Did James Predict Economic Collapse?

Q. I wondered if you could shed some light on James 5:1-3. I have heard a preacher recently refer to this as a one time, end time event. They are using it to “prove” there will be a total money crash – total collapse of all the world’s economy, in which all money will have no value, and gold will have literally rotted away,  prior to the rapture. How do you see this scripture?

A. James 5:1-3 says,

Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days.

While the phrase “last days” has been used to cover the entire Church Age (Acts 2:14-17), it generally refers to the time just before the 2nd coming, which would make this passage relevant for today. Many expert observers, both Christian and secular, are predicting a collapse of the world’s economy, and Rev. 6:6 tells of a time early in Daniel’s 70th week when it will take everything a person earns in a day just to buy enough food for himself.  We can see signs of this already but how bad it will get before the rapture is anybody’s guess.

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