“The Coming of the Lord”

The church or God’s people have been looking for Jesus Christ to return to earth essentially since the day He ascended back into heaven forty days after His resurrection. In fact, on the day of Jesus’ return to the Father, His disciples asked if He was at that time going to restore the kingdom to Israel (Acts 1:6). In other words, was God’s kingdom for whose coming He had asked them to pray about to be established on the earth (Mat.6:10)? Jesus told them it was not for them to know the times or seasons which the Father had put in His own authority, and then ascended back to heaven. Though Paul did not know the time of the Lord’s return, he did think that he may still be alive upon the earth at Christ’s coming (1Thess.4:15-17).
James exhorted his readers to be patient until the coming of the Lord indicating that he thought it possible they would be alive when Christ returned to earth (5:7). His readers were being persecuted (5:1-6), and so he encouraged them to patiently endure their mistreatment for Christ would return and deliver them from all their troubles, and destroy those who troubled them (5:7-11; cp.2Thess.1:3-10). As they awaited the return of Christ, they were to establish their hearts so that they might faithfully endure their trials, and also be sure not to grumble or take out their difficulties on one another. They should also be encouraged by the example of the prophets and the perseverance of Job. And above all, trust the Lord Who is compassionate and merciful.