The Best is Yet to Come… (for some)
“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 launderers’ soap.” Malachi 3:2
Maybe this is just my own conviction and it may not hit home with you but bear with me as I share my heart.
The days of a child’s Sunday School Jesus are over for me, when I read about the afflictions and persecutions that are now in our own back yard I think God’s got my attention. This verse taken from Malachi 3 is prophesy that I believe is only partially fulfilled. We have heard about God’s servant, “Behold, I send My messenger, and he will prepare the way before Me” 3:1 but as far as the day of “His coming” I’m not sure we have seen… yet.
The first coming of Jesus was of a suffering servant, One who came to make a way for salvation (Sunday School Jesus). His next coming or appearance will be much different and the way we demonstrate our faith will be brought to judgement and tried by fire. That is our works, not our eternity because our salvation is secure.
I think the picture here is of our works unto salvation that we will be responsible for what we did with our salvation. John the Baptist tells us in John chapter 3:11 “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire”. So, maybe we are living in the day of the Holy Spirit and fire is yet to come. If so then I need to wake up and examine myself to see if what Peter says in 1st Peter 1:7 “that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ”, that is my motivation of my actions will survive the test of fire. Maybe that’s what John the Baptist was referring to when he said “And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire”, if the root of my works is not pure then the fruit of the tree from that root will be rotten and burned up.
Ok, rant over, the bottom line is this, if we are going to be put in a position of standing up for what we believe than we better make sure we are grounded in our faith. As I am writing this a believer is sitting in jail in our own country, without bail until she denounces what she believes to be true by her convictions as a Christian. Paul puts it this way in Colossians 2:6-7, “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving”. The best part is we don’t have to do it in our own strength, remember what Paul told the Philippian church, “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (2:12,13). Rob Russomano is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and serves full-time at America’s Keswick. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Think About This: Compassion without conviction is capitulation and compromise. —Stephen Nichols
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: Many sorrows shall be to the wicked; But he who trusts in the Lord, mercy shall surround him. Psalm 32:10