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JESUS IS COMING BACK ... SOON! (CC)

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Sermon Text: MALACHI 4:1-3 Sermon Text: MALACHI 4:1-3 Let us rise for the reading of this morning's Sermon Text recorded for us by the Prophet Malachi where we read from Chapter 4, the first three verses: "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. 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. 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. This is the Word of the Lord. Let us pray: Glorious and gracious God, may the words of my mouth and the meditation of each of our hearts be acceptable in Your sight, our only source of hope and comfort. Amen. [Text taken from the HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, 1973, 1978, 1984, used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers] Dear Followers of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ: As odd as it may sound, this text brings me back directly to my childhood. I hear these words from the Prophet Malachi and I see myself growing up. I see myself growing up where my dad would sit in his garage. He loved to go fishing and one of his passions when I was about 8 years old was when he got a bigger boat and he could go out on Lake Michigan and go trout fishing. But in order to go trout fishing, he had to have bigger sinkers. Okay, for those of you not familiar with fishing, the sinker is that little lead thing that you attach to your line to drop it down into the water. But if you're going out on Lake Michigan, that sinker needs to be between three and five pounds in order to make sure it goes where you want it to. So my dad would get out his melting pot and start heating it up and he'd take lead and melt it down and he would make these sinkers. And that process just fascinated me cuz I could sit for hours watching that lead melt and just kind of turn over on itself and create these wonderful and unique colors. And then my dad of course would throw some dirt in it, so that we would all get excited, my sister and I, about how it would just burn up instantly in that molten lead. I can't hear these words of God coming as a refining fire without being fascinated. Watching that, understanding the picture of Christ coming in judgment on the world. Because the day is coming. Malachi reminds us that we're to be watchful for that day, that day when the Lord comes as a refining fire to rid evil. To show His ultimate triumph and to once and for all destroy it in all of its capacity. And to take those who revere and trust His name back with Him to the joys of heaven. That day is coming. And today we remind ourselves to be looking for that day. To be preparing for that day. Not to be ignoring it. Not to be like how fed up some of you already are that there's Christmas stuff out in the stores. And you're annoyed with it so you're just going to forget about it! You're going to ignore it. But sooner or later you're gonna go back to that store because you want some of that Christmas stuff there. And you want to buy it. And you say it better be there when you go back for it. Kind of like ... how people think of the last days . How it's coming; we've heard ... it's coming, it's coming ... it's coming. Maybe you don't wanna hear that anymore, but when we look at the signs that are in the world, we know that it could come at any day. And we are to be prepared for its coming. Looking for its coming ... waiting and longing for our Lord and Savior to return to take us to be with Him. Because He is coming in all of His justice. And the evil and sin that has run rampant in this world will be destroyed. And those who have followed and lived in that sin who have NOT trusted in Christ are going to be burned up as quickly as stubble and become ashes under the feet of the saints. What a stern warning that is. That is pure proclamation of the Law of God and how serious He is about sin. How serious He is that He sent His one and only Son the first time to be the Savior from sin. To show people that there IS someone who can live the perfect life that God demands. To fulfill all of God's decrees; to keep those commandments which we know we can't do, nor any other human being can do. God pleased with His Son, placed the punishment that should have been on humanity, on the back of His Son so that He could bear that burden to the Cross of Calvary. To break sin's grip upon humanity. To give forgiveness. To allow people the freedom to live in the love of God; to live and sanctify life by the power of the Holy Spirit. To live an eternal life just as Jesus Christ who rose from the dead sealed that for all of humanity. And there's where that second picture from my childhood comes in. How do we understand that joy of our salvation; that freedom of living in Christ instead of in bondage to sin and to Satan? We're just like those calves that Malachi talked about. I can remember going to the barn in Spring and it was usually the time when our family would get together to tap the maple trees in order to make maple syrup. And all the cows that had been ... that had given birth over the Winter ... those calves were put into a special pen. All close together helped them stay warm. There wasn't a lot of room. But on that day when the snow finally melted, and those young calves and heifers could go out to freedom it was the craziest thing to watch because cows are not graceful animals. You know we don't have them in pictures like deer jumping and leaping. Ya know, they're kinda awkward. They're kinda quirky. They kick oddly. They throw their heads up oddly. They're not meant to jump and dance around. But yet in that freedom of being able to move and being able to be released from their confine, they had joy. And that is our joy. Released from the prison of sin. Released from Satan holding on to us so tightly. But Christ has come and BURST out of that prison; He has taken us from those shackles that held us down and has allowed us to leap for joy! To realize the gift that has been given us by the Sun of Righteousness; the One who was truly pure and holy ... Jesus Christ Himself ... whose holiness has come to us through faith so we can stand in the presence of God holy and righteous because of what Christ has done. That is the One who is coming on that day that we are looking forward to. That day that for those who revere and trust and believe in the Sun of Righteousness will be a day of wonder and amazement and yes, excitement and joy. To see our Lord. To greet our Lord. To hear Him speak to us: Come to me because you ... in faith ... have lived a life of faith. Shown the world who is your Lord and Savior, but it is truly a reminder to us not to become lazy. Not to become complacent. Not to just stop thinking about that day that's coming. I want us to be like those brides who think their wedding day is all about them! Who send out that "save-the-date" card because everyone is going to want to be at that place, at that time for that wonderful and unique and most special and glorious of days in the day of her life. She wants you there. And she doesn't wanna give you an excuse. God is the same way about His returning. And it is so much more important. Because the Bridegroom's coming for His Bride, the Church. The Church that He has prepared with the most glorious of white gleaming clothes of sinlessness, of holiness. Prepared that bride to be glowing with who He is and what He has done for her. And He is coming to take His bride to His eternal home. And He has given us warning. He has told us to be mindful the day is coming. To look for the signs that are all around us. To remind ourselves to be ready. And to be prepared when the Sun of Righteousness is going to shine and come and take us home! The culmination of our faith. What joy we have. What glory will be ours on that great and last day. So we have nothing to fear. We have nothing to fear because Christ has forgiven our sins. He has purchased us as His own. All we do, in faith, is to wait and be watchful. And to look for Him ... because the day IS coming. Amen. Let us rise. Now may the peace of God which goes beyond all of our understanding keep your hearts and your minds and especially your lives in the one true faith unto life everlasting. Amen.

Video Details

Duration: 13 minutes and 13 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: R & M
Director: Jesus
Views: 45
Posted by: hischild on Nov 7, 2012

The attitudes of believers and unbelievers stand in stark contrast as we discover when this text of Malachi 4:1-3 is explored in Pastor Dave's sermon today. www.ziontorrance.info

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