Dr. Scott Hahn in his Revelation audio series discussed the concept of various “comings of the Lord”.
He discussed “comings of the Lord” in the sense of “Covenant judgment”.
Keep this Old Testament definition of “comings of the Lord” in mind and let’s look at the James 5:8 quote again. (We will apply this Old Testament definition of “Comings of the Lord” in a New Testament sense eventually)
“Be you therefore also patient, and strengthen your hearts: for the coming of the Lord is at hand”. (St. James 5:8)
Who is St. James talking to here?
Well in a sense he is talking to just who he says he is talking to. The Jewish Christians that have been forced to flee due to persecution.
To the “twelve tribes of the diaspora” (literally, the Church at that time).
In another sense St. James is talking to the Church (at that time AND to the Church throughout the ages irrespective of time).
In another sense St. James is talking to you and me as individuals (a moral sense).
So already we are seeing the context of “different senses”.
Let’s look at the St. James 5:8 quote again, but this time, insert the phrase “Covenant Judgment” into the text and see if that might not give us more insight.
“Be you therefore also patient, and strengthen your hearts: for the Covenant judgment is at hand”.
Now as a Church, litugically we just got done going through much of the book of the Acts of the Apostles during Easter season.
WHO was chasing the new Jewish Christians out of town?
Who was causing a new “diaspora” of new Jewish Christians to outside Jerusalem?
Their Jewish brethren.
Now can we think of ANY sort of “Covenant judgment” that was brought upon the Temple and Old Covenant Judaism, that was SEEN in their actual lifetime?
Yes. The Roman invasion and destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D.
What about various “senses”.
Don’t WE as individuals undergo “Covenant Judgment” in a sense when we die?
Yes. It is THAT too!
But don’t WE as the Church and even the whole world undergo “Covenant Judgment” in a sense at the end of time?
Yes. It is THAT too!
This is WHY St. James 5:8, took place, is taking place, and WILL take place.
Keep these things in mind, and now go back and re-read the CCC quotes I posted a couple of posts ago.
Then re-read St. James 5:8 and see if the various layers of meaning, the various senses which are all true, the various dimensions of the meaning of the text don’t make any more sense to you now.
I hope that helps.