Then once more you shall see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him. Malachi 3:18
Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. Revelation 22:14-15
Malachi, like the other prophets, sees clearly the inward and outward sins of the people he addressed. He goes into detail about their idolatry, their failures in marriage, and their stealing God’s money. The Jews presumed that either their status as descendants of Abraham exempted them from obedience or that the Holy One of Israel was unconcerned about righteousness in His people.
The prophet warns them that the day of the Lord is coming. They would see that there is a distinction between the righteous and the wicked. It does matter how one lives before God.
John points us to Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God. Those who are accepted before God recognize their sinfulness and come to have their robes washed in His blood (Revelation 7:14). These blessed ones do not presume upon God’s mercy but receive the salvation offered in the gospel. They have access to the tree of life and enter the city by the gates. Meanwhile, those who remain in their sins--such as immorality, murder, idolatry, and falsehood--are outside.
Think about it
Although Malachi wrote around 500 years before John penned his Revelation, these writings converge in a harmonious and glorious view of the final end of all things.
All sin will be punished. Unbelievers remain outside the city where God dwells with His people. Meanwhile, Jesus Christ has paid for the sin of His sheep by His atonement. By His wounds they are healed (1 Peter:2:24). Be sure you know that there is a distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent (Genesis 3:15).
Thank you for walking through the Scriptures with me this year and, if we have not met here, may we meet in glory to worship the Triune God. Our life here matters and it does matter forever.
Soli Deo Gloria
© 2017 John A Carroll Used by permission