When God arrives, everything changes in a moment. For the people of the world, His coming promises judgment, but for the people of the Word, His coming guarantees joy.
4 “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 the Lord of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. 2 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. 3 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 the Lord of hosts.
4 “Remember the law of my servant Moses, the statutes and rules that I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel.
5 “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. 6 And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.”
When God comes, it simultaneously brings terror to the sinner and joy to the saint.
The Judgment of Hell [4:1]
- People destined for hell are those who are insistent that they don’t need God or His instructions.
- Hell is the place where God finally gives sinners everything they ever wanted – separation from Him.
The Joy of Heaven [4:2-3]
- People destined for heaven are those who possess a proper fear of God, which leads to salvation.
- Heaven is the place where God finally gives saints everything they ever wanted – communion with Him.
The Journey Along the Way [4:4-6]
- We did not obey God’s rules to be saved by them, but we obey because we are saved by Him (4:4).
- John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus’ first coming (4:5), and we are to prepare the world for His second coming.
- An indication of a blessed culture is one filled with men who treasure their children (4:6).
- The blank page between the testaments represents 400 years when God’s voice went mute.
- The birth of Jesus broke the silence of God and directed the way to heaven.
If the end came right now, how sure are you of where you would go?
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.