Sunday, September 18, 2011

September 18, 2011 | John Bayles | The End Is Near (Malachi 4:4-6)

In this last sermon in the series, Malachi leaves the tact of pressing disputes against Israel and turns to the making of two amazing announcements. The first is that Israel must not lose her tether to the historic law of God. Identity and calling were directly and indelibly tied to the Law of Moses and the historic epiphany through which the ten commandments came from Mt. Sinai. To lose their relationship to the law would be to lose their relationship to God Himself.

The lesson is clear and striking for us as well. As one notable theologian often states: "People have lost touch with the God of the Bible, because they have lost touch with the Bible through which God reveals Himself." We too must awake in our day to this calling to be the people of the Bible, for through it we find our identity and our God.

The second announcement that Malachi makes has to do with the coming of the messiah that he has already stated earlier in the discourse. This would not be a silent or secret coming, but one announced by a messenger, Elijah who would come foretelling the coming of the one who would turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the children to the fathers. This is not a generational statement, but ones called "sons" are the redeemed and one Malachi calls "father" is God the father himself.

He announces a time that is soon to come where a new age would break into history and God the Father's kingdom rule would be initiated through His Son, Jesus the Christ. The book ends on a sad note. Much like the other books of the prophets, the historic effect of the covenant enforcement was dreadfully minimal. Yet, as ones for whom it is also written, we stand directly in the light of its fulfillment.

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