Today you should read: James 5:19-20
In these two short verses we see a very powerful message to God’s people as we end this book.
We need each other as the end approaches
The whole last chapter of James seems to be a last ditch effort from James to get people ready for the end. He talks about the end of wealth, patiently waiting for the end of time and the Lord’s return, and what will happen as the end approaches. The last thing James says is that some will wander from the truth. In today’s reading we see that, in such a case, here is what we need to know:
- These wanderers need help
The Christian life was never meant to be lived alone. One of the major purposes of the church is to be a community of accountability and encouragement. When we see people wandering from God it is our job to go after them.
- We are saving them from death
Before we get too deep into this discussion let’s be clear about something. God’s word is clear that salvation is not something you can lose. Once someone is truly saved they are eternally saved (John 10:27-30 and Romans 8:35-39). With this in mind I believe we can say this isn’t meaning an eternal death in hell but either a physical death in which God decides it is time to take them home because they are doing more harm than good or a “faith” death as Paul describes in 1 Timothy 1:19 in which someone who once had faith has allowed themselves to wander from it. Either way the point from James is clear here. Those who wander from the truth are in grave danger and, again they need our help.
- When we bring a wanderer back forgiveness occurs and restoration happens
God is in the business of forgiveness and restoration in the lives of sinful people. He also never runs out of those two things. God has allowed us the privilege to be a part of that life-giving process. When we go to those who have wandered from God and plead with them and bring them back not only do we save them from death but we get to be a part of the process of bringing life.
I am reminded of a friend from high school who, back then, loved God so much and was telling others about Him and studying His word and she loved being around other Christians. Now she has since wandered far from God and I have had a couple of opportunities to plead with her to come back but with no success so far. Whether or not she is truly a Christian is impossible for me to know. But whether she is or not, the message is the same. God extends His grace to us in Jesus Christ in the gospel, His death, burial and resurrection for the forgiveness of our sins. He is calling us all to Himself. Who is in your world you need to plead with today? Don’t miss out on giving life.
Posted by: Robbie Byrd