“Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned. Behold, the Judge is standing at the door!”
The word “behold” is a call to attention and appeal to patience towards people when we face trying circumstances. Impatience tends to judge others subjectively and harshly.
the Judge is standing at the door!
James sets forth Jesus as a Judge ready to enter the court of justice. Jesus is ready to begin the Judgment Seat of Christ. This event begins immediately after the rapture of the church.
2 Ti 4:7-8, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.”
The words “is standing” is another statement of the imminent return of Christ. The idea is that Jesus’ return has proximity. “In view of His imminent return, why let yourself fall prey to petty attitudes? Think about eternal values rather than your difference with that person that bothers you.”
Jesus will judge a resentful spirit at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
Bearing grudges against fellow Christians opens us to appraisal at the Judgment Seat of Christ. A believer who practices patience toward fellow Christians is someone oriented to the Judgment Seat of Christ. Jesus is the One who can best evaluate others. He has an omniscient viewpoint on people; we have a finite viewpoint on them. He can judge motives; we cannot judge motives. When we take out our frustrations on our family members or fellow Christians, we open ourselves to Jesus’ judgment. It is either our judgment or Jesus’ judgment – one or the other, which will it be?
1 Co 3:12-15, “Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.”
People with an eternal perspective do not allow personal animosities to blunt their spirituality. They see Jesus poised with His hand on the door, ready to take the church back to heaven momentarily. Jesus will set everything right at that time.
1 Co 4:5, “Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God.”