Focal passages: Malachi 3:1-7; 3:16-4:2
It’s difficult to watch the news. Interviews with family members who have lost a loved one in a tragic shooting, video clips of corrupt or irresponsible business practices and stories covering destruction and discord caused by natural disasters often fill the newscast time slots. We long for Christ to come again, restoring His creation, upholding what is good and revealing what is evil. We also see difficulty in our own lives: disgruntled family members, economic strain, selfish desires or cold apathy in our relationship with the Lord.
Creation is groaning.
Malachi spoke to the people of God, reminding them of the Day of the Lord, describing the coming of a Messiah that will purify a people for Himself. This incredible, universal day will be one of horror for those who do not know the Lord – they will be laid bare before Him. It will also be a day of long-awaited joy for those who do know Him. God will judge with fairness, justice and power. He will recognize the faithful who trusted in Him.
The Day of the Lord hasn’t come yet. Until then we wait confidently in the unchanging character of the one true God and we reach out to others, sharing the gospel with all who don’t know the Lord. Our hope is secure in Christ.
We don’t have to fear the coming day because we know that we stand before God covered in the sufficient, pure blood of Christ. Such knowledge ought to strengthen our resolve to live as those who have been forgiven, cleansed and secured by the sacrifice of Christ. It also ought to disturb us toward action in the world. We recognize their need of the gospel by the Word of God, the illumination of the Spirit and the encouragement of a local body of believers.
We fight together, out of love and concern, for our neighbors here and overseas, that they would repent of their sin and accept Christ as their Lord and Savior, prepared to meet him face-to-face with joy and expectation.