“SURELY THE DAY IS COMING…” (Outline)
December 5, 2010 -
Advent 2 -
INTRO: The book of Malachi is placed at the end of the Old Testament. This book ends with the word “curse”. This word hung in the air. Hundreds of years later Christ the Savior was born. Jesus brought blessing and removed the curse. How did those generations endure until the Savior removed the curse? How do we endure as we wait for the Lord’s day of judgment? How did Adam and Eve endure after sin? Believers of every age and generation live in faith. We are sustained by the living and enduring word of God. It is this very word of God that preserves all things – from creation and even into eternity. "By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men" (2 PETER 3:7). Malachi reminds us:
“SURELY THE DAY IS COMING…”.
I. Remember the message of God. II. Remember God’s messengers.
I. REMEMBER THE MESSAGE OF GOD.
A. Israel was at a high point in their history. They had returned from slavery and captivity.
1. God’s temple at Jerusalem had been rebuilt. There was more than the present to consider.
2. Verse 1. Malachi very clearly and simply describes the Last Day.
3. God’s fiery judgment will consume everything and everyone on the earth.
4. There will be no earthly future for the arrogant, evildoer, unbeliever: no “root or branch” left.
B. Verse 3. The unbelievers’ existence ends. Every earthly success and all prosperity become ashes.
C. Verse 2a. The coming of the Lord on the Last Day will bring victory, joy, and blessing to believers.
1. The “sun of righteousness” is God’s “Son of righteousness”. Jesus once Savior is now Judge.
2. Verse 2b. Believers react to Judgment Day with great joy. All pent up joy is released.
D. “Surely the day is coming…” is the message of God that everyone needs to remember. No one can or will escape the fact of Judgment Day. This is the same message of God that is still true today. We are much nearer to that day than when first mentioned by Malachi. We are much closer to the Lord’s second coming than when John the Baptist preached on the banks of the Jordan River. There will be Judgment Day. Believers will go to heaven. Unbelievers will end up in everlasting torment. Do not fall for today’s false beliefs that deny the existence of hell or eternal punishment. God’s message is clear. "His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire" (MATTHEW 3:12). Hell’s fire cannot be quenched or put out.
E. “Surely the day is coming…” This is the truth of God’s message yesterday, today, and until the Last Day. Some today do not want to hear such a truth. Sadly many today will deny what the clear word of God proclaims. Others reject God’s truth completely. Mankind’s denial or rejection does not change the truth or outcome of God’s promise. Those who reject God will be rejected by God. In the end every unbeliever will be separated from God’s love and mercy forever. "He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power" (2 THESSALONIANS 1:8, 9).
F. “Surely the day is coming…” is the ultimate message of victory for every believer. You, I, and every believer are sustained by God’s living and active word. God’s word gives us that faith that overcomes every enemy that opposes God. God’s message reminds each of us of the joy of Judgment Day."For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God" (1 JOHN 1:4, 5). We will reign with the Lord forever in a perfect heaven. All of this is ours purely by God’s free grace.
“SURELY THE DAY IS COMING…” We remember God’s message of judgment for all the arrogant, evil ones, and unbelievers. But that same judgment day will be a day of victory for every believer..
II. REMEMBER GOD’S MESSENGERS.
A. Note that Malachi does not point to himself as being of any importance compared to God’s message.
1. Verses 1b, 3b: “says, the LORD Almighty”. These are God’s words: inspired and true.
2. These are NOT the words or visions or dreams of Malachi. (Avoid men’s dreams, visions!)
B. God spoke his message through his messengers to enlighten God’s people.
1. Verse 4. God called Moses as his “servant”. God’s “servant” became God’s great leader.
2. “Horeb” is the mountain range where Mt. Sinai was located where God gave Moses his laws.
3. God also gave to Moses the first five (5) books of the Bible containing God’s law and Gospel.
C. Verse 5. Who is this “Elijah”? Elijah was long gone. Who would warn the people?
1. Would Elijah come back to life? No. God would appoint one (and others) to be like Elijah.
2. Verse 6. There will be faithful families until the Lord’s return: faithful fathers and children.
3. God will make the hearts of unbelievers turn to him as their father until the Last Day.
D. “Surely the day is coming…” and Elijah will warn the people before that “great and dreadful day of the Lord comes.” That one like Elijah is none other than John the Baptist. The priest Zechariah was carrying out his appointed duties in God’s temple. An angel of the Lord told him that he and his wife would have a child. This message from God was hard to believe. Both Zechariah and his wife, Elizabeth, were old and beyond the normal age of child-bearing. But the Lord’s angel continued to tell Zechariah about the importance of the birth of his son. "And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous--to make ready a people prepared for the Lord" (LUKE 1:17). John was the Way-Preparer for Jesus.
E. Reread today’s Gospel (MATTHEW13:1-12). John preached sin and repentance. God’s message drew great crowds from the entire region. Today the hardened hearts of humanity often turn away from God’s truths of sin and repentance. Fewer and fewer churches point to Christ. All too many are leading great crowds of people away from God’s truth. All too many self-appointed “preachers” point to themselves, their teachings or worse, their dreams. Watch out! Look to Christ and Christ alone!! "The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!’" (JOHN 1:29). Many thought John was the Christ. John always pointed everyone back to Jesus.
F. “Surely the day is coming…” More than ever this simple message of God needs to be boldly and faithfully proclaimed by God’s messengers. The angels, God’s messengers, have come and gone. The Old Testament prophets and the New Testament apostles have come and gone. Christian—you are today’s Elijah, John the Baptist, Paul, Peter, etc. "Become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life" (PHILIPPIANS 2:15, 16). God’s “word of life” is the truth we live and “hold out”.
CONC: “SURELY THE DAY IS COMING…” This is God’s truth. We cannot scare anyone out of hell or into heaven. It is the truth of God’s message that we know and believe and confess and proclaim.
"It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth" (ACTS 1:7, 8). We are to be the shining lights in this sin darkened world. We are the messengers in our city, in our state, in our country, and to the ends of the earth. Then the end will come. Remember God’s message. Believer, remember, you are also God’s messenger. “SURELY THE DAY IS COMING…” Amen. Pastor Timm O. Meyer
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