Summary: The text shares the terror of Advent by make us consider the suddenness of the event, the cleansing that will take place, and the possibilities am I ready or not.
“The Terror of Advent” Malachi 3:1-4
1. What most people think about Advent?
• Advent is a happy time and cheerful, it is the season of excitement, festive décor, beautiful music, Advent is filled with cheer, happy holiday carols, children’s laughter
2. Is Advent a Fearful Time a time anxiety?
• Is there a time when Advent put the fear of God in you?
• Advent put fear in children when they have to sit on Santa s Lap.
• Advent puts fear in us when we see those price tags on toys clothing
• Advent put fear in us The sheer number of things to do before Christmas Eve in just 18 days
3. Malachi is not talking about anxiety type fear but perhaps Terror
• Malachi says, Like Lee Corso “wait a minute my friend not so fast” Advent is terror “5"So I will come near to you for judgment. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive aliens of justice, but do not fear me," says the LORD Almighty.”
• Malachi says, 3:7-14“you have turned away from degrees, You have robbed God, You are under a curse, you have said it is futile to serve God. This is the Terror of Advent
• Malachi is talking about this type of fear "I'm-going-to-die" horror, "This-can't-be-happening-to-me" terror.
• God is coming Back During Advent 1928, Dietrich Bonhoeffer preached a sermon in Barcelona in which he spoke about the emotion for this season: "It is very remarkable that we face the thought that God is coming so calmly," he said, "whereas previously peoples trembled at the day of God. ... We have become so accustomed to the idea of divine love and of God's coming at Christmas that we no longer feel the shiver of fear that God's coming should arouse in us. We are indifferent to the message, taking only the pleasant and agreeable out of it and forgetting the serious aspect, that the God of the world draws near to the people of our little earth and lays claim to us ..."
4. The Terror of Advent is The Suddenness of the Event, The Cleansing of oneself, and the Possibilities am I ready
A. Terror is found in the Suddenness of the event Malachi says suddenly without warning, Jesus said, “like a thief in the night”, “in an hour you think not”, The angel said, “ why stand here gazing this same Jesus will return in like manner” . Vs 1 I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come . 2But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears?
B. Terror is found in the cleansing of oneself, This fullers soap will get things clean, but it's very hard on the garments. But, of course, it's not garments this coming messenger intends to wash, but people. For he will be like a refiner's fire or a launderer's soap (Fullers Soap).3He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver.
C. Terror is found in the Possibility, Am I Ready? Consider the following quote from Timothy Merrill, Polls continue to show that most Americans who believe in heaven also believe they are going there. Yet the percentages who think they have a spot reserved in eternity is much larger than the percentage of people actively engaged in following Jesus. Advent calls us to examine our assumptions about our destiny and look at our priorities.
5. The Terror of Advent can be removed by simply saying Yes to Jesus in all areas of life
Yes Jesus Sunday School, Yes Jesus worship, Yes Jesus Bible Study, Yes Jesus mission trip where? Yes Jesus I will pray, Yes Jesus I will study your word, Yes Jesus I will be thankful, Yes Jesus wherever you lead I will follow. Yes Jesus I will not be the burden but the burden bearer. Behold he stand at the door of our hearts just say yes Jesus and he will come in and sup with you and you with him.