“For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble. The day that is coming shall set them ablaze, says Yahweh of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall. And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet, on the day when I act, says Yahweh of hosts." - Malachi 4:1-3
Through the prophet Malachi (435-415 bc), Yahweh asserts there will be a day of fiery judgment for all those who choose arrogance and evil. They will be set ablaze and have no descendants in the Messianic kingdom and beyond. The situation is completely different for those who fear Yahweh. They will experience extraordinary healing and joy. The wicked will be ashes under the feet of the righteous. It is Yahweh himself who will bring this about.
These are sobering words and obviously not politically correct. Today, under the doctrine of multiculturalism and moral equivalency, no one is really evil. But the Bible says differently. It asserts that we are all arrogant and evil (Romans 3:9-18). All of us deserve God's fiery judgment. But there is an opportunity for us to avoid this judgment. To do so, we must fear God and his name, his reputation. When we fear God, we signal to him that we honour him as God, the Creator, and place him in a preeminent position above ourselves. When we express humility towards him in our hearts, he is quick to illumine our hearts by his Holy Spirit so that we may believe in Messiah Jesus, the Lord. It is only by grace through faith in Jesus that we may experience the healing and joy described in v. 2.
We need to get real. God is a holy God. He has provided a way of salvation, the only way of salvation, through his Son. If we reject the Son in arrogance and evil, a fiery judgment awaits. However, if we humble ourselves, fear God, and believe in Jesus, the Son of God, God will legally impute righteousness to us, and we will be saved. The gospel message is the same for all people, whether we live in New Zealand, the United States, Afghanistan, Haiti, China, or any other place. In the Bible, God has let us know what will happen to the wicked and the righteous. It is very clear. Now it is up to us to decide.
Father, thank you that I am saved, not because I am inherently good, but because though I am a sinner I am clothed with the righteousness of the Messiah, Jesus. Thank you so much for Jesus. Without him, I would be lost. We all would be lost. May the gospel message reach all people on earth in our generation so that they may make an intelligent and informed decision about their eternal destiny. Send out workers into the harvest field, Father. In Jesus' name, amen.
- Jeff Coleman