October 20: Jesus as the “Sun of Righteousness”

Read Malachi 3:18-4:6

These verses represent the last Old Testament words to be written.  More than 400 years of silence from heaven would follow these lines before God’s next recorded revelation to man as an angel announced the birth of John the Baptist to the aged Zechariah.

If you think about it, the announcement of the birth of John was the appropriate next revelation.  After all, verses 5 and 6 are cited in that angelic conversation with Zechariah (Lk. 1:17).  John was the man to fulfill that promise.

But there are other dimensions of these final Old Testament prophetic words that lie yet further into the future, even beyond our present day.  There is, yet ahead, a period of time consisting of contrasting extremes.  It is the “great and dreadful day of the Lord” (4:5).  This “day” will include the future tribulation (dreadful) and the following thousand year kingdom in which Christ will rule (great).  This “day” will distinguish “between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who don’t” (3:18).  It will separate the “arrogant and evildoers” (4:1) from those “who revere God’s name” (4:2).  For the one, it will be a day of fire and destruction (4:1), while, for the other, it will be a day of sunrise and healing.

Of course, that contrast of experiences is determined by each person’s faith response to Jesus Christ.  He is the coming “sun of righteousness.”  He is the One who offers healing and hope to all who place faith in Him.  As Christ followers, we can anticipate the coming day of sunrise!  That will be a great day!

But, keep in mind that there will be many who will go through the dreadful day of judgment instead.  Unless they respond with repentant faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus on their behalf (1 Cor. 15:3-5), theirs will be a dreadful experience.

Although Jesus has done all that is necessary for them, He invites you and me to be faithful messengers of His work.  We have been invited to identify “five” for whom we are praying.  These are “five,” to whom we are reaching out.  They are “five” we are inviting to join us at Grace.  Are you remembering your “five”?


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