“So you will again see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him.” Malachi 3:18
How this passage comforts you depends largely on what “team” you’re on.
If you see this world as full of sinners who hate Yahweh, this passage gives you hope that he will fry those evil people like sausages. No longer will you have to endure the heartache and frustration of people who mock Jesus with their words or actions or even inactions. God will show ’em. And sinners will be exposed for what they truly are.
If you’re like me, if you’ve seen so much hypocrisy in the church that you want to scream, this verse gives you hope that the fakery will come to an end. Liars and posers will be exposed for what they really are.
And ironically, even this team has two sides.
One side believing that those who called themselves Christians, but who never obeyed God – antinomian posers – will be exposed.
And the side I’m on: Those who believe Christian talking heads (celebrities, if you will) will be exposed for their deception. This election season, I officially had to move James Dobson, Franklin Graham, and Jerry Falwell Jr to this list. Coincidently, they each belong to the first group above (those comforted by the thought that sinners will be exposed). They each teach their followers that they must be conservative Republicans. And this past election they unwittingly (though the jury is still out on that) told Christians that they don’t need to trust that gut feeling called their conscience, or that common human decency doesn’t matter, so long as that person runs on a Republican ticket, or is a baby Christian who promises to put conservative judges on the Supreme Court. (Because apparently that is the full extent of “biblical values.”)
Bringing it back…
The truth is, all these things will be exposed!
Real sinners will be seen as they truly are.
Nominal Christians (people who are Christian by name only) will be exposed.
Hypocritical leadership will be exposed.
But also, thankfully, so will genuine believers. So will the peacemakers and mercy seekers. So will the radically gracious. So will the ones who put so much trust in Christ’s righteousness, that they were willing to be branded as heretics.
We will all be exposed as the people we truly are – good, bad, ugly, or beautiful.