Another example of externally based, and preconceived interpretations from a self-defined Futurists. Who was James writing to? Was he not condemning the rich Jews? And on the same hand, encouraging His flock; Jewish flock?James joins the chorus of John, Paul, and Peter in his admonition that ‘you too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near’ (James 5:8). Were believers only supposed to be patient towards those who wronged them until the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70? Of course not! This passage is speaking about a still-future return of our Lord. Therefore an ongoing patience is required by believers in our day as well.
James wrote this prior to the destruction of Jerusalem. It was the false rich Jews He was condemning; Jews who had fattened themselves for the day of the slaughter; Jews who denied fair wages to those who did not fight against them; Jews who wore rich persons clothing and yet moth eaten. The Judge standing at the door was obviously Jesus judgment getting set to take place. And after James condemned them, what happened to him? Eventually, the false Jews threw him off the temple-top, resulting in the breaking of both legs. And when he failed to die, they clubbed him to death.
Has anyone ever taught you the who, what, where, when, why, and how understanding of interpretation? When you read the New Testament "letters", not books, you are reading answers or responses to a phone call, but not the questions or circumstances.
There is absolutely nothing, and I mean nothing, that even accidentally give any indication of James simply saying that the coming of Jesus was off into the distant future. The language is very plain, for he says, "see the judge is at the door..." and again, "establish yourselves for the coming of the Lord is at hand..."
None of these sentences could offer you the opportunity to shrug these time-statements off into their distant future.
Honestly, I fail to see how some Futurists can call themselves a Christian with this kind of liberal interpretation of scripture. Everyone about Futurism requires oversight and personal interpretation. Based on your methods of understanding, nothing in the Bible can be self explanatory, even when logically demanded.
In the New Testament, at-hand simply means at hand, or near, etc, as those phrases were not spoken in Prophetic deliverance. When Jesus said that his betrayal was at hand, it was as He stated. When John the Baptist stated that the Kingdom of heaven/God was at hand, then it most certainly was. If John said that the events spoken of in Revelation were not be sealed BECAUSE the time was at hand, then why not let the words speak for itself. Why do we always need Henry, or some other Futurist, to go beyond what the text says, to explain it to us? The answer is simple. You have a heart of disbelief, and therefore must do what darkness always does; blind people from seeing the truth; ESPECIALLY where it is obvious.