The LORD of Heaven’s Armies says, “The day of judgment is coming, burning like a furnace. On that day the arrogant and the wicked will be burned up like straw. They will be consumed—roots, branches, and all. “But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture. On the day when I act, you will tread upon the wicked as if they were dust under your feet,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. “Remember to obey the Law of Moses, my servant—all the decrees and regulations that I gave him on Mount Sinai for all Israel. “Look, I am sending you the prophet Elijah before the great and dreadful day of the LORD arrives. His preaching will turn the hearts of fathers to their children, and the hearts of children to their fathers. Otherwise I will come and strike the land with a curse.”- Malachi 4:1-6 NLT
This is how the OLD TESTAMENT ends. God has a constant reminder that sin has a price and that our actions have consequences and that GOD IS LONG-SUFFERING. “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9) God is doing everything He can do to tell us, warn us, prepare us and get us ready for the judgment that is coming. Nobody ends up separate from God by accident, it is a lifetime of choices that will ultimately end with the greatest of consequences. This is why we say, we are on a rescue mission! We are now living in “the times of the Gentiles”. The “times” of these Gentile rulers would be all the years between the Babylonian Empire of Nebuchadnezzar and the glorious return of Christ to establish His kingdom. The prophet Daniel has a series of visions\prophecies that deal with Gentile world powers and their role in God’s plan for the earth. Nebuchadnezzar’s image of gold, silver, bronze, iron, and clay (Daniel 2:31–45) represents successive Gentile kingdoms that will dominate until Christ returns and establishes His reign. Daniel’s vision of the four beasts (Daniel 7:1–27) likewise speaks of four kings, or nations, which will dominate for a time until Christ comes to rule forever. Each prophecy culminates with a reference to Christ’s kingdom, so the “times” of the Gentiles would be all the years between the Babylonian Empire of Nebuchadnezzar and the glorious return of Christ to establish His kingdom. In between those 2 TIMES will be another TIME- the Time of ‘Jacob’s Trouble’, and you DO NOT want to be here for that TRIBULATION TIME!
Leader, after these verses, today’s highlighted scripture in Malachi, God gave mankind 400 years of silence to consider and process all that was written and spoken by God to His creation. Since God is all-knowing, He knew man’s decisions and He knows man’s frame and He knows how mankind’s choice to follow his flesh and his desires- would cause the need for reconciliation; a job only God could fulfill! How does a HOLY GOD bridge the gap between an unholy creation (man) and a perfect God? There would have to be a GOD-MAN to bridge the gap. A perfect man to represent mankind and a loving God filled with compassion, mercy, grace- to represent the aggrieved party- God! “But in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high”. (Hebrews 1:2-3)
Conduit, just before Jesus was arrested. In the garden Jesus prayed to his Father three times, saying, And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” A little later, Jesus prays, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done” (Matthew 26:39,42). The child of God must ask the question, “if ‘what’ is possible? Jesus was talking about the redemption of mankind, the reconciliation of a SINFUL MAN and a PERFECT God. The Father told the SON OF RIGHTEOUSNESS- there is no other way! And with that Jesus did the will of the FATHER: IT IS FINISHED said Jesus on the cross; PAID IN FULL- MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. The NEW TESTAMENT is GOD’s answer, GOD’s plan for HIS MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION. Revelation 22:21 is the final verse in the bible and it reminds us of what we need to be reconciled to God: “May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s holy people”. We don’t need JUSTICE to have the PEACE OF GOD, that surpasses all understanding- we NEED GRACE and MERCY and FORGIVENESS! Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7) We are coming to the end, you must accept and commit to Jesus on this side of heaven, to spend eternity with HIM! The time is NOW to get right with our Savior! “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.’” (Romans 14:11) Bow now, or bow later, but ALL will bow before Jesus! Will He be friend or foe? Your defense attorney, or your prosecuting attorney? The time of decision is at hand!