The word Malachi means my messenger. The interesting thing is that we know nothing about him. And whenever you come up against one of these issues where we know nothing in the scripture, men make all kinds of speculation as to just who Malachi was. He was the last of the Old Testament prophets. After his prophecy we have that four hundred plus or minus years of silence, when God was not speaking to man. Not until the silence was broken by John the Baptist down by the Jordan River crying, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” John the Baptist who was coming in the spirit and the power of Elijah. It is interesting that the very last words of Malachi are a prophecy concerning the coming of Elijah before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. “And He shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse” (4:6).
As we get to that prophecy next week at the close of the Old Testament we will deal with the relationship between John the Baptist and Elijah. But interestingly enough, John the Baptist coming in the spirit and the power of Elijah was the voice of God to man after this long period of silence. The children of Israel, many of them had come back from the captivity in Babylon, when the Medo-Persian Empire conquered over the Babylonian Empire, the Jews were allowed under the edict of Cyrus to return to Jerusalem to establish again the nation and begin the rebuilding of the temple and of the city that had been destroyed by the Babylonians. The task was much greater than what they anticipated. The devastation was much more than what they could ever have imagined. And as they came to the ruins, the city was just a heap of ruins, mountains of debris. And as they started the rebuilding of the temple, they laid the foundation but they became discouraged and they left off the building of the temple and began to concentrate on their own houses and the Lord rebuked them for that through the prophet Haggai and got them back to work on the temple. Zechariah came along and encouraged them. Just about the same time as Haggai.
Then there was Nehemiah, who heard of the demoralized state of the people as he was serving the king and he received from Artaxerxes the commandment to restore and rebuild Jerusalem in the year 445 BC. And so he came back and he led the people in the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem. And after he led the people in the rebuilding of the walls, he went back to Persia to spend a little time perhaps to give a report unto the king concerning the progress and what was done. But then again he came back to Jerusalem and he found the conditions there were actually very unspiritual. the people had more or less turned away from God, they had begun to intermarry with the people in the land, and he took they were profaning the Sabbath day and he took real action. He didn’t show any mercy but cleaned house and got things re-established. He was a very strong man, he was made then sort of the governor over Israel. Now, some and that second visit was around ten years after the first is estimated about 435 BC. It is estimated that Malachi prophesied right around the year 400 BC. It would have appeared that it was after the time of Nehemiah the final prophecy of the Old Testament and thus we come to what Malachi called
The burden of the word of the Lord to Israel by Malachi (1:1).
So by the messenger of the Lord, here is what God is saying to the people. It begins, it will be basically a book in which God rebukes them but it begins with an affirmation of God’s love. Now they were going through still some very heavy trials. They were hoping that when they got back and established themselves in the land again that things would really go great, maybe the Messiah would come and yet it was hard. It was a hard life. They were going through hardships and they were beginning to question God’s love. And so God affirms to begin with, His love for them. God it seems is always affirming to us the fact that He loves us. God declares
I have loved you, saith the Lord. [But they challenged that saying] Wherein hast thou loved us? [And the Lord answered]Was not Esau Jacob’s brother? saith the Lord: yet I loved Jacob, and I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness (1:2–3).
So God declared that His love was shown in His election. Now Paul the apostle, in writing in the book of Romans Chapter 9, as he spoke of this election of God. In verse 11 said: “For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of Him that calleth; It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated” (Romans 9:11–13).
So God points out, here were the twin brothers, let their destinies were so different. The Edomites who are the descendants of Esau are to be wiped out their land is to be desolate. They may try to rebuild it but it won’t work it’s going to remain a wilderness. And to the present day the area of Edom, is just barren wilderness as God declared. So it has been. And you go over there today ad you see mute testimony to the faithfulness of the Word of God.
The Edomites had suffered by the Babylonian invasion of Nebuchadnezzar after Jerusalem fell, in a later expedition against Egypt he came against Edom and he conquered over Edom. Later they suffered from the Nabbatheians and then later under Alexander the great, the Macedonians, and gradually the area just became forsaken and desolate. And so Go affirms His love in His election. I chose you, I chose Jacob. And thus it might stand not by the works of man but by God’s choice, by God’s election. . And whereas Edom saith, we are impoverished but we will return and build the desolate places. Thus saith the Lord of hosts they shall build but I will throw down. And they shall call them the border of wickedness the people against whom the Lord had indignation forever.” And so the race of Edomites were ultimately exterminated they no longer exist and they have been thrown down by God. “Your eyes shall see and you will say, The Lord be magnified from the border of Israel.” The fate of Israel was much different. they were to abide and they are yet to experience the greatest glory in the coming Kingdom of God. Now the Lord now begins to utter His complaint against them. He said,
A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name? (1:6).
So the challenge of God to them. Under the law the children were commanded to honor their father and their mother and in that society there was tremendous respect for the fathers. It was a patriarchal type of society where the father ruled. And you could be 70 years old your father 90 years old he still ruled and you still would honor and submit to his wishes. But God said if I am your father where is my honor? You haven’t honored me. If I am your master then why haven’t you obeyed me, why haven’t you reverenced me. Why haven’t you done what I commanded? And then accusing the priest, He said you have despised My name. And they challenged that they said where have we despised your name? He said
Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar (1:7);
Now there was what they call the meal offering that was offered unto the Lord. And they would place it on the alter. This is not reference to the shewbread. That was placed on the table in the temple. The holy place of the temple. This bread was being offered on the alter but God said it’s polluted and they said,
Wherein have we polluted thee? (1:7).
“And in that ye say, the table of the Lord is contemptible.” It was their attitude towards God. That made everything they did unacceptable to God it was as polluted. We must watch our attitudes. it’s very important that you watch your attitude towards the Lord and the things of the Lord. Here were men who were supposed to be leading the people, spiritually the priest. They were supposed to be God’s messengers to the people. And yet they had this negative attitude towards the Lord and the things of the Lord declaring the table of the Lord is contemptible. “And if you offer, he said, the blind for a sacrifice is it not evil?” According to the law they were to bring the best to offer unto the Lord. God deserves the best that we have. But they were bringing the blind animals. The lame animals. The sickly animals and offering them unto God as sacrifices. And so the Lord said,
And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the LORD of hosts (1:8).
And so they are offering to God something they wouldn’t offer to a friend or to a worldly leader, but yet give it to God.
Some people sort of have that attitude to the present day. Give God our cast-offs. I don’t want it anymore. I can’t use it, it’s in the way, but I just can’t let it go, let’s give it to the church. We can see it every once in awhile. We’ve had people actually declare that. An old rocking chair that was given to us when I was pastoring in Tucson. And they said, “You know this was grandma’s chair. We are getting new furniture and it just doesn’t fit in our house anymore but we just don’t want to part with it so we want to give it to the church and that way we can see it every once in awhile.” So some people offer to God the cast-offs. But God isn’t interested in the cast-offs. God required that they bring their sacrifices which had to be without blemishes. And during the time of Christ they were very strict the Pharisees became very strict on this as far as blemished offerings unto the Lord. They did it for another reason though.
And now, I pray you, beseech God that he will be gracious unto us (1:9):
Seek the Lord. You’ve really polluted the sacrifices. Your attitude is horrible. You’ve been offering to God the cast-offs. So seek the Lord, that He might be gracious. Really we deserve to be judged by God for these things but seek the Lord that you might experience His grace.
this hath been by your means: will he regard your persons? saith the Lord of hosts (1:9).
This is what you’ve been doing and now you think God is going to regard you? And then he goes on and he says:
Who is there even among you that would shut the doors for nought? (1:10).
They have become so mercenary. They wouldn’t do anything just out of a heart for God. Their service wasn’t just because of a heart for God but they were serving just for mercenary purposes and they wanted pay for everything they did. If you shut the doors of the house of God well then you know I deserve some kind of pay for this.
neither do ye kindle fire on mine altar for nought. [The necessity of kindling the fire on the alter. If a person would go up then they would get paid for every service that they offered to God.] I have no pleasure in you (1:10),
God’s not pleased, He said with this attitude. With this mercenary spirit. God wants service to come from a willing heart. God wants everything that you give to Him to be given freely without constraint without pressure, but just giving cheerfully to the Lord because the Lord loves a cheerful giver. And if you are giving to God with a negative spirit. If you are giving to God grudgingly. If you said “Oh you know I felt pressured and I gave so much” and you’re complaining about what you gave. God said, I don’t have any pleasure in that. Neither he said will I accept an offering from your hand. In other words I don’t want it. So if you can’t give to God with a cheerful heart you would be better off not to give because God won’t receive it anyhow. You’ll get no reward for it so you might as well keep it. For the Lord declares
For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles (1:11);
The people of Israel have profaned the name of the Lord. He accuses them of that back in the earlier portion of the chapter. You despised my name he said. But now he declares that among the Gentiles…
from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen [nations], saith the Lord of hosts.
A prophecy of this era in which we live in which the spirit of God will be poured out upon all nations. And here we are honoring the name of the Lord and worshipping Him here tonight. Now this is a partial fulfillment, the complete fulfillment will come in the Kingdom age. When our Lord comes and rules and reigns over the whole earth, then will be the complete fulfillment of this prophecy and we will be a part of that when it happens, by the grace of God.
But ye have profaned it. [The Gentiles are going to worship the nations are going to praise my name] But ye have profaned it, in that ye say, The table of the Lord is polluted; and the fruit thereof, even his meat, is contemptible (1:12).
What an attitude towards God and the things of God. It’s a wonder God didn’t jut wipe them out but he is gracious and he is merciful. It’s a wonder that God doesn’t wipe us out but he is gracious and merciful.
Ye said also, Behold, what weariness it is! (1:13).
Their attitude towards the ministry. Attitudes that God detests. Thinking the things of God wearisome, boring,
and ye have snuffed at it, [That is they sort of sneered.] saith the LORD of hosts; and ye brought that which was torn, and the lame, and the sick; thus ye brought an offering (1:13):
They offered to God that which was torn, lame or sick. Or as we said today it would be called road kill today. The animals that have been torn by the wolves or coyotes or whatever. They would pick that up and bring it as an offering to the Lord.
Should I accept this of your hand? saith the Lord. But cursed be the deceiver, which hath in his flock a male, and oweth, and sacrificeth unto the Lord a corrupt thing (1:13–14):
Now under the law, they were to offer only the male animals as sacrifices. they weren’t to offer a female unless they had no male at all and then they could offer a female. Now here they were seeking to deceive saying that they didn’t have any male in their flock. Any male animal. And so they were vowing and sacrificing unto the Lord a corrupt thing. that is the female animals when indeed they had male animals in their flock or in their herd.
for I am a great King, saith the Lord of hosts, and my name is dreadful [awesome] among the heathen (1:14).
His own people turning against him. And how true this was in Jesus Christ how they despised and rejected him. He became a man of sorrows acquainted with grief. But how Jesus has been accepted and received by the Gentiles. And here we are tonight enjoying the Lord Jesus Christ and worshipping him as his name is awesome among the Gentiles. We sing our God is an awesome God and so it is.
And now, oh ye priests, this commandment is for you. If ye will not hear, if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the Lord of hosts. I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart (2:1–2).
So a message directed now to the spiritual leadership. It is a very hurtful and painful thing that many men go into the ministry as a profession. they are really sociologists and so many times they have no regard for the word of God or for Jesus Christ but they espouse every rotten, liberal cause. And you always find that the reporters, when they want to get some rotten thing said about something good, they’ll go to these ministers and get quotes from them sand they will give the paper some quote saying, that’s not what the Bible teaches or and they’ll give them all of this rotten, liberal thought as really this is true Christianity. And it’s a tragic thing and the Lord declares that they better listen to Him they better lay it to heart to give glory unto the name of the Lord because God is going to curse them. He will even make the blessings a curse, in fact he said I’ve already done it. Because you do not lay it to heart.
Behold, I will corrupt your seed. and spread dung upon your faces, even the dung of your solemn feasts; and one shall take you away with it. And ye shall know that I have sent this commandment unto you, that my covenant might be with Levi, saith the Lord of hosts (2:3–4).
God had established the priesthood with the tribe of Levi and so He declares,
My covenant was with him of life and peace (2:5);
God offers a covenant to you tonight of life and peace in Christ Jesus. What a glorious covenant. Jesus said this cup is a new covenant in my blood shed through the remission of sins. And tonight God is offering to you eternal life. He’ll make a covenant with you. That if you will just believe in his son Jesus Christ and allow him to be the Lord of your life. God will give to you eternal life. You’ll experience peace with God and the peace of God within your life. God said I have established this covenant,
and I gave them to him for the fear wherewith he feared me, and was afraid before my name (2:5).
Because there was great reverence for God and the name of God. God established the covenant with Levi.
The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips: he walked with me in peace and equity, and did turn many from iniquity (2:6).
That’s really the job of the minister or the priests a man who is the spiritual overseer of the flock of God. His task is to walk with the Lord in peace and equity and turn many from their iniquities.
For the priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts (2:7).
You should be bringing people the word of God. They should be able to come and find what God is saying to them. Because we stand here really as the messenger of the Lord of hosts. That is why as much as possible we seek not to speculate on the word of God. The minute I start speculating I am giving you now my own ideas an my own thoughts. It is best that I stick as close to the word as possible and that I confirm the things that I say with the scriptures so that I can of surety say I am declaring to you God’s message because I am to be a messenger from God.
Paul the apostle said to the Corinthians that which I received from the Lord, I also delivered unto you. And I seek that I can preface every message that I bring with those words. that which I have received from the Lord I also deliver unto you. This is what God has ministered unto my heart. This is what God has spoken to my heart. This is what God has inspired in my heart and I bring to you God’s message. Jesus over and over again said he that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the church.
And how important it is that what we say is of the Spirit, directed by the Spirit and is the Word of God that we bring to you and when I stand before the Lord, I’ll not have to worry about having giving you a lot of speculation and things of that nature but have declared to you the counsel of God as I have brought his Word. But he said:
But ye are departed out of the way; [You have turned away from the Word of God.] ye have caused many to stumble at the law (2:8);
Jesus brought out some of the inconsistencies that had developed in their teaching. The law declared that you’re not to swear. If you take an oath you were to keep it. Jesus said don’t swear at all, but if you take an oath you would swear by something that is higher. Now they made up rules. They said if you swear by the altar of God it isn’t a binding oath, but if you swore by the gift that was on the altar, that becomes a binding oath. Jesus said you fools, what’s greater, the gift or the altar by which the gift is sanctified. And he spoke of how they just sort of negated the laws of God by their traditions. They developed these traditions that just sort of made the law of God of no effect. In the hearts and lives of the people. And because they had departed from the way, they had caused many to stumble at the law. There is a passage of scripture that Jesus spoke in the sermon on the mount concerning the law. And verse 17 of Chapter 5 he said: “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. [Now that’s until heaven and earth pass, earth is still here so.] Whosoever therefore shall break one of the least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:17–19).
Now we hear a lot in the evangelical circles, that we are no longer under the law; we are under grace. In fact we used to sing a chorus many years ago in the church. “I am not under law but under grace it was grace that rescued me it was grace that set me free. I sought till I found a resting place, we’re not under law, we’re under grace.” It is true that I relate to God through grace. It is true that my righteousness does not come by keeping the law. that my righteousness is imputed to me by my faith in Jesus Christ. But the law is still the standard that God has established. And because I am under grace and not under law shall I go out and just do what I want because I’m not under law; God forbid! I am dead to sin, how can I live any longer therein? So the law is good. It’s perfect. There’s nothing wrong with the law of God. In fact, God as I’ve said before does not prohibit you from doing one decent thing, one good thing. the law encourages you to do that which is right. And the law only forbids those things that are destructive. Those things that will destroy you, those things that will tear you down. The law forbids you doing these things. So the law is meant for your good. And so here they are and so many just causing people to stumble over the law because of their misinterpretation of the law. the Law will not make you righteous, the law will not make you holy. Keeping the law will not make you righteous, you are righteous because of your faith in Jesus Christ. But that does not negate the law in any wise but through Jesus Christ I have the power to keep the law which I could not, apart from the work of the Holy Spirit within my life. So,
ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the Lord of hosts. Therefore have I also made you contemptible and base before all the people, according as ye have not kept my ways, but have been partial in the law. [So God made the priesthood to be contemptible. People looked down on them.] Have we all not one father? hath not one God created us? [Is this not true have we not one Father? Hasn’t God created all of us?] why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers? (2:8–10).
God is our Father. He made all of us. Why should we deal treacherously with our fellow man? Profaning the covenant of the Fathers. Great question. I look at the world today and I see the turmoil and I see the bloodshed and this is typical of man’s history. When we try to live apart from God, we then become controlled by our own lust and greed and our lust and greed lead us to war. And leads to bloodshed and leads to violence. Oh that we could all of us submit to the covenant of God to the laws of God and live as God would have us to live; in love and in peace and in giving to one another. One Father one God makes us all children of the Father, One family.
Judah hath dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah hath profaned the holiness of the Lord which he loved, [God loves holiness. But Judah had profaned the holiness of the Lord.] and hath married the daughter of a strange god (2:11).
They had turned away, now here of course they had just come out of the captivity that had been caused by their turning to idolatry and the worship of false gods but here now is the charge again. Judah has profaned the holiness of the Lord, which he loved and is now serving married the daughter of a strange god.
The Lord will cut off the man that doeth this, the master and the scholar out of the tabernacles of Jacob, and him that offereth an offering unto the Lord of hosts (2:12).
God’s going to cut them off. I only wish that he would do it more rapidly. These who supposedly are spokesman for God but are corrupting the morals and the ways of people.
And this have ye done again, covering the altar of the Lord with tears, with weeping (2:13),
You’re doing this over and over, breaking covenant with God and all, and yet you cover the altar with tears, and with weeping,
with crying out, insomuch that he regardeth not the offering any more, or receiveth it with good will at your hand (2:13).
God will not accept from you any longer that which is polluted. By the attitudes with which it is offered. Now here with seeing there was a change of attitude but still not the change really deep enough in the heart. Change of actions. They’re weeping now. Ya know a lot of times a person when they are caught is very remorseful. Lot of tears, lot of crying. A lot of crying out but so often it isn’t really for the crime that they committed but for the fact that they were caught they are not really sorry for what they’ve done they’re not sorry for the lives that they’ve irked. They’re only sorry that now they’re going to have to pay the penalty for what they have done. And God wants the sorrow to be of the heart for the evil that I have committed. I think that we are living in perhaps one of the worst period s of man’s history as far as evil is concerned. As a pastor we have to deal so much with people whose lives have been almost destroyed by some bad experience with an adult when they were a child. It is all too prevalent. And you think it isn’t right that a person can so destroy a little child that the rest of their life they’re going to suffer psychic trauma from those experiences. And you thing of the selfishness of an adult who would take advantage of a little child. And I can get riled up over this pretty readily. Because I see the damage that has been done. I see people that can’t function whose lives are a real mess, and their live in away have been destroyed by this kind of experience in early childhood. And I think it isn’t right that they get by with that, but them the Lord assures me they’re not getting by with that. That the day of judgment is coming. And God is going to judge for the unrighteousness of man. Here there are weeping, tears, but God said I won’t regard it. The offerings that you give anymore. I won’t receive it with good will from your hand.
Yet ye say, Wherefore [why]? Because the Lord hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion and the wife of thy covenant (2:14).
When you stood there before the Lord and the minister said, “I charge you to realize that the vows that you are about to take are holy and sacred vows being made before God and thus are to be kept holy and sacred.” And he asked you if you promised to love and to cherish in sickness and in health, for better or for worse. And you said I do. That was a vow taken before God. You made a covenant at that time before God. I promise to love and to cherish until death do us part. Through the years, your heart has been enticed and attracted and you’ve dealt treacherously with the wife of your youth, you put her away. And we meet so many many young women today with children. Older women in their forties and fifties who are destitute; having to go back to work because their husbands have found someone else that interests them. Or the husband has just moved out and left his wife destitute. And God said I am witness to this. And when this is going on I won’t receive from your hand, I won’t receive your gifts, I am not interested in your gifts. It pollutes your relationship with God. The Lord has been a witness between you and the wife of your youth against whom you have dealt treacherously. Yet she is your companion, she was with you through those hard and difficult years. She stood by you, the wife of your covenant. And he made the two of you one.
For this cause a man shall leave his mother and father shall cleave to his wife and the two shall become one. therefore those whom God hath joined together let no man put asunder and yet the tragic thing is that the divorce rate in the church isn’t much different from the divorce rate in the world. That’s an indictment against the church of Jesus Christ. We should be different. There should be a vast difference in the statistics. Tragically it’s almost equal. What that declares is that the word of God isn’t really taking effect in people’s hearts. They’re really not paying attention to what God says. Worship of God is just a tradition or it’s a nice thing but it isn’t really from their heart.
And did not he make [the two of you] one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore [why] one? That he might seek a godly seed (2:15).
God wants the home to be a secure and loving environment where children might grow up with security, the security of mommy and daddy. And also a place where they can be taught the love of God and they can see him as a heavenly Father. You’d be amazed at how many people say to us, “Ya know I have difficulty in my Christian experience because I can’t relate to God as a father because my father was so horrible. My father did this or my father did that. And to think of God as a father just, ya know, I shudder at the thought because of such a horrible.” But that’s not what God intended. God intended for you fathers to set such an example of love for your children that you give to them that security of love so that as they think of the heavenly father they have that same warm kind of secure feeling. I have a father in heaven who loves me and is watching over me and taking care of me. he’s going to be providing for me. And they can make that jump from the earthly father to the heavenly father and not be troubled by the transition from the earthly to the heavenly. This is what God intends. Oh God help us. How we need to really have a renewing of our Spirits before the Lord, a renewing of our dedication, a renewing of our commitment and say God that’s the kind of father I’m going to be. That’s the kind of environment I’m going to create within the home. A loving environment. A secure environment. Never, never should there be talk of divorce especially in front of the children. It just shouldn’t be. it shouldn’t even be considered an option. For better or for worse is the vow that was taken. And He made you one. Because he was seeking a godly seed. He was seeking children to grow up in a godly way.
Therefore take heed to your spirit (2:15),
We develop a spirit of antagonism. We develop a spirit of lust. We develop a spirit of bitterness, of anger. And we give in to these things. The Lord tells us,
take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth (2:15).
What did the New Testament tell us? Husbands love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself for it. Husbands love your wives as your own body. Knowing that you are heirs together of the promises. Don’t deal treacherously with the wife of your youth.
For the Lord, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away [or divorce] (2:16):
He hated for the men to be putting away their wives divorcing them.
For one coverth violence with his garment, saith the Lord of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously. Ye have wearied the Lord with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied him? [Isn’t it interesting that everything that God says then they challenge God. Where, why?] When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and he delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment? (2:16–17)
God accepts everybody, it doesn’t really matter. In the end we’ll all be good. There’s a spark of goodness in all of us. We’ll all one day just be a big happy family. And you say that evil is good in the sight of the Lord. And He delighteth in them. Doesn’t really matter what they do, ya know God loves everybody. Or they say “where is the God of judgment? God won’t judge. There is no hell. Gracious. That’s archaic thinking. Where is the God of judgment. God’s going to receive everybody, God’s going to accept everybody. There will be a final restitution of all men. Everybody will be saved and what a happy day when Satan is converted and we all rejoice in God’s salvation.” Not so. He is a God of judgment and justice. And he will punish the wicked and He will reward the righteous. there is a heaven to gain, and a hell to shun. And these people who were making God so weak that he would not punish evil, were polluting the Word of God and the truth of God and they were causing the people to stumble. To trust in a false hope and they had a false security. When these people stand before God at the great white throne of judgment, these people who have been deceived by the false teachers, who have assured them that they are alright in their sin, that it doesn’t really matter what you do. When those people who have followed their pernicious ways are condemned by God to eternal hell. I wonder what they are going to be thinking and feeling at that moment when they realize that it was their damnable heresy that brought the damnation of that soul. Now I don’t relish the subject of judgment and eternal punishment in hell. I don’t relish that subject. I don’t really like to talk about it. I’d rather talk about heaven. It’s a wonderful place, filled with glory and grace. And I want to go there. And I’m looking forward to it. And I think that if you’d go back over the tapes of my teaching you’d find that I preached 150 sermons on heaven to every one on hell. Because I love the subject of heaven much more.
But yet if there is a place that God has prepared for Satan and his angels, a place of torment, a place of eternal punishment. A place known in the scriptures as Gehenna. And if those who reject Jesus Christ and the love of God will also be sent with Satan to this place. If I am giving people false assurance and a false hope in heaven, who are living in unrighteousness and sin, and thus I be partially guilty, comforting them in their sin, then I would be responsible before God, for not warning and not telling and giving people false comfort and false hope. I’d rather you hate me and I tell you the truth than you love me because I am telling you a lie. I’d rather be straight and tell you what God’s word says. That the wicked shall be cast into hell and all those who forsake God. That’s the negative side. I hate negativism. The truth I like to tell is that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life. It is your destiny that is at stake. And that is why I’ve got to be straight. That is why I’ve got to speak, what God’s word declares. To deliver my soul and not be guilty of your blood. To make it as straight and clear as possible that you make a reasoned and intelligent decision concerning whether or not you want to believe what God says or you don’t want to believe what God has said.
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #7372