
i. It is not a pretty sight
ii. It is not a desired condition for anyone!
iii. Who would EVER want to live this was?
b. James declares the result to be weeping and wailing
i. Literally, “to burst into tears”
ii. This phrase is also used of the reaction of the wicked to the Day of the Lord
SO, JAMES IS SPEAKING TO US ABOUT A CONDITION NONE OF US WOULD LIKE TO HAVE, BUT ALSO A CONDITION, THAT IF WE HAVE IT,, IS A CONDITION OF FUTURE SIGNIFICANCE.
c. James warns against a misery that can and will come upon us
i. Not a misery of possessing wealth
ii. A misery of trusting wealth
iii. A misery of trusting in things that decay
iv. The word misery is a compound word meaning hardened concrete. Hoarding has a way of hardening us.
d. James says that this condition is possible for the rich.
i. James does not tell us whether the rich are believers or not. So, it is safe to assume that both believers and un-believers are being mentioned.
ii. For you and I it is appropriate to ask:
1. What are we rich in?
2. How are we hoarding?
a. When we hold back our resources at the expense of others
b. The only real resource we have is the gospel
c. When we hinder the gospel
i. We play with the eternity of others
ii. We deny another the timely benefit of God’s grace
iii. We hinder cut short the growth of another follower of Christ
2. THE CORROSION OF WEALTH
a. Hoarded wealth has “rotted” you – corrupted, or destroyed
b. Hoarded wealth moves a follower of Christ from riches to rags
i. Wealth is worth nothing at the coming of Christ
ii. Wealth means nothing at the return of Christ
iii. Wealth apart from what we have done with it is worthless
c. The marks of Hoarded Wealth
i. When we assume that wealth should always be used first to meet our needs
ii. When we visualize wealth as a protection or insulation between us and the rest of the world
iii. When we deny others by restricting the use of resources and gifts
3. THE CONDEMNATION OF SELF-INDULGENCE
a. Self-indulgence will harden us like concrete
b. Self-indulgence will be like corrosion to us. Literally a poison.
c. Self-Indulgence will be an evidence against us when we stand at the judgment seat of Christ
2 Corinthians 5:10 (NIV)
10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.