Morning Musing: Malachi 4:1-2

“‘For look, the day is coming, burning like a furnace, when all the arrogant and everyone who commits wickedness will become stubble. The coming day will consume them,’ says the Lord of Armies, ‘not leaving them root or branches. But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings, and you will go out and playfully jump like calves from the stall.’”‬ ‭(CSB‬‬ – Read the chapter)

For the last couple of days we have been talking about this tension around the worthwhileness of serving the Lord and striving to do life His way. Yet even as we have been trying to resolve tension, we have left some hanging there each day. With what we see here at the beginning of chapter 4, we are going to repeat this pattern yet one more time, but hopefully with more weight on the resolution than remaining tension. Let’s dig in.

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Morning Musing: Malachi 3:1-2a

“‘See, I am going to send my messenger, and he will clear the way before me. Then the Lord you seek will suddenly come to his temple, the Messenger of the covenant you delight in — see, he is coming,’ says the Lord of Armies. But who can endure the day of his coming? And who will be able to stand when he appears?” (CSB‬‬ – Read the chapter)

Be careful what you wish for. Ever been told that? It’s an admonition often given to folks who are seeking something whose reception they haven’t really thought through in all the detail it warrants. The kick is, they don’t always know it. Thus, someone wiser, someone who has perhaps already experienced the thing being sought, offers this caution. The one doing the seeking doesn’t often like to hear this, but it is wisdom worth heeding all the same. Here in Malachi, God is offering the people this very caution. Let’s talk about why.

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Digging in Deeper: Zechariah 14:11

“People will live there, and never again will there be a curse of complete destruction. So Jerusalem will dwell in security.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Post-apocalyptic movies have had a pretty steady audience for several decades now. It’s a niche market, to be sure, but one that has been growing over the years. The reason for this is cultural. Our visions of the future are either hyper-technological or post-apocalyptic or both. Usually, if you push them far enough out, the more desolate picture wins. Visions of utopia have generally dried up. We are increasingly without hope as a people. What Zechariah reminds us of here, though, is that hope should never be given up on entirely.

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Digging in Deeper: Revelation 20:15

“And anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

This morning we started wrestling through what we are supposed to do with a passage like this one and its disturbing images of the final fate of those who reject God as Lord. We started with the basics: The doctrine of Hell is hard, but it’s also necessary. With those two truths in place, let’s deal with the emotional hard of the idea of Hell being a place of eternal death and fiery torment. Are those both true pictures of Hell? Because, if we’re honest, those are the ideas that drive so many away from the doctrine. 

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Digging in Deeper: Revelation 20:7-8

“And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

Hell is hard.  Perhaps no orthodox Christian doctrine is as difficult for folks to get their hearts and minds around as is the notion that those who finally reject God will, upon final judgment, spend an eternity separated from Him in Hell.  And, I’ll say this as gently as I can: If the doctrine doesn’t give you at least a bit of unease, you may not be paying very much attention to it. Read the rest…