(Fifth in a 52 part introspective devotional series, weekly more or less, based on the Scriptures that inspired George Federick Handel to write The Messiah.)
[see the entire series here]
But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: Malachi 3:2
From every perspective of mankind’s being there is not even one that could withstand the coming judgment of God (Romans 3:10). As I contemplate the vast passage of time gone by and the great learned men (and women) that have struggled with this very thought, I am awed by the immensity of the thought processes. Paul, Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Charles Spurgeon, Karl Barth, John Piper…all come to the same conclusions — as mankind stands on its own mankind will perish.
Who am I? I have no heritage like Israel, the chosen children of God. I have never been selected to write a canonical tome. I have a hard time thinking the small thoughts that never seem to come from the pens of the men I have previously mentioned.
Yet, my purpose (not the copyrighted version of recent infamy) is determined by the One who will test me by a refiner’s fire. As He purified the sons of Levi, so God will purify you and me alike. My purpose is to worship Him (Revelation 4:11).
As a sinner, there is no way I can stand and face His coming. To do so would mean certain annihilation.
But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. –1 Corinthians 15:10
God’s grace is the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. It is the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). It is the eternal life given to His adopted children and heirs (Romans 8:14-17).
Who then, without the grace of God may abide the Day of His coming? No one. Unless the gift of eternal life is received then death is the only course (Romans 6:23).
Therefore the question is really more about what I will do with the gift of grace given to me by God. Am I truly prepared in any circumstance to proclaim Christ crucified (2 Timothy 4:2; 1 Corinthians 1:23)? Is what I preach, teach, and say “as the droplets on the fresh grass”, that is, are my words true and right doctrine (Deuteronomy 32:2)? More importantly, do I do it because I am properly trained and do it well? Or do I do it because I love it (Revelation 2:4,5) and want to do it the best I can (2 Timothy 2:15)?
Lord, hear Your Servant. By Your Holy Spirit, strengthen me for Your will unto that day of Your coming that I may be found obedient under Your blood shed for my sins. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.