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This thought has been rummaging through my mind the last few days: “Who can endure the day of his coming?” The Lord God asked this in the Book of Malachi 3:2.

“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.”

This is a rhetorical question, which means the answer is already known.

The Christian’s response to this question should be, “No one.” The addendum to that answer is, “Unless they have a refuge.”

An unbeliever’s response, however, would be, “No one is coming to judge us. That’s all unicorns, ancient legends, and fairy dust. We must be the ones to fix the problems on this earth. We have work to do, but we can do this. We can change the world. We must. We will.”

Oh, human pride.

Oh, human power.

So insignificant in the light of the One who created all things and reigns over it all.

Well, we will see how that turns out for them. Not well. I write that with certainty.

As for finding God’s answer to the question in Malachi, we will find it in verse six.

“For I the LORD do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed” (Malachi 3:6).

Oh. Of course.

Who can stand the day of His coming? By His mercy, those who believe in Him. Those who know Him. He is their refuge.

“This God—his way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him” (Psalm 18:30).

This day of His coming was set in motion with the coming of Jesus, the Messiah.

“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; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts” (Malachi 3:1).

I know, I know. I’m reading Malachi backwards. Nevertheless, the day of His coming began with the arrival of Jesus. Before Jesus had even begun His ministry, John the Baptist prophesied,

“His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire” (Matthew 3:12).

The clearing of Jesus’ threshing floor and the burning, unquenchable fire has begun.

“For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? ‘If the righteous is scarcely saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?’” (1 Peter 4:17–18).

Judgment begins with the Church. If we have any knowledge of the condition of the Church throughout the world, we can surely see that judgment is at work and has been for a long time. This is for our good.

But what will become of “the ungodly and the sinner” that Peter mentions?

“The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 13:41–42).

No one can stand before His indignation or the heat of His anger. No one. No human or any created being—except Christians, that is. As Malachi 3:6 told us, He does not consume His children.

Thus, for believers,

“The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ‘The LORD is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in him’” (Lamentations 3:22–24).

For unbelievers, you must repent. Come to Jesus. Come home. He will forgive and take you in as part of His family. You will be forgiven and washed clean of your sins. You will know your Creator. You will be given eternal life in a heavenly kingdom.

I urge you to wait no longer.

1All Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

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