There are two ways of looking at this. One way is that it is a message of great assurance for the church members who stay faithful—all the careful efforts to prepare for the Second Coming will pay off and there will be no need for panic about our status in that day. Another way of looking at this is that it is an allegory and is not required to depict every element of coming prophesied events and to do so would have wrenched the reader completely out of the text. I choose not to worry about which way to interpret it.
The only hint we get that the Second Coming happened in the allegory is this verse:
And it came to pass that when the Lord of the vineyard saw that his fruit was good, and that his vineyard was no more corrupt, he called up his servants, and said unto them: Behold, for this last time have we nourished my vineyard; and thou beholdest that I have done according to my will; and I have preserved the natural fruit, that it is good, even like as it was in the beginning. And blessed art thou; for because ye have been diligent in laboring with me in my vineyard, and have kept my commandments, and have brought unto me again the natural fruit, that my vineyard is no more corrupted, and the bad is cast away, behold ye shall have joy with me because of the fruit of my vineyard. (Jacob 5:75)Notice, the vineyard is no more corrupted, so all the bad stuff is gone. (This tells me that the Second Coming had happened just before that place in the text.) The Lord’s speech to His servants turns from instructions to celebration, as indicated by the past tense:
- this last time have we nourished my vineyard
- thou beholdest that I have done according to my will
- I have preserved the natural fruit, that it is good
- ye have been diligent in laboring with me in my vineyard
- [ye] have kept my commandments
- [ye] have brought unto me again the natural fruit
- my vineyard is no more corrupted
- the bad is cast away
Additionally, the Lord knows how hard it will be for us, hence His strong commendation of His servants for their diligence (when others have only been sporatic), His tribute to their obedience (when so many others were disobeying), and His praise for their righteous influence toward repentance (when others were such a negative influence).
This verse gives us reason to hang in there and be diligent servants. Our efforts will not be forgotten in the end.