Listen - I am Bring things to a Close

Bible Book: Malachi  4
Subject: Judgment; Salvation; Procrastination
Series: Listen Up - God is Speaking - 8 Sermons
Introduction

Malachi 3:16-4:6

Today we come to the last message in a series of sermons from Malachi. On this last day in this great book, I must remind you of a truth which is serious. The Lord says, “Listen – I am bringing things to a close.” Yes, a day is approaching when the Lord will end the day of grace and forgiveness; and, the Day of Judgment will follow.

In the Bible we see a great contrast between being lost and saved. God uses contrasts in everyday life. The brilliance of the noon-day sun and the blackness of the midnight are a God-given contrast. The warmth of a summer day and the icy snow of a winter's night serve as a divine contrast. God created our world to be a place of contrasts. In the spiritual realm, God often uses contrasts to make a point. Jesus told of the two men who went up to the Temple to pray and in so doing He presented a contrast. He told of ten virgins, five or whom had oil in their lamps and five who did not, and thus were not ready for the Bridegroom to come - and in that story He presented a contrast. He told of a man with two sons, one of whom was a prodigal and in telling that story he used contrast to make His point. God is fond of using contrasting elements to reveal truth.

Here in Malachi the Lord comes to the close of this prophecy by using a contrast. Look at verse 18 of chapter 3. You will note that the Lord told of a time when he would contrast the righteous and the wicked. This tells us something very important. On this earth it is impossible to fully tell the blessings of the righteous and the condemnations upon the lost. In the here and now we observe that the saved sometimes suffer while the wicked seem to prosper. But God states clearly that one day He will reveal the true blessings of the saved and the horrible overthrow of the unsaved.

We do not have to wait fully to the end to have knowledge of the facts in this case. God states them in the Bible many times and He does so right here in this passage. Today we are going to look at this in order to encourage the saved and warn the lost. It is my hope that the redeemed will leave here more committed to Christ and more comforted in Him than when they arrived. And it is my prayer that the lost will leave here having turned to the Savior and joined the faithful band of followers who are on their way to meet the King of Kings!

Let us look at this text today under two headings. The first addresses the saved and the latter confronts the sinner.

I. THE JOY OF THE REDEEMED                Malachi 3:16-17; 4:2

A. The Scroll of Redemption 3:16a

No one can Erase a name from His Book of Remembrance (Luke 10:20). I am glad my name is recorded beside that of Jayne Minnix on a marriage certificate. It has stood there for more than 50 years. I am glad my name is recorded among those who served my country in the in Vietnam during the 1960s. I am glad my name has been etched and printed on the signs outside the churches I where I served as pastor. But I am most glad that my name is written down in glory in the Lamb's Book of Life. Revelation 20 tells us plainly that those whose names are not found in the book are lost forever!

B. The Security of Redemption 3:16b

No one can sell what the Lord has bought and paid for (1 Peter 1:18, 19). We are His treasure because he sought us (Matthew 13:44) and we are His because He bought us (Matthew 13:46). The saved are in God's jewel box.

C. The Sons of Redemption 3:17

No one can undo the grace of His Cross (Isaiah 53:5, 6). My computer has an “undo” button and sometimes it is useful, but God doesn’t allow Satan to possess and “undo” button regarding my salvation.

On the night of the Death Angel, the Israelites were protected by the blood but the first born of Egypt were judged. At the Red Sea the Children of Israel were delivered, while the Pharaoh and his army were judged. So all who are saved will be delivered on that great and terrible Day of Judgment that is to come.

D. The Salvation of Redemption 4:2

No one can Chain that which God has released (John 8:36)! We are like a prisoner who have been set free from the bars where we were awaiting a sentence of death. We are like a calf released from its cramped stall! We are free. Thank God Almighty – I’m free at last and free with a liberty that shall last!

II. THE JUDGMENT OF THE CONDEMNED              Malachi 4:1-6

A. A Sure Day Coming 4:1a

This is not a day which one can pray will never come. It is a day fixed in the heart and mind of God. It is a sure day that is coming when judgment shall take place. It is not a pleasant thought, but it is true.

B. A Sudden Day Coming 4:1b

This is not a day which one can put on his calendar. This event will occur on the day and the hour which only God knows and only God has determined. There are those who set dates on the calendar, claiming that they know the day of His coming. They have all been incorrect and all those who predict such minute details of His coming will be flawed in the future. In fact, the Bible clearly states that He will come in a time when we think not!

C. A Scorching Day Coming 4:1c

This is not a day which one without Christ can be equipped to face fearlessly. No one need tremble at the thought of His coming or the thought of judgment if he or she is safe in Christ. Jesus came to provide us with redemption from the Law of sin and death. He purchased our liberty. He will set you free, if you will turn from your sin and receive Him. To miss His available salvation is to face the fiery judgment to come. No amount of sad regret or rueful mourning will help in that hour. Today, however, His salvation is available. You can be sure that not one precious soul will regret having accepted redemption and not one person will lament having turned to the Savior for salvation on that day!

D. A Sad Day Coming 4:1d, 3

This is not a day which one can come to with a smile or a laugh. No preacher takes joy in speaking of the coming judgment of God. However, we need to remember that it was Jesus who spoke of this event on more than one occasion. He was the most loving character to ever appear on this earth, yet He spoke clearly of the judgment. He did so to warn us to be ready in advance.

I have read often of the collapse of the stock Market in 1929. Many very wealthy people lost every dime they had during those days. They were rich, dining on the finest foods and living in great mansions one day, and they were paupers on the street the next. Some of them committed suicide. In the town where I grew up, one man threw himself on the downtown hotel because he had lost all the money and possessions he owned. Just think what a difference it would have made, had he been fully aware that a collapse was coming. I don’t mean that he knew the day, but he knew for sure that it was going to occur. He would have made provisions for it.

My friend, there is coming a day when this world system will collapse. God will judge the earth. But, He has made provision for you through His Son. You can be ready. Turn to Jesus today, and accept Him for who He is – the Lord and Savior – the coming King!

The poet penned:

I'm heaven born, and heaven bound, O glory to the Lord!

He died for me, he lives for me, so says his wondrous Word.

He's coming soon, to take me home, how happy then I'll be!

I'm heaven born, and heaven bound, O come along with me.

Conclusion

Gary Tindle was in a California courtroom charged with robbery. He asked and got from Judge Armando Rodriguez permission to go to the bathroom. While the bathroom door was guarded, Mr.Tindle climbed up onto the plumbing and opened a panel in the ceiling. He climbed up and into the crawlspace and headed south. He'd gone thirty‑some feet when the ceiling panels broke from under him and dropped him to the floor, right back in Judge Rodriguez's courtroom. (Paul Harvey, "For What It's Worth," p. 129.)

There is only one escape from the judgment seat of the Lord and that is to settle out of court. Before you come to the great assize and judgment hall of God, come to the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved. Instead of being your Judge on the final day, He will be your advocate. He can say in the courtroom of heaven, this one cannot be judged for he has already died - He died in me at Calvary and have given him my resurrection life. Look! His record states, "Paid in full!" Jesus paid it all.

Acts 17:31 states, "For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead." Yes, Jesus will be your judge, or He will be your Savior. Which will it be?

We read in 2 Peter 3:5-7, "But they deliberately forget that long ago by God's word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. 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." We preach this word of salvation to you, lest you forget!

Are you ready if the Lord’s coming should be today? You can be. Those who are glad you are saved, rejoice in the provision the Lord has made for you. Those who are not sure, come to Him now. Am I trying to frighten you? No. It is the Lord who sends the warning. He has sent me, and those who preach His Word, not to frighten you, but to tell of His love and the provision of salvation that He has provided through the cross He died on at Calvary.

When we trust Him fully, we can say with John, “In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the Day of Judgment, because in this world we are like him (1 John 4:17).”