"But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap.Malachi 3:2(NASB)
Malachi was God's final messenger to the disobedient and unfaithful nation of Israel before the prophetic voice of warning was silenced for four centuries. The repetitive call for Israel as a nation to repent of their sins and to turn back to God, had resounded down through the centuries, but the numerous warnings of many prophetic voices continued to go unheeded.
And so we discover that before God finally withdrew His entreaties and warnings to His errant and backslidden nation -He raised up Malachi to proclaim the sentence on those who continued to remain disobedient to the Lord - and a solution for the little remnant who harkened to His voice. God pronounced judgement on the one but promised blessing for the other - condemnation for the wicked but restoration for all who trust in the Lord their God.
But amidst the string of Malachi's prophetic judgements was a promise in the previous verse.. that God would send His messenger to prepare the way of the Lord - and that He would suddenly come to His Temple. How sad that Israel not only ignored the voice of John the Baptist, who was sent to prepare the way of the Lord but they failed to recognise the Lord Jesus Himself, Whose cleansing of His Father's House paved Christ's way to Calvary's cross, rather than the Messianic crown.
Most of that generation missed their Messiah and are placed under condemnation as prophesied.. but the little remnant of Israel who accepted Christ's message of salvation at His first coming received the promised restoration; the forgiveness of sins and life everlasting.
They were the favoured ones who laid the foundation for the Church age, and like all who trust in the death, burial and resurrection of Christ are no longer under condemnation but have been raised into newness of life in Him. Christ took the punishment for the sins of all who believe on the name of the Son of God for salvation - and God's wrath was poured out on Him in our stead - and for His sake, there is no longer condemnation to those that are in Christ Jesus.
But Malachi's prophecies of judgement, must still await their final fulfilment on that future day of Christ's return - when the fearful question will be asked: who can endure the day of His coming, and who can stand when He appears?
Before Christ's second advent, God's severe judgement will fall on the whole world. Christ's return to set up His kingdom will be preceded by the terrible time of Jacob's trouble when the Lord will pour out His wrath on a Christ-rejecting sinful world. It is at Christ's second coming, that God will purge out the wicked and purify the remnant of Israel as Malachi foretold. The wicked will be baptised with the fires of judgement and receive eternal condemnation while the whole house of Israel who trust in Christ will be restored.
The refining fire of judgement will burn away all the dross and disobedience and the launderers soap will spiritually purge the nation of Israel. Those who trusted Christ for salvation will not be condemned and will be settled in their land.. as promised to their forefather,Abraham. But those who will not believe on the only begotten Son of God are condemned already.
Heavenly Father, thank You that in Christ there is no condemnation, but sadly, the world is full of men and women who have remained deaf to Your Word, disobedient to Your command and defiant to Your truth. In judgement we pray that you would remember mercy and ask that in the days that are left in this age of grace.. many would come to faith in Christ for the forgiveness of sins and life everlasting - this we ask in Jesus name, AMEN.