Perceptions of God’s Word

Text: Malachi 3:16-4:3


I.         The prophet Malachi declared there would be a distinction between the wicked and righteous

            A.        The rising day would burn the wicked like chaff, but serve as healing balm for the righteous.

            B.        The same event produces two dramatically different results.

            C.        The result did not depend on the event but on the recipient.

            D.        Acts 17:22-34 - Same message yields different responses

II.        The attitude of the righteous to God’s word

            A.        It is a light burden

                        1.         Matthew 11:29-30 - Obligations are incurred, but ones that are easily managed.

                        2.         I John 5:3 - We must keep the commandments of God, which is not drudgery but beneficial to us.

            B.        They are doable

                        1.         God has never given commands that are out of the reach of men - Deuteronomy 30:10-14

            C.        They are enjoyable

                        1.         Proverbs 3:13-18 - The wisdom of God was given for our benefit

                        2.         Psalm 19:7-11 - The beauty of God’s law

            D.        They bring peace

                        1.         The words of Christ bring peace to the hearer - John 16:33

                        2.         His purpose in coming was to guide us to the way of peace - Luke 1:79

                        3.         Psalm 119:165 - nothing causes them to stumble

III.       The attitude of the wicked to God’s word is quite different

            A.        It is foolishness

                        1.         I Corinthians 1:18 - Yet that foolishness will lead to their destruction

                        2.         I Corinthians 2:14 - He cannot understand what is spiritually discerned.

            B.        It causes them to stumble

                        1.         Matthew 11:2-6 - Jesus causes people to chose. They ignore him to their peril because they will stumble over what they refuse to see.

                        2.         His teachings at time offended his audience - Matthew 15:10-14

                        3.         Christ is a stumbling stone to those who will not believe - I Peter 2:6-8

                        4.         It is the reason the Jews did not accept Christ - Romans 9:32-33

            C.        It does not give them what they want

                        1.         Some tried following Jesus for the food he provided - John 6:26-27

                        2.         Jesus told them to desire spiritual food - John 6:59-65

            D.        They refuse to listen - Jeremiah 6:16-19

            E.        It is too restrictive

                        1.         The way to truth is narrow and few will find and enter thereby - Matthew 7:13-14

                        2.         Only few will be saved - Luke 13:23-24

IV.      God’s word is both a fire and a rock - Jeremiah 23:28-29

            A.        It inspires the believer with passion - Jeremiah 20:9

            B.        But it destroys the unbeliever – burning him and shattering him - Jeremiah 5:14; Matthew 21:43-44

V.        What is your attitude towards God’s word? Will you accept its teachings?