by the Rev. Larry Wilson
1 Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. 2 Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. 3 Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure in the last days. 4 Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. 5 You have lived on the earth in luxury and in self-indulgence. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. 6 You have condemned; you have murdered the righteous person. He does not resist you.
The key to this severe warning is found in verse 3b—"You have laid up treasure in the last days." This applies several New Testament principles to our present setting. First, it is critical that you realize that we are living in the last days.
* Hebrews 1:1–2 — "Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world."
* Galatians 4:4 — "But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law…"
* Hebrews 9:26 — "…he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself."
* 1 Peter 1:20 — "He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you…"
* Acts 2:17 — "‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams…"
* 1 Corinthians 10:11 — "Now these things happened to them [Old Testament saints] as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come."
* 2 Timothy 3:1–5 — "But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people."
* 1 John 2:18 — "Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour."
* Jude 1:18 — "In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions."
We tend to think that "eschatology," the last things, must be way off in the future. But God says, "No, you are living in the last days right now."
Click here for background on the author of Are You For Real?: Meditations in the Epistle of James for Secret or Family Worship.