Warning to the Rich
1And now, you rich people, listen to me! Weep and wail over the miseries that are coming upon you! 2#Mt 6.19Your riches have rotted away, and your clothes have been eaten by moths. 3Your gold and silver are covered with rust, and this rust will be a witness against you and will eat up your flesh like fire. You have piled up riches in these last days. 4#Deut 24.14–15You have not paid any wages to those who work in your fields. Listen to their complaints! The cries of those who gather in your crops have reached the ears of God, the Lord Almighty. 5Your life here on earth has been full of luxury and pleasure. You have made yourselves fat for the day of slaughter. 6You have condemned and murdered innocent people, and they do not resist you.#5.6 people, and they do not resist you; or people. Will God not resist you?
Patience and Prayer
7Be patient, then, my brothers and sisters, until the Lord comes. See how patient a farmer is as he waits for his land to produce precious crops. He waits patiently for the autumn and spring rains. 8You also must be patient. Keep your hopes high, for the day of the Lord's coming is near.
9Do not complain against one another, my brothers and sisters, so that God will not judge you. The Judge is near, ready to appear. 10My brothers and sisters, remember the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Take them as examples of patient endurance under suffering. 11#Job 1.21–22; 2.10; Ps 103.8We call them happy because they endured. You have heard of Job's patience, and you know how the Lord provided for him in the end. For the Lord is full of mercy and compassion.
12 # Mt 5.34–37 Above all, my brothers and sisters, do not use an oath when you make a promise. Do not swear by heaven or by earth or by anything else. Say only “Yes” when you mean yes, and “No” when you mean no, and then you will not come under God's judgement.
13Are any of you in trouble? You should pray. Are any of you happy? You should sing praises. 14#Mk 6.13Are any of you ill? You should send for the church elders, who will pray for them and rub olive oil on them in the name of the Lord. 15This prayer made in faith will heal the sick; the Lord will restore them to health, and the sins they have committed will be forgiven. 16So then, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you will be healed. The prayer of a good person has a powerful effect. 17#1 Kgs 17.1; 18.1Elijah was the same kind of person as we are. He prayed earnestly that there would be no rain, and no rain fell on the land for three and a half years. 18#1 Kgs 18.42–45Once again he prayed, and the sky poured out its rain and the earth produced its crops.
19My brothers and sisters, if any of you wander away from the truth and another one brings them back again, 20#Prov 10.12; 1 Pet 4.8remember this: whoever turns a sinner back from his or her wrong way will save that sinner's soul#5.20 that sinner's soul; or his own soul. from death and bring about the forgiveness of many sins.