The View From 1776
Monday, April 12, 2010
Return And Rejuvenation
The Old Testament closes with one last reminder that the Lord is truly returning for His people.
Pastor Dan Gardner’s sermon at the Cohocton, New York, Assembly of God Church covered the concluding portions of the Book of Malachi, the last words of the Old Testament. Fittingly, the prophet concludes with a message of hope for those who remain steadfast in their faith and strive, with softened hearts, to follow the spirit of the Mosaic law.
13 “You have said harsh things against me,” says the LORD. “Yet you ask, ‘What have we said against you?’
14 “You have said, ‘It is futile to serve God. What did we gain by carrying out his requirements and going about like mourners before the LORD Almighty? 15 But now we call the arrogant blessed. Certainly the evildoers prosper, and even those who challenge God escape.’ “
16 Then those who feared the LORD talked with each other, and the LORD listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the LORD and honored his name.
17 “They will be mine,” says the LORD Almighty, “in the day when I make up my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as in compassion a man spares his son who serves him. 18 And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.
1 “Surely the day is coming; it will burn like a furnace. All the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble, and that day that is coming will set them on fire,” says the LORD Almighty. “Not a root or a branch will be left to them.
2 But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall. 3 Then you will trample down the wicked; they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day when I do these things,” says the LORD Almighty.
4 “Remember the law of my servant Moses, the decrees and laws I gave him at Horeb for all Israel.
5 “See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes. 6 He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse.”
(Malachi 3:13-17; 4:1-6)
Ultimately there will be retribution for injustice and iniquity, but we shouldn’t indulge in schadenfreude. Instead, we should do our best, by example and exhortation, to bring light and truth to those who serve Satan. We know not when the Lord will return; only that it will be sudden and unexpected. We must be ready.
Above all, there is meaning and purpose to human life on earth. Christianity stands in sharp contrast to those who worship secular socialism and see their salvation in the minds of intellectual intendants overseeing statist bureaucracies. Christianity stands in sharp contrast to those who accept the Darwinian view that evolution is a blind watchmaker, a process with no meaning and no direction. Life is far more than mere chance, far more than Thomas Huxley’s survival of the fittest in which there is no such thing as transcending morality and no sin, just every man for himself.