Malachi 3:13-4:6 Hope – Authentic Christianity Part 7
God is the God of hope. He shares hope with His children (3:17).
“They shall be Mine,” says the LORD of hosts, “On the day that I make them My jewels. And I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him.”
(Malachi 3:17 NKJV)
Worldly hope is a guess. “I hope we can go to the town today.” “I hope it won’t rain.”
Christian hope is a certainty. “Christ is in you, the hope of glory.” “blessed hope”.
Faith is trusting that the other person catches. Hope is know that because he catches you, can see yourself on the other side. You are placing your trust in him. You are certain that you can will stand in victory on the other side.
Christ had to trust God to raise Him from the dead. Christ could trust God because He knew that God would life Christ up above everyone else. So hope gives us the confidence we need to place our trust and faith in God.
So they placed their hope in God. You see this happened because of what God says in Malachi 3:17-18.
“They shall be Mine,” says the LORD of hosts, “On the day that I make them My jewels. And I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him.” Then you shall again discern between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him.
(Malachi 3:17-18 NKJV)
They had hope. But they needed to remind themselves of this hope. So they wrote a memory book. A memory book was like a modern-day photo album. A photo album with photos remind us of the good times. You don’t put bad items in a photo album.
SHOW A SLIDE-SHOW PRESENTATION OF OUR WEB PHOTO ALBUM
You want to remember the good times, and you make an album. This is the same thing the people did. God reminded them to put together a photo album of the good times with God.
Do you have a photo album of the good times with God?
Why should you have a spiritual photo album? Because memories of God and how He provided in the past help give me hope for my future.
Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD listened and heard them; So a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who meditate on His name.
(Malachi 3:16 NKJV)
Why? Because there will come a day when God will divide the world. He will judge the world. The separation will be between His children (those who have hope),
But to you who fear My name the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings; and you shall go out and grow fat like stall-fed calves.
(Malachi 4:2 NKJV)
and those who don’t want to be God’s children. (These will have no hope.)
“For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, and all the proud, yes, all who do wickedly will be stubble. And the day which is coming shall burn them up,” says the LORD of hosts, “That will leave them neither root nor branch.”…You shall trample the wicked, for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day that I do this,” says the LORD of hosts.
(Malachi 4:1, 3 NKJV)
A day is coming when you must decide to follow God and His way – Jesus Christ. Jesus is the only hope you have.
Charles Spurgeon once said: “There is one grand distinction among men — “he who serves God, and he who does not serve God.” Fearing God is the mark which distinguishes man from man far more than wealth, rank, or nationality. The coming of Christ is a calamity or a blessing to men according to their character. What a change of figures! To the wicked, ‘”an oven”! (4:1). To God fearing men, a “Sun” (4:2)!
Why do we have hope in Jesus? Because He is the only One who has conquered the most hopeless situation – death. Now He is our Hope.
looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,
(Titus 2:13 NKJV)
EASTER SONG FROM KEITH GREEN
Now this “Day” is when God will finish what He started. God’s great plan to bring people into His family will be completed. You see some trends of the end in these verses:
1. Elijah will come back and call people to repent.
Jesus said John the Baptist was Elijah if you accepted him during the time of Jesus’s first coming.
He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, “to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
(Luke 1:17 NKJV)
But it will also you and I, acting in the spirit of Elijah to tell others about Jesus Christ – to give other people hope – before Jesus returns.
And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.”
(Malachi 4:6 NKJV)
2. There are other events that will happen during this time of judgment.
While many people will talk about the mechanism of the “Day”, (what steps will take place, when and how), the essential truth is that this day will happen. The Day of the Lord is a prophecy that will come true. It will come true because it is a prophecy of victory.
THE DAY OF THE LORD IF A PROPHECY OF VICTORY
What does “Day of the Lord” mean?
When I was with you daily in the temple, you did not try to seize Me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness.”
(Luke 22:53 NKJV)
In Luke 22:53 the chief priests and the captains and the elders came out to the Garden of Gethsemane to arrest Jesus in the darkness. Jesus pricks their conscience with the words, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs? When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me.” Then he says something full of sovereign sovereignty and submission to God: “But this is your hour, and the power of darkness.”
What does he mean, “This is your hour”? He means: For now you have the upper hand. It is as though Jesus the All-Powerful simply lets his boxing gloves hang by his side for one round. He is battered to a pulp. And the whole world thinks the fight is over.
But Amos and Joel and Isaiah and Zephaniah and Malachi and Paul and John tell us that God will have his day in the end. The power of darkness has its hour. But God will have his day. And it will be the last day. And his cause will be totally victorious. Not only did he get up off the mat, but the whole arena is surrounded by ten million mighty angels. And Christ will settle accounts with everyone who cheered for his defeat.
So the prophecy of the Day of the Lord is a prophecy of God’s victory and the victory of his cause and his people. It is a great mistake to stay on the other side.
We are living in those days leading up to that day. Are you ready to share this hope before the victory parade?
Because we as Christians have hope for that Day when the victory parade will happen for Jesus, it gives us hope to live life today.
God is the God of hope – yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
Living life as a Christian should show others we have this hope. It is an important part of our witness.
“Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse” (Malachi 4:6).
Last words are powerful. Malachi 4 expresses God’s final words to Israel under the Old Testament dispensation. For four hundred years He would remain silent until they would hear “the voice of one crying in the wilderness: `Prepare the way of the Lord” (Matt
. 3:3). Although Malachi 4:6 appears to be a curse, it really is not. It does not close the door on hope. On the contrary, it was God’s last appeal of love. The threat of a curse, expressed by the word lest, was aimed at averting the natural consequence of disobedience.
G. Campbell Morgan noted that from Malachi’s time until Christ’s, rabbis did not end their reading of Malachi with verse 6. Skipping from verse 4 to 6, they then reverted to verse 5, “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.” And in the Greek Old Testament, verse 4 is put at the end. Thus the Jews regarded God’s final words as spoken in love, not in anger.
God’s final prophetic words to believers in the New Testament are also filled with hope: “He who testifies to these things says, `Surely I am coming quickly.’ Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen” (Rev. 22:20-21).
God’s last words to Israel and to the church can give us hope. The assurance of His grace and the warnings from His love will keep us living close to Him. The Christian’s future is as bright as the promises of God.
Malachi ends on a cliff-hanger. It is like the season finale of a series. It comes from days of old TV westerns. The hero cowboy would literally be hanging on the edge of a cliff, and then the movie would end. The filmmakers wanted you to return and see how the episode would end. Does he fall off the cliff? Or will he will be rescued? If you are a “Desperate Housewives” fan, the question is: “Who will survive until the next season?”
Who is that person who is going to make an impact on the next season? What amazing thing will happen next? The Book of Malachi ends on a cliff-hanger. The next season would not occur for over 400 years. The Gospel of Luke and Matthew open with the new season of Jesus Christ – the God-Man would give the entire world hope.
The cliff-hanger is also in your own life. You are hanging on the cliff, about to die without hope – if you don’t know Jesus. Who’s going to save you now? Who’s going to bring you hope? You know who. Ask Him to save you from your cliff-hanger of life today.