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Selfish Rich People Will Be Punished

5 1You rich people, listen! Cry and be very sad because much trouble will come to you. 2Your riches will rot and be worth nothing. Your clothes will be eaten by moths. 3Your gold and silver will rust, and that rust will be a proof that you were wrong. That rust will eat your bodies like fire. You saved your treasure in the last days. 4People worked in your fields, but you did not pay them. Those people are crying out against you. Those people harvested your crops. Now the Lord (God) of heaven's armies* has heard the things they are shouting. 5Your life on earth was full of rich living. You pleased yourselves with everything you wanted. You made yourselves fat, [like an animal ready] for the day of slaughter.* 6You showed no mercy to good people. They were not against you, but you killed them.

Be Patient

7Brothers [and sisters], be patient; the Lord [Jesus] will come. So be patient until that time. Farmers are patient. A farmer waits for his valuable crop to grow up from the earth. A farmer waits patiently for his crop to receive the first rain and the last rain.* 8You must be patient, too. Don't stop hoping. The Lord [Jesus] is coming soon. 9Brothers, [and sisters], don't complain against each other. If you don't stop complaining, you will be judged guilty. And the Judge is ready to come! 10Brothers [and sisters], follow the example of the prophets* who spoke for the Lord (God). They suffered many bad things, but they were patient. 11We say that those people who accepted their troubles with patience are now happy. You have heard about Job's patience.* You know that after all Job's trouble, the Lord helped him. This shows that the Lord is full of mercy and is kind.

Be Careful What You Say

12My brothers [and sisters], it is very important that you not use an oath when you make a promise. Don't use the name of heaven, earth, or anything else to prove what you say. When you mean yes, say only "yes." When you mean no, say only "no." Do this so that you will not be judged guilty.

The Power of Prayer

13Are you having troubles? You should pray. Are you happy? You should sing. 14Are you sick? You should call the church's elders.* The elders should rub oil on you* in the name of the Lord and pray for you. 15The prayer that is said with faith will make the sick person well. The Lord will heal that person. And if that person has sinned, then God will forgive those sins. 16Always tell each other the wrong things you have done. Then pray for each other. Do this so that God can heal you. When a good person prays hard, great things happen. 17Elijah* was a person the same as us. He prayed that it would not rain. And it did not rain on the land for three and a half years! 18Then Elijah prayed that it would rain. And the rain came down from the sky, and the land grew crops again.

Saving a Soul

19My brothers [and sisters], one of you may wander away from the truth. And another person may help him come back to the truth. 20Remember this: Any person who brings a sinner back from the wrong way will save that sinner from death (hell). By doing this, that person will cause many sins to be forgiven.

Lord of heaven's armies Literally, "Lord Sabaoth," meaning ruler of all heavenly powers. You made yourselves fat ... slaughter Literally, "You fattened your hearts for the day of slaughter." first rain, last rain The "first rain" came in the Fall, and the "last rain" came in the Spring. prophets People who spoke for God. They often told things that would happen in the future. Job's patience Read the book of Job in the Old Testament. elders A group of men chosen to lead a church. Also called "overseers" and "pastors" (shepherds), they have the work of caring for God's people (Acts 20:28; Eph. 4:11; Tit. 1:7,9). rub oil on you Oil was used like medicine. Elijah A man that spoke for God about 850 B.C.

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