2nd Sunday of End Time-Last Judgment
Doesn’t it just take your breath away? You know it’s coming. You’ve waited so long that your eyes hurt and burn with anticipation. That glow has been hanging there in the distance, you know it’s coming, it will be here, it’s almost here. Then, rays burst over the horizon, light blasts over the fields and mountains, heat and warmth blanket you. The darkness of night is over, the sun has risen in the sky, what an awesome sight! What an awesome feeling! It takes your breath away! The day has arrived!
No doubt that same scene, the break of day after being up all night, sent chills down the spines of people living in the 5th Century BC as well. That’s when the prophet Malachi wrote these words. He wrote to people who were indifferent towards God, people unconcerned about the truth of God’s Word, people living in unrepentant sin, and also to faithful believers yearning for God’s love and justice. Sound familiar? These words are written for our day too; written for your attention and my attention. Hear the Word of God (Malachi 4:1-2).
There is a day. It is sure. It will come. God has set the day. One day, one final day, on the Last Day, The Sun, that is, the Lord, will rise in the sky. Those who don’t believe in Jesus will perish; they are the evildoers and the arrogant ones talked about in the text. For them the day is burning; for them that day will be like an oven; for them on that day they will be chaff, like grass tossed up in the air; for them on that day they will be totally destroyed, without root and without branch. On that day the Sun, the Lord, will rise with the scorching heat of just judgment.
Isn’t it easy to look at the first part of our text…easy, until we realize the punishment described ought to be ours. Are you and I ready to see the Lord? Are we ready for our holy and perfect Judge to rise in the sky? “Oh, but that day won’t happen for a long, long time. Just look, every day the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, just the same as it always has. Besides, I have so much to accomplish, so many plans and dreams, so much to do and experience. Maybe when I’m older and don’t have so much to do, then I’ll spend some time with God’s Word, then I’ll have some extra money lying around for the Lord, then I’ll care a little more about the people close to me, but until then I’VE got to get MY stuff done.” You see, if I don’t understand that the Day is coming I’ll actually appreciate what God tells me less. I’ll think, I’ll always have tomorrow to tell my friend about Jesus, I’ll always have tomorrow to turn my life around, I’ll always have tomorrow to care more deeply about those around me, I’ll always have tomorrow to be strengthened in God’s Word. Are we ready to see the LORD rise in the sky? Brothers and sisters, realize this: God does not lie, The Day comes!
That day does come, but also realize this, the fire, the heat, the judgment, rightfully yours and mine, has already been suffered and paid for. When Jesus was on the cross and announced, “It is finished,” God does not lie; the judgment for sin was paid, your sin was paid for. The day that ought to scare and horrify us, is now a day we look forward to and anticipate. Because of Jesus the day that was coming with fire and judgment on us is now coming for a completely different purpose.
So, if the day comes not for our judgment what’s the purpose for us? God, who exists outside of time, has set a time for you and me. Why is this comforting? God is coming here in His magnificent splendor with an army of angels. In the end God wins. Satan has been defeated. Right now, we see evil run rampant, it seems it has no end, but God says, “The day comes” evil will be judged. Right now, our lives are so unstable, but God says, “The day comes” we have a goal, an outcome. Right now, we need something to look forward to, and God says, “The day comes!” Each day when we see the sun rise in the morning, our salvation comes a little closer. The Day comes!
What does this day bring for you? “But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing it its wings.” That day is coming and it will be awesome. On that great and glorious day Jesus will come as Lord of lords and King of kings. He will bring justice; each person will be held accountable for his/her sins. But, fellow sinners who revere his name, don’t be afraid, but rejoice, because the Judge is Jesus who has clothed YOU with His perfect, holy, and innocent life. In God’s eyes your sin is gone…because of Jesus!
Because you wear the white robe of Jesus’ perfection that day is release and freedom. The sin, that so infects you now, will be healed completely then. On that day the sin of the world around us, which tempts and hurts us so often, will be completely annihilated. On that day the temptations of Satan will be cut off forever. The day of healing comes! Will that be a day to rejoice? Absolutely. Don’t you want to be there? Absolutely, so hold fast to the whole truth, the whole Word of God. Don’t you want your friends to be there? Tell them! Don’t you want your great-great-great- grandchild to be there? Pass the Word on to your family! “And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall.” When calves have been penned up and are first released into a field they run out as fast as they can and jump around…that’s a picture of the joy and excitement that you and I have on that great day of healing!
Doesn’t it just take your breath away? With eyes of faith you see the glow of the Sun, the Lord, about to rise into the sky and shed the light of life on you. The day comes! Rejoice! On that day your God and Savior, your Sun of righteousness, will come here to take you there! Amen.