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sermon: Malachi's Appeal to Backsliders (Part Three)

Malachi 2:17 to 3:12
Martin G. Collins
Given 20-Feb-16; Sermon #1309; 78 minutes

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Martin Collins, returning to the annoying questions asked by the priests in the book of Malachi as to God's alleged tardiness of justice, declares that their call for justice was unwise, considering that they would be fried to a crisp when they received what they deserved. The same applies to us: we need to be careful when we ask for justice, for our request might very well come back to bite us.. Those relentlessly begging for justice will indeed get what they ask for. Their presumptuous questions are all answered by Malachi, indicting both ancient and modern Judah and Israel. God's coming in judgment will be against those who are critical of His judgments. God, like a refiner of precious metals, will skim off the dross until He can see His face. Before the day of vengeance, a lengthy time of grace will precede, including 400 years from the time of Malachi to Christ's reading from Isaiah about bringing liberty and sight to the blind. Another 2,000 years have been added, and the same national sins, such as defiling God's Sabbath and robbing His tithes and offerings (both given before the Mosaic law), still dog our society today. Even though it is axiomatic, according to surveys conducted by Christianity Today and the Barna Group, that individuals who give 10% or more are generally better off than those who do not, the majority of modern Israel have cursed themselves by withholding tithes and offering, mirroring the days of Malachi and Haggai. All we have belongs to God, yet paradoxically if we give back 10%, we are incredibly blessed. Tithing provides for preaching the Gospel, Feast expenses, and helping the needy. Robbing God of His tithes brings curses on the created order, interpersonal relationships, and the covenental relationship. In the matter of tithing, God (1) calls for obedience to bring all the tithes into the storehouse, (2) issues a challenge to test Him,

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Christianity Today Covenant curse Cursed with a curse Curse on created order Cut off from community Cut off from environment Cut off from God Demanding justice Divorcing wives and marrying pagans Exile- removing Israel's presence from God I Corinthians 6:9-11 , 19-20 Generosity Genesis 14:18-20 God as a refiner and purifier 400 silent years Genesis God's gracious work of redemption God's judgment Haggai 2:15-19 Hebrews 7:1-10 ; 13:8 Interpersonal curses Interpersonal creations Isaiah 40:3-5 James Madison -governing ourselves by the Ten Commandments John 8:34 Love toward neighbor Luke 4:18-19 Malachi 2:17- 3:6 Matthew 10:8 Melchizedek priesthood Non-profit organizations Parable of the Ten Virgins Philanthropy Psalm 4:1-3 Romans 12 Slaves of sin Taunt or slander The Scary Truth About Christian Giving | Christianity Today Tithing and giving paradox Turning glory into shame "Where is God's Judgment?"

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