“Surely the day is coming; it will burn like a furnace. All the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble, and that day that is coming will set them on fire,” says the LORD Almighty. “Not a root or a branch will be left to them. But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays.”
A Day of Judgment and Joy
The Lord blesses earthly life with special days that are eagerly anticipated. Young children count down the number of days until Christmas. Spouses lovingly anticipate the celebration of a wedding anniversary.
In the final chapter of the Old Testament, the prophet Malachi describes the most significant day in our future, the Last Day of this world’s existence. But why should we eagerly anticipate a day that Malachi says will burn like a furnace? How can we look forward to a day that will be filled with fire?
With vivid imagery, the prophet paints the sobering picture of the coming day of God’s just judgment. Malachi reminds us that the Lord is serious about sin—even our very own sin. The portrait of our sinful lives stands uncovered before the all-seeing eyes of the Lord Almighty. By nature, we deserve his eternal wrath that is surely coming on the Last Day.
Yet the Lord Almighty is also the gracious and compassionate Lord. On that day, our Savior, Jesus Christ, will return to rescue all who believe in him. He is the one who took away the sickness of sin and brought us the healing of his salvation. He exchanged God’s fiery judgment for the sunlight of God’s pardon through his death on the cross.
The Last Day will be a great and glorious day! We eagerly anticipate that day when the Lord will return. Yes, it will be a day filled with fire, fear, and dread—but not for those who trust in the returning Savior. Through Jesus, our escape from God’s wrath is guaranteed. He promises the light and splendor of everlasting life in heaven to all who believe in him.
Dear Jesus, thank you for your sure promise of forgiveness for all my sins. Because of your forgiveness, I eagerly anticipate the sheer joy of your coming. Amen.