Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
Select a thought to read by choosing a collection, the month, and then the day:
“The burden of the word of the Lord to Israel by Malachi.”
God made at least seven comments to Israel through Malachi, to which His people responded with haughty, indignant questions, challenging His wisdom and justice. God’s words were simple and true, but by that time in Israel’s history, they had been so badly taught by their ministers that even simple truth was too much for them to bear.
“You have wearied the LORD with your words. Yet you say, ‘Wherein have we wearied Him?’ When you say, ‘Every one who does evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and He delights in them.’ Or when you say, ‘Where is the God of judgment?’ ”
Paul warned the saints to behold “both the goodness and the severity of God” (Rom. 11:22). To emphasize God’s mercy and goodness to the exclusion of His awesome wrath against sin is a popular doctrine among many religious people, but it is only wishful thinking. John wrote, “God is love.” But by saying that, John did not intend for us to think that love is all that God is. And besides, if God is love, then that means that God has always been love. That means He was love when He cursed Adam and Eve with death and cast them out of His garden. And He was love when untold thousands of men, women, and children were choking to death in the flood God sent to erase the world of man, except for the eight souls in Noah’s ark. And if God is love, then that means that He will always be love. He will be love even in the day of His Final Judgment, when He will in righteous fury damn billions of souls to eternal torment in the Lake of Fire.
Yes, God is love, but was the author of Hebrews less inspired than John, when he wrote, “Our God is a consuming fire” and “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God”? It is all true, both what John wrote and what we find in the book of Hebrews. And to downplay either side of the Almighty is to misrepresent Him.
This is what wearied the Lord. The teachers in Israel had become too sophisticated to believe in God’s wrath any longer. They no longer taught the people of the Lord to fear Him. They rejected the notion of God being a God of judgment. The more religious education they disseminated in Israel, the less God’s people understood Him. And whenever the Lord sent a man with the truth, like Malachi, that man was made to seem backward and foolish by the professional priests and prophets. God tried. For centuries, He tried. But they wore Him out with stubborn iniquity.
You will not find many places in the Bible that mention God’s growing tired. But when the leaders of His own people began to teach false doctrine and refused to change after God sent to them prophet after prophet with the truth, it made God weary.
Confess to yourself that both the goodness and the severity of God exist. If you refuse to admit both these aspects of His character, you are trusting in a god that exists only in some fool’s imagination.
There is a popular Christian myth among certain Christian sects which maintains that the blood of Christ covers us when we come to Him so that even though we can never cease from sin in this life, God no longer sees us as sinful but as righteous. As some Christians have said it, “God can’t see through the blood.” According to Malachi, the Old Testament liars said it this way, “Every one [of us] who is evil is good in God’s sight.”
According to that way of thinking, the blood of Christ does not change us at all; it only blindfolds the Father so that He can no longer see us as we continue in sin.
Friend, do not believe that nonsense. God sees everything and everybody exactly as we are, and He will neither justify the wicked or condemn the just. There is no excuse for sin any longer because Jesus died, arose from the dead, ascended into heaven, and sent back the holy Ghost to give us power over sin. God knows that we can live right. His Son paid the price for us to have the power to do it! Now, how does God see you living, day by day? Are you trusting in the blood of the Lamb, the blessed holy Ghost, or are you among those who merely talk about how wonderful it is? God knows.
Not only can God see through the blood of Christ, He can remove that saving blood from the soul it has cleansed! In the end, many a sanctified soul will be disinherited by the Father and damned instead of saved because that child of His trusted liars to teach him and blind men to guide him into eternal life. Jesus warned his disciples not to be among the number who will be stripped of their heavenly citizenship and “given their portion with the hypocrites and unbelievers.”
Listen to this warning that wise Solomon gave to his young son: “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding both the good and the evil” (Prov. 15:3). God sees you and He sees me, all the time. He misses nothing. And He will reward each one of us according to the deeds we have done in this life.
My fellow servants of Christ, do not allow foolish, unordained ministers to steal from your heart the fear of God. It is precious. It is needed. When clever ministers offer you their cute little sermonettes on the boundless mercy and love of God, remember also His boundless wrath against sin. It is real, and it is coming. And woe to the poor soul who is found in sin when God requires of him an account for his deeds.