Sermon Prepared by James McCullen
Email Preach Him with Dr. Jim
A Promise Keeping God.
Malachi 3:1-7 a
NKJV 1 Behold, I send My messenger, And he will prepare the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, Will suddenly come to His temple, Even the Messenger of the covenant, In whom you delight. Behold, He is coming,"Says the LORD of hosts. 2 "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 launderer's soap. 3 He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi, And purge them as gold and silver, That they may offer to the LORD An offering in righteousness. 4 "Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem Will be pleasant to the LORD, As in the days of old, As in former years. 5 And I will come near you for judgment; I will be a swift witness Against sorcerers, Against adulterers, Against perjurers, Against those who exploit wage earners and widows and orphans, And against those who turn away an alien--Because they do not fear Me,"Says the LORD of hosts. 6 "For I am the LORD, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob. 7 Yet from the days of your fathers You have gone away from My ordinances And have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you," Says the LORD of hosts.. . . " NKJV NASU 1 "Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming," says the LORD of hosts. 2 "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. 3 "He will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver, and He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to the LORD offerings in righteousness. 4 "Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the LORD as in the days of old and as in former years. 5 "Then I will draw near to you for judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers and against the adulterers and against those who swear falsely, and against those who oppress the wage earner in his wages, the widow and the orphan, and those who turn aside the alien and do not fear Me," says the LORD of hosts. 6 "For I, the LORD, do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed. 7 "From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from My statutes and have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you," says the LORD of hosts.. . . " NASU 

Introduction
Our God is a promise keeping God and today I want to emphasize that fact from this passage of scripture.
 
 

1.    A Promise Keeping God Promised the . . Messenger. v 1 a
        1 "Behold, I send My messenger, And he will prepare the way before Me."

A.    A . . Preaching Messenger.
        "Behold, I send My messenger, . . . "

Matt 3:1-3 1 In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, 2 and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!" 3 For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying: "The voice of one crying in the wilderness:

'Prepare the way of the LORD; Make His paths straight.' " NKJV

B.    A . . Preparing Messenger.
        ". . . And he will prepare the way before Me."

Matt 11:10 For this is he of whom it is written: 'Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, Who will prepare Your way before You.' NKJV
 

Illustration WHAT DID YOU PREACH ABOUT?
A man stayed home while his wife went to church. When she returned, he inquired about the sermon. "What did the pastor preach about today?" he asked. "I don't know," his wife said. "He never did say."

Application

Everybody knew what God's Messenger John the Baptist preached about; REPENTANCE.
 
 
 

2.    A Promise Keeping God Promised the . . Messiah. vv 1 b - 2
        " And the Lord, whom you seek, Will suddenly come to His temple, Even the Messenger of the covenant, In whom you delight. Behold, He is coming,"Says the LORD of hosts.

A.    A . . Surprising Messiah. v 1 b
        " And the Lord, whom you seek, Will suddenly come to His temple, . . . "

        1.    Surprising in . . Timing.
        2.    Surprising in Temperament.

B.    A . . Scriptural Messiah. v 1 b
        "Even the Messenger of the covenant, In whom you delight."

        1.    Jesus did His work by the book.
        2.     Jesus will do His work by the book.

C.    A . . Sure Messiah. v 1 c
        ".. . Behold, He is coming,"Says the LORD of hosts."
            1.    Just as He came the first time, He will return.

D.    A . . Sincere Messiah. v 2
        "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 launderer's soap.

        1.    Jesus did not come to play games, and he will not return as a mushy grandpa.

Illustration
Matt 11:2-5 2 And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two of his
disciples 3 and said to Him, "Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?"
4 Jesus answered and said to them, "Go and tell John the things which you hear and see:
5 The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are
raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them. NKJV

John 4:25-26 25 The woman said to Him, "I know that Messiah is coming" (who is called
Christ). "When He comes, He will tell us all things." 26 Jesus said to her, "I who speak to
you am He."

Application

Everybody knew Messiah was coming but they expected a Political Messiah..
 
 
 

3.    A Promise Keeping God Promised the . . Message. vv 3-5
        3 He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi, And
purge them as gold and silver, That they may offer to the LORD An offering in righteousness.
4 "Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem Will be pleasant to the LORD, As in the days of old,
As in former years. 5 And I will come near you for judgment; I will be a swift witness Against sorcerers, Against adulterers, Against perjurers, Against those who exploit wage earners and widows and orphans, And against those who turn away an alien--Because they do not fear Me,"Says the LORD of hosts.

Introduction
It is my opinion these verses apply to the time of Malachi, now and the time of the Millennium.
 

A.    A . . Purifying Message. v 3 a
        3 He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi,

B.    A . . Purging Message. v 3 b
    ". . . And purge them as gold and silver, That they may offer to the LORD An offering in righteousness.

C.    A . . Pleasant Message. v 4
        4 "Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem Will be pleasant to the LORD, As in the days of old, As in former years.

D.    A . . Persuasive Message. v 5
        5 And I will come near you for judgment; I will be a swift witness Against sorcerers, Against adulterers, Against perjurers, Against those who exploit wage earners and widows and orphans, And against those who turn away an alien--Because they do not fear Me,"Says the LORD of hosts.

Illustration
A young businessman was rushed to a hospital in serious condition. A doctor predicted that he might die. Not a religious man at the time, he did, however, turn on a radio and heard a Christian song being played: "God Will Take Care Of You." He said that he couldn't get that song out of his mind. He began to pray, and as he did, he reported a sense of energy flowing in. It was near Christmas, a Sunday morning. He heard a group of nurses having a brief worship service in a nearby room and struggled up out of bed and joined them. While there, he committed his life to Jesus Christ. That man recovered. Thereafter, for the rest of his life, he remained faithful to his commitment. He referred every business and every personal decision to God, was resolute in his ethics, living by the teachings of Jesus.

You've heard of this man, who told all of this in a book about his life. His name was J. C. Penney. He too insisted throughout his life that Paul was quite right in promising divine help for those in whom Christ's Spirit lives. E. Carver McGriff, LECTIONARY PREACHING WORKBOOK: CYCLE B, Lima: CSS Publishing, 1999.
 

Application

Most people think they don't want to hear the message of Repentance, but it is usually a pleasant message to the saved
 
 
 

4.    A Promise Keeping God Promised . . Mercy. vv 6-7
        6 "For I am the LORD, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob. 7 Yet from the days of your fathers You have gone away from My ordinances And have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you," Says the LORD of hosts. . . . " NKJV

A.    A . . Changeless Mercy. v 6
        6 "For I am the LORD, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob. "

B.    A . . Conditional Mercy. v 7 a
        7 Yet from the days of your fathers You have gone away from My ordinances And have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you," Says the LORD of hosts. . . . " NKJV
 

Illustration
I have never forgotten the story of the English firefighter that  scaled a latter three stories up to save a woman. We he broke the window she was on hiding in the corner and he was barley able to see her because of the thick smoke. He called to her to take his hand that was only a few inches away but the frightened woman panic and withdrew father into the smoke only to perish. When interviewed all the fireman could say, "She wouldn't let me save her."
 

Application

Most people want mercy on their terms., and rarely look at God's terms
 

A Promise Keeping God Promised the:

    Messenger,
 
        Messiah,

            Message,

                and Mercy.