Who Can Endure the Day of His Coming?
Passage: Malachi 2:17–3:5
Our society's attitude towards Advent and Christmas has become, to put it frankly, bizarre. Commentators in the media may pay brief lip service to the birth of Jesus, but then they quickly switch to comments about peace on earth and celebrations with family and friends; and even such fine-sounding but carefully non-religious messages are drowned out by a tidal wave of advertisements telling us to go buy things we don't need and can't really afford. The radio waves and mall loudspeakers are filled to bursting with "seasonal" music, where hymns about our Saviour's birth are played back-to-back with what seems like dozens of versions of Jingle Bell Rock and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
In the days of the prophet Malachi, the attitude of the Israelites towards God had also become bizarre. The God that had done mighty deeds for their deliverance, the God they had at first revered, had been forgotten by them. Even those who still bothered to worship him (as opposed to worshipping the false gods of the nations surrounding Israel) were just going through the motions in the temple and committing whatever evil acts they wanted the rest of the time. Malachi gave the Israelites a dire warning that the Lord would come to them without warning, and he would judge both the people of Israel and the entire world.
Malachi's warning is for us, as well as for the ancient Israelites. Jesus Christ will return to the world, but not as a baby in a manger or as a spiritualized version of Santa Claus. He will come in power, without warning, and he will judge the living and the dead. Who can endure the day of his coming? Only those who repent of their sins and trust him for their salvation.
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