Malachi 3:13–4:3 (ESV)
13 “Your words have been hard against me, says the Lord. But you say, ‘How have we spoken against you?’
14 You have said, ‘It is vain to serve God. What is the profit of our keeping his charge or of walking as in mourning before the Lord of hosts?
15 And now we call the arrogant blessed. Evildoers not only prosper but they put God to the test and they escape.’ ”
16 Then those who feared the Lord spoke with one another. The Lord paid attention and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who feared the Lord and esteemed his name.
17 “They shall be mine, says the Lord of hosts, in the day when I make up my treasured possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his son who serves him.
18 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.
1 “For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble. The day that is coming shall set them ablaze, says the Lord of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch.
2 But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall.
3 And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet, on the day when I act, says the Lord of hosts.
Like God’s people who returned after exile—we as God’s people can feel like God is M.I.A., it can truly feel like a real God is missing in our real world, but I would like us to explore the question:
Who will God remember?
1. God will remember the PIOUS PRETENDERS-14 You have said, ‘It is vain to serve God. What is the profit of our keeping his charge or of walking as in mourning before the Lord of hosts? Pious pretenders have developed a warped sense of worship. They have turned the creator/creation relationship upside down. Instead of fearing God, they believe God fears them. Because what type of people speak harshly against God, those who don’t revere him. Serving the Lord is an empty service because it isn’t genuine worship. All authentic worship is a reverent service unto God, but not all service is worship unto God. If the heart is set for God, then the offering is repulsive. The only reason the service of true believers is accepted is because of the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. His sacrifice makes our sacrifice acceptable.
God will remember Pious Pretenders and deal with them accordingly. Pious pretenders pretend they are disciples of Christ but have never surrendered their lives to him. Our God doesn’t accept bribes, nor does he tolerate dishonest acts of repentance and hypocritical acts of worship. Because of the warped sense of worship, they now call the arrogant evildoers blessed.
2. God will remember the PRESUMED PRIVILEGED 15 And now we call the arrogant blessed. Evildoers not only prosper but they put God to the test and they escape.’ The Presumed privilege are the arrogant evildoers. They don’t revere God, and they worship what works for them. To the rest of the world, they are fortunate, blessed, and somehow escaped God’s justice. They’re similar to man Instagram models and social media celebrities who portray a life they don’t truly live. They deny the existence of divine authority and accountability.
The plan of the presumed privilege is Satan's plan to eliminate sin, eliminate Christ as Lord in the church and outside of the church. Because they are perceived as eternally privileged and blessed, many will believe that God is either impotent, unaware or apathetic. An attack against his nature and character. We mustn’t mistake God’s patience for immoral permission. As Theologian A.W. Pink states in his book the attributes of God, he says, “Because God is good, he exercises the power of control over himself, causing him to bear the evils of men and be slow in his anger before he judges and punishes.”
The reality is God remembers the arrogant and evildoers, the presumed privileged and will one day have to give an account.
Jesus says in Matthew 23:33 as he addressed the scribes and Pharisees, “How will you escape be sentenced to Hell?3. God will remember HISPRIZED POSSESSION Then those who feared the Lord spoke with one another. The Lord paid attention and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who feared the Lord and esteemed his name……17 “They shall be mine, says the Lord of hosts, in the day when I make up my treasured possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his son who serves him.
God's prized possessions are his children by faith. They demonstrate the proper relationship between creator and creature. They are the preserved, the remnant believers. There is a wise and spiritually healthy fear of God. Their fear of God isn’t an attitude alone but a combination of attitude and reverent action. As in this account in Malachi, after the last disputation, the people who feared God came together in repentance and encouragement, evaluating the exercise of their faith. God heard and listened to them and promised to keep them, written in the book of remembrance. God, as the divine bookkeeper, remembers everything and everybody.
As those other the New Covenant, because of the righteousness of Christ that has been imputed to us, Jesus will not remember our sins. Our sins have been washed by the blood of Jesus Christ and the power of the resurrection. As his treasured possession, we inherit the privileges of adopted sons and daughters in Christ. The day is coming when the distinction will be made when everyone will see his true sons and daughters. Remember not all who say they believe are true believers in Christ. The gospel will always be deliverance for some but destruction for others.
Our God doesn’t forget who honors his name and who doesn’t.