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The Judge is at the Door



If you knew that Jesus was standing on the other side of your front door today, how bold would you be in the decisions that you made and the faithful life that you lived?

Key Takeaway

If we live every day knowing that the Judge is at the door, it should have an effect on how we live. We wait eagerly in expectation for Christ to return, but we also live every moment to the full in what Christ has called us to do.

Your level of excitement is determined by who is at the door.

You're either out waiting for them to arrive, or you're hiding and hoping that they can't see you inside. James 5:7-9 lets us know that the Judge is at the door. And that fact alone makes us live differently.

Practical responses when you live like the Judge is at the door:

  1. We are proactive and preemptive when we see our brother or sister wandering from the Truth. See James 5:19-20.
    • We don't slander or gossip behind their back. We go to them eye to eye in private and in love, warn them, ask them to come home, and ask what we can do to help.
    • Don't be found in the position of thinking, "I wish I would have said something." or "I wish I would have done something." Don't be so self-protecting, self-preserving, afraid of being thought of as holier than thou, or just unwilling to take a risk to help someone.
    • James is saying that if you grab someone and pull them back to safety, you're not just saving them, but you're saving them from a whole firestorm of destruction that would hurt multiple people. This is how you act when you know the Judge is at the door.
    • We don't wait around or pray and hope it all goes away. According to James, true faith works out.
    • Stop talking about people and start talking to people.
  2. We want to be principled people. James 5:12.
    • Let your yes be yes and your no be no. If you are dealing with the world, you need a lawyer, a tight contract, and to make sure the loopholes are shut. But if you are dealing with a Jesus follower - all you need is their yes or their no. If they give their word, they keep their word. They know the Judge is at the door and know that He does want to open it to find an unprincipled person who changes their mind constantly and moves with the culture on their decisions.
    • What if "my word is my bond" was the reputation of Jesus followers? How would your life be different today if you had just kept your word?
  3. He gives us the ability to live powerful lives.
    • Every Believer can have a mindset that knows that on the other side of the door stands the King of Kings. Therefore, on this side of the door, I will think powerfully, pray powerfully, and believe in the power of God in my life.
    • Don't pray tiny prayers or live in constant doubt. Believe everything is possible.
    • James 5:17-18. James uses Elijah as an example. Elijah is a big deal. We can't quite grasp what a hero he was to the early church. He called down fire on Mount Carmel. He outran a chariot to Jezreel. He believed for a drought-breaking rain so faithfully that he had his servant check the sky for a cloud of rain seven times. He didn't give up just because it didn't happen right away. And James says he's just like us. He had all the same choices we do. He could have chosen to doubt or believe just like we can. But he lived like the Judge was at the door and exercised great faith.
    • How would this change the way we pray, act, and believe?
  4. Be patient. Persevere. Don't give up.
    • If you are paying a price for your faith, don't give up. The Judge is at the door and will make everything right.
    • If you're taking cheap shots at other people in the Church, you need to check your heart because the Judge is at the door.

The theme of James is twofold.

  1. Take care of the poor. Don't look down your nose at anyone. Don't think you are better than anybody else. Remember, the ground is level at the foot of the Cross.
  2. Don't let the enemy use you to chop down people and tear apart the church. See James 4:1, 11 and 5:8.

That doesn't mean we forsake the truth and let the chips fall where they may. There is a very clear and obvious truth in James. It just means we focus on allowing it to work in us before we focus on what the truth is not doing in someone else.

James 5:8 says the Lord is coming. It's near. Near is a relative term. God is Sovereign and doesn't wear a watch. God has always been and always will be. 2 Peter 3:8 says a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years is like a day to God. He has not forgotten anything or is slow. In 2 Peter 3:9, it says that God doesn't want any to perish but desires for all to put their faith in Jesus.

Can you live in the tension of being ready today because the Judge is at the door and yet thinking about the future? Invest and build up the Church.

So, our outlook is that to live is getting to talk about Christ another day and to die is gain because I'll see Jesus face to face. Either way, I win. Either way, it's Jesus.

James concluded while he was in chains, it was better for the Church if he stayed because being in jail was actually amplifying the Gospel of Jesus to the world.


"There is very clear and obvious truth in James. It means we focus on allowing it to work in us before we focus on what the truth is not doing in someone else."

Louie Giglio

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Scripture References

  • James 5:7-8
  • James 5:12
  • James 5:19
Louie Giglio

Global Pastor

Louie Giglio Louie Giglio is the Visionary Architect and Director of the Passion Movement, comprised of Passion Conferences, Passion City Church, Passion Publishing and sixstepsrecords, and the founder of Passion Institute.