Malachi, Messenger of the Unchanging Lord of Love: Part 4

Brian Mahon - 8/27/2023


Call to worship: Luke 1:5-17

Text: Malachi 4:1-6


By Malachi, the unchanging Lord of love addresses the distinction that will be made at the Day of the Lord. For the wicked, it will be as a burning oven, certain to set all the wicked ablaze without hope of regrowth. The same Day, for the righteous, will be as a healing sun. The light of Christ will disperse the darkness. Our wounds for His sake will be mended, our battle scars, renewed as youth, our tears, wiped forever away, our lives in His footsteps, once and for all vindicated. The righteous will rise and come out on top. Whether a soul is lost or found, let it be prepared. Let it be known that the Day is coming when such a distinction will be made. Let each and all remember the Law (live by the Word of God) and look for Elijah (John) who, by targeting the hearts of fathers, will make a people prepared for Christ. Can we, the Israel of God, do better in light of Christ's second coming? Ready yourself for the coming of the Righteous One by devoting yourself to righteousness.

Sermon Outline:

  1. The coming Day of the Lord with respect to the wicked. (4:1)
  2. The same Day with respect to the Lord's righteous ones. (4:2-3)
  3. Preparations for the Day of divine distinction. (4:4-6)
    • a. Listen to Moses. (4:4)
      b. Listen to ‘Elijah.’ (4:5-6)


Discussion Questions:

  1. Read Malachi 4:1-6. Compare with the texts given for our call to worship and intermediate reading above.
  2. How would you describe the Day of the Lord and how He relates to the wicked in 4:1? Read slowly and deliberately. What details do you notice? Is this an idle threat? What will it be like? Will any unbeliever escape (as was charged in 3:15)? How are unbelievers characterized? Will their be a possibility of rebirth or regrowth once this Day has arrived?
  3. How is the same Day different for the righteous servants of the Lord? How are they described in 4:2? Why is the Day likened to the rising of the sun? Why is it called the sun of righteousness? What comes upon the wings of it? Why would the righteous need 'healing'? Relatedly, what's the significance of the light of the sun? What does it imply about the moral character of this age? With the healing of that Day, what other consolation comes in 4:3? Are the righteous the ones who turn the wicked to ash? How does that address our interaction with our enemies today (Romans 12:19-21)?
  4. In preparation for this Day, what two exhortations does Malachi give in 4:4-6? What's the exhortation for Israel in 4:4? What's the exhortation for Israel in 4:5-6? How does the Transfiguration of Jesus give us a preview of this Day (with Moses and ‘actual Elijah’ beside)? What distinctive ministry does John the Baptist (Elijah) have, and why would that be at the forefront of readying a people for Christ?
  5. Christ has come! And He's coming again! The Day of the Lord is before us! How do Malachi's preparations for Israel crossover to us as a church of the Lord Jesus Christ? To Whom does Moses point-to? To Whom does John the Baptist point-to? Is there any better preparation for the return of Christ than having our eyes fixed---on Christ? Pray for the church as we gather under this text on the Lord's Day!
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